I didn’t grow up craving kale, enjoying exercise, and understanding how to listen to my body. Not even close. I used to be almost 50 pounds heavier, obsessed with food, stagnant in my career and relationships, and quite moody.
My dad unexpectedly left my family on my first birthday, so I was raised by my mom and two doting Jewish grandmas who loved nothing more than to feed me. While my mom worked on building her business, my grandmas cared for me, day and night, and made sure I never went hungry.
I grew up learning that hunger wasn’t necessary – and, in fact, was something to be avoided at all costs. “You’re hungry two minutes before dinner? Snack on a chocolate pudding!” “Lunch is 20 minutes away? Have three slices of American cheese!” Food also represented love, comfort, pleasure, bonding, and support.
After high school, I was an exchange student in Spain where I began to hide ham in my underwear drawer (yes, that’s a thing I truly did). By the time I reached my early twenties, even though life was technically “good” – no major health issues, a roof over my head, loving support from family and friends – I still didn’t feel personally fulfilled or inspired. I had worked my way through “fun and exciting” jobs in media over the years (working in advertising, as a food and travel writer, and as an associate producer for a national television news show), but I came to realize that I was worn out, lacking passion, cranky, and hungry for a career, a way of living, and way of eating that would feed my mind, body, and spirit!
At the same time that I was seeking deeper meaning and deeper connection in my life, I was also tired of carrying the extra weight around. I set out on a path of self-work and self-discovery. I wanted to find a better way.
While I was trying to lose weight, I became overwhelmed by the incredible amount of confusing messages out there: low-carb, low-fat, paleo, vegan, raw food diet, Mediterranean diet, cabbage soup diet, juice cleanses, no snacking between meals, etc. We have been conditioned to think that if we just discover the next best diet, supplement, or health book, all of our health/weight/emotional problems will be magically solved! But this way of thinking overlooks the deepest issue of all: You are unique. You are a beautiful, incredibly complex human being with unique needs, desires, and innate responses.
What I discovered on my wellness journey is that many of the usual approaches to weight loss, health, and healing are outdated. Anyone who has ever been on a diet can tell you that diets don’t work in the long-term. It didn’t happen overnight, but I gradually found “alt” health, or what I consider to be the alternative to dieting: focusing on real food and reducing the rest. I began to focus on adding in more vegetables, healthy fats, and high quality proteins.
And something miraculous happened. First time in my life, I felt satiated. The weight started coming off, and it was staying off. But something else happened, too: My mood swings vanished, I was thinking more clearly, my skin was glowing, and I was happier than I had ever been. Life didn’t feel as overwhelming and stressful. My passions and interests started changing. I started getting more pleasure from my eating even though my eating was cleaner and more balanced than it had ever been before.
I became a certified holistic nutrition coach through Columbia University’s Teachers College, in partnership with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I studied directly with Dr. Annemarie Colbin in her intensive Food Therapy program at the Natural Gourmet Institute, learning how to use food as natural medicine. I worked directly with my mentor, Tracy Harrison, to grow my knowledge and understand how to apply functional medicine to my client work.
I still love my espressos. I still love cocktails. I pride myself on being a healthy, balanced, indulgent foodie. Through my journey, what I discovered is that the biggest secret of all is that there is no one-size-fits-all diet for everyone. Your health, happiness, and well-being rely on discovering what works best and feels best for your individual body and your own bio-individuality.
These days, I love helping Moss Wellness clients reach their ideal weight, find balance in their lives, and feel confident about what to eat. And we get results. My team and I work with individual clients, run group holistic health programs, and present lectures on various health and wellness topics throughout the country. I also love to get in front of the camera and talk about easy, simple, and fun ways to “renovate your health”!
I live in beautiful Park Slope, Brooklyn, with my husband, Matt, and our three nutty cats – Monty, Mabel, and Jalapeño! We are expecting our first child – a boy! – this June. J When I’m not working with our clients or our team, I love to travel, bake a batch of gluten-free treats, hang out at farmers markets, and linger in one of the world’s great cafes with a good book or a good friend.
How I like to spend my time (aka some of my favorite things to do on the planet!):