Hi I'm Christina - From a very young age I was a busy and active girl. I grew up in the foothills of San Jose, California in the 1970’s riding my bike, playing sports, dancing and the joy of moving my body started at a young age. We were the kids that stayed out late catching tadpoles in the creek behind our house and riding our bikes into the foothills as the sunset retreated over the golden hills. I was a typical California girl playing soccer, skiing in Tahoe in the winters, jumping off sand dunes and exploring most of the beaches of Santa Cruz and Monterey in the summer times.
While I was in college in San Diego I began teaching aerobics classes (yes, imagine 90’s leg warmers, big hair and lots of bouncing) and I immediately became addicted to the energy of the room and the connection between healthy movement and feeling better both physically and mentally. I have a degree in Psychology from SDSU and I have always been drawn to disciplines where I can learn to understand the human experience and empathize with others. I have been a certified group fitness instructor with the American Council on Exercise since 1991 and as a part of the fitness community, I’ve been fortunate to have been exposed to an extensive knowledge base in nutrition, healthy movement and the psychology of staying healthy in our ever changing and busy lives.
After I graduated college I began working in Corporate America, traveling around the USA and internationally for work from 1990 to 2017. I used exercise as a way to control my building anxiety and to keep fit (which at this time was 100% about how I looked). What I didn’t know at the time is that I was using exercise and diet restriction to add another layer of stress inducing fear based thinking to my already overwhelming schedule. Looking back now I was driven by fear and I was doing it all to look a certain way, not to nourish and strengthen my body. To say I overdid it was an understatement. I was teaching as many as 15 classes a week, working full time in Corporate America and mountain biking, playing on multiple soccer teams, skiing and paddleboarding on the weekends. My heart knew I always wanted to be a mother and in my 30’s, I eventually added two beautiful daughters to my already overextended life.
With the birth of my daughters, I knew my overscheduled lifestyle was unsustainable. I tried to reduce my workload by becoming an independent manufacturer's representative. My thought was that I would have more time freedom to spend with my family but it backfired and in 4 years I had 7 different lines, which did allow me to travel when and how I wanted but I now had 7 companies and “bosses” to keep happy instead of just one. As a recovering “people pleaser”, this was unmanageable and I quickly realized, unsustainable. I began to make some financial decisions that would allow me to take a break from the crazy work life I created. Unfortunately, those closest to me were not supportive of me jumping off the crazy train. This is about the time when I started therapy. I went to find out why, if I have all this stuff and a beautiful family, I would want to rock the boat. Just suck it up and continue to sell your soul, live in my sympathetic nervous system, all the time to keep everyone else financially supported?
In my mid 40’s I realized that I couldn’t continue to maintain the overbusy, stressful, flight or fight daily existence and that I needed to stop listening to the chatter around me and really start to heal myself from the inside out. I learned that I needed to trust myself (not my Doctor who has prescribed me every migraine medicine known to man but never suggested more natural options, my OBGYN who had me on birth control pills for 20 years, or the DR who has tried unsuccessfully to get me to take a daily statin for high cholesterol) to make the best decisions for my body because no one knows it better than me, throw out my scale and stop dieting and start living.
I have always loved fruits and veggies. I spent the first 5 years of my life growing up in Salinas, CA, one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world due to its unique climate. It was not uncommon for my mother to pull to the side of the road and let us kids out to gather broccoli, cauliflower or artichokes than had fallen off the transport trucks. We also picked tomatoes, peaches, cherries, apricots and other fruits to can in my mothers kitchen after we had collected our treasures in some U-PICK-IT farm. We ate salad to start our meal before the entree was served ( you had to finish your salad to move to the next course) and at least one or two vegetables and an accompaniment.
This grew into my love of Farmers Markets and talking to the people who actually grow our food is such a gift. Farmers Markets in Hawaii, France, California:)
With the 1990’s and 2000 came the ever expanding processed food market. During that time Americans were being told that fat was bad and food manufacturers started removing fat from foods and replacing it with sugar. I regret to admit that I restricted myself from eating avocados, eggs and other healthy fats because I was depriving myself of all the goodness. I ate a lot of cereal with milk and ice cream (nonfat of course). I was extremely active at this time (playing on too many soccer teams and teaching too many aerobics classes) and I am sure I was very micronutrient deficient. I was suffering from migraines and was literally running on sugar.
I have painfully witnessed countless unsuccessful and extremely frustrating health struggles of those around me. It is heartbreaking to see people you love struggle mentally and physically on restriction diets that have wreaked havoc on their bodies and hormones and self esteem. The cycle is the same, restricting diet, losing weight, then going back to their daily lives and gaining all the weight back and then some, and feeling worse than ever about themselves. There is so much shame around the way our bodies look that we ignore the most important aspects of nutrition and healthy movement.
Eliminate dieting, guilt, obsession and stress = Nutrition with love. I learned how to choose foods that feel good both mentally and physically. Simple as that. Food freedom is truly one of the best feelings ever and I’ll forever be grateful for this mindset.
I also am a big proponent of throwing out your scale to help avoid focusing on the wrong goals when making healthy changes in our lives. We have all become very conditioned to judge ourselves by what we weigh. Most times it is a weight we were at as a teenager. I love to help people to stop dieting and start living.
My passion is to help others find peace and joy in their bodies through healthy movement and learning to love the foods that love us back. We need to harness the confidence to be experts of our own bodies and the knowledge to nourish ourselves with love. Combining mindfulness with real science about what our bodies need to be nourished. Discipline, accountability and hacks to implement these tools into our daily lives.
I love teaching group classes and currently teach a full schedule of matt pilates, yoga, spin, sculpt and balanced body. In 2021 I completed my ACE Health Coaching certification and have enjoyed the opportunity to work with beautiful humans on making healthy lifestyle changes. I also co-created two offerings held at Radiant Yoga in El Dorado Hills. Nutrition with Love and Nourishing Healthy Boundaries which allowed me to offer these concepts to a lovely group of yogi’s.