Growing up a vegetarian in a primarily organic and eco-conscious home with parents who love to cook (and eat) has made me who I am today. Making the conscious decision at age 6 to exclude meat from my diet began my wonderful journey through life as a health-conscious woman, inspired to learn about food and help others along the way.
Though my parents set me up with a good base, I wasn’t always a poster child for healthy eating. Sneaking gushers and bags of Doritos became my rebellion, and senior year of high school I was granted permission to buy Skippy Peanut Butter.
After going to college and being on my own for the first time was when I really took a look at what I was putting in my body. It was then when I realized what a difference diet and exercise could make in a person’s life. I finally understood the importance of what my parents had been trying to teach me all of those years – and also that it was never too late to make a change.
A few years of Skippy Peanut Butter and the occasional Oreo were not enough to prevent me from achieving optimal health. Not only that, but there was so much more to learn! I became a vegan, more out of curiosity that anything, and found that the world of food was infinite. Why eat white rice when brown rice tasted so much better and was so much better for you? Why not eat fruit for dessert as opposed to chocolate cake or cookies? When I ate well, I felt better.
When I exercised, I felt on top of the world. How could I have missed out on this before? I began to explore the world of vegan baking, coming up with ways to make familiar favorites in a way that wasn’t as harmful for the body. I baked healthy goodies for hundreds of friends and had them sold. When I saw what an influence I had by setting an example, I knew I could make a difference.
It became my goal to become an invaluable health resource to my friends and family. I took nutrition classes and read cookbooks for fun, and in the end I discovered that I wanted to turn my passion for food and nutrition into a career.
It brings me joy to share my knowledge and to help others. I want you to throw out your preconceived notions that food has to contain certain ingredients (butter and sugar, for example) to be flavorful. Instead, I want you to adopt the attitude that there are alternatives that can taste just as wonderful, and often times better!
My mission is to open your eyes to a world of possibilities – start with diet and exercise and you will see changes in other facets of your life. Join me on my incredible journey. Take these steps towards health, a longer life, and an incredible future!