Meet the Author
Like so many of us, I grew up with a family who consumed a lot of fast foods, frozen meals, and non-perishable goods on a daily basis. Once I decided I wanted to live a healthier lifestyle – around the age of 17 – I had no one who could help direct or educate me on developing healthier habits, so I decided to stop drinking soda and eating fast food. This first step would gradually develop into living the healthier lifestyle I wanted for myself, but not without setbacks.
The road to a healthier me
By the time I was 18-years-old I had turned to drugs. I was dealing with addiction, losing family and friends, I was homeless, and there were days I thought I was going to die. Then in 2007, after years of damaging my body and my relationships, I decided to get clean. I did not go through rehab or have any professional help at the time, so I lived with a friend and detoxed for 30 days. Of course, I was very sick throughout the process but I am happy to say I did it naturally and without the assistance of prescription drugs.
The following year in 2008, I graduated from California Culinary Academy where I was professionally trained as a chef. With my new skills, I began to research nutrition on my own – which is officially when my journey to writing the first Happy Food Cookbook began. From there I gained more experience within different areas of interest, including graduating from Yax Yoga Concepts in March 2013 and receiving my Personal Nutrition Diploma from Shaw Academy in September 2015. Then in 2017, I opened Nourish Cafe & Market as CEO of Operations & Chef with my business partner, Kalle LeMone.
Since getting clean in 2007 I have lost a total of 40 lbs and dropped 10 pant sizes. I stopped eating processed sugar in 2012 to see how I felt and the results were amazing. I stopped having crashes during the day which honestly reminded me of the previous drug crashes I used to experience. I felt energized, my cravings for sugar and carbs went away, and I wasn’t nearly as moody.
From processed sugar-free to gluten-free
In 2013, after reading the book Wheat Belly, I challenged myself to remove gluten from my diet for one year. While I was successful with my goal during this time, I became allergic to gluten. Now I get incredibly sick when I eat or come into contact with gluten. I feel arthritis in my hands, feet and hips. I get headaches, nausea, cramps and bloating. I get rashes and incredibly fatigued. I don’t agree with the way animals are processed from pasture to table so I’ve stopped consuming almost all of cow and pork products. The toxins and hormones used in preparing cows these days are alarming. I eat seafood and chicken when I know where and how it has been raised and processed, which is very rare.
You’re not alone in your journey toward a healthier you
I know first-hand how lonely it feels to be overweight and unhealthy, but we don’t have to be alone in this fight. You can do and be whoever you want to be – I am just here as a guide to help you on your journey.