CaliDiet is a collection of articles from health and fitness experts and enthusiasts from around California discussing healthy eating, exercising and lifestyle habits. We aim to help you live a healthier life no matter what part of the world you live in.
Founder & Publishing Editor
Dr. Adrienne Youdim, MD, is a well-recognized expert in the areas of weight loss and nutrition, bariatric medicine, and preventive medicine. Dr. Youdim is the Director of the Center for Weight Loss and Nutrition at the preeminent Lasky Clinic in Beverly Hills.
Caroline J. Cederquist, M.D. is the founder and medical director of the Cederquist Medical Wellness Center. Her scientific understanding of medical weight management through proper nutrition has helped patients all over the world. She is a Board Certified Bariatric and Family Practice Physician, and Former Trustee, American Society of Bariatric Physicians. Dr. Cederquist is a medical consultant to Pure Encapsulations.
With over 30 years of experience in the health space and as a licensed herbalist at Rainbow Light, Dr. Hobbs has immense experience in the specialties of vitamins, holistic health medicine, natural products, organic, wellness and diet/weight loss and has worked closely with clients to help them achieve optimal health. Following a “whole, simple and nutritious” diet approach, Dr. Hobbs actively motivates clients
Fred Pescatore, MD, is a traditionally trained physician practicing nutritional medicine in Manhattan. He is the author of Logical Health Alternatives, a monthly print newsletter, as well as six books, including the New York Times best-seller, The Hamptons Diet and the number 1 best-selling children's health book, Feed Your Kids Well. To learn more about Dr. Pescatore, visit www.drpescatore.com.
Dr. Gil Blander is a renowned scientist with a PhD in biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science, who did postgraduate research on aging at MIT. An expert in nutrition, biomarker analytics, athletic performance, biochemistry, and aging research, he holds numerous patents and has published peer-reviewed articles in these areas. Dr. Blander is the founder of InsideTracker, a personalized health and performance analytics company created by leading scientists, physicians, nutritionists and exercise physiologists from MIT, Harvard and Tufts University. The InsideTracker platform tracks and analyzes key biochemical and physiological markers, then applies sophisticated algorithms and large scientific databases to determine personalized optimal zones for each marker. InsideTracker’s expert system offers science-driven nutrition and lifestyle interventions that empower people to optimize their markers. When optimized, these marker levels have been scientifically proven to increase vitality, improve athletic performance, and extend life. Dr. Blander brings more than 18 years of experience in systems biology, computational biology, aging, metabolism, and caloric restriction research to his role as Chief Science Officer. Prior to founding InsideTraker, Dr. Blander previously worked at MIT, the Weizmann Institute, and several leading Systems Biology / Computational Biology companies.
Dr. Josie Tenore completed her medical training at the University of Toronto in 1984 and earned a Master of Science degree at Harvard University in 1998. She has 30 years of experience in medicine, and has devoted her most recent 10 years to providing excellence in wellness and beauty. Dr. Josie was recently recognized by her peers at a national industry conference as performing award winning non-surgical facial reconstruction and rejuvenation procedures. She has a passion for education, learning and teaching. She has taught at several medical schools, including the University of Toronto (her alma mater), Brown University in Providence, RI, and Northwestern University in Chicago. She is currently an international advanced dermal filler trainer. To connect with Dr. Jose Tenore visit www.myfreshskin.com
Dr. Lorraine Platka-Bird received her doctorate from Michigan State University in 1980 with a major in human nutrition and a minor in psychology. She became a registered dietitian in 1982. As a dedicated professor in the Nutrition and Dietetics Department at the State University of New York for 19 years, Dr. Platka-Bird taught a wide variety of courses including Weight Management, Medical Nutrition Therapy, Nutritional Biochemistry, Sports Nutrition, Human Physiology, Nutrition Across the Life Span, and numerous related courses. During this period of time Dr. Platka-Bird was granted some of the most prestigious teaching awards offered in the State University system.
Dr. Platka-Bird has been counseling individuals with eating disorders for over 25 years. She takes a holistic approach to treatment, considering all aspects of physical, mental, social, emotional, and spiritual well-being. In addition to helping clients develop a healthy relationship with food, Dr. Platka-Bird helps individuals minimize eating disorder thoughts and behaviors, improve self-image and self-esteem, and develop healthy coping skills and life skills to improve overall quality of life.
