I am no stranger to demanding job situations with long hours, deadlines looming and the stress and anxiety that comes along with it. I’m originally an East Coast girl, with over 15 years in the corporate world of design, marketing, advertising, sales, recruiting and social media. For many years, I lived a very unhealthy “work hard, play hard” lifestyle that definitely took a toll on my body, mind and spirit.
The day after Thanksgiving in 2009, I eliminated all animal products from my diet. Soon after, the health problems I had been living with for as long as I could remember, all disappeared. My list of ailments on the Standard American Diet was long: severe seasonal allergies that required me to take several prescription medications daily, irritable bowel syndrome, was sick a lot with chronic sinus infections and ear infections, and had major “food coma” every time I ate. Switching to plant-based made all of those health problems a thing of the past. Plus, my energy levels increased, my hair was healthier, my skin clearer and my nails grew long and strong. I felt better than I could ever remember feeling. The health benefits alone were enough to make me commit to this lifestyle for the long run.
On my new path of discovery, I learned about the impact our food choices have on the environment. I also learned about what animals who are raised for food endure during their short lives. I quickly became an advocate for animals and committed myself to saving as many of them as humanly possible.
Once I started living a compassionate lifestyle, I started to become more conscious and new opportunities started presenting themselves. We moved from Minneapolis to Huntington Beach, California, and soon after, I became a Reiki Master Teacher. Reiki infused a whole new level of healing in my life, both for myself and others. I also started to practice yoga, originally more for the physical health benefits, but was amazed at how it brought balance to my life, especially for counteracting stress. When I discovered Restorative yoga, I was so inspired by how much one class could shift me from being stressed out to blissed out that I wanted to share it with everyone I could. I went to yoga school in Newport Beach, CA, became a yoga teacher and started teaching my own special blend of yoga which included Restorative, Yin and Reiki.
I now live on the island of Kauai, with my husband and four rescued cats. In December of 2014, inspired by a friend’s transformation, I started working with a trainer and lifting heavy. I loved the changes that I saw in my body from this dedicated training combined with a high carb, whole foods, plant-based diet. In June of 2014, I competed in my first bodybuilding competition, and ended up winning 2nd place in novice bikini and 3rd place in open bikini. In July of 2016, I decided to switch things up and try Olympic weightlifting to challenge myself even more. I fell in love with the sport and competed in my first meet in February this year. I am now stronger and have more muscle than I’ve ever had.
One of my passions is proving that you don’t need to eat meat or dairy to be fit and healthy. I love showing people that eating a plant-based diet will support you in reaching and even exceeding your fitness goals, from building muscle to losing weight to increasing athletic performance. I am truly grateful to be able to inspire others to live a better, healthier life from one of the most beautiful places on the planet.