about the author

The short version: I’m a 34 year old who- through a series of fortunate and not so fortunate events- has turned my very stable life upside down to pursue the life I truly want.

The not quite as short version:  I was raised in a happy, supportive home and have always been smart, goal-oriented and extremely driven. ‘Extremely’ is my first understatement of many to come. Academics were fortunately easy for me, I loved health and science, I loved people and people loved me. Naturally, to me and any high school guidance counselor, becoming a physician was the logical choice.

But I went one step further: I worked for my local family doctor for several summers during high school. Just to be sure. And he told me not to go into medicine. But it made so much sense, and he was just a jaded old guy, right?

According to plan, I graduated Hall of Fame from Mississippi College with early acceptance to medical school at The University of Mississippi. Medical school was much more challenging than any work had been for me previously, and despite several bumps along the way, I eventually graduated and began a residency in Pathology in Philadelphia. The further I progressed in medicine the less satisfied I was becoming with my life. But, not to worry, I was following my carefully laid plan beautifully.

After moving to Colorado and seeing a chronic shortage of primary care physicians, I began residency this time in Family Medicine. Surely filling a need in the community would bring the happiness and satisfaction in my career that I desired.

Again, negative. A minor break-through happened at this point when I decided to leave clinical medicine. I began to work as a personal trainer and then group exercise instructor for Golds Gym just because it sounded fun. For the first time, I didn’t feel physically ill at the thought of going to my job each day. It was actually mentally, physically, and emotionally rewarding! Just by nature of the work… financially, not quite so rewarding. And at the time, that part didn’t really matter.

But changes happen in every life at one point or another, and I found myself in a position of needing to become financially independent. My initial instinct was to find a non-clinical niche in the world of medicine. This would be logical: I could use my education, likely have a reasonable salary for a single person…

And then enters the opportunity to attend a Women’s Quest cycling and yoga retreat in Tuscany. “Adventures for the body, mind and spirit” is what the brochure calls it. I run the idea by a few girlfriends, and a few months later I’m there. This will be my reward for a tough year and a once-in-a-lifetime vacation before I venture back into, of course, medicine.

Through incredible, almost surreal experiences on that trip- fuel for another story altogether- I return with a new drive. Yes that extremely driven trait again. But this time, to actually live and love my one ‘wild and precious life’.

I have through this entire process been working with Third Evolution, a company that assists physicians who want to transition into non-clinical careers. ANY non clinical career!  I email Bob to tell him I want to completely change direction. What are my passions? Exercise and food. What would I do if I could do anything? Go to Culinary School. I half expect him to laugh. He doesn’t.

After extensive research I enroll in Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder Colorado with the goal of establishing a career in food writing, food styling, or food product development. My lab coat has become a chef’s jacket. And so the journey begins.

And if you want the truly long version, that will have to be done over a cup of coffee.


For the past 15 years, physician Deborah Brunson, has carved out a career devoted to the study and practice of medicine. She has taught medical students to help them become better physicians, provided patients the resources to make healthy living choices, and has taught fitness classes to encourage members to improve their everyday lives.

As a personal trainer, she developed a loyal following and a successful business. All these areas fit together to support Deb’s zeal for health and living life to the fullest.
However, much of a healthy lifestyle begins with diet. Combating the stress of long workdays and a hectic lifestyle with “culinary therapy” in her own kitchen is nothing new to Deb. Now she has made the decision to leave her familiar routine and actually pursue her passion – giving her life a different flavor altogether!

Acceptance into the Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts has not only relocated this triathlete/group fitness instructor/physician-turned-foodie to Boulder, Colorado; it has also officially begun a tasty journey of following both heart and intuition. Her passion for food is irresistibly contagious. You can literally hear her smile from ear to ear as she states, “I absolutely love food! Everything about it. I want to grow it, prepare it, plate it, style it and photograph it, serve it, eat it, write about it, market it… I am finally exactly where I want to be.”

In January 2012, Deb left the high desert of western Colorado and landed in one of the foodiest and fittest cities in the country – Boulder, Colorado. Her 23 week intensive culinary arts program at Escoffier Boulder focuses on culinary training with a unique emphasis on sustainability, use of seasonal and local resources, and farm to table education. In her time away from the kitchen she enjoys cooking for friends, reading, skiing, practicing yoga and triathlon training. With her drive and passion finally aligned, perfectly seasoned opportunities doubtlessly await.

54 thoughts on “about the author

    • Wendy,
      Thanks so much! I’m glad Edward shared this with you. Hopefully we’ll see lots of improvement in time 🙂 Thanks also for all the work you do that we don’t even realize. I feel incredibly fortunate to be in such a strong class.

  1. Deb, I love it and look forward to reading more. Can’t wait to make beautifully bronzed chicken on the outside and moist and tasty on the inside.

