As I think back over my youth and early adulthood, there wasn’t really one specific “Aha!” moment where I found the secret to my own personal health and wellness. Rather, it was a journey. You see, early in my life I ate anything. From Ho-Ho’s and Nut Rolls to green beans—I matched my steady intake of sugar and trans-fat-laden goodies with equal amounts of what I considered healthy in hopes it would balance out. There have been a lot of changes to my eating habits from those early years in life. As a high school and college athlete with an active lifestyle, my body demanded nutrients constantly. Perhaps that’s when I developed such a strong passion and interest in food and nutrition. At the time, I would buy into the many products claiming they were the best for pre- or post-workout or for rehydration—without really examining the ingredients. I kept experimenting, but too often I would fall victim to false advertising and bad research. Right after graduation, I married my college sweetheart, Colin. My wedding slim down plan (excessive exercise, low fat yogurt, veggies and Crystal Light) worked—I did lose weight temporarily—but I was also irritable, mentally sluggish, and prone to migraines for the first time in my life. I quickly learned that restricting my body of essential nutrients wasn’t going to cut it with my active lifestyle. Fast forward to 2013, I was pregnant with our first baby, so optimizing my nutrient intake was more vital than ever. I had cleaned up my eating quite a bit over the past few years, but now I was even more motivated because I knew that whatever I ate, our son ate too. Today, looking back on many experiences and observations, I realize I always had that tug on my heart to pursue and explore high quality nutrition that comes from a balanced, real food approach. I wish I could go back in time and see what a difference a few more avocados and a few less junky protein bars would have made! While I certainly don’t eat anything anymore, I still love everything about food: where it comes from, how to prepare it, the taste, the texture, the color, the fellowship with others it creates. But now I always seek out the most wholesome approach to wellbeing. I’m passionate about topics like sustainable farming, locally grown foods, pasture raised animals and macronutrient balance. Over the years, I have worked with many different nutrition-based theories, and to this day, I continue to most enjoy this journey of living a vibrant life fueled by real food. I’ve realized no matter what health conditions you may face, they do not define you and it’s never too late to change them. Real food WINS and I’m more excited and motivated than ever to help you on your journey to become the healthiest you can be.