For as long as I can remember, I’ve been obsessed with food. I come from an Italian family (on both sides), so I guess food as the center of a good life is just ingrained in my being. My earliest memory of cooking is when my dad taught me how to brew coffee (way before Keurig and k-cups were around) and cook scrambled eggs and pancakes. I was about 5 years old and now I realize it was his way of teaching me to cook breakfast for him and my brother on the weekends. From then on, I loved being in the kitchen and I loved cooking, especially for others.

Around that same time is when I started playing sports. My mom signed us up for everyyyything - I remember playing tee-ball and later softball, soccer, basketball, gymnastics, I also rode horses and later played volleyball and ran track.

After high school graduation, I attended the University of Cincinnati’s college of art and design. Even though I loved health and fitness, I didn’t consider it as a career option at the time. I knew I wanted to be a designer and fitness had always been a hobby for me. I did continue to play soccer in college and when I wasn’t playing soccer, I was always trying a new fitness class or some sort of workout at the rec center. And then I found CrossFit.

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As I drank more and more of the CrossFit kool-aid, I inevitably got more interested in everything that came with it. When I signed up for my first membership at CrossFit Knoxville in 2012, I was given a book about Paleo that I read cover-to-cover and immediately dove into a strict Paleo-diet for 21 days. (Like threw out all the stuff in my cupboards-strict and let everyone in my social circle know I was on food lock-down for the next three weeks.)

From then on, I continued to pursue the lifestyle that came along with CrossFit. Hitting the gym daily, meal-prepping on the weekends, and eventually training for competitions. I also continued to dive deeper into nutrition and was looking for a diet that would help fuel my performance. I experimented with many diets, from Paleo to Whole 30. Though I was eating well and feeling better, I never truly felt like I was eating to fuel my performance.

When My husband started tracking his macros a couple years ago, I was skeptical, but he convinced me to tag along. Being able to really dial in on what I was eating and making sure I was eating appropriately for my goals changed everything for me. I haven't looked back since.

Tracking my macros has not only helped me learn how to eat for my goals to train and compete, it has also helped me overcome a mindset of restriction.

Eating for performance has helped me shift into a mindset of fueling my body (with a lot of food!) and approach my nutrition with a focus on overall performance and flexibility.

7 years later and here I am: I married my ‘CrossFit sweetheart’ last year,  and I continue to coach others not only in CrossFit but also in nutrition. When I’m not coaching,  I cook at a local restaurant here in Memphis (Bedrock Eats and Sweets), which specializes in gluten-free, macro-balanced meals. A big part of my job is helping with weekly meal-prep for our to-go meals, which helps make healthy eating more readily available to busy professionals.

Looking back, I realize my whole life has been a lifelong pursuit of health and fitness.

After graduating college and working freelance design for a few years, I realized that as much as I love being a designer, my true passion is in helping others pursue a healthy lifestyle. Even though I keep my design skills honed (I am also KLN’s resident designer), I love that my livelihood now revolves around sharing my experience with others and encouraging them in their pursuit of being their best, most badass selves.