I grew up in Eugene, Oregon where my family lived a pretty wholesome life full of garden-fresh foods, outdoor play, camping, quality family time and active pursuits. My Dad had an abundant vegetable garden, my Mom grew her own sprouts and made her own whole grain bagels. We had family meals most nights and went camping for two weeks every summer. It makes sense that in my adult life, I would eventually seek out these healthy things that I knew from my family life growing up but it took my work in the natural foods industry to make those values and pursuits conscious.
After college, I worked in advertising where I learned about consumer marketing and explored my ideas around health and well-being. When I went to work marketing Gardenburgers, I gained a meaningful introduction to the world of natural foods. I learned that lifestyle can impact not only an individual’s health but also the planet’s. My next two jobs, with a tea company and a juice company, respectively, introduced me to the idea of food as medicine and how plants in particular provide healing and health-enhancing benefits. Fueled by this understanding, I went back to school to study integrative health and yoga. I taught yoga all through grad school, in studios to start and then mostly in businesses. Inspired by my work with businesses, I wrote my final grad school paper on integrative corporate wellness programs and began pitching the idea to whoever would listen.
So it may have all started with those jars of alfalfa sprouts my Mom grew in our kitchen. Or maybe it was the food dehydrator, or my parents’ early interest in jogging? I’m not really sure. But I do know that even as a little girl, I received the message loud and clear: There are choices to be made when it comes to your health and those choices affect your quality of life.
In fact, there are many choices to be made each day in the pursuit of health and well-being. In making those choices, I encourage you to consider the current thinking but set your sites on the things that are simple and lifestyle based. Consider the messages of the thought leaders and experts, but consult your doctor, your trainer, your nutritionist or therapist, your yoga instructor or gardener, whoever you already have on your team. And then seek out simple approaches that you can sustain over time – and keep at it!
If there are specific health-related topics you'd like to explore with your fellow well-movers, send me a note about it and let's do it. Join me here each week and lets create a culture of health together.