Dr. Marsha Nunley is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. She is certified in the new area of Aging Medicine and in Bio Identical Hormone Replacement. While Dr. Nunely is trained and experienced in Western Medicine, she believes that illness and disease are best treated by working to discover their underlying causes. Patients come to her for bioidentical hormones, advice on healthy aging, and whole-body medicine. www.marshanunleymd.com
Dr. Michael S. Fenster is a Board Certified Interventional Cardiologist, Martial Artist and Professional Chef, and he is beacon of light in the dark world of food myths. Better known to his fans as “Dr. Mike”, he's no stranger to the spotlight; whether it’s major TV cooking demos, sharing recipes or writing columns for numerous high end publications, Dr Mike is never one to back down from a challenge. With the release of his new book “The Fallacy of The Calorie: Why The Modern Western Diet is Killing Us and How to Stop It” (Koehler Books) -Dr. Mike is back to help Americans change the way we view food and our diet. Mike’s love of food and medical awareness propelled him to combine these passions, the result is an exceptionally unique and insightful approach to food that seeks to counter the negative and inflammatory effects of the modern Western diet that deadens our taste buds, robs our vitality and increases the risks of cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and a host of other conditions and illnesses that plague our society.
Dr. Neal Malik has been teaching at the college level for over 9 years and is currently core faculty at Bastyr University California where he is the program lead for the Master of Science in Nutrition for Wellness program. Dr. Malik is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Certified Health Education Specialist, and Certified Exercise Physiologist. He has been featured on television and national radio for his nutrition expertise, and has authored and co-authored numerous articles on weight management and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Paul D. Rosenblit, MD, PhD, FACE, FNLA is the Director of the Diabetes / Lipid Management and Research Center in Huntington Beach, California. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Endocrinology and Metabolism, has been in a private Clinical Practice setting for 28 years. He is currently an endocrinology consultant, as an active medical staff member at Hoag Hospital, Newport Beach and a courtesy medical staff at Huntington Beach Hospital, HB, Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center, Fountain Valley and St. Joseph’s Hospital, Orange, CA. Dr. Paul Rosenblit is a Clinical Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), School of Medicine, Irvine, California, and as volunteer clinical faculty, since 1990, is an attending, and Co-Director, of the Diabetes Out-Patient Clinic at the UCI Medical Center, Orange, California. Since 1987, Dr. Rosenblit has served as the volunteer Endocrinology consultant for the Laguna Beach Community Clinic in Laguna Beach, California. Dr. Rosenblit is a member of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), a Fellow of the American College of Endocrinology and is currently serving on AACE education committees and task forces. Dr. Rosenblit is a member of the Professional Sections of the American Diabetes Association and the Endocrine Society. He is a member of the Councils on Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis & Vascular Biology and Clinical Cardiology, as a Silver Heart member of the American Heart Association. Dr. Rosenblit is a member and Fellow of the National Lipid Association (NLA) and a Diplomate of the American Board of Clinical Lipidology. He is a founding member of the NLA-7-State Regional Pacific Lipid Association’s Board of Directors, and is currently serving as its President-elect. Dr. Rosenblit is active, at his research site, as principal investigator on phase II & III pharmaceutical clinical trials in the disciplines of diabetes, obesity and lipids. Dr. Rosenblit lectures as a disease state and promotional speaker faculty member of several pharmaceutical companies, and at various continuing medical education programs, with areas of interest including diabetology, clinical lipidology and cardiometabolic-cardiovascular disease. Dr. Rosenblit is a Co-Director of the Annual Fall Orange County, CA, Symposium on Cardiovascular Disease Prevention.
The Smile Dr. (also known as Dr. Richard Castellano MD, in day-to-day life) is an experienced facial rejuvenation artist, and a Wall Street Journal Best-selling author. As the Founder/Medical Director of ImageLift® Dr. Castellano is one of the most sought after facial plastic surgeons in the U.S. today. His new book “The Smile Prescription” explores the art of smiling, facial expression, and innovative communication strategies. Dr. Castellano has been a guest on The Daily Buzz, FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, and numerous other media outlets.
Eamonn Gormley is a Silicon Valley-based freelance writer and marketing consultant, and contributing editor of Forásach.com, a news and analysis website. He is also the author of Waiting to Launch - The Untapped Global Potential of Gaelic Games. He enjoys road biking, Salsa dancing and Zouk dancing.
