At four years old I had an imaginary friend named Peanut Butter & Jelly but really I should have named her after chocolate as it has been one of my life-long passions, and frankly, I don’t really give a hoot about peanut butter or jelly. Dance, gymnastics and athletics were my other passions as a child and teenager, and I rarely thought about health unless it somehow impacted my ability to eat chocolate, dance or do gymnastics. Many years later as a Master's student in English I started teaching English as a Second Language to (real, not imaginary) adult immigrants at my university and it became my full time job for almost a decade. My students came to me with amazing stories, heart and courage and I motivated them to channel that energy and turn their raw materials into the skills they needed to learn English and get the most out of their exciting, new lives in the United States. I was more than a teacher...I was a supportive coach, even back then. It was a great job and I learned as much from my students as they learned from me.
I moved with my husband from New York to New Jersey to start a family in 2003. In 2006, after my second child was born, I started a small, high-end chocolate business from my home kitchen. I lovingly prepared luxurious, decadent treats for customers for several years until I decided to scale the endeavor back down to hobby-size. My desire to raise happy, healthy little humans while nurturing my own self care turned my attention toward nutrition which led me to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. There I received my training and certification as a Holistic Health Coach. I also have a special concentration in mindful eating practices (where I love to use my expertise to savor fine chocolate), and have completed additional coursework from leading experts in the field of eating with awareness.
In July 2017 I took my interest in the human digestive system to the next level by receiving my certification as a Hydrocolonic Therapist at the Wood Hygienic Institute in Kissimmee, Florida. I refined my skills as a colonic hydrotherapist with an in-depth training at Lavage Colonics in the fall and winter of 2018. My firm belief is that strong digestive and immune systems are the key to long-lasting health and vibrancy. I partner with my clients to nurture and sustain their digestive ease and efficiency as a powerful path to their own personal fountain of youth and health.
The other vital ingredient that sustains human health is joy. Trust me on this. You can eat any expert's definition of an ideal diet, but if joy and self-love are not bubbling within you, motivating you to live well, your health and energy will eventually suffer. My joy has always been fine chocolate and now I share that passion by curating custom Mindful Artisan Chocolate Tasting Kits and conducting Mindful Chocolate Tastings for groups. My collection of unique, award-winning micro-batch bars from all over the world and my tips for savoring chocolate like a professional taster delight chocolate aficianados both near and far. In May 2019 I received the great honor of being invited to judge at The International Chocolate Awards with the most brilliant minds in the food and chocolate industry. Judging at the Awards will now be an annual engagement for me. In June 2019 I completed the certificate program offered by The International Institute of Chocolate and Cacao Tasting where I learned directly from top experts in the field - my esteemed teachers and friends, James Beard award-winning chef Dr. Maricel Presilla, and Martin Christy, founder and editor of the fine chocolate review website Seventy%.
As part of my holistic approach to health, I am also delighted to invite clients to experience my joyful and deeply delicious practice of Reiki. I am certified in Reiki 2 from Montclair Kundalini Yoga and offer healing Reiki sessions that will elevate you to a whole new level of relaxation. My signature session incorporates warm stones, hot towels, sound healing and of course soothing touch to calm body and mind.
Eating the rainbow of natural foods, celebrating fine chocolate, and nourishing my body’s own healing power and relaxation response is a lifestyle I truly enjoy. I nurture my own health and the health of my clients with a holistic approach, starting with sound nutrition. Plenty of sunshine, fresh air, hydration, feel-good movement, restorative rest and detoxification practices are added to the mix. That’s the recipe for health that I’d like to share with you in the proportions that make sense for your lifestyle!