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 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.
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 this month-long adventure. Turkey jerky, instant sweet potatoes, fruit leathers, and other creations were just a sampling of what I discovered was possible!