An Unusual Path
My journey to becoming a Nutritionist was anything but typical. In fact, I grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, wanting to be a jazz musician. My two great interests were music and psychology. I studied at Juilliard for a couple of years hoping for the day when Miles Davis would call me for a gig, but—surprise, surprise– it never happened. I studied with the great jazz pianist Herbie Hancock. I led jazz bands in the village. I ultimately got a day gig playing piano for the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, and was eventually considered one of the best dance accompanists in New York. I finished my music degree at NYU (with a minor in psychology), wound up working in musical theatre, did a number of Broadway road shows and worked with quite a number of well-known performers.
During this time, I managed to pick up a Masters degree in psychology. I also managed to pick up quite an addiction to drugs and alcohol. I somehow kept working as a professional musician, but I was fat, out of shape, a smoker and an addict.
The Big Switch
The old flabby shirtless guy in the picture on the left was me, 35 or so years ago, on my way BACK from addiction. (You should have seen me when I was in the middle of it! By the time that pic was taken, I was a couple years into recovery.) The picture on the right was taken in 2017, speaking at the Bulletproof Conference in 2017. I was 71 years old. Obviously, many things changed.
My journey from addict hell to wellness nirvana led me to become something of a zealot for healthy lifestyles (not to mention giving me an inside window into food addiction). I got certified as a personal trainer, ultimately collecting 5 major certifications from organizations like NASM (National Academy for Sports Medicine), ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) and ACE (American Council on Exercise). I got a job with Equinox, and ultimately became Dean of the Equinox Fitness Training Institute. And it was during that time that I started questioning the conventional wisdom on low-fat diets.
Ultimately, I went back to school and got a PhD in holistic nutrition and I sat for the board exams in nutrition for the American College of Nutrition, earning board certification and the CNS (Certified Nutrition Specialist) designation from the College’s Certifying Board of Nutrition Specialists.
Books, Media & Publications
I’ve written books and columns, appeared on television shows, and lectured around the world. I’ve interviewed, written about, met and collaborated with some amazing people as well as some of the biggest names In health and wellness.
I love tennis, animals, my dogs, hiking in my southern California neighborhood, and—most of all—my friends, family and beautiful fiancé, Michelle.
My mission is to help everyone become their own “Nutrition Myth Buster”. I want to help you examine “conventional wisdom” by asking the right questions and making the right distinctions. I want to help you become the leader of your own health care team. I want to help you live in a body you can be proud of and that serves you well, even if it doesn’t belong on the cover of Vogue.
I want to help YOU discover that YOU are unique and that what works for YOU is going to be different from what works for other people. There is no “one way” to do life. That fundamental truth will set you free.
And most of all, I want to spread the message that beauty and sexiness come in all shapes, sizes and colors and that the most erotic and sexy organ in the human body is the one between your ears.