I am a 40-something wife and mom to 4 boys. I love football (Go Bills!) food, fitness and travel. Most of all, I love coaching moms to help them find health and happiness!
Growing up in Buffalo, NY, I have always been surrounded by delicious, but often unhealthy foods. (Chicken wings with blue cheese, anyone?). I had typical American eating habits most of my life. But I’ve always enjoyed physical activity, so I was never extremely overweight. I was a dancer for over 30 years, and I played soccer in high school. I also love skiing & water sports.
But I was often sick as a kid. You could practically mark on the calendar that I would get strep throat 2-3 times a year. And I always had what I thought was IBS. I grew up in a big Italian family, and I absolutely loved lasagna and cannoli! When I discovered I was lactose intolerant, I was devastated. How could I possibly live without cheese?!
I just never took all the weight off before getting pregnant with my twins. That pregnancy triggered something, and my “IBS” got a lot worse really quickly. It took several years, but I was eventually diagnosed with Celiac Disease. As difficult as that was to hear, I was so glad to know what was wrong, and how to solve the problem. So, I cut out all gluten & dairy, and began to feel better. But, I was still eating a lot of typical, processed foods, so a lot of my symptoms lessened, but didn’t go away.
I KNEW SOMETHING HAD TO CHANGE
In an effort to get back into shape, and also have some “me time” I signed up for some adult dance classes at my old studio. But I found that I was having difficulty keeping up, so I stopped going after about 2 years.
When the twins were about 3, my mother passed away from ovarian cancer at age 52, after a nearly 5-year battle. That was a devastating blow, and a truly defining moment in my life. I became very interested in cancer prevention and began doing a lot of research on the subject.
About this time, a friend and I decided to workout together and keep each other accountable. I would work out at 8pm, after the boys were in bed. Some days I didn’t feel like working out, but knowing I had an accountability partner was a big motivator and helped me press play on every workout. At the end of 60 days, I had lost 12 pounds, and I felt so much better! I signed back up for dance classes, and I was able to keep up and enjoy dance again!
I kept going this time with nutrition more as my focus and I lost another 8 pounds, and I was finally at the point where I was comfortable in my own skin again. All my clothes fit, and I felt good in them! My weight has remained stable, and I have eliminated all symptoms of my autoimmune disease!
In October of 2012, I got the news that my best friend needed a kidney transplant. I immediately got tested and found out I was a match! We had the surgery on December 10th. My surgeon told me I was one of the healthiest donors he had ever seen. It was such a blessing to be able to help my best friend, but also to know that the fitness & health journey I had begun a few years earlier meant I was able to save someone’s life. I truly believe it was God’s plan all along for me to get my health in order when I did.
Throughout my journey, I have continued to improve my life in other ways as well. I began working on my own mindset and discovered how much is truly possible when you believe you can! As Henry Ford once said “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.”
With my new mindset, I finally found my true calling. I became a certified nutrition & health coach through IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition). I began coaching clients, and I now live my dream of helping others get healthy by working one on one with clients to create individual health plans.
Mindset is the foundation of long-term success in any endeavor, including getting fit and healthy.
Because this is such an important component in reaching your health and fitness goals, I teach mindset transformation to all my clients, and have recently begun speaking at retreats & events on the subjects of nutrition, mindset and fitness.
I have also continued to study the relationship between food and health and earned a special certification in gut health. After reading many books and studies, and listening to expert speakers on this subject, I became a whole food, plant-based vegan. It is amazing to know that I can control my own health by what I put into my body. Illness is not inevitable. You can do something about it!
Today, I am the fittest and healthiest I have ever been!
I love knowing that I am leading by example in my family. My husband and 3 older sons all work out regularly and have changed their daily eating habits to include a lot more veggies and much less processed foods. As a result, my whole family is much healthier & happier!
I love helping other moms discover the freedom of owning their health and being the example for their families.