I've been fascinated in nutrition from the time I could remember, possibly two years old. I think one of my first formal recollections of this interest was in the early 1970's when I was obsessed with an elementary school classmate's squeaky clean and healthy appearance and lifestyle. She had a happy, at peace personality, ruddy cheeks and long, shiny, blonde hair. Her dad was a pastor and her mom breastfed all her kids. I was just in awe over this healthy, deeply happy family.
I usually wasn't interested as much in what toys the classmates had or what they wore. It was how healthy and wholesome they were or were not, and what was on their trays and in their lunch sacks that intrigued me most. The main fascinating thing about this classmate of mine was the lunches her mom packed for her. At lunch my friend would unwrap her peanut butter banana sandwiches on whole wheat and enjoy sesame sticks, carrot sticks, banana chips, apples, etc. It was so mesmerizing to me at only seven years old. The tray food was rather interesting, from the eyes of a child, this must be the healthiest food ever, if a school is serving it! I would critique it at a very young age.
Growing up, I was in hospitals a LOT as my parents were both physicians. I didn't have much of a life back then, I have to admit. It was kind of weird, but I actually enjoyed all the doctors' lounges and had good memories there - yes, in hospitals! It was always upsetting to hear about illnesses, disease and death, but so profoundly comforting to feel a certain magical atmosphere of the care, specialized expertise and stern seriousness of the medical staff running around, doing everything they knew how, to help patients.
I watched my own mother battle with obesity to the point of secondary diabetes and a kidney transplant. I also sadly and helplessly noticed how some of the more unhealthy parts of our diet growing up took its toll on her.
Later on through the years though, I found it even more intriguing the repeated news that so many of these diseases were preventable and treatable through lifestyle and diet changes! It made me mad how corporate greed of food manufacturers and our Toxic Food Environment (junk food at every turn in our lives) has taken over, and so much of the public has succumbed.
I took my first nutrition class at Texas Christian University in 1985 and received my bachelor's degree in journalism there in 1989. But while I loved writing for a major newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram), I felt I wasn't doing everything I wanted to do. I gained a lot of weight after my first child in 1994, but with my passion for health, lost it all on my own without any products, pills or fad diets, but instead with the knowledge of nutrition and healthy lifestyles that I had accumulated.
Even though my parents never once encouraged me to go into a health field of any kind, I changed careers and went on to earn my dietetic credentials through Eastern Michigan University in 2009. A dream for our family to move to the West Coast finally came true in 2008, and soon after, I opened Lighthouse Nutrition and Wellness in the beautiful city of Gig Harbor, WA. Situated here, we have enjoyed growing with our church family at Peninsula Baptist Church, along with watching our kids grow in the great schools here, and also enjoy tennis, walks and hiking, camping, learning about all this area has to offer, and traveling near and far.
I've seen many other people trying Paleo Diet. Keto Diet. Atkins. The Grapefruit Diet. Hallelujah Diet. Carb Addicts and others. It's sad seeing people everywhere wasting tons of money on gimmics and programs that do not get to the bottom of weight loss/maintenace. Everyone is trying to find their own answers. This is not the best thing for you when Registered Dietitians are available with ongoing training to bring you to your healthiest through knowledge and personal empowerment. So many are taking drugs, pills and injections where food and lifestyle could easily be their medicine. They CAN lose weight and be healthy without being on a fad diet, buying even one diet pill or product or banning yourself of all their favorite foods - that's the type of guidance Registered Dietitians are trained to perform.
Through my years of training and personal experience, I've learned numerous methods to deal with our Toxic Food Environment. Come on in, and let me share with you. I will customize your dietary game plan to fit your needs - and even some of the "wants" - which will help to add years and quality to your life.
Nutrition and wellness have always been my main interests in life. Now I've come to realize that good nutrition and health is beyond my classmate's healthy lunch, and is much more complex and fascinating. I find it very exciting to take on the challenge of an illness and obesity epidemic, and I hope you will allow me to help you with what is clearly my calling. And I owe it to God for that calling as well!
Thank you for reading! Wishing you many blessings,