Location: United States of America (USA)
Profession: Home Baker
I can't pick a favorite way to eat bread! How could I choose between toasted to dip in hot soup, smeared with fresh nut butter and sprinkled with warming spices, piled high with crisp veggies, or sandwiching fruit and smeared with chocolate ganache?
I bake for friends and family. I bake for myself. I love to share. I am a plant-based eater and baker. I love making and sharing plant-based goodies and revealing that they contain no animal products. Surprising eaters who assume "vegan" equals "yuck" is really fun!
I'm based in Wooster, Ohio, USA.
After getting laid off from my corporate job, I began working for a local co-op market and love how it ties me closer to the local community and local healthy food. I'm learning so much about what's available from nearby farms, and heartened to learn how many people seek the same whole, fresh food that I do! One thing I've noted in our market is the lack of whole-grain baked goods and how quickly sourdough flies off the shelf. We have customers who time their visits to days when bakers deliver. We also have very few plant-based baked goods! I'd like to fill that gap.
I recently started baking and sharing bread with friends and fellow teachers at my local fitness/yoga studio. Through word of mouth, that's begun to grow into a regular batch bake and delivery service. I have a few regular clients who ask for bread every week now. It's the best feeling to get feedback from friends who have digestive issues that say my bread is the only bread they have been able to eat in years without discomfort. That tells me there must be more people out there who would benefit from the wonders of sourdough but have no idea about its powers, where to get it, or how to make it. I want to fill that gap, too!
Passionate about Baking as Lifestyle Medicine
Baking and Lifestyle Medicine have walked side by side in my life for many years but never held hands! I've always loved to bake but began to limit baking because my recipes had high amounts of fats, sugars, and cholesterol and very few health-promoting ingredients. My digestive issues lead me to study nutrition and receive a certification in Integrative Nutrition and health coaching. That education moved me onto a plant-predominant (and now plant-exclusive) diet. I missed baking, though! So, I started researching plant-based recipes.
Sourdough School feels like the right next step. I can combine those areas of long-standing interest and joy and become a resource for others. I can use my knowledge to help others find the same freedom, health, and pleasure that I've found. I can empower those who think baking and nutritional knowledge is out of their reach to be empowered in their own healthy food journeys.
My local community is surrounded by commercial agriculture, mainly feed crops and livestock, a large Amish population, and a growing number of small "boutique" no-spray and organic farms. Wooster has a high percentage of residents living at or below the poverty level. Like most communities of its size in the US, lots of residents get much of their food from fast food restaurants or large grocery conglomerates like Walmart.
I'd love to provide educational resources for the market and the local community to help people understand and simplify healthy food choices. I'd like to provide baked goods for sale that are sourdough-based, whole grain, and plant-based so people can see that they can still make healthy choices - even when looking for a treat! I'd also like to teach people how uncomplicated and satisfying it can be to make healthy bread and baked goods at home.
How I use BALM Protocol
By sharing it. I plan to share it through the products I make and through teaching. I'd like to include evidence-based information on my labels, my social media posts, one-on-one coaching, and group classes for the local community. I'm sure there are other ways that I have yet to discover!