Hi, I’m Brooke, a Board Certified Holistic Nutritionist and Natural Chef. I use nutrition and lifestyle to help you feel your best. My home base is Philadelphia, but I work with clients from all over virtually.
My love affair with food did not begin until I was 30 years old. Yes, you read that right, I’m a holistic nutritionist and chef and my life’s passion is food, but as a child, teen, young adult, and 20-something I had absolutely zero interest in any of these things.
I grew up and lived my young adult life in Louisville, Kentucky. When I was 30, I had an epiphany. After a lifetime of catching every cold and flu known to man, feeling low energy much of the time, and being addicted to sugar, I intuitively knew that if I didn’t change my diet, I was headed down the wrong health path. I remember going to the farmer’s market as a first attempt to “get healthy,” but as I was surrounded by the most beautiful produce, I realized I was totally and completely at a loss as to how to cook any of it. I didn’t know how to start or what to do. I’ve never felt so lost. I knew that I wanted to change, but the path of actually getting there felt impossible, and I wasn’t even sure what that path looked like.
It was then that I thought, “I’m going to learn how to make all of these farmer’s market vegetables taste amazing,” and right then and there, my journey began.
I began taking cooking lessons from my dad. Our relationship had been very strained over the past five years and I wanted to start mending our relationship and cooking together seemed like a good start. We spent every Sunday over the next year in the kitchen together, and I learned the basics along with some more advanced French cooking techniques. Our relationship started to evolve and heal, and I realized how cooking has the power of bringing people together. I credit cooking as the catalyst for our healing. I knew I was ready to take what I had learned and put my own health spin on things. That’s when I moved to California and enrolled in the Natural Chef and Nutrition Consultant programs at Bauman College.
Needless to say the change in career had my entire family shocked initially, but I immersed myself fully in my studies, California cuisine and the California health culture. My six years in Berkeley were transformative for me, and I have never looked back. It’s been almost a decade since I’ve been on this journey and guess what… I did learn how to make all of those farmer’s market vegetables taste amazing! In the process, I learned about the power of nutrition and how my intuition was and always continues to be right: changing what I ate drastically changed my health. What changed for me personally?
- Better moods with reduced anxiety and depressive symptoms
- Better digestion aka no more bloating
- More energy aka I didn’t feel like I needed caffeine just to function
- Restful sleep aka my insomnia didn’t plague my life anymore
- Balanced hormones aka my periods got MUCH easier
- Reduced cravings aka I wasn’t thinking about sugar 99% of the time
- Strong immunity aka I wasn’t getting sick as much (or at all) anymore
EDUCATION & BACKGROUND
- Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition: National Association of Nutrition Professionals 2019
- Nutrition Consultant (NC): Bauman College 2017
- Certified Natural Chef (NC): Bauman College 2014
- Masters of Social Work (MSW): University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2006
- Bachelors of Arts in Psychology (BA): University of Cincinnati 2003
My education has always focused on people; learning about what makes them tick and how to help them. This started with my interest in psychology, which I majored in as an undergrad. I went on to earn my Masters of Social Work, and my career focused both on social science research and working with people. After I decided to pursue nutrition, I took all of my previous experience and simply infused the nutrition and health aspect into my love of helping people create change in their lives. It was the perfect transition and now I use all of my academic and real world experience to create everything I share with you here.
A forever student, I have spent the last decade learning all that I can about nutrition and how food can transform our lives. I have spent the last six years living in Berkeley and working in San Francisco teaching people about the power of nutrition and the simple act of cooking. Now I call Philadelphia home, and am immersing myself in the Philly culture and food with the intent of weaving everything together so all of the influences create something new.
MY HEALTH & FOOD PHILOSOPHY
My health philosophy is at its core: Eat real food!
What is real food? Real food is food that is in the same form when it comes to you as it was when it come from the earth. It means it hasn’t gone to a factory and been heated, chemically altered, or had additives, preservatives, sugar, and/or trans fats added to it. In our modern culture, finding real food can be difficult as we are bombarded daily with processed and packaged foods that, although convenient, ultimately rob us of our health. The struggle is real! Being healthy takes commitment and effort, but it is 100% worth it.
As a holistic nutritionist, I believe in the power of food to transform your health. I believe that bio-individuality is at the core of nutrition and everyone is unique in what specific foods and ways of eating work best for them. Despite individual variances, we all need a foundation of “SOUL” foods, and my work is based on these four foundational aspects of nutrition:
S: Seasonal / O: Organic / U: Unrefined/Unprocessed / L: Local
I chose holistic nutrition because I believe that in order to optimize health, heal your anxiety and depression, balance your hormones, reverse prediabetes, etc. you MUST look at the big picture. We are all intimately interconnected. It’s the interplay of many factors that creates your health including sleep, stress, relationships/community, emotions, mindset, work, and spirituality. We are also humans who are dependent upon and interconnected with the earth. I want us all to get back to nature and the foods nature provides, while also knowing that we must make it work with modern life in mind.
I believe in living your life fully, and generally live by the 80/20 rule myself; 80% of the time I make decisions based on what I know is best for my body and is more health-based, while the other 20% is simply just living and enjoying without restriction. For a healthy lifestyle to be sustainable for me, I’ve found I must have that balance. Monday through Friday, in addition to working, you will find me meal prepping, cooking, exercising, meditating, and going to bed at a reasonable hour. On weekends you will find me still doing some of these things, but I also love trying new foods, eating out at all different kinds of restaurants (and ordering anything off the menu that I want), eating chocolate croissants, skipping my workout for watching netflix, you know, life stuff. I believe there’s a place for everything in a healthy life.
To me health is about waking up rested and feeling sustained energy throughout the day without caffeine and sugar. It is about having a calm and focused mind. It is about experiencing all the emotions we have as part of our human experience in their fullness. It is about finding what it is you want to do in life and having the health foundation to move forward with gusto. It is about teaching our children, family, and friends how they too can be healthy, because it all starts with you and you can affect great change on any scale. What is possible? The sky is the limit.
My approach is all about balance. This isn’t about counting calories, getting down to a certain pant size, putting yourself on crazy diets, or generally restricting yourself. This is about knowing that there is a time and a place for everything, understanding what you most need, finding your motivation, and finding a structure and a path that works for you.
I want to help you to be happy, healthy and get everything you want! It all starts with a foundation of good nutrition.