Pretty Good Cook + Novice Gardener + Farm Wife + Mama + Registered Dietitian Nutritionist + Interior Design Student + Writer + Speaker
I fell in love with feeding people when I first started working at a donut shop in Nashville, TN while in college for an undergraduate degree in dietetics. People, it seemed, acted differently around homemade baked goods and coffee. They relaxed, they talked, they had fun. I liked it. Although I secretly wanted to transfer to a culinary school, I made do with food science labs and went on to complete my dietetic internship, officially becoming a Registered Dietitian in 2007. After working in a clinical setting for several years, I finally got the chance to start down the path towards having my own bakery when I moved to my husband’s hometown, Washington, GA, in 2010. I also began to cover patients at our local hospitaI. I enjoyed working on seemingly opposite sides of the nutrition spectrum, baking cinnamon rolls to sell on Saturday mornings and providing Medical Nutrition Therapy during the week. While I was often accused of being a double agent, the truth was that I knew that people who enjoyed food and fed themselves reliably actually had better health outcomes than those who struggled with their relationship with food.
You see, during my dietetic internship, I read the book Intuitive Eating by Elyse Resch and Evelyn Tribole. It was unlike anything else I had read on the topic of eating. Prior to reading the book I honestly assumed that the primary goal of “nutrition” was to lose weight. Weight and health had been so concretely linked in my mind that it was a revelation to me that, perhaps, life wasn’t about the pursuit of thinness and you could be healthy without food restriction. Reading the book and eventually working with a therapist helped me overcome six years of disordered eating. I then discovered Ellyn Satter (Feeding with Love and Good Sense) and Dr. Lindo Bacon (Health at Every Size). As many other dietitians can attest, the work of these four individuals completely altered my approach to nutrition, healthcare and my relationship with my body. I am continuing to learn (unlearn?) how health is impacted by our social and physical environment and am committed to practice in a body positive, inclusive manner.
After almost eight years of baking, catering and even making a few wedding cakes, I closed my bakery. This was primarily due to my husband having a bad car accident that required more of my time to care for him and our two (soon to be three) children. I would lie if I said it didn’t feel like a huge loss. I missed my customers and I missed the candid conversations and stories that were shared around cinnamon rolls.
After taking some time off to focus on our home and family, I launched Southern Scratch Consulting in 2019, taking the name of my bakery in a new direction. My goal was to get back to those conversations about food, home and community. Recognizing that so many of my customers had struggled to enjoy food in the midst of a cultural obsession with dieting, I wanted to create resources for individuals to recognize diet culture, and learn how to feed and eat well again. I wanted to share what I had learned from fifteen years of learning how to eat joyfully again and celebrate the body that I’ve been given rather than punish it. I also wanted to help clients with the practical side of feeding and eating as well. My experience running the bakery and cafe as well as being in and out of hospital foodservice has taught me quite a bit about efficient meal planning and cooking! After working with a few clients in their home kitchens, I realized further that SO many kitchens are not designed by people who actually cook. This led me to enroll in an interior design program at Athens Technical College. Although I’m on the one-class-at-a-time plan, it has helped me to incorporate a design approach with clients, helping them firmly lay out a purpose first for their kitchen and dining spaces in order to make cooking more efficient. This change your environment before changing your habit approach has
I am firmly in the dietitian camp that believes that nobody should feel bad for enjoying food and nobody should feel they need to apologize for their body.
On our blog you’ll find recipes, quick kitchen tips, feeding and eating posts and updates on life on our farm in rural Georgia. In addition, I’ll share kitchen and garden design tips and projects as I work my way through Athens Technical College Interior Design. I enrolled specifically to learn how to design a better kitchen with the hopes of one day helping clients design their homes to improve cooking efficiency and create space for routine, sit down meals. (Hopefully I’ll learn how to design and renovate my own 1970’s kitchen as well in all this. I’m not lying when I say I have duct tape holding a corner of a formica countertop together right now.).
Wedding Cake Artist+ Farm Kid + Urban Wife + Mom + Registered Dietitian Nutritionist + Seminary Student + Writer
Erin has been a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist since 2006. She obtained her dietetics degree from UGA in Athens, GA and has spent the majority of her career in Augusta. She started her career in clinical dietetics before moving to a renal outpatient position where she counseled dialysis and end stage renal disease patients for two years. She then worked as a Clinical Nutrition Manager before pursuing her wedding cake business full time. She opened her storefront wedding cake bakery, Big Day Cakes Bakery, full time in 2012, where she designed custom cakes for wedding, parties and galas. (Seriously, this girl is talented!)
Married in 2008, she and her physical therapist husband Brad (possibly the last living Renaissance man) have three rowdy boys and the cutest baby girl ever. After taking a few years away from the bakery and hospital to be at home with her four children, Erin is excited to return to the nutrition field in a way that combines her love of good food, community and conversation. She believes that while delicious and beautiful food at the table is always a perk, that fed is best no matter what that looks like. She knows that while many great love stories include a wedding cake, great relationships are formed over daily meals and intimate cups of coffee. She also knows that you don’t have to have a “family” in order to eat well with others. She believes that everybody deserves to reap the benefits of “family meals” whether that means eating alone or with friends or coworkers.