Fiona Gilbert is the leading San Francisco Bay Area medical fitness trainer. In 2003, she was diagnosed with a degenerative neurological condition that affected her ability to walk. Instead of accepting the doctor’s prognosis of a life in a wheelchair, Fiona was determined to control her own destiny and began studying adaptive fitness therapy. 4 years later, healthy and in the best condition of her life, Fiona began receiving requests to train individuals also suffering from pain and limited mobility. Today, Fiona has expanded beyond medical fitness to train Silicon Valley professionals to manage their holistic wellness. Outside of the gym, you will find Fiona travelling the world enjoying exotic locales and cuisines. From chasing down a taco truck in Cabo San Lucas, to preparing goat curry in the shadows of the Himalayas, or having kangaroo stir-fry in the Australian Outback, Fiona is constantly in awe of all the wonders the world has to offer. To reach Fiona contact her via Facebook or Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heidi Kidder is the co-founder of Go Flaunt It, a fitness mobile app based in San Francisco. Heidi is a health and fitness enthusiast who used her product and operations management experience to design and build a product from the ground up that truly is tailored to each customer’s lifestyle. Through her own experience, she has come to understand the benefits of exercising and aims to help people start and maintain an effective exercise program for optimal health.
Jenn Zerling, also known as JZ, owns JZ Fitness which operates out of Los Angeles, California. She holds a masters degree in Kinesiology and multiple national training certifications. She specializes in age management and weight loss. Her mission is to break the chains of obesity in America. Her book does just that, and her JZ FITNESS NUTRITION app is certainly helping many, with its new release in October 2014 on IOS, soon to release on Android. She is the Director of Guest Wellness for Stay Fit Housing which helps executives maintain a healthy way of life when they are on the road for extended periods of time. www.JZFitness.com
Joey Thurman is a health, fitness, and nutrition expert and the creator of The Lifestyle Renovation, a website dedicated to helping people achieve their health and fitness goals. He has appeared on CBS, FOX, ABC, and WCIU sharing his insights as a celebrity fitness trainer and published author. Joey’s work has been featured in publications such as BodyBuilding.com, Racked, TimeOut Chicago, RedEye, and American Global Traveler. Joey is a fashion model represented by Chosen Model Management where he works with brands including Neiman Marcus, Abercrombie, Jockey, and Carson Pirie Scott. He has also appeared on the covers of Healthy for Menand TimeOut Chicago. Joey is a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) with the American Council on Exercise, a Fitness Nutrition Specialist (FNS) and a FITchef. For more information, please visit www.thelifestylerenovation.com and follow Joey on Instagram and Twitter at @JoeyThurmanFit.
Kurt is a writer for CaliDiet California Healthy Living Magazine & Fact Based Health Journal. He has a BS in kinesiology, and three years of experience tutoring and assisting teachers for anatomy / physiology classes. In his spare time he volunteers in a variety of physical therapy settings. He is passionate about ergonomics and safety in work place settings.
Megha Mehta is an energy medicine practitioner and health coach who loves to marry intuition with information to make our lives more meaningful and spiritually connected. She believes in creating a freedom lifestyle by writing and coaching while she’s in gardens, coffee shops and occasionally in her own home. Read her book “Find Your Rhythm” if you’d like to make perfect wellness simple and achievable without having to spend hours on dong the latest nutrition, diet or exercise research. Email her at email@example.com.
Melissa Barnett, OD, FAAO is a Principal Optometrist at the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. She specializes in anterior segment disease and specialty contact lenses. Dr. Barnett lectures and publishes extensively on topics including dry eye, anterior segment disease, contact lenses, corneal collagen cross-linking and creating a healthy balance between work and home life for women in optometry. She serves on the Board of Women of Vision (WOV), Gas Permeable Lens Institute (GPLI) and The Scleral Lens Education Society (SLS). Dr. Barnett is a spokesperson for the California Optometric Association and has appeared on several television shows. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, yoga and spending time with her husband, Todd Erickson, also an optometrist, and two sons, Alex (8) and Drew (6).
