Meet the Contributor: Heather Plizga

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Heather PlizgaWell, hello!  I am Heather. I have been living in Rochester for just about 10 years. My husband, Ted, and I moved here from a Chicago suburb after I completed grad school. It’s funny though, even before I lived here I knew this was where I wanted to be. It seems that my heart has always been in Minnesota. I love all the green trees, the sound they make in the wind and our beautiful mix of farmland and hills.

I am a Registered Dietitian, but don’t let that scare you. I am an ice cream fanatic, lover of peanut butter, coffee, and a great plate of sushi. I feel like I got into nutrition more because of a love of food than anything else. In fact, I would actually consider myself a ‘nondiet’ dietitian.  That basically means that I am all for eating real foods and being as least-restrictive as possible. A dietitian I admire named Ellyn Satter says, “When the joy goes out of eating, nutrition suffers.” I 100% agree.

I am also raising 3 rambunctious boys; Everett (2015), Judah (2016), and Monroe (2019). They are my whole world.  I am a boymom to the end!!  Prior to taking my current job as a Nutrition Specialist for Olmsted County WIC (Women, Infants and Children), I was working as a Licensed Family Childcare Provider so that I could be home with my boys all day long. That was a wonderful season. I love how seasons come and go; each new season has new and exciting adventures.

Do you collect anything?

I have collected coffee cups from my travels since I was in college. Even though I haven’t traveled as much in the past 10 years and my husband complains that I already have too many coffee cups, I still buy a new cup wherever I go. A few of my favorites are from:  New Zealand, Austin, Canada, St. Lucia, and Wisconsin.

What is one thing you are working on changing/being better at?

I wish I were better at sending cards. Every time I get an alert from my phone calendar that someone’s birthday or anniversary is coming up, I think to myself, “This time I will get a card and put it in the mail ON TIME.” Sometimes I get really close. I will buy the card, fill it out, even put the stamp on it… then it will sit on my kitchen counter for weeks on end.

I will eventually do one of two things: 1. put the card in the mail and text the person to tell them how sorry I am that it is so late or 2. toss it in the trash and resort to get better at it next year.

What makes you the happiest?

I feel like saying that my boys make me the happiest is too obvious. While that it my ultimate answer, one other thing that I thoroughly enjoy is redecorating. But it isn’t just about going to a store and buying what I like. The part that I specifically like is finding a second-hand piece that pulls my whole space together. I think what I really enjoy is the thrill of the hunt.

My second hand finds usually need some fixing up. I have refinished plenty of furniture in my day. I like picking out colors and hardware. I like getting dusty when I am refinishing it and then cleaning it up so that I can put it in the perfect spot.

What is something you believe everyone should experience at least once in their life?

I believe that everyone should live by themselves at least once in their life. I had this experience when I was just a new high school grad. I moved to a town a few hours away from home and got a one bedroom apartment. That was a hard season but I learned so much about myself in it. I think there is something to be said about coming home to no one. In the beginning the solitude was lonely, but in the end I found it really comforting.

Your house can only be one color: inside and out. What color would you choose and why?

My husband and I have been dreaming about 20 acres in the country for some time now. I have had plenty of time to fantasize about what my dream home would look like. I am obsessed with white farmhouses. I love the crisp white exterior and the contrast of white interior walls mixed with all kinds of warm wood tones for the trim and floor. While I love how this looks, another part of me is wondering how crazy I would have to be to actually go through with it… painting all my walls white with a house full of boys sounds like a bad idea.

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Things Heather loves: blue skies, green grass, trees rustling in the wind. Heather is a country girl through and through. She grew up on 10 acres of rolling countryside in SE Iowa. Over the course of their marriage, Heather and her husband (Ted) have lived in 3 different states. But Heather grew tired of the big, grey city so, in 2012, they moved to Rochester (Ted’s hometown) for some green Minnesota living. Fast forward a few short years and she now has three bustling boys – Everett (2015), Judah (2016) and Monroe (2019). Heather also loves food. Full disclosure - she eats ice cream every night! She is a registered dietitian and is passionate about how she feeds her family. She has recently taken a job at Olmsted County WIC (Women, Infants and Children) after being a licensed family childcare provider for about 4 years. She loved her daycare families and also loves helping her WIC families. Her goal is to offer her readers with practical tools so they may also feed their families well!

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