Hello, everyone! I’m Colleen. My name and face may be new to you, but I’ve been working here at Gimme the Good Stuff in a behind-the-scenes role since 2014. Most of my work involves really nitty-gritty research. I look into products and what they’re made of. Some people may call this neurotic, and others may call it “thorough.” I’ll take either!
As a human being and mom, I have a strong drive to get to the bottom of things and help us all make the healthiest choices we can for ourselves and our loved ones. I also have personal experience with pregnancy, birth, raising little people, and creating a home that’s as healthy, nurturing, and sane as we can make it.
In the coming weeks and months, you’ll see more posts from me where I share some my experiences and the questions and challenges that are part of my life as a mother and wife.
Maia and I Go Way Back!
I’ve known Maia and her family for as long as I can remember. We lived in the same Vermont town for much of my childhood, and her mom, Suzanne—a.k.a. the Chief Health Officer at Gimme the Good Stuff—is largely responsible for my mom’s interest in natural food. My mom’s interest in natural food became my interest in healthy living, which eventually evolved from a personal passion into my professional work, so…I guess I have Suzanne to thank for my wellness career!
My Education & Background
I attended Duke University for my undergraduate degree (Duke is also Maia’s husband’s alma mater!) and then got a master’s in Integrative Health Studies from the California Institute of Integral Studies. I’ve been a freelance health writer and wellness coach since 2009. Also, and mostly, I’m a mother and a wife. I have two young kids and a third one on the way. My husband is a military officer and PhD student. Our lives are full, to say the least!
My Approach to Health & Wellbeing
If my life and work have taught me anything definitive about health, it’s that there isn’t always a clear line between good and bad, “healthy” and “unhealthy.” There are so many ideas and theories about how we should be eating, sleeping, exercising, raising our kids, etc. And yet, we constantly have to make choices about what’s best for us and our families.
These days, it seems like everyone has an opinion and a position that they can support with “evidence.” Trying to sort through all of this information can be maddening. That’s why I do what I do, and why I’ve been following Maia’s work since she began digging into things in 2009.
I learn new things every time I take on a project. I’ve seen trends and professional recommendations in health and wellness come and go, so I take all current thought with a grain of salt. I ask myself what makes the most sense based on the ideas that have held up the best over time. It’s a historical gut-check of sorts. I also try to keep an open mind and be humble enough to accept information that may disrupt some of my long-term thinking.
And at the end of the day, I remember Maia’s mantra—“Stay sane!” The human body is remarkably complex and resilient. Most of us are doing okay not just because of the good choices we make, but in spite of all the bad stuff that we’re exposed to all of the time. That’s pretty awesome, don’t you think?
To your health,
P.S. We’ve got a bunch of awesome new product guides in the works, but are always open to suggestions. Comment below with what you want me to dig into next!