What Qualifies Me to Write About Food and Fitness?
Welcome to my blog! It has been a long time in coming and I'm very excited to finally begin sharing my recipes and fitness expertise. This site is as much about keeping me motivated and creatively challenged as it is about inspiring my readers. Many, but not all, of the recipes here are vegetarian based. However meat and fish are not excluded, nor are treats such as coffee, cheese and sugars in moderation. The idea is to inspire people to exercise consistently and eat better quality foods 80-90% of the time, with a few treats and rest time mixed in. Realistically, we all need a little down time where we can live without feeling guilt or shame about our choices. It is my belief that healthy habits are more sustainable when approached as a flexible lifestyle choice, rather than a rigid, restrictive chore.
A bit about my background: My parents left the Boston area in the late 1970's to live on a “mini-farm” in the Hudson Valley, New York. They encouraged me to be an adventurous eater, instilling the enthusiasm I have for cooking today. Memories from that early period remain a highlight in my life. I loved shucking corn for the chickens and watching my mom crush tomatoes into sauce. I can remember big white buckets filled with sap from the maple trees, fuzzy yellow chicks hatching in our kitchen, and the taste of an elusive white puffball mushroom fried in butter. We had a duck named Daisy, and a flock of grouchy geese. And a vegetable garden that covered nearly every inch of the front yard.
As a young adult, I went on to earn a degree in media communications. I did not immediately pursue a career in food, but spent a good deal of time learning about it. I started writing my own recipes and won a handful of cooking contests. My proudest win was a local apple contest judged by three chefs, all graduates of the Culinary Institute of America. After I made it through that round, I had to present my finished product for a consumer vote at a farmers market. I won by a landslide, and it was then that I realized I had something to offer.
I obtained my fitness trainer certification in 2007, after helping my husband start Embody Fitness several years prior. I did not jump into training clients straight away. Instead, I spent several years attending a local facility that specialized in the training of professional athletes. There, I learned about proper form, how to structure an exercise routine, how to modify exercises, and how to build and maintain the disciplined mindset needed to achieve fitness goals. During this time, I also worked in a food science lab where I assisted in testing the stability of fruit and vegetable concentrate used for color in food products, while studying for a degree in dietetics. My degree program included a different internship each semester. These were completed at Phelps Memorial Hospital, Westchester Medical Center, and White Plains Hospital. There I provided supervised counseling to patients with nutritionally related diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular and celiac diseases, among others.
From there, I went on to start On Call Nutrition, a personal chef business. Then, in 2012, I joined Embody Fitness as a trainer, where I was able to combine my knowledge of nutrition and athletics. I’ve since taken over the business, where I specialize in helping people, particularly women, find confidence, strength and better health.
For information on my cooking classes, personal chef services or fitness training sessions, please contact me here.