This is where I live---on the eastern shore of Umbagog Lake in the pristine Great North Woods of New Hampshire. Home is a five acre off-grid organic farm with my family and our beautiful border collie.
From as far back as I can remember I have been fascinated and engaged in growing, raising, and cooking food.
As a young Marine Corps sergeant, had anyone told me that later in life I would be working upscale "KP duty"…even get two degrees specializing in it...AND be having the time of my life, I would have told them they were CRAZY!
But it's funny how life lead me down an unexpected path...
Food is such a powerful motivator, and the fact that we all need to eat means there are countless opportunities to have a healthy, delicious impact.
Taking a stake in the entire food production process, from tiny seed to the sustenance it provides has taught me the importance and interdependence of each link of the food chain.
Discovering the perfect marriage of 'healthy' and 'delectable' on the same plate pushes my creativity as a chef and a farmer... this is why I jump out of bed every morning, excited to start my day!
But I'm not stopping here. Food has become the crux of many critical issues communities are struggling with today: too much, not enough, over-processed, over-priced, calorie dense, nutrient deficient, chemically laden, unsustainable, environmentally taxing... and the standard fare is making many of us sick and obese.
Meaningful, enduring change is going to require a systems-level approach with environmental support through policy change and strategic collaborative efforts.
Likewise, nutrition science is progressing rapidly as researchers begin to understand the complex language between our environment, including what we eat, and our individual genetic expression. We now know food has the ability to turn on or off genes. This opens up the possibility of taking general nutrition to a much more individual level of eating for optimal health. I'm driven to become fluent in this language as well.
Undaunted by the enormity of this task, I completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics and will soon begin a Master's degree in Sustainable Nutrition so that I may more effectively widen my scope of influence on solution-driven, evidence-based goals.