Certified Nutrition Therapy Practitioner, Nutrition Therapy Institute
Cook Street School of Culinary Arts Professional Program
United States Personal Chef Association member (USPCA)
ServSafe Food Protection Food Handler
Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA)
Group Exercise Instructor
MBA and Masters in Sport and Performance Psychology, University of Denver
B.S. in Psychology, University of Iowa
Wishbone Foundation President - non-profit organization that provides CEU's and training to labor and delivery teams on how to handle bereavement, logistics, and practice self-care when families experience perinatal loss
University of Denver Adjust Professor in Sport and Performance Psychology Masters Program
Skiing at Winter Park with my family
Hiking with our yellow lab, Jake
Traveling to other countries
Mountain biking at Granby Ranch
Entertaining at the house with friends
Reading as much as possible
After graduating from the University of Iowa, I moved to Denver and joined “Corporate America.” During my office stint, I witnessed and engaged in the self-destructive behaviors like sitting long hours, eating oversized restaurant food portions and undersized processed microwave meals, taking little time for physical activity, and storing a personal arsenal of medicine, which took place at the expense of health, balance, and happiness. I decided that I had zero interest in climbing that corporate ladder, so I attained personal training, strength and conditioning, and wellness coaching certifications before enrolling at the University of Denver in their MBA and Master’s in Sport & Performance Psychology programs. Combining elements from all of those backgrounds, I established Hardie Peak Performance to help clients understand their current health position and create customized plans to help them reach their health and performance goals.
Life seemed to be falling well into place after training for and completing Ironman, welcoming our son to our family, and maintaining some sense of a work-life-family balance. However, a month out from my due date with our second baby, our well-laid plans and expectations suddenly flipped upside down when she was stillborn. Due to do the nature of the emergency delivery surgery, I was prohibited from physical activity for a while, which meant I also lost my “go to” outlet for performing, escaping, and recovering. During this time, many thoughtful people delivered food to us. For the first time in my life, I discovered what it felt like to truly be in tune with my mind and body and I noticed that some foods left me feeling
heavy and weighted down while other foods promoted an energized, lighter, and hopeful version of me. Focusing on performance wasn’t an option because I needed to first recover – in all senses of the word. And, food was the one variable I could explore
during this time. With heightened awareness, I experienced the impact and role that high-quality foods play, not for performance, but for healing and maintaining a positive mindset.
Becoming more aware and in tune with my body where I actively paid attention to the differences I experienced between various foods and their corresponding effects each had on my mind and body resulted in my reinvigorated nutrition interest, and this time in a more holistic way. My quest to learn about other approaches offered to me a more complete picture compared to my prior limited viewpoint. Given my competitive nature, I accepted a new type of training program - to learn and do whatever it would take to completely heal so that my body could successfully carry another baby. I also wanted to serve as living proof to others going through difficult times that while we cannot necessarily control what happens to us, we can control how we respond - and whether that response is productive or destructive. In my experience, focusing on healing through a holistic health approach was a productive focal point and because of this choice, I have experienced so many positive unintended consequences. Opening up my mind to alternative ways of living and being has allowed me to learn new skills and information that not only helped me heal, but also resulted in my feeling even better than I did before life threw that curve ball. I had always considered myself somewhat healthy prior to all of these events, but at that point I also had no idea how much I didn’t know that I didn’t know – and how easy it can be to make adjustments that have real impacts once you do know and actually apply what you know.
Since these events took place, I continued my lifelong learning quest and completed Cook Street School of Culinary Arts Professional Program so that I could understand from a chef perspective the importance of how food is sourced, the chemistry behind the techniques that make it look and taste good, and how to marry those culinary concepts to effective nutrition so that we can optimally grow, prevent injuries and disease, heal from injuries or trauma, and perform to achieve our goals. Most recently, I graduated from The Certified Nutrition Therapist program at the Nutrition Therapy Institute in Denver so that I can help connect the dots for clients, children, and myself between meal choices and that relationship to our health, happiness, and performance. Based upon
clients’ needs and my continual education, I continue to evolve the business to help bring high-quality food and instruction directly to people in the form of personal chef and nutrition educational services to offer the gifts of time, nourishment. and personal growth. I regularly incorporate these concepts with our family and hope to share these insights with others who have interest in effective strategies and knowledge.