I’ve always held three foundations as being essential to my life. They are also the foundations to my commitment to my client’s health.
- Empathy and Compassion for helping people.
- A love of Science.
- A love for Living Life to the fullest. And assisting others toward this end.
But putting these things together in a way that I could contribute my gifts to the world didn’t come easy.
Lessons: Learning the hard way
Today I coach because I’ve been there & know what difference facing the enemies & demons within makes.
- I’ve learned that being an ice cream and cheese addict makes you fat, old, and sick before your time.
- I’ve also learned that the human body has amazing recuperative and even regenerative abilities.
- I coach so others can find healthier solutions than I did.As a trained doctor, you’d think I KNEW these lessons. But the system isn’t designed to keep you healthy. This ultimately means that most doctors have to go down the tunnel themselves when they get sick, much as I did. Regardless of what type of doctor they are. Just as I countless colleagues have.
I had my gall bladder removed at age 33, while my son was still nursing after having had my first full-on gall bladder attack when I was 5 months pregnant with him. You would THINK either or both of those incidents would be enough.
Even that didn’t make this health care provider and health advocate walk her walk & change her ways.
NO! I continued eating ice cream, cheese, butter, and whatever my body would tolerate in small enough portions until life smacked across the side of the face even more!
Eventually, I found myself at a point where I had to learn. What would my body, physically do and not do? Then, I had to be authentic to both my physical and my mental-emotional commitment to MYSELF first and foremost.
That’s when I dug deep enough to find the inner commitment to change diet and lifestyle.
AND then I mustered up the inner courage to become authentically myself and end a 30+ year relationship with a partner who didn’t understand me and was ultimately unable to give me the freedom to be my authentic self.
Then during the pandemic, I got additional training in plant-based diet and nutrition intervention and went on to become a Certified Health Coach.
Today, I help my clients dig deep, really deep, much as I did. When you discover your real underlying motivation, you can do what you formerly thought was impossible for you.
I know now, all I need to do in order to maintain my health is to remember my commitments:
- To always be there for my kids, even though they are both now well-adjusted adults.
- To live life to the fullest: to travel, to love, to explore and to do new things.
- To writing, speaking, coaching, and serving.
My Early Career
I’ve spent my professional life in health care; initially beginning my career as a Medical Laboratory Scientist. While still studying, I was asked to assist at a patient’s bedside for a bone marrow biopsy. The frail, elderly lady looked to be 110 in my 22-year-old eyes.
This day would forever change my life.
The pathologist thrusted a blunt-ended needle into her sternum (bone) and I cringed, averting my eyes. The blood-curdling screams seemed to suck all the energy from the room.
It seemed to suck any compassion he had from his heart. His lack of compassion was apparent, as he maneuvered and manipulated that needle inside her sternum to obtain that sample.
Finally, after what seemed like hours, the screaming stopped. He handed the sample to me. Whereupon I made the requisite microscope slides and brought them and the remaining sample back to the lab. As I handed the sample to the senior technologist, I relayed the story.
She looked back at me with sad eyes, “But, Leslie, they don’t even treat leukemia in people that old.”
I was appalled and devastated! Here I was, technically still a student, just weeks from graduating after 5 long and grueling years. I instantly understood in that position (or any position I hoped to grow into from there) I was helpless to effect change. In other words, I knew I needed to be outside of that system in order to effect change and to truly help people heal.
I made the commitment from that day forward, that I would do everything humanly possible for as many people as I could to help keep them from ever having to get into a hospital bed and lose control over their health.
I went on to graduate and landed what others called a dream job as a Microbiologist in a Burns Unit. But barely a year later, I quit that job, at a famous Boston hospital, and embarked on the adventure of a lifetime.
Time For Reflection
I went on a 3 month; 3000 mile bicycle trip from Billings, Montana to San Diego. This trip of a lifetime taught me much . . . about myself . . . about life. As well as, about the difference between survival and thriving . . . about self reliance . . . about the intersection between self-reliance and interdependence . . . and so much more.
Eventually, I settled on the Central Coast of California. I wanted to live on a coast without New England winters and to work out the next steps in my path.
