My Story

Diagnosed with a grapefruit-sized tumor in my chest cavity at the age of 19, I began a decade long journey that would forever change my life. I didn’t know it then, but Hodgkin’s Lymphoma would turn out to be one of my greatest gifts.

Shocked to hear the word ‘cancer’ roll off the Doc’s lips, I sat there in the E.R. in disbelief thinking I was there due to shortness of breath. I was even resistant to being admitted in the first place. I was young, involved in multiple sports, and in what most would consider peak condition. I had just graduated high school the year before. I was confused, “How does an active 19-year-old get cancer?’ The doctors’ reasoning was alarming, “We’re not sure of the exact cause(s), but there could be a potential link to agricultural pesticides.’ Whether or not that link was proven at the time didn’t matter to me, I never forgot those words. I grew up in Oklahoma and my grandpa was a preacher and farmer who died of multiple myeloma, his brother was a farmer who died of leukemia, and I am not blood related to either of them because my mom was adopted. My cancer wasn’t genetic, it was 100% environmental. So, how did I get it? Was there a connection between agricultural areas, pesticides and cancer as the doctors speculated?

These questions continued to plague me and after my diagnosis and chemotherapy/radiation treatment, I started looking at food differently. I began paying attention to what kinds of foods I was putting into my body and how they affected me. I conducted comparison experiments on myself. I would eat junk for a week and then eat ‘clean’ the next week just to feel what it was like on both ends. From starting out as my own human guinea pig in my early twenties to becoming a Holistic Nutritionist and running a family in my thirties, I have been on a 14-year trek of researching and learning everything I can on food, the body, nutrition and redefining what it means to be healthy.

Shortly after my husband and I found out we were expecting our first, we both plunged deeper into looking at America’s food industry. The more we know, the more we want to un-know. The emotions that stir within us as we look at the state of our nation’s health and food system have now become a part of fueling a long-held vision of ours. It is two-fold: We want to see people across America come alive, take back their health and change the food industry in the process. I feel it is my life’s calling to partner in that change, even if the change is small. The second, we want to see our dream come true of working a piece of land and growing our own food and even providing a farm-to-table experience through a restaurant or cafe one day for anyone who comes our way. Life moves too fast and we’d like to slow it down a bit and have folks gather ’round our big, {someday} farm table in authentic community, a place where we can share stories as we serve nourishing food from our hearts, our hands and our land. These are some of our dreams and the biggest lesson I am learning about dreams is you have to start with what you have, where you are at.

Launching Freshly Grown was my first step. I don’t have a big farmhouse and a huge piece of land just yet, but I have my own backyard and this space right here where my passion around food, nutrition, health and community can come alive and align with my vision of creating a nourishing place on this beautiful earth where people can come, breathe deep, kick up their heels, and leave full in not just their stomach, but also their heart and soul. I hope you find a little of that here in this space as I write and share what I have learned along the way and maybe someday I will meet you in person across our big, farm table and we will share stories of our journeys and our dreams.



Welcome to Freshly Grown.