The Story

Hi, welcome! My name is Alexandra, but you can call me Dretta.

The Forest Wife, you ask? I’ve always loved heroines. Strong women who care for themselves while serving the greater good. When I was a girl, I read a trilogy of books by Theresa Tomlinson, The Forest Wife Trilogy. The Forest Wife was the story of Robin Hood, but this time told from the perspective of Marian, one of my favorite heroines.

This is my personal blog where I’ll share whatever seems to make me happy at the moment. In all honesty, I’m not entirely sure what that means yet: recipes, gardening happenings, hiking, photo diary entries, etc.


Version 2Alexandra is a second year student pursuing her master’s degree in nutrition at the National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) in Portland, Oregon.

Alexandra was raised in rural western Oregon on a hobby farm complete with llamas, donkeys, and chickens, some of her earliest memories are foraging for snacks in the family garden. She began work in the wine industry in 2006, transitioning into wine club management after completing her undergraduate degree. A Ford Scholar, Class of 2008, she graduated with her bachelor of science in general science from the University of Oregon in 2013. Service has always been a passion of Alexandra’s. While in Eugene, she became involved with the NATIVES Program, a cultural education program serving children of Native American descent where she has continued her role as a tutor and dance instructor. Additionally, Alexandra completed a 2-year term as the secretary for the Ford Scholar Alumni Association Board of Directors in 2017, a position which enabled her involvement in the planning and execution of regular community focused service projects.

When searching for graduate programs, Alexandra was captivated by the newly offered nutrition program at NUNM and readily applied; she plans to graduate in the spring of 2018. Fascinated by the intersection of public health and nutrition, Alexandra will matriculate into the Health Systems & Policy PhD program at the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health in the fall of 2018. She is ultimately interested in addressing the role of nutrition in public health policy as a preventative approach to healthcare and aspires to work as a policy analyst in the public service sector.

Alexandra continues to consult within the Willamette Valley wine industry from her home in Yamhill County where she lives with her husband. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening, and renting Forest Service structures across the state.

Some examples of her work throughout the master of science in nutrition program:
Food Allergies, Intolerances & Sensitivities Handout
Sucrose Intolerance Handout
Recommended Herbs & Spices
Ginger Root Monograph
Healthier Comfort Food Recipes
Healing Food Recipes

(Please note that the first two handouts deliberately do not contain citations, I am happy to share references upon request.)