Get To Know Linda
I’m sure you would like to know what led me to my career as a health coach for teens? Here is my story…
When I was growing up, food wasn’t just a big part of my life. It practically WAS my life! Everything my family did revolved around food. Whether it was a holiday or a regular day, whether we were eating in our kitchen or in one of many local restaurants, we would always share big meals together. Meat, potatoes, bread, and butter were on the menu almost all the time, and they were always followed by a big dessert. If we ate salads or veggies, they were kind of an afterthought – maybe a scoop of some overcooked carrots or green beans, but vegetables, unfortunately, were never the star of the meal.
My father was a huge man – today they’d call him morbidly obese. But back then, I never even made a connection between his weight and the meals we ate. Of course, meals weren’t the only time he would eat – and they weren’t the only time I would eat, either. There was always A LOT of food available all the time in our kitchen, and I could eat any time I wanted it.
And I wanted to eat often!
There were plenty of reasons why I would turn to food, not the least of which was as a source of comfort when trying to escape the tension of my parents’ less than happy relationship, or to try and compensate for the warmth I wanted but never got from my father. But the fact that food was so available all the time is the biggest reason why I ate so much.
It certainly did not help that the food we stocked in our kitchen was extremely unhealthy. I would munch on cookie dough, snacks of cheese and bread, ice cream, and any other kind of high carb, high fat junk food we’d have in our pantry and fridge. No one stopped me, because I was a “growing girl.” By the time I was a teenager, I’d worn out a path between the kitchen and my bedroom. Eventually, I lost all control over my eating patterns and had gained a considerable amount of weight.
That weight began to affect everything in my life. In middle school, I was taller and heavier than most of my classmates. School was an unpleasant place where I struggled with the work and never felt comfortable in my clothes or in my skin. One of my more drastic efforts to make a change came when I went to a weight camp where I starved for three weeks. I felt lighter when I came home, but it wasn’t a permanent solution.
It wasn’t permanent because it didn’t address all the issues in my life that needed healing and care.
I needed more than a diet. I needed to feel good about myself. I needed to change my life.
When I was sixteen I decided that eating healthy foods, and not junk, was critical to getting what I really wanted out of life, and that something as simple as feeling comfortable in the clothes I liked to wear was a great first step. Learning how to eat for nutrition instead of comfort and pleasure was the best decision I ever made. I won’t ever forget going back to my high school after a summer of eating well and exercising. I was still me, but I was a changed person. I was changed for the better.
Years later, as a healthy and happy adult, I decided to enroll at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to learn more about how to live well and help others do the same. I am especially interested in helping young people do that, because I’ve been where you are. I know how challenging it can be to get a handle on your food and your body, and I also know that it doesn’t have to be as hard as it seems. Sometimes all you need is a little support from someone who has been where you are, and who has arrived where you want to go.
Check out the free tools on this website to help you connect with others who face the same struggles you do. I also offer classes, workshops, and other programs that are fun, engaging, and great places to meet new friends for life.
I hope we can connect, and I’d love to help you be the best YOU possible!
My Training and Philosophy
I practice a holistic approach to health and wellness, which means that I look at how all areas of your life are connected, and help you make the best decisions for yourself. Does stress at school or in your relationships cause you to overeat? Does lack of sleep or low energy prevent you from exercising? As we work together, we will look at how all parts of your life affect your health as a whole. Here are some of the concepts that drive how I support my clients:
Bio-individuality™:The concept of bio-individuality is that each person has unique food and lifestyle needs. One person’s food is another person’s poison, and that’s why fad diets tend to fail in the long run. Working on the principle of bio-individuality, I’ll support you to make positive changes that are based on your unique needs, lifestyle, preferences, and ancestral background. I use a personalized, holistic approach to ensure that you will have great success!
Primary Food™: It’s easy to overlook all of the things that contribute to our sense of nourishment and fulfillment. It’s not just the food we eat, but all of the other factors present in our daily lives. Healthy relationships, a fulfilling career, regular physical activity and a spiritual awareness are essential forms of nourishment. When these “primary foods” are balanced, what you eat becomes secondary. I will support you in achieving all of your goals, from eating the right foods for your body to living an inspired, fulfilling life.
Integrative Nutrition Pyramid™: The Integrative Nutrition food pyramid includes a balance of high quality vegetables, fruits, grains, proteins, healthy fats and water. To complete the picture, the pyramid is surrounded with lifestyle factors that create optimal health: relationship, career, physical activity and spirituality. I’ll introduce you to some of the healthiest foods on the planet and teach you how to find what’s healthiest for your unique body!
I received my training as a Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition‘s cutting-edge Health Coach Training Program. During my training, I studied over 100 dietary theories, practical lifestyle management techniques, and innovative coaching methods with some of the world’s top health and wellness experts. My teachers included Dr. Andrew Weil, Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine; Dr. Deepak Chopra, leader in the field of mind-body medicine; Dr. David Katz, Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center; Dr. Walter Willett, Chair of Nutrition at Harvard University; Geneen Roth, bestselling author and expert on emotional eating; and many other leading researchers and nutrition authorities.
My education has equipped me with extensive knowledge in holistic nutrition, health coaching, and preventive health. Drawing on these skills and my knowledge of different dietary theories, I work with clients to help them make lifestyle changes that produce real and lasting results.