When asked my philosophy on nutrition and wellness, I am reminded of a quote by Lao Tzu, “the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step." My journey of nutritional enlightenment began in childhood, long before I ever realized the direction I was headed. The first steps were on the small family farm where I was blessed to grow up (and where I now live with my loving husband and two beautiful daughters). My steps walking through the fields where cattle grazed and plodding barefoot in freshly-plowed, cool spring soil left lasting impressions influencing my present view of food, the food system, and opinions on how food should be produced. The dinners prepared and shared together after a long day’s work are some of my fondest childhood memories.
During my teenage years I encountered some back steps with food, where a negative body image and too much willfulness cultivated an eating disorder. I spent a great deal of time obsessing about foods and calories and lost a substantial amount of weight. Thankfully, with the support of family and friends I was able to see that my relationship with food had become unhealthy, leading to a negative impact on my health and wellness. Though a challenging time in my life, a positive result of this experience is that it sparked an intense interest in food and nutrition….and has allowed me to realize the impact that our emotions and moods have on our food choices and eating habits.
A healthier interest in food and nutrition continued to grow and my journey led to a pursuit of higher education in the field. I attended the University of Georgia and obtained a B.S. and M.S. specializing in foods and nutrition. As part of graduate school, I completed my dietetic internship and passed my board certification exam. Though my nutritional philosophy has evolved from the “mainstream” approach, these years were essential in developing a greater knowledge base. My education fostered a lasting appreciation and love of science and research that continues today.
After college, I married my high school sweetheart and settled down to begin a family. We were blessed with two beautiful and spirited daughters. We journeyed back to my small family farm and started our own "hobby-farm" complete with dairy goats, poultry, and hogs…. A hobby which soon grew into a fledgling business selling pasture-raised meats. My first-hand experience with the farm, the animals, and its contrast to the industrial food system profoundly impacted my nutritional viewpoint.
Walking with the goats as they grazed in the field and then tasting the slight hint of grass in their milk; watching the chickens sunbathe, eat bugs and grasses and then experiencing the bright orange yolk…. The evidence was obvious that REAL food must be part of nature.
I strongly believe the natural environment has a profound impact on our health and well-being. Food should nurture and heal our bodies, and to do this, it must be produced by nature, not in industrial factories and farms that generally strive to exclude the natural environment.
A proponent of “functional nutrition”, I’ve realized the foods we consume have a direct impact on ALL aspects of health and wellness. It is my hope to offer nutritional education, counseling and medical nutrition therapy to help patients achieve a higher level of health and wellness through the foods they eat.
"Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food."