Born and raised in Alaska by a mother notorious for her organic good cooking, I've always had an appreciation for healthy delicious food.
When I left for college at Western Washington University, I was quickly recruited for the women's rowing team. From my first morning out on the water, I knew I wanted to excel at this sport. Our team was highly competitive, having already won two national championships. Deep down I understood that if I wanted to work my way into the varsity boat, I needed the best food I could get my hands on. For the duration of my rowing career, I struggled to find the right diet for optimal performance. I learned everything I could about nutrition, and eventually found a system that worked well for me and made sense! In the end, I helped my team win their fifth and sixth consecutive NCAA National Championships with a seat in the "engine room" of the varsity eight. I graduated in 2010 with a degree in Evolutionary Nutrition, eager to share the nutrition knowledge I had gained with other young athletes. From there, I went on to study at the Institute for the Psychology of Eating, continuing my pursuit for dietary wisdom.
With my fellow Alaskan teammates, Casey and Audrey, at NCAA Nationals 2009
With all I had gleaned from my formal education, I switched from the high-carbohydrate diet of my collegiate rowing days to a Paleo-oriented nutrition plan that was geared towards CrossFit. In 2011, I began coaching fellow athletes through my first business; OPENutrition. It was unbelievably gratifying to help people find the right diet strategy, while encouraging them to cultivate a healthy and satisfying relationship with food.
Winners of the OPENutrition Challenge in Telluride, Colorado
That same year, I was invited on my first trip rafting the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Fired up by my new found "high-performance diet plan", I dehydrated over 50 pounds of food for my month-long adventure. Turkey jerky, instant sweet potatoes, fruit leathers, and other creations were just a sampling of what I discovered was possible!
"High Side!" Nearly flipping it in Lava Falls
I continued to experiment with recipes on my own backcountry trips, and after sharing samples with a few adventurous friends I was encouraged to take the leap and start Heather's Choice in August of 2014. The name came from my mom, who had intended to start a line of organic baby food when I was young under the same name. She was too busy raising me to start the venture, so she gave me permission to use it, thanks mom!
Packrafting in Denali National Park with Heather's Choice samples in tow.
My mission is to provide healthy, delicious, packable food for adventurers worldwide! Whether at home, on the road, or in the backcountry, you deserve to eat well. I hope to encourage more people to improve the quality of the food they eat, whether that is at home or in the backcountry.
Thank you so much for being a Heather's Choice supporter, and I hope to see you out there on the trail!