My Next Path
I started exploring healing philosophies. Then I accompanied a friend to her chiropractic appointment. Her chiropractor explained the basic tenets of chiropractic care. These were the tenants that would guide my healing philosophy for life:
- The body is a self-healing entity.
- Interference in the body’s ability to detect and correct stressors are the basis for dis-ease, which leads to dysfunction and ultimately, disease.
- Alleviating that interference allows the body to heal.
Instantly, I saw a way to assist people in getting well and staying well. Unlike the allopathic (medical) model, which prolonged life at the expense of real health.
I enrolled in Western States Chiropractic College and moved to Portland, Oregon. Six years later, I had received my Doctor of Chiropractic degree and had my first child. I had sat for my California license while I was 8 months pregnant. It was grueling waiting outdoors between sections of the exam for up to 2 hours each in the East Bay summer heat!. I also had relocated back to the Central Coast with my family to start my practice in 1991.
My Journey to Today
I maintained a private family-oriented chiropractic practice for about 25 years.
It was during this time that I began experiencing some of my own personal health challenges.
Having some pretty severe perimenopausal symptoms, I took a common (easy) ‘natural approach’ and went on bio-identical hormones. Twenty pounds heavier in barely 2 months, I quit and started doing more in-depth research!
It was then that I realized the value of in-depth research. You cannot just believe headlines or even summaries (abstracts) of journal articles. I learned how to create the balance needed for my own personal health. This led me to a mostly plant-based whole food diet, with added specific foods known to help my condition. I also re-committed to regular exercise. I lost the weight and regained the vibrant health I had lost.
I continued exploring the needs of my patients and keeping up with the ever-evolving understanding of health & wholism. This was accomplished through continuously studying nutrition, wellness and vitality. I took numerous courses & read everything I could get my hands on. As I learned, I incorporated changes into my life. In turn, I recommended changes for my patients. That lead to all of us experiencing a renewed level of health & vitality.
Fast forward to the fall of 2018. I left Community Health Centers where I had taken a position to serve mostly those with limited access to healthcare. Then, I went on a Fall Foliage Bicycle trip through New England. I was able to reunite, for part of it, with 2 of the cyclists who accompanied me on the trip nearly 40 years earlier. That trip helped me reaffirm that we can still do whatever we want, regardless of age and circumstance. It’s possible, if we have the inspiration to put the pieces of the puzzle together. Afterward, on my return to the Central Coast, I recommitted myself to helping women, families and seniors.
Above all, my goal is to find simple, natural answers to common health problems. Now I do this through coaching and consulting, rather than clinical practice. Therefore, I’m able to fully balance my personal life and desire for adventure and travel. This allows me to use my ability to serve my client base and contribute my gifts to the world.
What I Do For You
My science background allows me to quickly separate the chaff from the grain. I’m able to see what made sense and has real scientific support and what doesn’t; regardless of who publishes it.
- I help you dig deep. Much as I did.
- Help you uncover the underlying reasons you want to maintain lifetime health, mobility, and brainpower.
When you deeply understand your own motivations, you make the changes, NOT because the doctor, the scale or the lab test says you “should.” You make the changes because you can be present to your core underlying reasons to do so.
- I help you with research into your individual issues. NOT as medical advice but to educate you about what’s in front of you. This includes the understanding if the drugs recommended will do what YOU want them to. (In other words, do the journal articles back up the publicity about the drug?)
- I help you find nutrition, exercise, food-based and other non-medical choices that the literature shows may help reverse your condition. Again, while I do not make medical recommendations I can help you uncover courses of care that others with your condition have benefitted from.
- I can help equip you with knowledge to discuss these things more fully with your doctor.
- Publish: “Beyond 40: Care & Feeding of the Aging Human Body™”
- Speaking on the TedX Stage and more.
- Thriving till at least 104! (ask me about the origin of 104!)
- Growing old without senility or pain & dysfunction.
I’ll help you debunk the myths surrounding diet, exercise, genetics and lifestyle.
In addition, I’ll help you find balance so you can holistically manage your health and move forward with clarity at a pace that’s comfortable yet challenging.
If desired: I’ll help you navigate the thorny confrontations of telling your physician that you’re choosing a drug-free path and you want to elicit cooperation. (more details about my bio & approach here.)