I am a born and raised New Yorker with a passion and excitement for health & wellness. But people who meet me now cannot believe that I haven’t always followed such a healthy lifestyle.
I grew up in an amazing family that loved to cooked. My mom would bake homemade bread to have with our dinner every night, followed by a homemade dessert – usually chocolate! On weekends, my brother and I were woken up by the delicious smell of homemade bagels, pancakes, or challah bread french toast. And even though living in New York City we have the best pizza on every corner, my mom made homemade pizza dough topped with homemade mozzarella cheese. But this is not where my weight issues started, nor is this where my love for cooking began.
In college I gained the freshman 15, more like the freshman 20. I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day, drank alcohol like we were entering prohibition and ate a bacon egg and cheese every morning to cure my constant hangover. I knew this wasn’t a healthy lifestyle and I needed a break.
During a much needed week of sobriety, I met the man who would later become my husband. Ryan and I fell in love and have been sober together for the past 9 years – within my first month of not drinking, I lost 10 pounds. My clothes began to fit better, my grades got better, my outlook on life improved (yes, you can be sober and still have fun)! After completing my undergraduate degree and Masters degree at Clark University, Ryan and I moved back to NYC and began an exciting life together.
But things took a turn for the worse – I had a serious health scare in 2010 and smoked my last cigarette on June 18th, 2010. I also signed up for my first ever workout on this date – Bar Method! But looking back, this event is what changed everything, and I am glad it happened. Three years ago I did a full annual and learned that I was hyperthyroid with Graves Disease, had mercury poisoning, adrenal fatigue and leaky gut. My health was leading to a decline in every aspect of my life – I couldn’t focus at work, I was forgetting important dates or assignments, I had no energy, muscle fatigue, low libido, weight gain, acne, bloating, puffiness, and overall a depressive outlook on life. Every doctor I went to told me that I would need to remove my thyroid to reverse my hyperthyroid and become hypothyroid. Then I would need to take thyroid replacement pills every day for the rest of my life. At 25 years old, I knew this was not the right form of treatment for me!
I felt defeated, but anxious to find a form of treatment that would benefit me and keep me healthy. I sought the help of an osteopathic doctor, acupuncturist and kinesiologist. I went from eating pizza every day, to being gluten and dairy free, to then completely Paleo. I did 3 rounds of Whole30 and continued going to Bar Method 4 days a week. My life was completely changed and my blood work was changing for the better. I recently stabilized my thyroid levels and am working to maintain them in range of neither being hyperthyroid or hypothyroid. My brain fog has lifted, I have lost weight, I am not bloated every morning and my energy has increased.
My health & wellness journey has been long and challenging, but so rewarding. Because of what I went through and continue to work on, I found a love for wanting to help other people. I want people to experience how good it can feel to feed their body the right foods and love working out, not because you have to, but because you want to. I want to guide people on a journey that is so rewarding and beneficial to the most important person in their life – themselves!
I am currently enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and by 2017 will be a certified health coach. I cannot wait to begin this new journey to heal myself and others. So welcome to my life, and thank you for taking the time to get to know me and read my story. I can’t wait to hear about yours!
FUN THINGS ABOUT LESLIE
*I grew up in NYC in the East Village with my parents, brother and our dog Jeremy.
*My family owns a beach house in Fire Island where I spent every summer growing up.
*I went to school in Worcester, MA at Clark University. I applied early decision without ever touring the school. Talk about the rebellious teenage years!
*On the Clark University brochure it states that 85% of Clarkies marry each other – I met Ryan at Clark and we married 5 years later.
*Ryan and I live in NYC with our dog, a puggle, named Sadie.
*I have never eaten fast food (no McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell…)
*I lived in Costa Rica for a month building homes with Habitat for Humanity.
*I played the clarinet, first chair, first seat, at Carnegie Hall.
*I worked as a production assistant on the movie ‘Precious’ and the TV show ‘Cash Cab.’
*I did my first Whole30 on March 17, 2014 and have been following a Paleo lifestyle ever since.
*My Whole30/Paleo partner in crime lives in California and we haven’t seen each other since we graduated from Clark University 9 years ago, but we talk every single day.
*I love bacon and will wrap anything in bacon…dates, asparagus, scallops, steak, pork chops (yup, pork wrapped in pork).
*The only thing better than things wrapped in bacon, are things dipped in almond butter!
*I have been doing Bar Method for 5 years and it was my first workout ever. I recently expanded my workout routine into spin and yoga classes.
*My favorite TV shows are: Sons of Anarchy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (I wrote a paper each semester in college on Buffy, even for my economics class), Breaking Bad, and any trashy show on Bravo.
*I love country music, emo music and the Avett Brothers!
*I did yoga on the Knicks basketball court at Madison Square Garden.
*I love vegetables for breakfast – you can find me most mornings eating a salad!