Hello, Lunapads fans! I’m the newest addition to the Lunapads team and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. I’m working the “front of the house” so if you call us on the telephone, send us an email, or hook up to the live chat feature on our website here, it’ll probably be me you’ll be talking to!
I was born in south-western Ontario but moved here to Vancouver just in time for Expo’ ‘86 (remember the Rainbow Wars?) and high school. I was initially ambivalent about leaving behind the family and friends I had back east but it didn’t take long for me to realize how lucky I was to have found my way to the coast. I love the ocean, the mountains, the rain forest, the trees and all the wildlife with my whole being; and I love that Vancouver is cosmopolitan city with small-town heart.
I went directly into the Fine Arts program at Capilano College when I got out of high school, and while I really enjoyed my time there I also felt the need to get out of “the nest” and never really pursued much in visual arts once I left there. My college sweetheart and I ended up moving in together with a motley collection of room mates in a series of apartments and houses in various neighbourhoods all over the Lower Mainland. During that time I was a mild-mannered administrative assistant by day and wild party girl by night. Then, in 1996 my sweetheart proposed. We married ourselves with our feet in the sea at Refuge Cove (on Redonda Island) on the autumnal equinox; and from that union we have two beautiful and brilliant children: Julian, who was born in 1997 and Astrid, who was born in 2001. (As an aside, If you can name which 60’s super group inspired their names, I’ll give you a cookie.) I love motherhood with all its highs and lows and have learned a lot about patience, communication, respect, and playfulness from my kids.
Our family became vegan in 1998, and from that starting place I began to cultivate a love of cooking and feeding others. I am a self-taught vegan chef, and spent the better part of a decade managing my vegan baking and catering business, VeganMania (perhaps you saw me at some of the local farmers markets over the summers?). The food and restaurant business is a tough one, especially if you are wholly committed to providing people with only the highest quality organic, fair trade and locally sourced (where possible) goods, and after some soul-searching I realized that as much as I loved sharing vegan food with Vancouver, it was no longer a sustainable career choice for me. I took what was supposed to be a year-long hiatus from cooking in 2010, and then in 2011 realized that I wanted to make a more permanent change and explore other career options.
I have always been involved social justice, volunteering with various organizations around town that deal with fighting violence against women, promoting veganism and animal rights, food justice, and – as a proud, fierce, fat feminist – smashing fatphobia and promoting positive body image in everyone. I have been an organizer with Food Not Bombs, I was on the Vegan Party Directive team as we organized Vegan Prom YVR 2011 and I work closely with the great folks at Fat Panic, offering workshops on fat oppression and organizing social events and clothing swaps for Vancouver-area fat folks and their allies. I’ve also been involved in a couple of shows on Co-Op Radio Vancouver over the years, It Takes a Village (a show about parenting), and Animal Voices, which deals with animal rights and welfare.
In my spare time I like to write toe-curling love poems and rant-y essays about being a fat woman (look for my work to be published in an upcoming anthology called “Hot & Heavy: Fierce Fat Girls On Life, Love and Fashion”). I am lucky enough to have unmitigated access to a swimming pool from May to October so I swim almost every day all summer long; I ride a hybrid Schwinn with an electric motor, I love dirty martinis with an extra olive, loud music from a billion different genres, and if you ever wanna ask me on a date, take me to the weirdest movie you can find.
I’m so excited to be on the Lunapads team and I look forward to connecting with you all!