I’d like this blog to be a resource for people looking to explore foods which are the best choices not only for optimal human health, but for the well being of the animals, the people who are involved in hunting/harvesting/producing them, and the most sustainable choices for the environment. If you’re interested in doing a guest post, please feel free to contact me.
I live at Clark Farm in Carlisle, Massachusetts with my husband and two children, and am a Nutritional Therapist. I help people recover from the Standard American Diet by focusing on nutrient dense food. I believe that the best food choices aren’t just based on caloric value or nutrient density.
As a child, I was sick and underweight. I ended up in the hospital for dehydration several times, and suffered from intense nosebleeds. My doctor thought my digestive pain was a lactose intolerance and recommended continuing to drink soy formula (I wasn’t breast fed and had soy formula from day one) instead of cow’s milk. I was always hungr0,y and suffered from low energy and low muscle tone.
In high school, my first summer job was at J.M. Pike Farm in Sagaponak, NY working both in the fields and at the roadside stand. This began my passion of food and farming. I studied art education and photography at UMass, Amherst, then studied fine furniture making in Easthampton, MA. In college, I met my husband, Andrew who was an English major with a strong interest in environmental issues. We had a large vegetable garden and even grew our own worms in the kitchen.
In 1996, we moved out of our college town and to Portland, Oregon. It was the dot com boom and we both found corporate jobs pretty quickly. Andrew worked for a major market resarch company doing focus groups and I did brand strategy at an advertising agency. Every weekend, we would take road trips outside the city and explore. We discovered Sauve Island Organics, a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). The idea of CSAs really appealed to Andrew’s love of working outside and his environmental passion. At age 26, he decided that he wanted to become a farmer. There were definitely some uncomfortable dinner conversations with the parental units but he was committed to his vision. We moved back to Massachusetts, Andrew quit his corporate job, and went back to Umass this time for a Master’s Degree in Soil Science. He also got a job working on a farm for $7 per hour, learning practical farming skills like how to drive a tractor.
Meanwhile, I worked in Boston as the Marketing Manager for WBUR (National Public Radio) paying the rent. I had decided to get a physical. My digestive issues were really starting to become a major issue. I mentioned to my new doctor that I had lactose intolerance and she asked me more questions about my digestion. I told her I thought it was nerves or maybe IBS, but luckily, she knew enough to run a blood test for Celiac Disease. I couldn’t believe it came back positive. I also had an endoscopy, which confirmed it. How could someone be allergic to WHEAT? I mean, I ate it three times a day. Toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch and pasta for dinner. I decided to take one weekend to eat what I wanted, and have never intentionally consumed gluten again.
Two weeks living gluten-free changed my life. I decided to learn more about food and food issues. I left WBUR and spent five years at Whole Foods Market, where I helped to approve new gluten-free products. The problem is, I was obsessed with gluten-free products. I ate gluten-free toast or gluten-free cereal for breakfast, a gluten-free sandwich for lunch, and gluten free pasta for dinner. Oh, and I’d wash down dinner with a gluten-free beer. My purse was filled with gluten-free snack bars. I was starving all of the time. If I didn’t eat every couple of hours, I was miserable. I had intense headaches, got shaky and saw red if I skipped a meal. I was addicted to gluten free food! I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes with our first child and was certain I was destined for type 2 diabetes very soon.
Meanwhile, Andrew had secured a position as the farm manager at Green Meadows Farm, a 230 acre farm in the North Shore of Boston. He started a successful CSA, gained certified organic status, and turned the farm around from loosing hundreds of thousands of dollars to profitability. He also implemented an intern program, training other young farmers and an education program for school-aged children.
Through customers at the farm, I learned about nutrient dense food and raw milk. For my second pregnancy, I took cod liver oil and ate unlimited butter. I still ate grains but soaked them first and really focused on increasing my protein and fat intake. I tested negative for gestational diabetes with this pregnancy. My desire to make sure my children received optimum nutrition motivated me to attend the Weston A. Price conference in the fall of 2008. I quit my job at Whole Foods in order to be closer to my kids and became the store manager of our farmstand. I stocked products like cod liver oil and real sauerkraut. I read every book I could find on nutrition and became overwhelmed and confused with all of the information out there.
In the fall of 2009, I enrolled with the Nutritional Therapy Association and now hold a certification in Nutritional Therapy. During my education, I read, “The Paleo Solution” by Robb Wolf. It completely changed my life. I learned how to balance my blood sugar and further reduce irritating foods. My food cravings and shaky feeling and headaches between meals disappeared. My athletic performance dramatically improved. I no longer felt like a slave to my next snack or meal. My food addictions were gone!
This winter, Andrew and I moved our family to Clark Farm in Carlisle, Massachusetts. We are rejuvenating an old dairy farm that was a town fixture for over 100 years. It is a long term commitment on our part, and we are slowly building a sustainable operation complete with pastured chickens, pigs running through the woods, sheep grazing, and a couple of goats that our daughter walks to school. We’ll have a small vegetable CSA next season and are looking forward to launching an education program so that community kids have a connection to where their food comes from.
I continue to learn more about nutrition and sustainability issues through conferences, books and some generous mentors. I’m also plugging away at my R.D. (Registered Dietitian) so that I can work more closely in the medical community. I have my own book coming out in the summer of 2013. I’ve never felt happier or stronger, and I am so excited to spread the word about nutrient dense, sustainable nutrition.
Nutrition Education and Seminars:
Nutritional Therapy Association – Certification in Nutritional Therapy, NTP
- The Paleolithic Solution Seminar, Robb Wolf
- The Basics of Nutrition, Matheiu Lalonde, PhD
- Apex Energetics, Functional Blood Chemistry Analysis
- Ancestral Health Symposium, UCLA, Harvard University
- PaleoFX, Austin, TX (presenter and attendee)
- Currently working on my Registered Dietitian (RD)
I’m available for workshops at gyms, churches, corporate lunches and private groups. Please visit my nutrition website for more information.Google+