Wisconsin is where I call home . . . famous for cheese, beer and brats. So how in the world did I become interested in healthy food?
I grew up on a dairy farm in a small town called Clear Lake where most of my best memories come from some old dirt road. If a family was going through a crisis, they were bombarded with comfort foods like tater tot hotdish, meatloaf and brownies . . accompanied with a warm hug and caring ear.
I truly had the best parents in the world, Mom taught me everything I know when it comes to cooking and baking. We ate off the farm from big gardens filled with you-name-it vegetables, and Mom and I spent hours in the kitchen in the fall to can the season’s harvest. She taught me the importance of making every meal “balanced”, with colorful vegetables, lean protein, etc. But being 100% Swedish, she often made us a dessert too!
I was inspired to become healthy through my personal battle with Ulcerative Colitis. I was diagnosed when I was just 14 years old and at 26 in the year 1991, my condition became so severe that the doctors insisted I get a Total Colectomy (complete removal of the colon/large intestine). I was so thankful that Mom taught me the importance of eating healthy food because eating this way helped me recover from my surgery very quickly.
Following surgery, my surgeon told me that I would never be able to do endurance sports because I would dehydrate too quickly without having a colon. I decided to prove her wrong (sorry, Dr. Lowry).
Since 1998, I’ve completed over 35 marathons (PR 3:25), including Boston Marathon a couple of times (and I continue to qualify despite my age!), dozens of half marathons (PR 1:33), and oodles of 10Ks and 5Ks. After turning 40, I decided to up the ante and dive into triathlons; in the last 10 years I’ve completed 5 Ironman competitions (PR 11:52), plus a number of Half Ironmans, Olympic and Sprint distance triathlons. In March 2016, I competed in the 70.3 Ironman San Juan, Puerto Rico, took 2nd in my age group and qualified for the 70.3 Ironman World Championships in Australia!
I truly believe that if I ate like so many Americans do – an overconsumption of processed, junk food – that I would never be as healthy as I am after a Total Colectomy and go on to compete in sports like I do. I know – without any doubt – that a healthy diet plays a pivotal role in achieving great health.
As a Certified, Functional Health & Nutrition Coach and successful entrepreneur, this stuff isn’t my passion. It’s my life.
Am I committed? No.
Some people ask me WHY I’m so dedicated. Let me tell you my WHY.
LIFE CAN CHANGE IN A BLINK OF AN EYE.
I was single for 15 years, then met the man of my dreams, Bob Jackson . . . and life went from not-so-bad to wowza-life-is-awesome. Unfortunately, he had an unexpected heart attack, and passed away instantly – and in my arms. Bob taught me to be kind, generous and giving, something that is so rare in mankind today but HE was truly one-of-a-kind. He changed me, and I am now doing my very best to be like him: kind, generous and giving — and my clients, friends and family are the benefactor of this.
Now knowing what I know about health and nutrition, Bob had all the symptoms of heart disease: chronic inflammation + diabetes + toxicity. If I can improve just one person’s life or better yet – save a life – then this is all worth it. I never want anyone to go through what I did.
Prior to changing my career to nutrition, I had a long, successful career in publishing and marketing yet I know without a doubt that my true calling is helping others. My enthusiasm for healthy nutrition led me to the acclaimed Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York, NY where I received my Holistic Nutrition Specialist Certification.
My mission is to teach YOU about finding foods and a lifestyle that heal your health problems and/or to reduce your risk of disease. Your health is in your hands more than most doctors would have you believe.
I want to share how your food choices can impact your life in ways you never thought possible; how your happiness truly does affect your well being; how having love in your life is a primary food for your soul and that you have the ability to have all of that greatness in your life!
I keep things CLEAN & SIMPLE (thus, my company name). You will literally “Eat Yourself Healthy”! You could call this UNdieting.
Time constraints of work, family and other commitments, misleading information, confusing food labeling, intimidating workout myths . . . AH! There’s so much to think about! And it’s no surprise that most people are lost in a downward spiral of inactivity with an increase of health related disorders and diseases, and the inevitable weight gain.
This confusion can leave a person feeling helpless. With all of the conflicting advice about food and health, you need solid advice. You need someone who understands. My goal here at Clean & Simple Nutrition is to give you sound advice and help you walk down the path towards better health.
I know nutrition. I’m a natural foods chef. I’m an athlete. I’ve had ulcerative colitis so I know digestive issues. What’s my point, you ask? I have a lot of tools in my tool belt to help you effectively achieve your goals!
And did I mention I’m passionate about this stuff? YOU BETCHA.
So if you’re ready to experience a hair-whipping 180 in the way you feel, look, talk, walk and booty shake, then come join me!
Sign up for the EatSimple28 Challenge!
10 THINGS ABOUT ME THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO
WITH CLEAN & SIMPLE NUTRITION:
- I love to cook – create or tweak recipes or not follow a recipe at all.
- I’m a huge animal lover. I have 7 rescues: four dogs and three cats. Crazy, I know.
- I’m very organized.
- I have never eaten a hot dog. Ever. Mom never made them when I was a kid! Love you, Mom.
- If you have dogs, ask me for my e-book “Healthy Homemade Dog Treats”.
- I’m at peace when on, in or near water . . . or just listening to the sound of waterfalls.
- I don’t like fresh flowers because they die.
- I love SUP’g . . . that’s Stand-Up Paddleboarding.
- I’m learning to love yoga. Endurance athletes can’t sit still for long.
- I really don’t like chocolate. Or bacon. It’s pig fat and it makes no sense to me why anyone would want to eat it.