Just out of high school and early into her college education, Melinda started out in the business world — more specifically in banking. After a handful of years into her career, she realized that she liked talking about food much more than talking about money. Melinda and her husband decided to take a different path — they sold most of their belongings, packed the absolute necessities into their two door sedan and headed south to college. Melinda jumped headfirst into the world of nutrition. Five years later, she had finished her Masters degree, an internship, and had passed the exam — she was officially a registered dietitian.
Melinda has spent the better part of the last 15 years since then, developing her nutrition philosophy while working with people across the age spectrum (infants to geriatric) and across disease states. She learned the power behind food and nutrients in every aspect of how the body responds, both positively and negatively, to what it is provided or what it might be lacking. She appreciates the importance of real food, whole foods, home cooking, and being connected to the ground it grows in. Along her journey, she was fortunate to work in a clinic that practiced integrative medicine — essentially, a complementary approach to health. While at the clinic, she was given the opportunity to attend an herbal retreat with Dr. Tieraona Low Dog in New Mexico. There she spent two days hiking, harvesting wild herbs, drinking teas, learning about tinctures and otherwise living a dream. It was there she really felt the strong connection to the study of plants.
Besides being a foodie, Melinda has also always been a self-proclaimed nature bum. Since she was a child, if she wasn’t playing basketball, softball, riding her bike, she’d probably be in the woods or just playing in the dirt. Saving animals and the world, was something that was “just what you do,” which is still her mantra today.
Fortunately, as her career has evolved, Melinda has been able to combine both of these passions together — food and nature. While it may seem obvious to many that the two topics are intertwined, Melinda has found through her discussions with clients, many others do not see the connection at all. It is her passion and goal to bring the connection back to as many people who will listen. She fights to bring home cooking back to the table for everyone – especially the younger generation, inciting that cooking has become a lost art. From there it becomes all about mindful eating. Once we have the nutrition knowledge, Melinda believes we have to relearn how to eat mindfully. Much of nutrition education is about the psychology of food, which in turn, helps clients make permanent changes in their eating habits, and thus live more mindfully with food and other aspects of their lives.
Melinda’s educational focuses/presentations include the importance of gut health, the healing power of plants, the connection between food and autoimmune disorders, complementary approach to cancer treatment, nutrition and neurological disorders, the ins and outs of food additives, Mindful Eating and living with the earth and nature instead of against it (eating seasonally).
Melinda is currently building a nutrition communications company that provides nutrition education tools (articles, book chapters, handouts, presentations, etc.) to customers who need to improve or maintain the health and wellness of their clients and co-workers. She currently has a children’s nutrition book waiting to be printed and continues to pursue her creative writing passion that was ignited in middle school by an English teacher that made writing fun!
More Places to Find Melinda on the Web:
Website: All the Wild Things