I had many, many mentors on my journey. They are all cumulatively very powerful, and I learned a little bit from each person along the way.
I went to college at Fairfield University in Connecticut as a Sociology major and graduated in 2006. Afterward, I worked and lived in Manhattan for more than 10 years. I think being in New York City, being in what I consider the capital of the world where everyone is always working hard and it’s survival of the fittest, you just get exposed to so many people who have radical thinking in an amazing and mind-blowing way.
I remember some other places that were really helpful. I lived at Hippocrates Health Institute in Florida for over 3 months, where I became a certified health educator and nutritional consultant. Although I don’t fully believe in their philosophy of raw food lifestyle, I learned so much there about digestive enzymes, chlorophyll, wheatgrass, and the digestive tract and the body.
Another place I went to many, many times was Canyon Ranch in Arizona. Someone who really made an impact on me was Dr. Mark Hyman. After my brother died we went to Dr. Mark Hyman — he was my actual doctor — and he is the most amazing functional medicine doctor. He is an amazing man and a New York Times best-selling author thirteen times! He really goes back to basics and is an inspiration.
I had a lot of naturopaths and functional medicine doctors when I would go to different clinics in New York City for my Lyme Disease or when I was having trouble getting pregnant, and I was exposed to many people who all had an impact on me, even if I met them only once.
The universal truth I learned from people who are older than me in health and wellness — and this is really important — is how you can tell when someone really knows a lot in their field or niche. It’s because when you ask them a question about health or diet or exercise or nutrition, they say, “well it depends.”
If their answer is too rigid or strict such as you must be paleo, you must be keto, or vegan or gluten-free, I reject that. I don’t believe it’s a universal truth. That’s what I look for in a mentor, fluidity, and saying, “tell me a little bit about yourself.”
When people would come into my office in NYC, I would ask them to tell me about themselves. Do you want to lose weight? Have more energy? Overcome any health challenges? What do you like to eat? Once you ask these kinds of questions, then it is a paradigm you can work around. Just like when someone comes to us in a direct message asking what they should buy from our 70+ products. We ask questions such as “how are you,” “what is your blood work like,” and “what ailments do you have?” This is something important to keep in mind.