About Me

How I became interested in organic nutrition and holistic healing methods:  

I have always been interested in being healthy, whether that be through food, exercise, or mental/emotional well-being, but my value and passion for organic nutrition and holistic healing methods arose from my time spent as a cancer caregiver.

In 2013, my mother—the person I loved most in the world—was diagnosed with stage IV esophageal cancer. We had no warning signs and had no idea that she was sick until her doctor recommended she get an endoscopy due to heartburn and a sudden inability to swallow or keep food down. The endoscopy revealed a large tumor in the GI junction. We were devastated and terrified. 

A later PET scan showed that the cancer had metastasized to her stomach, lungs, and lymph nodes, causing her to be immediately admitted to the hospital. During that first week on the oncology floor, we spoke with a registered dietitian who told my mother to “eat whatever she wanted” in addition to the liquid nutrition she would gain through a stomach tube. I instantly knew there was something wrong with that statement. My mom had been eating whatever she wanted, and it resulted in cancer. So I started to question . . . shouldn’t nutrition be another weapon in our fight against cancer? 

Esophageal cancer, paired with the side effects of heavy chemotherapy and radiation, made attaining any nutrition a constant struggle.Driven by the desperation to find some way to help my mom, I completed a great deal of research and learned about the importance of organic nutrition and limiting exposure to the toxins we are bombarded with on a daily basis, which caused a paradigm shift in my household from things that I thought were healthy, or healthy enough, to all organic food and products.
Despite my efforts, my mom passed away in January of 2016. My time as a caregiver and the grief of losing a loved one irrevocably changed my perspective on how to live a healthy life and what my passion and purpose truly is.
I am taking the opportunity to use my experience as a cancer caregiver, and the knowledge that I am acquiring as a Holistic Nutrition student at the Edison Institute of Nutrition, to help guide others in using holistic nutrition as another tool in the fight against cancer and cancer prevention. My purpose and goal in creating this site is to help others understand the power of nutrition as a path to overall health and wellness, so that it may help some avoid losing those they love and thwart the painful experience that I went through. 

Through this blog and my study at EIN, I am merging my educational backgrounds–writing, education, and nutrition–to help reach as many people as possible. One day I hope to publish a book that will serve as a holistic guide to cancer caregiving and establish a thriving holistic nutrition counseling practice.  

 

My educational and professional background: 

 I love education. I truly believe that education is one of the most powerful tools that we have to change the world and to change our lives. This is certainly true in regard to gaining knowledge about nutrition. I also believe that words and the ability to wield them to communicate that knowledge to others is powerful. Because of my affinity for and belief in words, I attended Colorado State University-Pueblo and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Professional Writing and a Master of Arts in English focusing on Rhetoric and Composition. With these credentials I spent four years teaching first-year composition classes to freshmen at a handful of Colorado based colleges. I was fully set to dedicate my life to scholarship in English and had gained an acceptance letter to a PhD program in Texas when my mom was diagnosed with cancer. I had to change the course of my life in the span of a week, while keeping it from crumbling completely from the fear and chaos that a cancer diagnosis brings to the lives of its victim and their loved ones. At that point, the only thing that I knew for certain was that I enjoyed teaching and that cancer was expensive, so I needed a job that paid more than a few thousand dollars a semester. From a hospital room chair I applied for an alternative teaching license and soon after received an offer to teach 8th grade English at an inner city middle school. And thus began my year of trial by fire, in which I adapted my college teaching strategies for a much, much younger audience and for a significantly more regulated educational level. 
 
Over the course of five years, one middle school, and two high schools, I worked my way up to a professional teaching license and a host of evaluations that were strong enough to prove that I was an accomplished secondary teacher and was able to produce hundreds of students each year that had actually learned something. Teaching is rewarding but it is also completely and utterly exhausting. Teachers are literally on the front lines of education. And yes, I say front lines to draw upon the imagery of war. It is war, and some days there are victories that make every sacrifice worth it, and some days there are losses that are hard to take. This lead me to enroll in a principal preparation program so that I could use the knowledge, experience, and the various tips and tricks that I developed over the years to help other teachers master their practice and make the profession sustainable again. This administrative license is something I’m still working towards, but actually being a principal–and whether or not it is something I’ll actually enjoy–is still very much unknown. 
What I do know for certain, is that one of the things that dominate so much of my thoughts on a daily basis is what is in the food that I consume and prepare for my family, what products I use and whether or not they contain toxins that can cause the crippling disease that I spent years of my life watching end my mother’s life. I’ve learned the hard way that health truly is wealth. The well being of the body, mind, and soul supersedes anything else we encounter in our day to day lives. This is why I enrolled in the Diploma of Holistic Health program and will soon join the Certified Cancer Practitioner courses at the Edison Institute of Nutrition in order to become a Registered Nutritional Therapist and Board Certified Health Coach. 
 
My goals: 
I’ve created this blog to house and share the knowledge that I’ve gained regarding why and how to live a clean, holistic lifestyle. My ultimate goal is to share my knowledge and advise people on establishing a clean lifestyle in which they can thrive. I do not want any of my readers, or future clients, to experience losing someone to cancer (or any other disease), so my aim in establishing this site is to create a one stop shop of information, and easy to apply tips, tricks, or product swaps that can help anyone establish general wellness or prevent and help treat disease. In this way, I want this blog, as well as myself as a future nutritional therapist, to be the hero that I needed as a cancer caregiver.