Let’s start with some facts…

To know about me, you might want to know about my approach to holistic health coaching and my training.  More than that, you might also want to know how and why I got into this life-changing field in the first place.

I spent the last 30 years as an award-winning producer in daily television series, documentaries, corporate television, television commercials and infomercials.

It was mostly a ton of fun. However, I worked 60-hour weeks, ran on caffeine, and ate mostly whatever was available, including lots of refined carbs and sugar – in spite of knowing better. Optimal, sustainable health is about more than information. My weight, my metabolism and my adrenals all suffered. My health was challenged by tons of travel, consistent high stress, and inconsistent routines.

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I now weigh what I weighed in High School – and actually wear a denim jacket that I wore back then!

When I was 31 years old, I was about 30 pounds heavier than I am now. And, since I grew up in a typical NY family, in a Jewish/Italian neighborhood, on the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.), I was well trained by my family and friends’ families to eat tons too much food and didn’t even know it.

When we’d gather for a larger family dinner, at the end of the meal, we would all start to sneeze… a lot. Really a lot. We thought this was very funny and an indication that we were actually blood relatives. We didn’t know we were all probably lactose and gluten intolerant, and our bodies were letting us know that.

I was converted to the chocolate religion by my self-proclaimed chocoholic Uncle Jules – and was thoroughly addicted to sugar by age 10. (I’m a late bloomer by today’s standards!) Similarly to alcohol, another toxin when over-indulged, I believe sugar exists on a continuum. Some of us have an occasional glass of wine with a nice dinner – while for others of us, one glass is too many and two is not enough. Same with sugar. For some of us, one cookie is too many, and a box is not enough. And a toxin, by any other name, is a toxin.

My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was 47 and died at 50 when I was a teenager. I have now lived longer than she did. Her death was a defining and pivotal point in my personal process – towards discovering my own optimal, sustainable health – and my personal process of receiving, giving and being love.

How we nourish our bodies, our selves, souls and spirits has all to do with love.

iliani-garden600What finally got me through those decades of working as a producer was my life-long commitment to my health and my intrigue and desire to expand my consciousness. Over the years, I devised ways to guarantee (most of the time) that I ate healthy food, reduced and managed my stress, avoided the pitfalls of heavy travel, and created new routines that worked for my lifestyle. When I could, I even made sure that my production crew benefited from these simple changes as well.

Most importantly, I discovered some techniques that totally transformed my relationship with food, eating and my body.

What transformed was me and my relationship with Life.

I’ll share some of those techniques on this website and in more depth when we work together.  And, you will come to discover and create some of your own personal techniques for transforming your own, sweet life.

These days, my body is happy being gluten free. There are wonderfully fun ways to do that you’ll see in some future posts on the blog. And, though I am not a purist, I eat almost no dairy of any sort. My body generally thanks me for this. I currently eat a plant-based diet but I’m neither vegan nor vegetarian. I eat fish and some organic poultry when my body tells me it wants some high quality animal protein. I eat no red meats, no duck and no pork. My body never craves it and doesn’t seem to need it. Being in touch with your body’s nutritional needs and preferences is a process every bit as intricate as being in touch with your emotional or spiritual preferences.

Healthy nutrition at any time in life, and especially in Mid-Life, is not one-size-fits-all.

It’s a process. In fact, traversing Mid-Life is a process.

I am a firm believer in one nutritional principle called Bio-Individuality. That means, simply, what’s someone’s food can be another person’s poison. What my body needs is unique to my body.

Our task, as caretakers of these bodies, is to get to know what to feed them so they – and we – thrive and flourish.

So why did I start with the facts? Because we all have facts. But we are much more than our facts. Kind of like we have bodies but are more than our bodies.

We are more about the meaning we’ve given to and made of our facts than the facts themselves.

So to know “About Me,” to get a sense if you might want to work with me, means knowing my facts, my approach to health coaching, my training, and then some. It means having a sense of my perspective about life, about health, about food, about our bodies, about who we really are and what’s really important.

Food is Love – as air is Love – as you are Love. Feeding yourself and feeding others is just one way to give, receive and be love. And, of course, as with any love, that relationship can become dysfunctional, lopsided or unhealthy.

When we are in touch with and fully living the Love we are, eating and food can stop running us – and we stop running away from Love.

iliani-drums260As Geneen Roth says in Women Food and God, “compulsive eating is basically a refusal to be fully alive. No matter what we weigh, those of us who are compulsive eaters have anorexia of the soul. We refuse to take in what sustains us. We live lives of deprivation. And when we can’t stand it any longer, we binge. The way we are able to accomplish all of this is by the simple act of bolting – of leaving ourselves – hundreds of times a day.

Sustainable Health requires we stay present with ourselves.

All of ourselves – as much of the time as we can. It’s a process of un-learning and re-learning. It’s a process of education. It’s a process of enlightenment.

It’s a process of coming home to ourselves.

And what about the spiritual? I believe in the words of one of my teachers, “there is One Being here.” Whether you think of that as Jung’s collective unconscious, or the larger intelligence we experience as Nature, or your sense of being connected to all of humanity, or something ineffable for which you have no words, we are inextricably connected to each other and our Earth.

Our thoughts have impact. Our actions matter. How we love and feed ourselves, our families, our communities, our neighborhoods, and how we nourish ourselves personally – through our relationships, our work, our physical activity and our spirituality – is primary to our collective well-being and that of the planet. It is part of our Primary Food.

So, my story ends at a magnificent beginning.

I no longer produce commercials that sell sugary beverages, processed foods, or unhealthy behavior. I am more committed than ever to our sustainable health and longevity, the sustainability of the Earth, all my four-legged loved ones and all life.

And I’d be thrilled to be your Sustainable Health Coach, so I can support YOU to discover your own optimal wellness, sustainable health and longevity as you traverse this Mid-Life terrain.

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