I am so excited that you found my page and I am looking forward to sharing, learning and getting to know you. It is my goal to create a dialogue on this site that will inspire, educate, empower and engage all who stop by.
A little about me
I was born in Chicago, moved to Southern California when I was 7 where I spent most of my life. Growing up in SoCal had a lot to do with my lifestyle choices. When I wasn’t surfing I was hiking. When I wasn’t hiking I was skiing. In between all of those seasonal activities I was exercising; running, lifting weights, riding my bike or playing Judo. In 1982 I was elected to try out for the Olympic trails in Judo and quickly learned after two weeks at the training camp that I needed to focus on my education and started college.
Academic and professional background
At the age of 15 I started my first job in food service as a dishwasher. My mom encouraged me saying “if you get into food service you will always have a job.” and she was right. over the last 30+ years I have; managed, trained, opened, closed and owned restaurants. Most of my experience has been in retail food service. From 2005-2010, I was the special projects manager for the University of North Texas (UNT) Dining Services where I helped open the nations first vegan dining hall. Currently, I work as a food policy manager for the Humane Society of the United States. I have a bachelor’s degree in business management and a master’s degree in organizational management.
I have two sisters, one brother and my mom. My little sister, Lisa, is also a plant-based lifestyle coach and an inspiration to me. I have one son who is married to and has been busy making me the proud grand father of three adorable grand daughters. I currently live in Los Angeles, CA with my beautiful fiancé and our feline daughter, Maggie.
My eco roots
Growing up in Southern California allowed me access to the ‘best of’ that nature had to offer; Sunshine, oceans, mountains and more. I realized at an early age that in order for these places to continue to be available for future generations I had to do what I could to love, respect and preserve these precious places.
At the age of 9 I remember writing a letter to the President of the United States with an idea of taking plastic bottles and recycling them into other things thus reducing our need to make new plastic. To this day I still believe that it was that letter that prompted our government to encourage people to recycle – LOL
It’s about the food
For a brief period back in the mid 80’s I worked for a well know vitamin store chain. I had to do a lot of reading to stay on top of all the nutrition knowledge I needed to do my job. One of the books I read was Diet for a Small Planet by Francis Moore Lappe. That book changed my life and introduced me to the benefits of a plant-based diet and I quickly became a vegetarian.
In 2011 the Executive Director of UNT Dining Services asked me to convert one of the dining halls on campus to an all vegan dining hall. I quickly gathered up my team of graphic designers to work on the design and messaging for the interior and worked with Chef Wanda on the menus. While putting this project together I realized the benefits of a 100% plant-based diet and haven’t looked back since.
This blog is the next chapter in sharing my joy for plant-based food, take care of our precious earth and help fix a broken food system, one plate at a time.
To your health,