    • That is fantastic! How much time do you have left in law school? Was just talking with someone over dinner tonight about how much they love Boston… I’d be curious to know your Boulder/Boston thoughts and what you plan to do after school. And I love your posts, btw 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by. Your site is wonderful!! I’ll keep tabs on your runs and recipes now 🙂 Culinary school is incredibly intense but so much fun! After graduation I have a short break and then will move into Pastry training… my runs will have to get even longer 😉

  2. What a wonderful and inspirational story! I left a career in healthcare admn to pursue culinary arts, never having any clue what I’d do after. I am happy to say I’m completely in love with where I’ve landed. Best change I’ve ever made. I wish you all the best and huge success!

    • Oh thank you, Karista! That is so encouraging to hear, especially from someone else who has taken a similar leap. I’m thrilled that you love where you’ve landed 🙂 You blog is absolutely wonderful, and quite motivating. And I share your love for lavender jelly 😉 So nice to meet you!

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  4. Deb, What a story and what a great way to present it. My wife and I enjoyed reading your adventure and look forward to your next post. After being in technology as a software engineer the Auguste Escoffier School is a goal I hope to make happen.
    Best of luck to you!

    • Jerry, I am so glad that you two are enjoying this, and I really hope Escoffier is a goal that can happen soon! Career changes can definitely be disconcerting, but I can’t imagine every going back now. For the first time I truly love what I’m doing. It sounds cliche, but passion for something will carry you a long way 🙂 Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help you along the way.

  5. Your story is inspirational. What possibilities await you with your background. Knowing that you have the capability to not only live and breathe a wonderful life in culinary arts but will have the knowledge to create healthy and succulent foods for everyone to enjoy. How exciting. You have the potential to touch so many lives, opening up new avenues of life style changes for a Healthier consumption of foods and pleasing their pallets!!!! I will be reading your blog from now on. I have enrolled at Escoffier and will be starting in September. Having a similar epiphany of a career change after 30 years in the medical field, and knowing that the choice is the right one. Waking up in the morning and knowing that a wonderful future awaits.

    • TJ, you have made my day!! Thank you so much for telling me a little of your story. You have spent many more years in medicine than I did, and I admire that. I’m even more impressed with your leap to jump into something new. And knowing the choice is the right one means the world. I’m thrilled you’ll be starting in September! I’ll be in the Pastry program at that time, so I’ll still be around 🙂 It will be fun to meet you! Please feel free to contact me anytime if there’s anything I can do for you 🙂 Congratulations!

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  7. Pingback: Easter Feaster 2012 – The Menu « The Blissful Adventurer

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  9. Wow—your sort of remind me of me–food and fitness (but I’m a former lawyer). I found you through Cook to Love, which I so enjoy–and you MUST try that cashew sauce–it’s fantastic. Love the pictures–looking forward to reading!

    • I just looked through your blog and I love it! We definitely have some crazy similarities 🙂 It’s funny, I remember clicking on your gravatar from Laura’s blog once (your name caught my eye) but the link didn’t work for some reason. Very glad to have found each other. Look forward to following your journey as well. And I love the motivational quotes you throw in as well 😀

  10. What an inspiring story! I think it’s incredibly brave of you to follow your heart. Your passion for food and cooking shines through your posts. I loved reading about your culinary adventures and definitely be visiting often 🙂

    • HS, I really appreciate your comment and your visits along my journey! When I stumbled upon your site, I think from a Freshly Pressed maybe (?), your ‘About Me’ page stuck with me… eternal optimist who suffers from wanderlust, the occasional dreamer… I immediately loved it and you 🙂 So, all that to say, your compliments mean all the more. Thank you. Truly.

    • Thank you so much… just spent so long looking at your beautiful photos (and trying to remember my French!). Your work is lovely!! Can’t wait to see more 😀

    • You are way too kind! We all have stories… and fun adventures ahead 😀 I’m so glad you found me Saturday (and on here) so we’ve finally connected~

  11. Although our paths aren’t quite the same, the outcomes are similar. I was an RN for 7 years, and felt stifled. Got my master’s and certified as an NP. I’ve always loved my patients, but found myself ill, in more ways than one, due to work stress. I still do some NP work part time (to pay the bills), but my heart is in our farm. I’m glad I found you. I look forward to seeing how your new, happier life progresses!

    • I was just reading about you guys this morning! Your husband was in IT and sales and you’re a NP… but you garden with passion!! I adore that statement alone. What you guys are doing is absolutely incredible! Ideally, I would love to educate about sustainable and ethical farming/eating and how important it is and will continue to become. Thank you so much for following along on my journey, and I look forward to learning from you both! 🙂

  12. Very lovely to hear your story. Some characteristics are very similar to mine:) You have a fantastic outlook on this profession and I agree entirely, you can’t be happy unless you pursue your passions.

  13. Why have one career when their are so many out there. I really admire your drive. My wife is a doctor and the stress just isn’t worth it in the end. Luckily she doesn’t harbour any other careers at the moment.

    Great blog though.

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