One of my earliest memories is of picking and eating raspberries in the backyard. My mother taught me to love plants. I come from a long line of gardeners, and my mom tells me that my great grandmother was an herbalist.  Currently, I grow native herbs and plants and raise backyard chickens.

I’ve pursued a number of passions over the years. In 1996, I graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in English Literature. I worked in tech marketing, while always creating in my free time – dancing, writing, painting, and gardening. Eventually, my spouse and I had children, and I retired from tech to parent full-time. I gave birth to two children who are my delight. Yet, life presented challenges. My second child was born with cystic fibrosis, a rare genetic illness. Her traumatic birth and subsequent hospitalizations that first year caused a lot of stress and heartache. I became determined to learn as much as possible. We were fortunate to work with her medical team, an integrative MD, and an herbalist. She will always need medical care, and the complementary model (modern medicine and holistic) has worked for us.

I began to research and learn more about whole foods and wellness. I feel that whole foods have made a big difference in my daughter’s health. In fact, my entire family has benefited from eating whole foods. Over the years, we consulted with a number of holistic professionals, and two years ago we worked with our first acupuncturist. I was amazed to learn about the centuries of wisdom related to health and wellness in the modality of Traditional Chinese Medicine. My determination evolved into a curiosity and passion for herbalism and TCM. I took free classes with herbalists whenever I could.  I joined an herbal preparations group and began to work more with herbs. In 2020, I completed The Herbal Academy’s Introductory Herbalist’s Course. Finally, it became my dream to enroll with East West School, and in September of 2020 I did!

In addition to gardening and creative endeavors, I find great joy in helping others. My husband and I have been working to provide food for the homeless in our local community, and we are looking into starting a homeless garden project nearby. My long-term professional goal is to become a clinical herbalist and work with clients. I also have an interest in formally studying homeopathy and aromatherapy.

Follow my herbal odyssey on Instagram: @cffoodoflove

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