How I wish I could tell you that I was raised in a family with a strong culinary tradition; one rooted in real foods and grounded in the knowledge that our food choices exert great influence on our health. Alas, I am a child of the ’70’s and my childhood staples were more Kool-Aid and Kraft mac & cheese than veggies & yogurt. As an adult, I ditched the Kool-Aid but continued to eat the standard American diet, devoid of nutrients and high in fat, sodium and too many artificial ingredients to count.
As with many things, this began to change once I had children. Wanting to feed my children well, I began learning how to cook, which was a good first step. Then, fifteen years ago, two of my children developed some ongoing health issues that showed no improvement, despite medication and advice from several wonderful doctors. My mother’s instinct kept telling me there was something else, something everyone was missing. Eventually, I found my way to a wise and wonderful naturopath who suggested some dietary changes that might help resolve the problems. After eliminating dairy from their diet, both my children returned to good health. I was blown away! I had no idea food could impact our health is such a direct and powerful way. This revelation sparked my interest in nutrition and started me on a journey of the most wonderful sort. Real foods slowly replaced their processed counterparts and I learned the value of eating locally grown foods and knowing the people who actually grow, raise or catch the food we eat. And, through trial and error, I learned how to fit real food into the life of a busy family. (N.B. After a year or so, my children’s guts had healed and we were able to reintroduce dairy, slowly and in small amounts.)
After this experience, I began incorporating holistic healing modalities into my family’s health care. While we still used allopathic (Western) medicine when necessary, I also turned to homeopathy, herbs, acupuncture and chiropractic care to keep my family healthy. Eventually, I decided to formally study nutrition and thoughtfully chose to attend the University of Bridgeport, whose Masters in Nutrition program is based on the principles of functional medicine. Using this paradigm, the curriculum focused on clinically effective and evidence-based strategies for the practice of nutrition. After earning my Masters Degree, I decided to further my education and am currently enrolled in a nutrition internship program at Maryland University for Integrative Health. In addition, I completed a ten month long Functional Medicine and Clinical Nutrition mentorship program with Dr. Liz Lipski, one of the nation’s foremost experts in functional nutrition.
Through my writing for edible South Shore and South Coast magazine, I have become immersed in the food culture of the lovely South Shore of Massachusetts that my family and I call home. With every interview, I learn something new. I have walked the fields with talented farmers, toured a slaughterhouse, learned about food safety, and, most importantly, have had the privilege of getting to know the people who are trying to change the culture of food in our country. I am excited to share my knowledge and passion about food and health.