Hi, I’m Mandy.
For as long as I can remember, I have been infatuated with nature, animals, and healing. I grew up in the Black Hills of South Dakota and spent most of my time outdoors, exploring with my horse, dog, and cats. When I was in elementary school, I started suffering from depression due to bullying and being slightly overweight. In high school, I developed several eating disorders due to low self-esteem and chronic cystic acne. It wasn’t until I reconnected with Spirit/Source Consciousness and developed a healthy relationship with food was I able to heal.
I grew up eating a Standard American Diet (SAD), and experienced mental and physical health issues as a result. Making “food my medicine” was the best decision I made for myself.
At the age of 16, I decided to become a vegetarian. Three months later, I went vegan. I researched as much as possible about food and cooking and worked at a health food store in my free time. Though I am no longer vegan or vegetarian now (click here to see my stance on diet + health), I will forever be grateful for the education received. It led me to realize that one of my main ambitions in life is to teach others about the importance of holistic nutrition, healthy lifestyle habits (including hobbies), and our innate connection to Source consciousness (God).
After graduating high school, I worked at the Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center in Patagonia, Arizona. The natural center teaches a “food as medicine” approach to healing diabetes, and I witnessed folks dramatically reduce (or get off entirely) their insulin within 30 days. Here is an excellent documentary which follows 6 people receiving care at the center.
At the age of 17, I was offered a chef position with the healing retreat. But, I decided I wanted to travel and develop more skills. So, I began studying through the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition and worked full-time at the Pomegranate Cafe in Phoenix, Arizona. After learning numerous culinary tricks and obtaining my Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) diploma, I moved to Costa Rica.
I stayed in the jungle for one-and-a-half years, working as the head chef at Finca de Vida. The oasis teaches a “food as medicine” approach to healing dis-ease, as well, and became one of my favorite places in the world. It was there I was able to help others and really dive into my own spiritual growth, as well. I highly recommend the retreat because it is affordable and attracts many wonderful people. You can learn more about it here.
Following my time in Costa Rica, I lived in Bangkok, Thailand – aka “Asian New York” – for 9 months. My friend Jack connected me to Verita Life clinic, which is a ketogenic cancer clinic. Working as the executive chef, teaching patients how to make “food their medicine,” and being immersed in Thai culture was an eye-opening experience… one I will always cherish. It was in that country that I became a Reiki Master therapist. I continue to use these skills on the daily.
After backpacking around Cambodia, I returned to the United States. I tried to live “normally” for six months, but found myself back in Bali before I knew it. My time living in the rice paddies of Ubud, eating delicious raw and vegan food, and spending more time in prayer than ever before solidified my belief that we, humans, can heal ourselves. We just need to remember our innate connection to Source consciousness and treat ourselves and others with love and respect.
My greatest dream in life (which was spawned from a vision at the age of 9) was realized in 2016, when I traveled to Africa and worked with the non-profit Organics 4 Orphans for 3 months. In a short span of time, we recorded 20+ cooking videos, I developed a cookbook for the non-profit (using the 50 foods most easily grown in Kenya), and made countless friends. That experience will forever live on in me.
Normalcy (slightly) later that year when I returned to the United States intent on studying at university and fell in love with a guy instead. After realizing our interests are best combined, we became business partners and have since moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, and Boulder, Colorado. We now live with our furry companions in Longmont, CO, a city I am happy to (temporarily) call home.
Who I Am Now
I felt compelled to share the cornerstones of my life to lead up to the summary of who I am now. Every experience (loss, heartache, etc…) has shaped me in numerous ways. Today, I am a woman driven by passion to see the world a much better place.
As a RHN, chef, writer (7+ years experience; 5,000+ articles), traveler, and student of Spirit, I believe there are billions of people who simply want peace and basic necessities. It is for this reason I have dedicated my life to teaching the importance of 1) food as medicine 2) sacred connection to Source/God 3) and collaborating on solutions to modern-day conundrums, such as climate change, poverty, food shortages, and gender inequality.
Life in Bloom
It is my hope that this blog/business serves as a useful resource. Perhaps you’ll learn some new things about health and nutrition. Maybe you’ll become an avid lover of the simple, plant-based recipes. Or, perhaps the offerings inspire you to seek more of a spiritual connection, even if it is just with nature.
Life in Bloom is about you — and everyone — living healthy, inspired, and whole lives. As brothers and sisters, there are more things that unite us than divide us. Though the world we live in is quite divisive at the moment, I believe there is potential for each of us to love the lives we live and, in return, reach out and help others.