Ready, Set, Carve

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Tis the season for spooktacular food carving! We have such creative and passionate students at NTI. It’s an honor to be somewhere that attracts such wonderful people. I had the pleasure of speaking with Jenny Hoppert, a current student at NTI. I was so impressed with her talent as a sculptor that I wanted to learn more. Check out how Jenny’s 3 year vision encompasses her passion as an artist AND healing through nutrition…

1. I am going to school at NTI because:  

I want to learn as much as I can about holistic nutrition!  As a teenager, I watched my mom loose a hard-fought battle with cancer.  I struggled with the guilt and frustration of not knowing how to help her.  Flash forward twenty five years when my own daughter was diagnosed with extreme hypothyroidism at just 11 years old and that same feeling of fear and helplessness came back. The pain of not having my mom in my life made me decide not to repeat that uselessness.  So, I’m educating myself in order to help the people I care about. I want them to live long, healthy lives so I can enjoy them.  I guess it’s a selfish reason really.

2.   What classes have you taken at NTI? Share with us some things you have learned in these classes.

Well, I’ve only actually completed Anatomy and Physiology but I’m almost halfway through with BioChem.  It’s really hard!  I have my Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts and have always avoided science, so this is quite a challenge for me.  As far as what I’ve learned, well, where do I start?!  The mechanics of the body are so fascinating but the whole Quantum Physics stuff really blew my mind!

3. What is your 3 year vision?

I plan on taking as many classes as I can and not stop till I graduate, continue to raise my kids and still work on my art.  After graduation, I’d like to create a series of images for children to understand regarding how nutrition helps keep our bodies healthy and fight disease.  I hope to create prints of these images and sell them to family practices to hang in their offices.

4. Tell us about your art. 

I worked as a commercial sculptor in Los Angeles for about 15 years in the entertainment industry.  During part of that time, I worked at Disney Imagineering and one of my jobs there led to pumpkin carving at Disneyland.  I found I enjoyed carving food because I didn’t have to worry about the chemicals involved.  Plus it was really fun transforming a big, dirty gourd into a beautiful piece of art.  When I moved to Colorado, I developed my own business carving fruits and vegetables for parties, festivals or special events.

5. Anything else you’d like to share with the NTI community?

I enjoy teaching workshops to people who want to carve elaborate pumpkins.  It’s a lot of fun seeing people surprise themselves with what they were able to create.  I have a Facebook page called ProduceArt Carving, if anyone wants to check out more of my work.  Oh, and as this is pumpkin carving season, my busiest time of year, I hope my professor will understand if my homework is a little late!

NTI creates optimal health through nutrition education.

We provide students with the knowledge they need to help others heal and thrive.


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