Food has always been such an important part of my life. Some of my happiest times growing up were cooking with my Dad, usually spinach pie and carrot soup for Thanksgiving. On special occasions, we would forgo our usual frozen dinners and my Mom would show me how to stir-fry broccoli with soy sauce, garlic and sherry wine. Preparing food was also something special and magical to me.
While food has always been a passion, my professional life has always been in social services. I obtained a graduate degree in Social Work from Columbia University and I am licensed in the State of NY. As a social worker, I’ve worked with people of every age and race, and helped individuals and families deal with issues of anxiety, depression, unemployment, education, family breakdown and all types of stressors.
And, somehow, I’ve always managed to bring food into the picture. I’ve run a culinary arts training program for homeless veterans, and started food pantries and farmers markets in areas where fresh fruits and vegetables were hard to find. I’ve also had many amazing opportunities ranging from preparing meals at a retreat center for 250 people per day to working at the Natural Gourmet Institute, all deepening my understanding and appreciation of food.
It’s funny how life works sometimes, because I never imagined myself as a health coach. But in my late 20’s, I started getting sick. It started with an allergic reaction to a medication I was prescribed, and progressed to IBS, chronic cutaneous yeast, and all types of infections. I saw all types of doctors and specialists, I tried alternative therapies and tests, but nothing worked. I saw a nutritionist who advised me to cut out fiber, and when I told my primary care doctor that I had stopped eating fruits because I thought the sugar might be contributing to the yeast, she told me that it wasn’t connected. I finally saw a naturopathic doctor and changed my diet. Through his help, I was able to stop taking all the medications I was on. While my naturopath was amazing and I was feeling better, I still felt overwhelmed making the changes he recommended. I felt like I was depriving myself and it created a lot of stress for me, which definitely wasn’t helping me heal. It was hard for me to cut out a lot of foods that I was used to, but I made it, and now I’m here to help other people realize that they can eat healthily and still eat delicious and filling food.
Between my personal experience, my training in health coaching from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and my master’s degree in social work, I have a diverse and adaptable set of tools to help you on your journey. You may be experiencing concerns around your health. Maybe your doctor or nutritionist has prescribed you a certain diet, or told you that you need to make some changes, but you’re just not quite sure how to get there. Well, that’s what I’m here for, to walk you through it provide you with support until you’re strong enough to do it on your own. The number one thing for me is making sure you feel empowered to make your own decisions, whether in the supermarket, in your kitchen, or in any other area of your life.
Now that you know how I got here, I’d love to hear about you. I look forward to supporting you on your journey.
Columbia School of Social Work – Masters of Social Work
Institute for Integrative Nutrition – Health Coach Certification
Natural Gourmet Institute – 600 Hour Apprenticeship Program