I grew up in an Italian family where life and conversation revolved around food, cooking and baking. Not having enough food in the house was a sin and having an abundance of good things to munch on was highly valued. It wasn’t until I experienced some health issues in college that I became interested in examining the options that would pair my love of food with good health. The pursuit led me to the nutrition department at UC Berkeley.
After graduating with a B.S. in Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics from UC Berkeley, I earned an M.S. in Exercise Physiology and Sports Medicine from California State University Hayward, as I wanted to pair healthy eating with exercise. My first job led me to UCLA where I worked as both a medical/surgical and a renal/kidney transplant dietitian.
It wasn’t long before I ventured into private practice in 1995, which led me to become a Certified Diabetes Educator (C.D.E.). Helping those with diabetes has always been one of my strongest passions.
My career in the health and wellness field has now spanned almost 30 years, during which time I’ve created a successful platform which encompasses a health practice, trainings for medical and psychology professionals, and books on healthy eating.
I am a speaker, author, instructor and consultant. I love what I do, and my specialties include diabetes and endocrinology, gut issues (IBS, SIBO, GERD), weight management, PCOS, pregnancy, menopause, cancer and exercise nutrition.
Motivational Interviewing | Behavior Change
My journey in helping clients with their health has led me to seek a collaborative way to listen and evoke someone’s own internal motivation for change since ambivalence with behavior change is more the norm. I discovered the language of Motivational Interviewing, which is a person-centered, guiding method of communication and counseling to elicit and strengthen motivation for change.
The language of Motivational Interviewing is a game changer! When used with wellness coaching, it helps explore someone’s values around health and how to live in alignment with those values without judgment. No one wants to be told what to do. Motivational Interviewing explores what makes each individual successful and emphasizes autonomy around choices regarding health and change.
If you’ve lost direction and suffer from uncertainty and ambivalence, the language of Motivational Interviewing is designed to help work through the difficulties and guide you forward with behavior change. Research shows that even if you’ve struggled for years with a behavior change, 1-2 conversations using Motivational Interviewing can shift towards making a desired change. I work in close partnership with clients and their physicians or other health-related professionals to create an environment for success.
For the last 10 years, I have had the honor of being a member and trainer for the International Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers (MINT). My interactive virtual and in-person workshops deliver results for professionals working with clients with goals of behavior change: physicians, nurses, health educators, care managers, dietitians, social workers, counselors, psychologists, life coaches, mediators, clergy, probation/corrections officers, dentists, dental hygienists and personal trainers.
Additionally, for those wanting coaching in Motivational Interviewing, I am skilled in the MITI 4.2.1 coding system and provide both coding and coaching for those wanting to advance their skills and expand their use of MI language.
On a personal note, I am a New Jersey girl by birth, but I grew up in the beautiful San Francisco Bay area before moving to Los Angeles to work at UCLA Medical Center.
My partner, Jeffrey, and I call Santa Monica our home, along with our canine Weimaraner son, Perry. We enjoy exploring the world and its epicurean delights on our travels. There is no doubt that I am living my dream of finding reasonable Life Style Solutions to help others have health and happiness and enjoying the adventure along the way!