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About Nena NiessenI was born in Nicaragua in the small town of el Sauce, so small that we did not have even a doctor. Our doctors were our parents and the pharmacy our backyards. Coming from a family of seven children, I learned how to cook at a very young age because in my culture at that time it was an important skill for becoming a housewife. My cooking experience began when I was twelve years old.
I learned how to make numerous dishes and sauces, which vegetables mixed with what sauces for the proper texture and taste and what herbs offered the best flavors for specific meats, vegetables and sauces. Later I learned how to make cheese on my grandmother's farm. By age fourteen, I was already considered an accomplished chef in my mother's kitchen using fresh, healthful ingredients.
At age twenty-four after escaping from the tyranny of the Sandinista takeover in my country, I ultimately made it to the United States. Through the next few years, I secured employment with increasing responsibility but I always ended up feeling empty, unfulfilled. I had been searching for my purpose in life and finally realized that my twin passions-love of cooking and keen interest in health-could lead me to a career that that was not only satisfying but could offer an important contribution to people in my adopted country. I have since become a Certified Natural Health Professional and certified in Nutritional Microscopy. I am also certified in plant-based nutrition from Cornell University.
I also now have the honor of working with Dr. Robert 0. Young, author of The pH Miracle. I respect and admire him, especially for his passion for improving people's health. From him I have learned the importance of our diets being more alkaline than acidic in nature, specifically given the fact that one in every two men and one in every three women will suffer from cancer in their lifetimes. My father died of cancer at age 60 and my brother of a heart attack at age 45. I know how it feels to lose someone close and how important it is that we take matters of diet and health into our own hands by educating ourselves and learning to cook healthful meals. Our parents taught us to eat a certain way and are now suffering and dying at early ages of heart disease, diabetes and cancer-all diet-related illnesses. Each of us needs to change our diet habits for our own and our family's sakes.