As a child the immediacy of performance and theater suited my temperament. After majoring in theater in college, I moved to New York City where I lived for more than a dozen years performing in national TV commercials and theater. A family illness and inquisitiveness pushed me to study alternative healing therapies. Nutrition became my focus and I made the decision to complete a three-year program to become a certified health and nutrition counselor while living in New York.
After moving to Seattle, my work in TV, radio, and theater continued while I was writing my first cookbook and teaching nutrition and cooking classes. I joined the nutrition faculty at Bastyr University in 1994 and currently am an assistant professor for the School of Nutrition and Exercise Science. I am the founder and director of Bastyr’s Bachelor of Science in Nutrition & Culinary Arts degree program.
My cookbook, Feeding the Whole Family (Sasquatch Books, 2016) is in its soon-to-be fourth edition with more than 77,000 copies sold ! A cheerful-looking edition of my second book, Feeding the Young Athlete: Sports Nutrition Made Easy for Players,Parents and Coaches, was released in 2012 by local Seattle publisher Readers to Eaters.
My experience in acting, cooking, and nutrition led to the birth of the online cooking show Cookus Interruptus, which launched in 2008. In more than 175 videos,The Edge Improv group and I twist healthy cooking instruction and the family sit-com genre into educational entertainment. Our YouTube site has 1.3M views. (My recipes and I are also featured in “Cooking Outside the Box” a video series produced by Full Circle Farms, the west coast's leading organic food delivery service.)
In 2010 I was hired by the Auburn, Washington School District under a national grant, to develop the curriculum for an eight-hour workshop to train school food service workers in the practice of whole foods cooking. Watch a video about this project here. TAnd in 2012 I was invited to give a TEDx Rainier talk entitled, "How to Cut an Onion". Have a viewing on this page!
In May 2014 I was asked to do a presentation on Fermented Foods at Andrew Weil's national Nutrition & Health Conference in Phoenix, Arizona. That was a boatload of kraut fun.