Sarah Couch, PhD, RD is the head of the University of Cincinnati Department of Nutritional Sciences in the College of Allied Health Sciences. Dr. Couch studies how diet affects health, and in 2008 was
awarded funding from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to examine the long-term effects of a specific diet on blood pressure and vascular function in adolescents. In 2004, Dr. Couch was awarded the Ohio Dietetic Association’s Research Dietitian Award. She completed her doctoral work at the University of Connecticut in the area of Nutritional Biochemistry and completed her postdoctoral training at Columbia University in the area of clinical biomarkers for premature atherosclerosis in children. Dr. Couch is a member of the American Dietetic Association, serving on the Board of Editors for the Journal of the American Dietetic Association and as the editor for the newsletter of the Hunger and Environmental Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group.
Shanna Israel is a professional nutrition and lifestyle expert in the intersecting worlds of health, wellness, fashion and entertainment. Shanna has immersed herself within the healthcare industry after her near death experience battling West Nile virus followed by Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s. Fearing for her life and misdiagnosed by top professionals, Shanna conducted immense research on conventional and nontraditional methods of treatment and learned how to heal her weakened body and regain strength through a mixture of natural, environmental, integrative, and holistic treatments. Shanna created Vertical Wellness as a platform for people to learn about viable treatment options and preventative care. Combining her expertise in wellness and health, as well as nutrition and dietary restrictions for various diet plans and conditions, Vertical Wellness collaborates with health professionals and A-list celebrities to deliver invaluable information to help readers achieve optimal health, regardless of dietary restriction or limitation. Shanna has been featured as an expert in top national media including: OK! Magazine, Fox News Magazine, InTouch Weekly, SheKnows.com, Life & Style Weekly and Hollywood Life.
Suzanna McGee is a former Ms. Natural Olympia drug-free bodybuilding champion and currently a competitive tennis player, athletic fitness trainer and author of the new book, The Athlete's Simple Guide to a Plant-Based Lifestyle It can be found on Amazon.com. She is also a performance enhancement and injury prevention coach, with a certificate in plant-based nutrition from eCornell University. The athletes who participated in McGee’s program report a decreased rate of injuries, increased fitness levels and mental toughness, and overall better tennis performance. McGee is also certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) as a Performance Enhancement Specialist and Corrective Exercise Specialist.
Born in Europe, she has two Masters in computer science and speaks 6 languages. McGee has been living in the U.S. since 1996 and currently resides with her chocolate Lab in Venice Beach, California. Connect with Suzanna McGee at: www.tennisfitnesslove.com
Angela Leigh is a fitness expert, certified yoga instructor, Essentia Water Hydration Specialist and Master Trainer for Schwinn Cycling. As Equinox National ETC Manager, Master Trainer & Presenter, and she created Stacked, the gym’s nationwide signature program. She impresses upon students the importance of proper hydration throughout the day. “Water isn’t just for sweat occasions; staying hydrated is an all day affair,” she says.
Attila Hildmann is a 33-year-old self-taught vegan chef and author dedicated to promoting veganism as a means to drastically improve one’s health, to whatever extent each is willing to incorporate it into their diet. A well-known fitness and health figure in Germany, he has revolutionized the second-largest diet book market in the world with his groundbreaking ideologies. Attila’s path to veganism began with his father’s sudden death due to a heart attack, leading him to learn as much as possible about healthy eating and fitness, change his own lifestyle to lose 77 pounds and drastically lower his cholesterol, and share his personal and studied knowledge with the world. Attila has since written several cookbooks including Vegan for Fun, Vegan for Fit and Vegan for Youth to highlight the delicious and creative meals available while maintaining a vegan lifestyle.
Bedros Keuilian is the founder and CEO of the world's fastest growing indoor fitness boot camp franchise: Fit Body Boot Camp. He’s also the fitness industry's leading consultant for marketing, business systems and development. His blogs, products, books, and live events help tens of thousands of fitness professionals and business owners around the world build more robust and profitable systems. Bedros has been featured as a host and expert on Spike TV's Gym Rescue, and he's also known as the "Hidden Genius" behind many of the biggest names in the fitness industry including top celebrity personal trainers featured on popular television shows. An immigrant from a communist country turned hugely successful entrepreneur, Bedros uses the stage to share his personal American Dream story and impart his passion for success with audiences worldwide.
