MEET THE PLANTWHYS TEAM.

We're so happy you're here.

Alisia Essig

Founder of PlantWhys, Holistic Plant-Based Nutritionist

 

Ali has always been interested in nutrition and eating healthy. However, on October 1, 2019, her husband suffered a stroke. His vision was affected for 5 months. He couldn’t drive or work after the stroke and it inspired Ali to turn to holistic approaches to help in his healing. Ali also lost her father unexpectedly to a heart attack when he was just 55 years old, and she was determined to make any changes necessary to prevent another life-altering event.

She dived into the research and found many answers to prevention and long-term health through a plant-based approach. Through trial and error she switched her family of 8 (that's right—6 kids, including twin boys) to a plant-based diet and now is determined to inspire and help others do the same, and to help the process run more smoothly. She believes in progress over perfection, and loves living a 90/10 plant-based life. Because, let's be honest—it's a lot easier raising 6 kids on a plant-based diet when there is flexibility!

 

Angela Stevenson, MPH, RDN

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

 

Angela completed the Graduate Coordinated Program for Dietetics at the University of Washington in 2011 and received a Masters Degree in Public Health Nutrition. She completed her licensure to be a Registered Dietitian in 2012 and has worked in a skilled nursing facility and grocery store prior to PlantWhys. 

Angela's journey to predominantly plant-based eating started with her career choice to become a dietitian. Gradually, Angela began seeking a low-waste lifestyle and as she grew her family, she realized there were things that could be done to create a better world for her children. Eating whole foods that are plant-based has been a huge step in fulfilling this lifelong goal. She looks forward to helping others navigate this transition with the most updated research and information available in regards to plant-based eating. 

Ashley Rattanasengchanh

Plant-Based Coach, Client Support 

 

Ashley has always been passionate about healthy eating and fitness and sharing those passions with others. She made the switch to a plant-based lifestyle after having her second son and was struggling physically and mentally.  By chance she learned about Ali's Deep Dive Course and was hooked to a plant-based lifestyle instantly! What started as a journey to lose some baby weight and feel better physically has blossomed into a deep passion for living a plant-based lifestyle and sharing that love with others.

Ashley is a certified as a Nutritarian Coach with Dr. Joel Fuhrman and looks forward to sharing all that she learns with others. Her first clients include her husband and young sons :)

Faith Ralphs

Plant-Based Coach, Recipe Creator

 

Faith Ralphs lives in Idaho with her husband and young children. She has a degree in Public Health from Brigham Young University, has been employed as a health coach for 5 years, and is the face behind the whole food plant-based food blog FaithfulPlateful.com. Since she was a young girl, she has loved making food for others and learning about nutrition. When not making a mess in the kitchen or cleaning it up, she likes to run, hike, travel, and do anything out in nature.

Yessica Young

Plant-Based Coach, Recipe Creator

Yessica is a wife, a mom to 3 girls and a group fitness instructor. She became interested in healthy eating and nutrition after becoming a certified group fitness instructor.

She originally transitioned to eating plant-based after losing her taste and smell from the big C in 2020 and was looking for a variety of textures. She had a friend that ate plant based and introduced her to a group of plant-based friends that helped her get started. After transitioning over she starting noticing very positive changes in her health.

She began learning more of the benefits thanks to Ali’s first deep dive course in January 2021 and has fallen more in love with plant-based eating.

Melissa Smith

Creative Director

 

Melissa and her husband launched their photography business in 2010‚ÄĒworking side by side as team photographers for weddings, families, and high school graduates.¬†Eleven years and¬†five babies later, Melissa's excited to have a little more time to focus on health and creative work now by getting back into running, hiking the beautiful mountains of Utah, running an Etsy shop, designing an app, and helping to build PlantWhys.

Elisabeth Wozniak

Plant-Based Coach, Membership Support

Elisabeth is a wife and mother of 6 children. Following the ADHD diagnosis of four of her children, and a personal struggle with hormone imbalance and chronic fatigue, she prayed for direction about how to help herself and her family. Having grown up with a religious health code that encourages plants to be eaten abundantly and meats to be eaten sparingly, a plant-based diet simply made sense, and she knew the answer she had been seeking was there all along.

Following that inspiration, in 2018, Elisabeth completed a certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from E. Cornell University along with many other plant-based programs and courses. Elisabeth dreams of becoming a plant-based athlete and has recently discovered a love of running.

Having recently been diagnosed with ADHD herself, she happily considers all things plant-based as her hyperfocus. Her goal is to support and inspire others along their own health journey.

Deb Rice

Plant-Based Coach

Deb began her health journey in 2011 when she was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. She dove into health research, working to remove certain inflammatory foods from her diet and saw a great improvement in her health, enabling her to become prescription medication free. By 2019, she had developed rheumatoid arthritis, and in 2020, discovered Whole Food Plant-Based (WFPB) nutrition and the amazing benefits of holistic health practices. This education was life-changing, though Deb still found it difficult to stay with these daily healthy habits, until she discovered PlantWhys. Deb is passionate about sharing the healing power of a WFPB lifestyle and holistic health with others.

Along with enjoying time with her family, Deb also loves hiking, painting, sharing her story and helping others achieve their health goals. She is also taking strides to become a certified Holistic Nutritionist. 

Heather Merrill, MPH, DipACLM

Plant-Based Coach

Health has always interested Heather. While raising her 6 children, she would gravitate toward books about health and loved seeing the connection between lifestyle and health, recovery, and aging well. 

Heather discovered plant-based eating around the same time she returned to school to earn her MPH. That form of eating just made sense- and now she loves to experiment in the kitchen and help others find the same joy and benefits of plant-based eating.

Heather recently certified in Lifestyle Medicine, as she understands that health encompasses more than just food. She is interested in the science of happiness, benefits of nature, sleep, hormone health, and more. She just wishes she had more time to learn it all!

For fun, Heather loves to run hike, play the piano and really is up for just about any adventure!