Hi! I’m a chef and certified nutrition educator, dedicated to sharing my passion for real food ingredients and the incredible flavors and nutrition they provide. I teach my clients and students how to prepare simple, yet delicious meals from the most nourishing foods—and why these foods and where they come from are so important for our health and happiness.
Food was not always so rewarding and exciting for me. I know firsthand how rocky the road to eating well and feeling healthy can be. Starting in childhood, I’ve experienced a slew of different ailments, including digestive problems, food and chemical sensitivities, environmental allergies, headaches, depression, anxiety, weight fluctuation, eating disorders, hypoglycemia, fatigue, and chronic muscle, joint, pelvic and back pain. After years of feeling pretty bad and having negative experiences with conventional approaches to health problems, I was drawn to understand health with a holistic perspective.
My education took off in the Pacific Northwest, where I majored in sociology and anthropology at the University of Puget Sound, and focused on public health issues, mostly women’s health. There, I learned about sustainable agriculture and was involved in food justice and sustainability activism. I researched cultural and community identities expressed through food – something I would ultimately experience for myself, creating a new relationship to food and new community connections. But back in my early 20s, I couldn’t quite get a grasp of taking good care of myself and was prone to do the opposite!
After college, my health declined dramatically and I began to research my health issues extensively. It was a dark rabbit hole of information and a very lonely experience. The specialist MDs I saw honestly did more harm than good, at least in my case. A holistic approach brought me out of a really tough time that western medicine was not particularly suited for. Through the many ups and downs, I found healing for my confusing issues through a variety of methods, including big changes in how I ate and learning how to cook. Food was no longer something with too many calories or something mostly mediocre that I was too exhausted to care about. Food now held healing properties and sustenance, and could taste so multifaceted, yet balanced, so simple and sumptuous. Naturopathic medicine, functional medicine, meditation, energy work, Pilates, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, counseling, and other modalities also gave me strength and improved my health. I was very fortunate that for a period of time I could make getting well my priority. I quickly knew I wanted to help others with their healing—and my way would be to help people feel inspired by with whole foods that are not just ‘healthy’ but actually satisfying and delicious.
So I moved to California, where the hippies are abundant and a huge variety of sustainable food is at your fingertips! I studied Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts at Bauman College in Berkeley, CA where I received my certification as a nutrition educator and attended their therapeutic, natural foods culinary program. Over the past several years, I’ve worked in health-conscious restaurants, provided cooking instruction, created and delivered original nutrition and cooking curriculum for elementary-aged children, and presented lively cooking demonstrations for hungry locavores at farmers’ markets. I’ve been involved in community outreach for many years as a nutrition and reproductive health educator and I truly love it. I hope someday that I can put the bulk of my time and resources into health education programs and support networks for communities in need.
Based in the eclectic and booming town of Austin, Texas, I now educate people with a variety of health goals. I support individuals, families and groups along their own paths to healing and wellness, which for some may be as simple as wanting to ‘eat better’ and for others it’s a more comprehensive program. In addition to learning to source high quality and ethical ingredients, I guide clients to find their rhythm for stocking the kitchen, cooking regularly, and eating out. I meet them where they are and help them attain their goals with practical, low-stress guidance (and just enough nudging!) My methods are founded in the nourishing and medicinal foods themselves and the restorative power of cooking and sharing beautiful meals.
Through my business, Homeskillet, I offer a variety of services including nutrition counseling, personal chef services, cooking workshops and nutrition-themed presentations in Austin and Dallas, and I counsel remotely by phone and Skype across the country. I blog about cooking, nutrition and sustainable living here on my website, where you can also find my original health-supportive recipes.
I teach how to cook (and plan ahead) with a reverence for farm-fresh ingredients, creativity, and fearlessness. My recipes are nutrient-dense and made from scratch from unprocessed, organic, seasonal, and local ingredients. They are typically simple and fun to prepare meals – and that’s what food should be in good times and in harder times when we need that the most. I do my best to bring compassion, adaptability, and enthusiasm to my clients as I guide them to find their own healing through nourishing food and the many activities and feelings that complement it.
I’m a proud member of the Weston A. Price Foundation, which advocates for sustainable farming practices, reforming industrial food systems, reviving nutritious traditional foods, and the debunking of myths about nourishing foods such as animal fats and raw milk. I’m also a farmer’s market fanatic, an amateur gardener, an artsy-craftsy type, a green design groupie, an outdoorsy person, and a home decor tracker.
Now that you’ve got a picture of who I am and what I set out to do, please feel free to contact me with any questions and thoughts. I’d love to help however I can! If you’d like to learn more in depth about Homeskillet, let’s talk – I offer a free 20-minute introductory consultation for potential clients.
Thanks so much for taking the time to learn about me and what I do through Homeskillet, and thanks for caring about real food!