I’m "Gringa Latina", raised in Nicaragua and Belize by a Davie cowboy dad and home-schooling mom. A 1960 hurricane in Belize left my baby brother mentally retarded at 5 months old. Part of the first graduating class of (then new) Cooper City High to attend the entire 4 years there, I left after graduation to fish both commercially (nets, traps, hook & line) and recreationally (sportfishing & dive charters) for a living, in the Keys. Several years later, I returned to Cooper City and established my second business in Agriculture alongside my family, when there was plenty of land in South Florida & the US was still a net Exporter of food.
I’ve never forgotten how it feels to produce food; knowing people enjoy and are nourished by what you grow and catch, and they create beautiful meals with it, is nothing short of amazing. My passion for fresh, healthy, local food has only grown through the decades – especially with my own son, we’ve taught each other about healthy food- and since founding Angel House and seeing the benefits of that food in the lives of the elders we serve.
I possess strong skills in Holistic care, including Nutrition, Hydration, Exercise and Daylight integration, with applied neurology and endocrinology. Angel House’ most improved diabetic went from 21 units to 7. 'Let food be thy medicine', is actually real, and it works. At the root of almost all that ails us, is inflammation and processed food.
My 35 years in studying economic and social housing trends as an appraiser and HECM or Reverse Mtg specialist, contribute to a strong understanding of and ability to identify and apply disruptive solutions for the many groups I serve across generational, ethnic and cultural lines.
I’m an entrepreneur like my parents; Small business supports much more than large business, globally - and small business is within the reach of Every. Single. Person. in the world. When that knowledge is internalized, it can be a powerful force for a quantum shift in hope and thus, motivation. If I could identify one thing I do, it’s to share my passion, and I always have one to share. We’re going to spend a certain amount of time around others – we’re going to interact with them, and leave an impression on them. A friend recently said he’d learned that if you’re the person in the room with the most hope, people gravitate toward you. He is so right! In fact, I’ve helped several people start their own small ALFs, though I’ve never created a formal business around being a life or business coach. The internet has replaced those for many today. At some point I realized my life’s work can be boiled down to two words. Helping People. Then it seems, someone always appears to help me.
I founded Angel House in response to a need I saw as the housing market crashed and equity/savings were lost to a generation. Today, we have the same situation potentially building, based on research and economic indicators in housing. But today’s ALF resident is a different person, much like the one described in the article, “The Oddest, Most Enlightening Resident”. Angel House has had more than a few people who want what that man wants – meaningful engagement that’s not aimed at the level of children. This is what I found at a networking business Lunch & Learn I presented at a large ALF in Sunrise. People are hungry for community, too.
Today’s conversation, not at the senior living level, but around business networking tables, is about the environment, water, food, how to get more plants into our diet, more quality time and activities, and of course as always, how to get more business, a better job, etc. We can no longer separate the conversation about and with the caregivers and residents, family members and management in eldercare. We all need to get in sync.
Why not bring reality, the wonder of future food, to all these venues, and every conversation? From 5 to 95, we can all agree on clean, healthy local food. Reuniting the generations around that, is the heart of family, of community! As I clearly see based on science and research, it’s time for a different conversation, time to involve everyone, at every age, to engage them with the real and natural world. It's time for farm to fork life - Urban farming is high tech and it’s also as basic as sunlight, water and bacteria… At once simple and complex, amazing and engaging. We’re leading that evolution. Today’s victory gardens represent triumph over diabetes, drug & alcohol addiction, or over autism, perhaps PTSD, or over dependence on others, or even on High Fructose Corn Syrup or some other poison… We need gardens on rooftops and balconies- Won’t you join us in the growing Agrihood?!