Vanessa’s journey toward abundant health began when she was a little girl, growing up in a typical American family, eating the meat, starch and sugar-laden fare that was standard everywhere. She knew it didn’t feel right that she didn’t want to grow up to be overweight and sick like most of the adults around her.
Fast forward to 2008. Vanessa had tried low-fat, low-carb, fen-fen, grapefruit, cabbage soup, and every other fad that grabbed the public attention. The “ah-hah” moment came when she read “The China Study,” T. Colin Campbell’s ground-breaking work that debunked almost every Western food tradition. The next day, literally, Vanessa changed her diet for herself and he family. In an instant she said goodbye to unhealthy food, and hello to a plant-based diet that she calls Plantfire!
In order to better understand her newfound appreciation of healthy whole foods, Vanessa widened her studies to include nutrition and coaching certifications from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, The Institute for the Psychology of Eating, Cornell University, SUNY Purchase, and the Wellness Forum, where she is Certified as a Lifestyle Medicine Practitioner. She is accredited through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP), she is a member of the national charity league and is a board member of both Create A Change Now and The Miss Nevada Scholarship Organization. Throw in her certification from the Yoga Alliance, and Vanessa is uniquely qualified to bring the Fire-Driven lifestyle to a public sorely in need of powerful, meaningful change.
Today, Vanessa is dedicated to bringing the message of wellness to as many people as possible, and her Fire-Driven Lifestyle includes a TV series, several books, and various events centered on the PlantFire cooking and cuisine she loves. She is a sought-after speaker and coach, and also owns Vasari, a luxury clothing and shoe boutique in Las Vegas.
Vanessa lives in Las Vegas with her husband Josh Houssels and lovely daughters Bianca, 14 and Bella, 12. Her oldest daughter Brittany lives in Europe with Vanessa’s grandson Jameson, 5 and granddaughter Magnolia. Vanessa’s daughters are fully immersed in the PlantFire lifestyle, and are expert chefs already!