I have been a science, nutrition and psychology nerd for as long as I can remember. I also had a queasy, achy belly that no doctor could ever figure out for just as long.
For most of my life, and through adulthood, I had many disempowering and disappointing experiences with healthcare providers. So often, they would treat my symptoms, without searching for the root cause of what I was experiencing. As a result, I continued to experience unexplained pain, discomfort and imbalance. Many times I was told that it must be "in my head," despite the fact that at many points, the pain and discomfort were debilitating.
In college, I learned that my experiences were sadly typical, and that medicine in the United States is often practiced this way. Most healthcare providers are untrained, uninterested, or unwilling to do the type of deep digging and testing required to truly understand the root cause of their patients' experiences both physically and emotionally, and this is where Functional Medicine comes in - a system based in sleuthing out the root cause of a patient's symptoms and treating the cause, not putting a bandage on the symptoms.
After graduating Oberlin College, I worked in reproductive rights, while training to be a birth doula. I began to understand the complex relationship between the environment, food systems, nutrition and health, which lead me to study epidemiology, international and environmental public health at Boston University, where I earned a Master of Public Health degree. Putting that degree to good use, I spent time working worldwide, helping to reduce lateral transmission of HIV from mother to child and building composting toilets, grey water gardening systems and organic farms from Cuba to Mali, Mexico to Nicaragua, mainland China and Viet Nam.
Following my time abroad, I studied to become a Family Nurse Practitioner at the University of California, San Francisco, where I trained at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine and worked as a hospice nurse at the Zen Hospice Project.
With all that medical-learning under my belt, I worked in HIV clinics, urban and rural primary care, and found myself wanting to talk to my patients about their thoughts, feelings, boundaries, nutrition and food, and wanted to add in healing herbs and supplements so much more than I ever wanted to provide drugs to cover up symptoms while illness remained. In 2010 I trained as a health coach, and started seeing clients soon thereafter, bringing my years of training and experience as a registered nurse, Nurse Practitioner, public health practitioner, integrative medical trainee (and lots of love) to every session. Since then, I have continued training in Functional Medicine, botanicals and nutritional therapy. I have trained and been certified through the Association for the Advancement of Restorative Medicine and am completing the 16 month intensive functional medicine program through Chris Kresser's ADAPT Institute for Functional Medicine.
Through all of this learning and training, I found a cure for my aching, miserable belly with whole nourishing foods, carefully chosen botanicals and supplements, and important emotional work and behavioral change. I learned to make the food and thought choices that serve me, and to revisit those choices often, making space for my own needs to change and grow, while being patient, generous and kind to myself throughout the process. I helped my body to heal by learning to accept and love myself just as I am, to live one day at a time, and to connect deeply and honestly with my authentic self.
And just as important as my medical credentialing is the fact that I'm a foodie. I was raised by a foodie, with a focus on the simple, nutrient-dense foods of my parents' childhoods in Argentina. We're a food people, a home-made people, a savor-every-little-morsel-people, a full-fat all-the-way people. And I bring that passion for food, for people, for connection, for health, to every interaction I have with my family, my communities, my friends, my patients, and my clients.