My roots began to grow in rural upstate New York. I grew up tapping maple trees, harvesting apples for cider, growing gardens, building chicken coops, raising animals, and above all cultivating a respect for the earth and its capacity to not only feed but nourish my family.
With a flair for ecology and environmentalism, I pursued a degree in biology. During my first summer term, I was unable to find a biology internship so I decided to pursue an internship within my personal interest in Farm-to-Table concepts with Cornell Cooperative Extension. Here I advocated for regional farmers markets, visited family farms, distributed local-food maps, and promoted the program Eat3 (eat well, eat local, eat together).
The following summer I worked full time as a horticulture intern at a local farm wherein I developed the skills to cultivate beyond-organic, regenerative produce from seed to market. Here, I developed a sincere appreciation for farmers and local food systems. I even began to consider starting a career as a farmer (a consideration that hasn’t quite left my mind, by the way.)
Upon graduation, I joined AmeriCorps and found myself in Richmond, VA volunteering with Greater Richmond Fit4Kids. Fit4Kids is a stellar nonprofit that strives to reduce childhood obesity within vulnerable populations in the Greater Richmond area. I was inspired by the impact this start-up organization had on our community as we got kids gardening, moving, cooking, and getting excited about fruits and vegetables!
When my year with AmeriCorps was complete I began working for a small business that packs a punch, Edible Education. This had to be the most fun job I ever had! As a project catalyst, I contributed content to Edible Edu’s Kitchen a la Cart curriculum, taught kids’ cooking classes, worked in a scratch-cooked elementary school cafeteria, and advocated for children’s health within the community and worldwide (thanks to Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution campaign)!
Alas, I saw the door of opportunity crack open when an position became available at Ellwood Thompson’s Green and Grind Cafe. Ellwoods has since been known to me as my official home-base. Working in this environment with like-minded, wellness-oriented coworkers and patrons filled me up every day. After about a year a position opened up for an event coordinator at Ellwoods’ Beet Cafe. This experience transformed my life - and my health! As the event coordinator, I was present for hundreds of hours of seminars, workshops, festivals, and networking events with farmers and wellness practitioners of every modality. This ultimately inspired me to further my education and finally solidify my experiences with a master's degree in functional nutrition.
I learned about NUNM in the final months of my undergraduate program. The school, (then known as NCNM) is the oldest naturopathic university in the country. While the concept of preventative, holistic medicine grabbed my attention and reformed my perception of health and healthcare I did not feel that naturopathy was my calling. Food was and always had been the cornerstone of my wellness philosophies. I kept the school in the back of my mind until eventually, I found out they had started a master’s degree program in nutrition! Perfect! After a year in The Beet, I made my way to Portland, Oregon where I received a world-class education in functional nutrition. Outside of the outstanding lectures in biochemical science, psychology, cultural awareness, health coaching, and constitutional medicine, the program supplemented my education with hands-on classes in culinary skills, organic farming practices, and internships. I worked with a clinical nutritionist who specializes in small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and even a holistic bread maker! My work-study position at the Food As Medicine Institute (FAME) allowed me to help facilitate weekly community culinary classes throughout the course of my master’s program. I was grateful for my experience at FAME because helping my community learn to cook healthy and simple recipes which is something I always wanted to bring to my own practice
That brings me back to Rooted. This culmination of experiences, skills, certifications, and connections has left me bursting at the seams with passion, resources, and cutting-edge knowledge to help raise the threshold of health within the community I wish to serve. As a health-supportive home chef, I believe food is medicine and given the natural conditions, our bodies have the remarkable capability of healing themselves. I believe cellular inflammation is the underlying cause of the chronic diseases that plague this society. I believe autoimmune conditions can be prevented and reversed through diet and lifestyle modifications. I believe there is no one diet that works for everyone because our bodies are unique in every way. I believe better health starts with digestion and true health cannot be achieved without the microbiome that exists both in our gut and in our soil. My personal and professional philosophy as a nutritionist is to help you find your farmers, your community, and your roots, and there you will find your health.
Specialties and focus
Meal planning and recipe development
Healthful culinary skills
Conscious food sourcing
Seasonal, sustainable lifestyle