Beth Warren, MS RD CDN, is the author of Living a Real Life with Real Food (Skyhorse; 2014), and head of Beth Warren Nutrition, a private practice in Brooklyn, NY and a proponent of healthy living by eating kosher. Along with conducting nutrition counseling in her private practice for both pediatric and adult clients, Beth is the nutritionist at the Morris I. Franco Community Cancer Center and the head sports nutritionist for the Sephardic Bikur Holim, a not-for-profit organization. She also works as a consultant for schools and businesses to help organize nutritious and delicious meals and snacks, perform workshops, health fairs and lectures for clients including The Macular Degeneration Association and the Sephardic Community Center. www.BethWarrenNutrition.com.
Bill Farr is an author, speaker, and wellness coach. He is an instructor in various forms of martial arts and meditation and a former kickboxing champion, and professional Argentine Tango dancer.
Bill’s teaching includes that of mind, body, and spirit. He works with well-known herbalist, nutritionists, doctors, as well as psychology professionals, Buddhist monks, Shaman, and Grand Masters of martial arts to bring the latest in health and nutrition to his teachings and his website. (www.TheArtofUnity.com) He now travels worldwide teaching the principles in his book, “The Power of Personality Types in Love and Relationships,” as well as meditation and heath
Christine Chen is an Emmy award-winning news anchor/reporter, wellness writer and editor, multi-certified yoga teacher, and former Athleta-sponsored athlete. Years ago, she went to yoga, desperate to de-stress from a high intensity job and ease a back condition that left her in non-stop pain. A San Francisco native, Christine lives with her husband in New York, where teaching and practicing yoga helps her live a life of wellness - anytime, anywhere. www.happygoyoga.com
Christopher Harrison is a producer/director, fitness/yoga expert, and the Founder America’s premiere aerial acrobatic entertainment and suspension fitness companies: AntiGravity® Entertainment (est. 1991) and AntiGravity® Fitness (est. 2008). A kinetic innovator, Harrison is an award-winning Broadway aerial choreographer, with numerous original productions and movement vocabularies to his credit. He is also a pioneer in Suspension Fitness and the creator of the Aerial Yoga genre. He has personally authored 7 Suspension Fitness Programs on the Harrison AntiGravity® Hammock, now licensed and practiced in over 50 countries taught by nearly 3,000 certified AntiGravity® Instructors around the world. Harrison’s AntiGravity Entertainment company performs on the world’s largest stages, including numerous Olympic Ceremonies, VMA’s, Grammy’s, Academy Awards and rock tours. As the Artistic Director, Harrison has created for the Metropolitan Opera and for feature films, including Disney’s “Enchanted.” AntiGravity® boasts an impeccable safety record of over two decades, and they were the only non-singing act chosen to perform for the TV broadcast of President Obama’s First Neighborhood Inaugural Ball. Harrison began his career as a gymnastics specialist, placing in the World Games and was featured on the cover of International Gymnast Magazine. He made his screen debut in the hit film Footloose and has made TV guest appearances on major networks in the U.S. and across the globe. Harrison is considered an expert on the benefits of inversion therapy and has been featured on the cover of Asana International Yoga Journal and in publications throughout India.He is dedicated to spreading health & happiness around the world through his unique work. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Harrison
Dena is a vegan athlete/nutrition enthusiast with advanced degrees in medical science. She is an active contributor to nutrition and fitness blogs and magazines writing to educate adults and children on the health benefits of a vegan diet for people, animals, and the environment. Her passion led to the creation of Dena’s Fuel For Fitness, a company that manufactures vegan/raw snacks that are preservative and gluten-free and do not contain added sugar. For more information about Dena visit her website www.denasfuelforfitness.com
Desi Bartlett is a pre- and postnatal Yoga and Fitness expert, Essentia hydration specialist, and star of 8 fitness and Yoga DVD’s, including ‘Prenatal Yoga Workout, by Gaiam.’ She lives and teaches in Los Angeles, and is the mother of two energetic boys.
Douglas Lotz is the Founder of CycleCast, a mobile fitness app that makes studio-quality indoor cycling more accessible than ever by streaming hit music and motivational instructors to your iPhone. Douglas has a strong professional background in project and product management. With proven leadership experience across multiple industries, including fashion retail, aerospace, enterprise software, and consumer software, he has demonstrated an ability to adapt to new challenges and provide creative solutions to a wide variety of business problems. Douglas was inspired to start CycleCast after his favorite indoor cycling class was discontinued at his local gym. Unable to find another suitable class that fit his schedule and budget, he turned to digital solutions and quickly found that there was nothing available on his iPhone that offered the blend of hit music and motivational instruction he had come to expect from a quality cycling class. Douglas founded CycleCast in December, 2014 with the goal of taking indoor cycling beyond the studio to make fun, motivating fitness more affordable and convenient. Douglas graduated Magna cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in History and International Relations.
