And I so appreciate you stopping by!
I’m an author, "One Degree" coach, & vegan chef. My passion is helping people create vibrantly healthy and delicious lives.
For details on my personal health journey, please scroll down. I figured not everyone wants "TMI" (too much information), so I've shared it below the services I provide. But if you do choose to read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts! : )
IN A NUTSHELL: Over the last 20 years, I’ve worked as a wellness coach, chef, caterer, workshop leader, speaker, writer, and mom. I currently reside in Chandler Arizona with the sweetest kid on the planet (my teenage daughter Alethea). These days, my work revolves mainly around “One Degree” coaching, speaking events, and helping others actualize the life of their dreams, inside and out. But it’s also fun to do food things sometimes too. Because foooood.
Some of the services I provide:
"One Degree" Coach
I’ve been teaching healthy cooking classes since 1997. I love getting people excited about creating healthy, delicious meals! My specialties are: Thai, Japanese, Mexican, raw foods, Ethiopian, Indian, healthy vegan desserts, healthy basics, & vegan cheese.
I’ve been a speaker via multiple platforms – including festivals, schools, radio and TV shows (including ABC, NBC, CBS, and FOX), podcasts, and hospitals. Please contact us for booking information, because apparently I like to talk about stuff.
Do you have a fabulous food company? One of my favorite projects is developing recipes for products I love. For example, I had a blast developing recipes for Ziggy Marley’s “Ziggy Marley Organics” line. Please contact me to talk details!
More about my journey:
For me, the health stuff started in my childhood - I grew up with a plethora of issues. I’ve been through everything from chronic illness to depression, anxiety, obesity, severe acne, and constant bouts of strep throat. I still remember the moment I was told I could no longer take antibiotics, because I'd taken them all so many times that I was immune to every kind on the market! In fact, I semi-recently reunited with a friend from grade school. Her memory of me was that I was always sick. She remembers being bummed that I could rarely play with her at recess, because I was absent so often.
I also had chronic headaches from age eight onward (I haven't had a headache in years, even now in my late forties!), and I began struggling with my weight at around age ten (that’s a whole other story with an interesting twist, having to do with a magazine and a club).
Being a pudgy, insecure kid has a way of ruining otherwise fun activities, let me tell you.
My struggles with weight, chronic sickness, strep throat, headaches, and acne continued until college. When I became vegan in 1991, I was healthy for a while, which cleared up the issues the antibiotics were needed for, as well as instantly clearing up some pretty embarrassing acne I'd had since high school. But then I fell prey to another disease - the "perfectionism disease."
Being vegan had become easy for me after the first few months (which included some stumbles), but then I began trying to be an oil-free, no-fat vegan. All of a sudden, I’d bought the idea that tofu, nuts, oils, seeds, and salt were "bad" and completely off limits due to a popular book I’d read and taken as gospel. This led me to a cycle of deprive-and-binge that lasted for many years, because I didn't know how to be healthy and trim in a way that I could realistically live with. (I love flavorful, satisfying food. Always have. Always will. Period.)
Because of my new desire to be perfect and adhere to this strict diet, I began to see food as "good" or "bad" and if I ever ate the "bad" (hello, onion rings and chocolate cake), I saw myself as bad. And, as a bad person, I had to punish myself. It was crazy behavior, really, but I’ve known waaaay too many women (and a few men) who can relate to this, which is why I've addressed this quite often in my work.
I've always loved food, but had never really learned how to let it love me back. By 1998, I was officially an obese vegan and could barely climb one flight of stairs without being out of breath. This is what led me to finally get real, make some big (yet stick-with-able) changes, and eventually develop my color-coded system, which teaches people what it taught me at the time - that we CAN eat what we like, thoroughly enJOY food, and make weight loss a delicious (vs. deprivation-based) process. I could finally lose the weight because I wasn't feeling flavor-deprived. I allowed myself to feel sated without guilt for the first time in years. That “without guilt” thing is actually pretty damn important, turns out.
There’s more in my story about the years I struggled with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and crippling self-doubt - those were some of the hardest things I’ve ever, ever had to deal with. Anyone who’s been through them knows how dark life can seem in those moments. But suffice it to say that, regarding those hard-as-hell challenges, I consciously made the decision to face them head-on. There was a little voice inside of me saying, “There is a reason for this. Pay attention.” So I listened. Bit by bit, things transformed. The dark clouds began to part. I remembered how to smile from deep down in my soul again. Eventually, life became a source of happiness and joy, and the darkest days were behind me.
The process of facing those challenges was far from easy (and often felt scary), but was it ever worth it!! I've always been one to strive for creating a solution vs. putting a band-aid on something. I don’t judge anyone for choosing medications, but I knew that was not my path. My painful experiences have made me stronger, and forced me to develop a wide variety of seriously powerful tools to not only help myself, but eventually many others as well, including my coaching clients.
I'm deeply grateful for these struggles (and also for the ones I haven’t even shared here), because they've taught me so much! And now I get to USE all of that to do work I completely freaking LOVE, helping others discover their own joyful path to vibrant wellness. This is why I do what I do!