A layout of how my brain works (LINK).
I’m just a kid with an interest. Well, that’s how it started anyways.
I never really gave any thought to nutrition or fitness until my senior year of high school, despite having wrestled since elementary. In retrospect, I’m pretty damn happy that I had 3–4 hour practices 6–7 days per week, because my diet was atrocious.
How did I get an interest? Girls, wanting to look good naked, disordered eating, and weight cycling between the 145 and 164 lb weight classes in wrestling. It wasn’t pretty, but I’m thankful for my past because I enjoy the present and look forward to the future.
The cliff notes version is that I attended Washington State University from 2010 to 2013 and completed my undergraduate degree in
the exciting field of accounting. Although my academics were focused on business, every moment of my spare time was dedicated to soaking up health and fitness information. Oh, and philosophy — I got my minor in philosophy and ethics.
I spent the second semester of my junior year studying business abroad at Southwestern University of Finance and Economics in Chengdu, China. It was amazing. When I returned, I completed a finance internship at The Boeing Company. It too was amazing. Then I decided I didn’t want to be an accountant.
So, I spent a year after graduation completing some prerequisite courses at a local community college, then entered into the master’s didactic program in dietetics at Bastyr University in 2014 with the goal of becoming a registered dietitian. Spoiler alert: it didn’t work out.
No, not the degree — I graduated in 2016 with a Master in Nutrition and Didactic in Dietetics. The becoming a dietitian part never worked out. I applied for dietetic internships twice, once upon graduating and again the following year, and I was rejected twice. I guess I wasn’t what they were looking for, which upon inquiry was someone who had experience working in a hospital serving food to patients — you know, stuff completely unrelated to nutritional science and dietetics. #makessense
I could always try again, but I don’t really care about being a dietitian anymore. As this door closed, many others opened. For example, I was originally hired by Examine.com as a writer for their Nutrition Examination Research Digest when it first launched in 2014. They brought me on as a full-time researcher shortly after I graduated — something I wouldn’t have been able to do if I had to complete a 9-month, full-time, unpaid dietetic internship.
I also started working as part of the teaching staff for the University of Western States’ Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine master’s program. Again, probably wouldn’t have happened if I pursued the dietitian route.
My point being: There are a bazillion ways life can play out and no one knows what the future holds, and the future certainly doesn’t care about what you plan to happen. It isn’t necessarily about what happens, but more so about how you respond.
Important tidbits about my nutritional philosophy:
I am a huge advocate of a non-dogmatic and evidence-informed approach to nutrition. Every nutritional plan needs to be tailored to the individual’s needs, goals, and lifestyle. A combination of science and common sense should always prevail over rigid, one-size-fits-all diets.
I take an integrative and holistic approach to nutrition. There is no doubt that diet plays a central role in determining our health, but it’s still just one piece of the puzzle. We cannot overlook the importance of other lifestyle factors like sleep, physical activity, and stress.
I don’t have all the answers. I don’t pretend to. What I do have is a drive to learn and an open mind that is not afraid to question and update my views in the face of new evidence.
Lastly, my expertise is in finding and communicating health information to a diverse audience. Whether writing an article working with a client, my goal is to educate, not dictate.