Al Sears, MD is America’s #1 anti-aging doctor. He’s made it his life’s work to challenge conventional medical beliefs and bring his patients the latest breakthroughs in natural cures and remedies to diseases once thought to be “incurable.” More than 25,000 patients travel from all around the world to visit him at the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine in beautiful Royal Palm Beach, Florida. Since 1999, Dr. Sears has published 35 books and reports on health and wellness. He has millions of loyal readers spread over 163 countries. His latest book, Healing Herbs of Paradise, features a full chapter on papaya, as well as dozens of other natural cures from Bali’s Garden of Eden.
Dr. Jeff Hester is an internationally known astrophysicist. A member of three Hubble Space Telescope instrument science teams, Jeff’s Hubble image, “The Pillars of Creation,” was selected by Time Magazine as among the 100 most influential photographs in history. These days Jeff works as a professional coach, keynote speaker and thought partner helping his clients find success in changing time.
For Elissa, the practice of yoga is much more than a form of exercise- it is a tool to calm the mind and body, an art-form, and overall, a way of life. At the age of 17 Elissa was involved in a traumatic accident. She was able to find something in yoga that helped her with her post-traumatic stress and anxiety. After practicing for a year and seeing the unique benefits that the practice offered her, she started teaching yoga classes at Rutgers University at the age of 18. At the age of 30, Elissa opened the Nirvana Wellness and Yoga Center in two locations - Montville and Wayne, New Jersey.
Janette Hillis-Jaffe combines her personal experience as a patient with her background as a public health professional to help others chart a course out of illness into health. Janette is a sought-after speaker, consultant, and coach, with a master’s in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health. She has spent thousands of hours studying counseling, nutrition, the mind-body connection, and the U.S. healthcare system during her successful effort to heal from her own six-year long, debilitating autoimmune disorder. For more information, please go to healforrealnow.com.
The dynamic president of JAG Physical Therapy, John Gallucci, Jr., MS, ATC, DPT, is in demand for his expertise in injury prevention, rehabilitation, sports medicine and athletic training. He has appeared often on radio and television, including ESPN’s award-winning
“Outside the Lines”, Fox 5, PIX 11, MSG Varsity, NJ News 12, WFAN and is a popular public speaker. Gallucci has made a major impact in his fields throughout the New York/New Jersey area, and holds a national presence in the sports medicine community. JAG Physical Therapy now offers comprehensive orthopedic outpatient centers in New York City, West Orange, Warren, Cedar Knolls, Union, Hackensack, Woodbridge, Princeton, Fairfield, and Old Bridge New Jersey. Currently, John is the Medical Coordinator for Major League Soccer (MLS), coordinating the
medical care of more than 600 professional soccer players. Gallucci is the former Head Athletic Trainer of the New York Red Bulls MLS team and is a Sports Medicine consultant for professional athletes in the NHL, NFL, NBA, MLB, and USA Wrestling. John has also worked in the Athletic Departments of Columbia University, New York University and Long Island University, and has been a Clinical Instructor at Columbia University, Seton Hall University, Rutgers University, and Dominican College. John is the former Program Director of Barnabas Health’s Sport Medicine Institute and also serves as an appointed member on the New Jersey Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sport. John’s charitable efforts have included a leading role in local fundraisers for Barnabas Health, The Valerie Fund, The LaConti Child Life Fund, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, The Arthritis Foundation, and The American Cancer Society in addition to supporting more than 100 high schools, college programs and athletic clubs throughout the Tri-State Area.
Kevin Christofora, a father and little league coach, is the author of The Hometown All-Stars children’s book series and a devotee of baseball, America’s favorite pastime. Through his book series, he aims to teach young people about baseball and the habits of a healthy lifestyle in the form of a fun and educational bedtime story. More information can be found at www.thehometownallstars.com.
