During college, I started spending a lot of time at the health food co-op. I loved being there. I loved the smell, I loved what I was able to learn there, and I would often go there by myself and watch people. Believe it or not, I learned a lot from doing that. I watched what people bought, etc... THEN, I started cooking a little bit. You know, more than just the average college cooking. I bought rice milk, ate beans and rice, and became what you would consider, a granola eater! I didn't even know there was really a term "granola" that referred to people who are health nuts, etc...
My advisor in college was a nun and she was hard on me for a good reason. We didn't always rub each other the right way. Or should I say, I didn't always rub her the right way. She was critical, always wanted me to do more or better, and she was HARSH on my papers. I would have RED marks ALL over them. One day I went to her with a concern, which had been ruminating in my head for quite some time. Okay, here it was. I have a problem with doctors who just prescribe drugs and I want to be different. I had no clue that naturopathic physicians even existed! This was really before internet was used regularly or for anything more than email. She said, "I think there might be a school for that." She opened up this big book and flipped a few pages and landed on a page that described naturopathic medicine. It was an extremely short section and listed only 4 schools.
I sat and thought about that for weeks. I started requesting information from the schools and the process began. I didn't have much money to visit the schools, so I applied and hoped for an interview, knowing that I could visit the school at the same time as the interview. I experienced HUGE opposition from my friends and family. "Why don't you just get an MD?" I heard this over and over again. My strict nun advisor, (I realize now looking back), didn’t say anything. She passed no judgment.
At the same time, I started working in a microbiology lab to work on my final internship and project for school. I loved what I learned there and continued on after my internship. In the summer after college, I was easily working 50 – 60 hours in the lab with my projects, mostly agriculture. Interestingly enough, I was working a lot with lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria, not understanding at all the significance this bacteria would have for the rest of my future. I give it or some form of probiotic to most patients. I declined a position there to go to school at the National College of Naturopathic medicine where my future began.
After publishing my first book in 2006, I promptly sent it to my advisor from Cardinal Stritch, thanking her profusely for her continued encouragement and belief in me.