As I get older my mind continues to expand, to crave knowledge, and be nimble and busy. I've always loved to be a student and I continue to enhance my education as an adult by taking classes at different universities and trade schools. I received my undergraduate degree in Art History from UCLA, my degree in the culinary arts from The International Culinary Center (formerly The French Culinary Institute) and now I'm ready for more. Simply put, I adore learning. This week's Dear Lo focuses on the question I ask myself again and again:
Should I Go Back to School?
The answer: if you have the time, energy, and desire to do so, YES! Continuing to learn and develop is essential to my personal growth as a human being and I'm sure yours as well. Today is my first day back at school in some time, and I couldn't be more excited. As you know I love to cook - it's my passion. When I began studying at culinary school I also dedicated myself to exercise in an effort to stay slim through the pounds of butter and salt I'd be consuming in class. When paired together, cooking and exercise really allowed me to love treating my body with kindness in every way. The next step in my health and wellness evolution is to receive a proper education in nutrition, and that's the new journey I'm embarking on today.
I'm starting a fantastic program at Tufts University and will receive a Certificate of Graduate Studies in Nutrition early next fall. The program is taught online, is at the graduate level, and will teach me the basic and beyond of nutrition, responsible food sourcing, disease prevention, and overall wellness. I cannot wait to share what Iearn with all of you.
As part of the admissions process I was asked to write a short personal essay sharing why I want to study Nutrition at Tufts. I thought it would be fun to share that with you here, and I'll continue to share my adventures in education with you guys over the course of the next year. Three cheers to learning, yay!
Imagine this: it’s the fall of 2015 and the moment we’ve all been waiting for (or dreading, depending on who you ask) is upon us. An alien visitor from a faraway planet has made literal contact with our Earth, landing neatly in Union Square in lower Manhattan. Ignoring the military presence, the media frenzy, the people with their camera phones, and the religious zealots interpreting the event as the end of times, the alien visitor introduces himself to me as RALPH33 and asks me if I know a good place to grab a bite in this part of the galaxy.
The responsibility I have as an ambassador of Planet Earth dawns on me. Never before has a single meal held so much meaning; the information I choose to share will influence RALPH33’s perspective on Earth food forever. And it’s not just the taste, look, and feel that he’ll learn about and remember. I’m certain that because he’s new to this whole food thing we’ve got going here he’ll also want to know why I chose this meal, how it will interact with his body, whether it helps it or hurts it, the source of the food, and the emotional, cultural, and economic relationship humans have with it.
I want to share only the sweetness of our bounty with him. To fuel him with clean, whole ingredients. To teach him that you really are what you eat, and that disease, and mood, and energy, and sickness can be greatly influenced by what you feed your body. I’d rather RALPH33 not know that we are sick, our planet is sick, and that we’re quickly running out of time to right our wrongs. But we do have time. We can create a clean slate. We have every tool we need at our disposal. I want to be a part of that movement, to join the era of food enlightenment we’re experiencing as a voice of reason and to teach those around me what I know and learn. I care about the future of health and wellness and firmly believe that sound nutrition is the foundational core of our society.
My desire to inspire great change began 2 years ago through an intensive culinary program at the International Culinary Center in New York City. I’ve always been a passionate foodie and chef and wanted to authoritatively expand my personal brand and business by learning to cook at a professional level. My background is in entertainment, having spent 8 years on television and growing a digital audience of over 2 million individuals. My program at the ICC also included an intensive look at farm-to-table cuisine, the content curated by Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns, a leader in the farm-to-table food movement.
I’ve always held food in higher regard than most. I don’t just consume food - I love it, and part of loving the way it sizzles in a pan and tastes in my mouth comes from having a direct knowledge of the way it will interact with my body. The food to body relationship is a fascinating one to me, tapping into my love of science, biology, and wellness. Expanding my knowledge on the subject matter of nutrition science will feed my brain in the same way an excellent egg gives me the energy I need to get through my morning. I crave information: for myself and to share with others.
My long-term goal upon receiving a Certificate of Graduate Studies in Nutritional Studies from Tufts University is to share the information I learn with my audience around me in a way that inspires them to take action in their own lives. I’m already creating influential food content with a focus on sustainability and wellness. To have the opportunity to grow my knowledge of nutrition to create even more meaningful content is critically important in my endeavor to use my influence for good.
Thank you for taking the time to review my personal statement and I hope to have the opportunity to study at Tufts University soon.
Image from thekitchn.com