Full of both beauty and brawn, blonde bombshell Lisa Traugott a star of FOX's competition series "American Grit". A New Jersey native, Traugott had aspirations to be a performer and lived in New York City performing in classical theatre off Broadway. Shortly thereafter, she attended college in Allentown, Pennsylvania and in London prior to moving to Southern California where she met her future husband. After getting pregnant with her first child, she and her husband decided to move to Texas to raise their growing family. Like most new moms, she focused on the upbringing of her children and before long she completely let herself go. When she received an invitation to her 20th high school reunion, she realized that a drastic change needed to take place. She took her final maternity leave paycheck of $150 and drove to the gym where she signed up for as many personal training sessions as she could afford. Five months later, she completely turned her life around and lost over 50 pounds, started a health and fitness blog and received her personal training certificate. She has also become a hugely successful bikini bodybuilder competing in some of the most elite competitions in the country including the Arnold (Schwarzenegger) Classic. After her father passed away from cancer, Traugott became heavily involved in running charity marathons in memory of her father which led her to become an ambassador for the American Cancer Society where she traveled to Sacramento to appeal to politicians for the anti-smoking legislation. Over a 3 year span, she ran in 2 Spartan races and 4 marathons including the Nike Women's Marathon and the Marine Corps Marathon, collectively raising over $100,000. As a 41 year old mom of two, Lisa is now the author of 2 books: She's Losing It! and Mind Your Manners Minnie Monster. She currently resides in Austin, Texas with her husband and 2 children and is getting ready to release a "30 Day Weight Loss Program" available through her website www.ShesLosingIt.com.
Monica Auslander, MS, RD, LD/N is the owner of Essence Nutrition, LLC and is the nutrition princess of South Florida’s food culture. She can be found frequenting the many, many amazing restaurants in Coral Gables and Merrick Park, and has met the love of her life Madeleine, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, who meets clients with her in the office. A practicing registered dietitian, Monica completed her Master’s in Dietetics and Nutrition at Florida International University with published and presented research at the 2013 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Exposition. Monica has previously worked as a pediatric dietitian at Jackson Memorial Hospital in the pediatric intensive care unit and completed internships at Oliver-Pyatt Center, the University of Miami Crohn’s and Colitis Center, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and University of Miami hospital. Monica’s inspiration is to be an advisor, coach, and head cheerleader for all those who wish to make peace with food and achieve optimal health.
Nancy S. Hughes is the author of more than 12 cookbooks and has contributed to more than 40 others. She has developed recipes and worked as a food consultant for a variety of corporations, organizations, and national magazines, including American Heart Association, Cooking Light, Nestle USA, CanolaInfo, Better Homes and Gardens, Betty Crocker, McCormick, ConAgra Foods, USA Rice Foundation, Diabetic Cooking, and Easy Home Cooking. She and her husband, Greg, live in Daphne, AL.
Renata Facchini is an Entrepreneur, Yogi, and the Global Distributor of Liquido Active. She oversees Liquido’s manufacturer located in Brazil and both of its distribution centers located in the US and Australia. Her background includes teaching and training others in the practice of Yoga and she has a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Management and Marketing. She manages the day-to-day business facets of Liquido and is deeply involved in the design, consumer relations and distribution of Liquido’s active wear.
Ross Cascio is an Expert Level Krav Maga Instructor with over a decade teaching Krav Maga self-defense, fight, and fitness classes.
Steve Raftopoulos is the founder of Klio Tea, LLC. Based in Santa Barbara, Klio Tea is the largest U.S. importer of Greek herbal teas. Steve adheres to the nutritional and health philosophies espoused by Hippocrates. Specifically: “let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food”.
Blanco, a Trestles local, has become one of the hottest up and coming West Coast surfers. Being a daughter of a Coast Guard, Blanco was born in Puerto Rico and has lived in Hawaii as well as several spots in Southern California. This graceful goofyfoot is a member of the prestigious Surfing America team. She also an Ambassador for Reef’s boots, shoes, and fashion-forward sandals that combine exotic styling with instant comfort. Additionally, Blanco is committed to Surfing America Prime and NSSA events, she is extremely well rounded, enjoying painting and yoga while living a vegan lifestyle. While she is focused on a National title and maintaining her 4.0 GPA at Connections Academy, her long term goal is to make the ASP Women’s World Tour. www.reef.com/ambassadors/tia-blanco