Who I Am…
- I’m a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition which is affiliated with Columbia University, and accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.
- I’m also a graduate of New School University, earning a BA in psychology.
- I’m an accomplished elite runner, All-American Duathlete, and top 10 Ironman distance triathlete. I climb like a monster on a bicycle. I owe it all to my friends, cycling team and sponsors.
- I’m a proud member and coach of my charity running and triathlon group, Team Continuum.
My passion lies in inspiring and guiding people to become healthier and happier and to live their lives to their full potential.
Why I Chose to be a Holistic Health Counselor…
Growing up I was constantly going to the doctor for one thing or another. In addition to whatever was being passed around at school, I had stomachaches, migraines, skin problems, allergies, depression and asthma. I was sick and tired and I wasn’t even old enough to work, or even drive. I took so many antibiotics that my body is still trying to rid itself of their long-term effects.
What was my diet like back then, you ask? Well let me tell you. The sad, or not so sad, truth is that I ate a lot healthier than a lot of kids do today and I still experienced symptoms of my Standard American Diet (SAD). At my house, McDonald’s was reserved for special occasions, I had to go to my friends’ houses for “good” junk food, and I couldn’t wait to get older so I could buy whatever I wanted in the candy and chip aisle.
So how can I connect my diet to how I felt? Even my relatively-healthy-in-comparison diet could have been a lot healthier. I ate school lunches. Dinner at home predominantly consisted of meat and potatoes, the Irish/American SAD. And when special occasions didn’t come often enough for my liking, I found ways to get my little hands on my treasured treats. Honestly, I always felt like I never had any good junk food, but in retrospect, I had a lot more than I would like to imagine my children having someday.
The main problems that I had to deal with then, which stayed with me through the years, were my asthma and migraines. Asthma first became a problem in elementary school. I couldn’t play sports, not even for 10 minutes, without ending up in the nurse’s office to get a few puffs of my inhaler. I have to admit, I was actually grateful for asthma, because I was so lazy at that time that I didn’t want to participate in gym class anyway. Every school year my Doctor had to write me a note to excuse me from gym class, indefinitely. These days it’s a completely different story. I am training for Marathons and Triathlons and my asthma has become a thing of the past. So, what happened? How did I conquer it? I fell in love with yoga. I learned how to use my entire lung capacity, and I stretched and twisted myself into the best shape of my life. It opened my eyes to mind/body healing. From there, my passion to increase my knowledge only became stronger. Not only did I practice yoga, but I also wanted to teach it, using what I’d learned to help other people, much like it helped me. But, before that could happen, there was still the matter of my migraines.
For a time during college I was depressed. I was studying psychology and was avid about taking advantage of the opportunity that New School University had presented me with, but my migraines always seemed to get in the way. There were days when I wanted and needed to go to class, but my migraines were so bad getting out of bed was out of the question. I wanted to feel better and knew that something had to change for it to happen so I started listening to my body. I developed a passion for eating healthy, despite the challenges that arise with living in a dorm, away from home and I was broke. But, I felt better when I ate healthier, so I simply adapted. As the saying goes, where there is a will there is a way, and boy did I find ways! I made vegetable soup in my electric teapot! The more I experimented, listened to my body and prepared healthy meals for myself (and eventually a lot of my friends), the less frequent my migraines attacked.
Eventually I learned that I wasn’t the only one, that there were other people out there like me. People who would rather cook a nice dinner and feel good, than go out drinking all night and end up with a hangover, which is not to say that I have never chosen the hangover. I still drink when I want to, but the difference is that I know my limits and I know some killer natural hangover remedies. So what did I do, having found that there were other people that read about nutrition as a guilty pleasure? I went to school with them, enrolling at The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. There amidst all those like-minded individuals I was in my element.
Now I’m living my life with energy to spare, despite my rigorous training and racing. By making realistic changes in my personal lifestyle, I have been able to create healthy habits and to find activites that feed my body and my souI. I am loving life and the feeling of true, abundant health. And the best part is that I have the ability to share this gift with my clients!