I’m so happy you found me. Originally from Richmond, VA, I now reside in St. Louis, MO with my husband, son and daughter.
I have a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA and a master’s degree in exercise science from The University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. I’m also a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT), group exercise instructor and Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT).
I absolutely love food. My earliest memories are being in the kitchen with my mom: baking cookies, rolling pasta, and trying new recipes that she wrote down earlier that afternoon while watching The Frugal Gourmet. Decades later and my happy place is still in the kitchen, this time with my own babes on the counter.
It’s perhaps no surprise that I went on to study nutrition and then become a dietitian. In my best Mean Girls voice, I like to say that I’m not a regular dietitian, I’m a cool dietitian. That’s because I don’t focus on weight loss, fad diets, or anything that makes you feel bad about your food choices. In my previous career, I worked as a sports dietitian who specialized in eating disorders, and I know the power that food restriction can have. My efforts are to help others find their healthiest relationship with food, which usually means ditching the scale, ignoring calorie counts and listening intuitively to what the body needs.
You’ll see nutrition information on some of my recipes (because enough of you have asked for it) but my philosophy around cooking has nothing to do with numbers. Instead, I focus on eating lots of plant foods with a little dairy or egg occasionally thrown in. I first became a vegetarian back in high school, then stopped and restarted a few times until grad school where I experimented with veganism for a few years. Now, I consider myself to be predominantly plant-based; I eat a lot of plants and I occasionally eat animal products. This way of eating brings me the most peace with food and it’s the type of recipes that you’ll see here.
If you’re new here, I recommend heading straight to my plant-based recipe section and then filtering by what type of recipes you are looking for. My go-to favorites are any of my pasta recipes (I’ve got over 70 different pasta recipes!), my Snicker’s Date Shake, my Vegan Chocolate Pudding or my Marinated Lentil Salad. If you like to can like I do, make sure you save my best homemade salsa for canning recipe. It really is the best– with hundreds of 5-star ratings to back up that claim.
I wrote an Italian cookbook in 2016, which felt like a full circle moment from the days of learning how to cut gnocchi in my mom’s kitchen. That book embodies the way I feel about food and nutrition; it’s filled with simple, whole-food focused meals that include many vegetables with a healthy serving of grains. Because, no matter what Instagram tells you, grains are not the enemy. I pinkie-promise.
As a dietitian and professional recipe developer, I’ve had the honor to collaborate on several projects. I wrote the 4-week meal plan in the New York Times bestselling book, Fiber Fueled and contributed 115 recipes to the follow up, The Fiber Fueled Cookbook. I am also a syndicated food and travel writer for the Associated Press.
My kids light up my life and my mission to do more. Shortly after my son’s birth, I co-founded Plant-Based Juniors; a resource for parents who want to raise healthy, conscious babes. You can find more over on our Instagram page and website, including our Easy Dinners for Busy Parents, Predominantly Plant-Based Pregnancy Guide, Nut-Free Ebook, Batch Cook Ebook and First Bites, a guide to introducing solids.
Our bestselling book, The Plant-Based Baby + Toddler was released May 18, 2021. For health professionals, check out our 35-CME/CEU accredited course, Pediatric Nutrition for Health Professionals.
When I’m not cooking, photographing or writing, you can find me chasing my kids, stealing kisses during story time, traveling and eating tacos with my husband. I love history and science and am absolutely terrible at math. My heart is always at a beach somewhere, even though I live smack dab in the middle of the country.