What’s your philosophy around food and healthy eating?
I support eating whole foods from real sources and buying locally and seasonally as much as possible. For myself, I have found that eating seasonally connects me to my climate, results in fresher (and better tasting produce!) and actually lowers my food costs. I also think it’s important to buy organic and avoid GMOs as much as possible. Check out my Guide to Buying Organic here and you can read more about my philosophies on food, health, and life here.
Hey, aren’t you plant-based?
I was plant-based for many years and I still eat a ton of plant-based meals. However, in spring 2013 I began listening to my body and decided it was time to bring eggs and meat back into my diet. You can read more about Why I Changed My Diet here.
Since spring 2013, my diet has looked closer to a blend of the Mediterranean diet and the Paleo lifestyle, but my focus is on eating real, seasonal food and not adhering to fad diets or labels. I am a firm believer that what we eat is a personal choice and it’s up to each of us to determine which foods support our bodies and health the best.
What advice do you have for someone trying to incorporate more whole foods into their diet?
Just like with any change, changing your diet is a process and it’s not going to happen overnight. My advice is to think about adding new foods and recipes to your diet rather than subtracting certain foods. Have fun with it and treat it like an experiment. Be willing to try foods out of your “comfort zone” because you might be pleasantly surprised!
Can I use your recipe or photo on my blog or website?
The internet can be a tricky place sometimes, but please know that the entire contents of this site are protected by copyright. This means that you cannot republish any of my recipes and photos together or use my content in any way that passes it off as your own.
You are welcome to adapt my recipes and then provide a link back to my site, but please do not republish my recipes or content in its exact form. Instead, you may provide a link on your blog to my site where readers can find the recipe in its exact form. You are welcome to use one of my photos if you provide photo credit by linking back to my website.
If I find my content on your website or blog being used in a way that does not meet these requirements, I will send a DMCA request to have it taken down. (Please don’t make me do that!) To get permission for content or if you have questions, please contact me.
What kind of camera and equipment do you use for your photos? How did you learn to use a DSLR?
I currently shoot with my Canon Rebel T2i using a 50mm lens. I use mostly natural daylight for my photos. It can be hard at times to have enough light so I recommend using a tripod if you are shooting in low-light (I have a Manfrotto aluminum tripod with a rotating ball head which I love). This year I finally bought myself a decent artificial lighting system because Seattle is so grey for most of the year. In the past I’ve tried many DIY options made from lights at the hardware store, but the funny thing is that this lighting kit is actually cheaper than the DIY options and it’s amazing! Of course you can’t replace the beauty of natural light so I try to use natural daylight as much as possible.
I taught myself to use my DSLR by reading books and tutorials and experimenting on my own. When I first bought it, I started out on the automatic settings and it took me several months to feel comfortable enough to use the manual settings. I didn’t start out shooting with a fancy DSLR and I know plenty of people that use a simple point-and-shoot or their iPhone camera. If you are just getting started or are looking to improve your food photography, I highly recommend reading Plate to Pixel by Helen Dujardin and checking out Tasty Food Photography created by Lindsay at Pinch of Yum. Lindsay breaks down the art of food photography in simple, easy to understand steps and this e-book also comes with video tutorials!
What type of education and training do you have?
I have a BA in Psychology and Women’s Studies from the University of Washington and I graduated with my MA in Organizational Development from Antioch University. In my time at Antioch, I focused my studies on life and executive coaching, organizational wellness, and came to realize my intense passion for food justice work. I am a certified holistic health counselor through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and a board-certified holistic health practitioner through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP).
I’m interested in becoming a holistic health coach and am curious about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Do you recommend their program?
I think this is the question that I get asked the most and I’m always happy to help folks figure out if health coaching is the right choice for them. I was really hesitant to enroll at IIN in the beginning because it is quite a big investment and I wasn’t sure what it would do for my work specifically. In the end, I believe that IIN has made me a stronger educator, coach, advocate, and helped my own growth as an individual. This is definitely not a science-based nutrition program so they do not cover the physiology/biology of nutrition that one would learn when studying to be a nutritionist or dietitian, but I really appreciate their flexible approach to the curriculum and online learning. Like any school or program, I definitely have my critiques and I don’t think that IIN or becoming a holistic health coach is for everyone. If you have specific questions about the program, you are always welcome to email me.