Health and fitness has always been a part of my life. I had very active parents. My mother made my baby food from scratch. As children we didn’t have sugary cereals no matter how much my sister and I begged for them. It didn’t matter that all my friends were so “lucky” to have Mom’s that let them have the good snacks. This may or may not have fueled my future desire for sweets……who knows? What I do know is that nutrition and food has played an important role in my life for as long as I can remember.
I studied Psychology and Organizational Communications at the University of Montana. Those 4 ½ years were some of the best in my life. I ended up with the greatest group of girlfriends anyone could wish for. I moved to Minneapolis for my first real job in the mortgage industry. After a few years I missed the mountains and ended up taking a job in Denver working for another mortgage company. This ended up being the one job that influenced the direction of my life and my future. The people I worked for and with became some of the best friends and mentors I could have ever asked for. They forever reinforced my belief that people really are good. One of them even introduced me to my husband. Things were really good.
In June of 2003 I got a call at work that forever changed my world. My mom had cancer at 55. It was rare, originating in the appendix. My employer put me on a plane and sent me home to Montana where I was able to be with my family and my Mom until she passed away. She only lived 3 months after diagnosis. I still cannot believe how generous he was to let me be home for months and not have to worry about my job. Everyone in the office pitched in and did my job and they still paid me to help me. Unbelievably generous.
I am still so easily brought to tears in how much I miss my Mom and how lucky I have been to have had such great supportive people in my life.
But I still think, why and how could this have happened? She was so young. Most of her life she exercised regularly and ate a very clean diet. The last year or two of her life, she was over worked and was eating what was fast and easy. I don’t know if that is what caused the cancer or not, but I do believe there is a connection with diet and disease. My Mom believed that stress, her diet and the chemicals and pesticides were what cumulatively caused her cancer. My mother chose non-alternative treatments instead of chemotherapy and drugs, and I had my first exposure to holistic health and medicine. I remember being confused that the Oncologist and holistic Doctors would not acknowledge each other let alone work together.
Thankfully, things have been changing. I am continually encouraged by the increase in awareness and acceptance that now exists for alternative treatments. I am also thankful for advances in medical research, treatments and procedures. I don’t think we need to choose one over the other.
Losing my Mom changed everything. All of a sudden the little yoga studio I had gone to occasionally went from an exercise class to something I needed all the time just to be able to function. I began to see how interconnected everything was.
So years later, I am no longer working in the mortgage industry. I am married to the man that I still can’t believe I’m lucky enough to be with. I moved to Grand Lake permanently. I was helping my husband by working for his company, but I had lost that connection to myself and what I needed to be doing. A late night chat about life with my 7 best girls from college formed the idea of opening my own yoga studio. My husband believed in me enough to build me a studio while I took a year to complete my yoga teacher training from CorePower Yoga in Denver. I received my 200hr Power Yoga teacher certificate in August of 2009. Opening StillWater Yoga Studio was one of the best and scariest things I’ve done. I am continuously thankful that my husband stood behind me when so many told him he was crazy for building that studio because no one would come. I was nervous about that too. But here I am 7 years later with a great yoga business. I have now taught over 2500 hours of yoga classes! I have been blessed to have so many wonderful students come into my studio and my life. I learn so much from my students and together we have a truly awesome little yoga community. These students gave me the push I needed to find my way into the nutritional consulting world. I had so many students interested in Ayurveda and healthy recipes and what I ate, that I went back to school for Holistic Nutrition. I graduated with honors from Bauman College November, 2015 as a Holistic Nutrition Consultant. I opened Nature Works Nutrition, LLC. My nutritional consulting business has given me the last piece of my personal puzzle. I have found my happy place. I love helping others navigate the vast amount of constantly changing information out there as to what is now good for you or what is now bad for you. I love helping others learn to be aware of the relationship between how we feel and what we eat.
Yoga, nutrition, and life are a consistent practice. I believe in practice. Practice in being kind to ourselves and our bodies. Practice in being kind to others and the earth that supports us. Practice in living consciously and always doing better.
Personal nutrition is not a one program fits all. I believe everyone’s body has its own history that needs to be considered. Past injuries and illnesses affect our present state of being. I work with people as the individuals that they are and not the illnesses or problems they experience.
I am excited every single day to have the opportunity to use my education and knowledge to help others learn how to incorporate yoga and/or nutritional skills to create optimal health in everyday life. I want to be a part of bringing education for whole health awareness to my students and community. I believe in respecting people as individuals with different beliefs and lifestyles.
The most profound belief I have is what you feed your body absolutely affects how you feel. Everything you eat has an effect on your health, either positive or negative. I don’t believe there are neutral foods. I believe that our bodies give signals that we need to pay attention to. Through trial and error and using my yoga philosophy of listening to my body in addition to my nutritional education, I’ve been able to figure out how and what to eat to feel my best. I believe that nutritional needs are different for everyone. I can help you navigate your way to your best health.
My favorite saying is to live and eat consciously, not conveniently.