Hello, my name is Olivia and I have a confession. I am a huge food nerd.
- I was born in Western Massachusetts and moved to the coastal town of Rockport, MA when I was a sophomore in high school.
- I graduated in May 2013 from Emmanuel College in Boston majoring in business management and minoring in biology with a concentration in nutrition.
- I spent my senior year creating a thesis that established a program to educate low-income populations about health and nutrition in order to help reduce preventable chronic diseases.
- I am currently in a Master’s Program to become a registered dietitian.
- My favorite form of exercise is running but I am determined to be strong like Dempsey : )
- I love to eat…EVERYTHING. I have never found a food I would not eat.
- Cooking is my passion and also a form of stress release. You should see the baking I do during exams!
- I am addicted to travel. I spent a Semester at Sea sailing around the world. Since then, every few months I crave a new adventure.
- My true mission in life is to motivate people of all ages and economic standings to become passionate about health and wellness.
My obsession with food was born out of necessity and tragedy early in my life, but I will get to that in a minute. From studying, to preparing, to eating, I enjoy all that food has to offer. I also possess a keen desire to live a healthy lifestyle. Since the days of riding elementary school buses to taking the subway to college classes, I have always been infatuated with understanding how to maintain health while enjoying life. Growing up, my mom emphasized health and the importance of good nutrition. But tragedy entered my life when I was 8-years-old. That is when my father died. His death turned my family upside down – emotionally and financially. It became nearly impossible to maintain our lifestyle. The loss of my father brought on drastic shifts in responsibility. My mother went to work full-time and I assumed a maternal role toward my two younger siblings. I became the head chef in my household when I was nine. Cooking for my family quickly transitioned from a chore to a creative outlet and it forced me to become self-sufficient and thrifty. Though life was not easy, my mom and I formed something of a health partnership. She prodded us kids to exercise, and I focused on healthy food options for my siblings and mother.
My passion for food followed me through high school and into college. I learned to craft healthy, low-budget and easy-to-prepare dorm room recipes. Drawing on my childhood experiences, I prepared tasty food that was also healthy food. And I began to view this preparation of healthy and tasty food as my calling – my goal in life. As I pursued my undergraduate degree, I focused on developing the skills to accomplish my mission. I majored in management and minored in biology. This combination taught me to combine innovative, entrepreneurial thinking with basic science as I worked toward a career in dietetics. I not only wanted to learn the science of foods, I wanted to learn how to make eating accessible and affordable. I also practiced what I preached. My roommates and I gave up “Thirsty Thursdays” and “Friday Night Frat Parties” to stay in our room and cook “Four Course Meals” with “Five-Star Tastes” on a college student’s budget. To say the least, I was not the quintessential college student, working full-time and choosing to cook over attending parties. But I was doing what I loved, and fortunately I found friends who shared the same passion for food.
Now a college graduate student, I am shaping my career goals into a concept called Foodana. Foodana joins Buddhist teachings and healthy eating to create “Food Nirvana.” It educates people about concepts such as moderation, food substitution, and nutrient density, helping individuals to acquire a positive relationship with healthy eating. I am enrolled in a DPD/master’s program in pursuit of a career as a registered dietitian. I want to provide people of any age with yummy and healthy recipes that are doable on the tightest of budgets. A healthy diet paired with physical activity are the essential ingredients for physical and mental well-being. My mission is to help people fully enjoy living life by providing them with food choices that are good for the pallet as well as for the soul. I hope to motivate kids and adults alike to take the initiative and put health in their hands.