The “Journey Toward Joy” in my life has been a culmination of events that have contributed–and continue to contribute–to who I am and how I choose to make a difference in this world. This biography is a summary of those events that have led me to you. It is my intention, in writing this, to paint a picture of my journey thus far. My journey started in grade school…
A childhood pass-time of mine was providing a local hospital for stray animals and injured birds. It was quite common for me to bring homean unfortunate creature, attempt to nurse it back to health in the shoebox hospital and expect miracles. Surprisingly, miracles did occur from time to time and some of my most pleasurable memories stem from the pets that stuck around after their discharge from my ER.
Around this time, in the throws of grade school, I “published” my first book for a young writers competition. And while “The Bears Downstairs” never made it as a New York Times Best Seller, the process of creating a book stirred a new interest in me that— unbeknownst to me, would blossom much later in life.
In addition to my creation of the Linder Hospital for Animals and The Bears Downstairs, I was obsessed with Teen Magazine and Seventeen Magazine. I couldn’t get enough of the fashion and beauty tips. I scoured every page, cover to cover looking for any elixir that might transport me to the likeness of my celebrity idols.
Fast forward a few years to my college years at Northwest University. I continued to foster my interest in the sciences and pursued a degree in biology, graduating magna cum laude. I finally knew that I wanted to be naturopathic physician and assist people with their health goals. Ironically, in order to pay for college, a large portion of my twenties was spent working for many major cosmetic companies, in the realm of makeup artistry and skin care. What I didn’t realize was that someday, my passions for natural medicine and aesthetics would collide and form one of the most perfect culminations in a future career.
As I transitioned into the life of a medical student, I began to dive into physiology and biochemistry—and although incredibly challenging for me, science began to provide explanations to many questions I had about weight loss and fat metabolism. While I was never extremely overweight, the desire to be in better shape and lose the extra weight that clung to me since puberty, was always at the forefront of my mind.
After graduating medical school, I was given the opportunity to teach and direct a pharmacy technician program at a college in Oregon. While it was not practicing medicine, it was teaching within the medical field, requiring continual research of both medical science and education philosophy. I did not know that teaching would soon rise to the top of my list of interests; but, it soon became something that felt “natural” (although my former students may disagree). Quickly, I moved up the ranks and accepted a new position as Director of Education. A couple years later, I moved on to become Dean for another college, where I continued to teach and develop curriculum. It was in this new position as Dean, that I thrived under the mentorship of the Campus President and learned and developed skills in leadership, public speaking, curriculum development, etc. It was my experience as a Dean that sparked a revival of my love for writing which had been forgotten. While the authorship of policies and procedures, accreditation reports and submissions to the State may seem mundane, I thoroughly enjoyed the process of creating and contributing to my community.
In addition to these skills, I was mentored, trained and certified in high performance methods using the latest in cognitive psychology and neuroscience. Soon, I created curriculum and instructor training rooted in these concepts that caught the eye of State officials. The insight, leadership and mentorship I received as a result of this experience remain a pinnacle point in my insatiable hunger and fervent desire to pursue excellence in every area of my life.
As an educator and leader, I grew in my understanding of the importance of research and forever being “the student”. In an effort to better myself, I began using these skills to soak up everything I could get my hands on for fat loss and fitness. Over time, my application of the research provided a fruitful outcome and the weight finally came off (ending with a total of 45 pounds lost). I became so passionate about my experience and my transformation that I created a blog post and began writing my first ebook to assist my friends an family on their journey toward health as well.
During my last years as a Dean — and after many futile attempts at love — I finally met my wonderful husband, John. His support, love and continual encouragement have become the foundation for my joy and freedom to be who I am designed to be.
Soon after our engagement, it was clear that moving both of us into my one bedroom apartment would be a clutter challenge. Given my research skills, I scoured the internet for philosophies, ideas and motivation for clearing clutter and simplifying our soon-to-be-life, together. Over the process of a year, I developed habits and methods for minimizing and organizing every nook and cranny of our apartment and so by the time we were married, our humble abode was a Martha Stewart Masterpiece (at least that is how I wish to think of it). The joy I created from this pursuit was overwhelming—and as a result, I dedicated myself to helping my friends and family achieve the same enjoyment from always being able to find their keys, amongst every other material item that is important.
After almost 10 years in education and management, I felt a strong stirring in my soul to get back to medicine and to begin serving my community in a new way. Around this time, SANTÉ Aesthetics & Wellness was well on its way to becoming a new and thriving hot spot in Portland, Oregon. After receiving the invitation from a dear friend and colleague to come join her in her business, I could not say “no”. After all, this new experience was the culmination of my passions: medicine, aesthetics, weight loss and assisting in the occasional blog post; thus providing an avenue to share my talents with Portland. Given the flexibility of my new schedule, I still had time to write and create as part of my desire to serve others, sharing knowledge and assisting my readers with lifestyle challenges. And of course, I continue to find ways I can utilize my organizing and decluttering expertise.
The greatest part of practicing medicine is that I have the opportunity to serve my community and to make a difference sharing my passions—and what I continue to learn—as a Lifestyle, Health, Wellness and Aging-Well Expert. And naturally, I continue to apply these skills utilizing education as part of the hippocratic oath: doctor as teacher.
My medical philosophy is that optimum health and well-being cannot be achieved without addressing every aspect of one’s life including: the importance of spiritual growth; pursuing one’s passions; physically challenging fitness activity; sound nutrition; building healthful relationships; serving others and strategically simplifying one’s life to make room for these important components of a fulfilling existence. In essence, I believe that holistic medicine expands well beyond nutrition, supplements, medications and modalities. And how does my passion for aesthetics fit in with this philosophy, you ask? In my opinion, people are the most beautiful when they understand—and are pursuing— their utmost potential, in the areas listed above. The tools we use in the clinic — while seemingly superficial— are indeed tools, supported by advanced science and utilizing naturally occurring substances, to enhance the natural beauty of everyone that walks through our doors. Each body is a divinely created canvas —that if given enough care, can fully express this unique and natural beauty, even further. This process of enhancement, often provides additional confidence and contentment that allows people to actualize—and become—the ideal version of themselves; rather than, a cookie cutter version that media overproduces as “the norm”.
As a result of believing the importance in this, I have written a book: The Forever Fat Burner and am currently working on a second book that explores how addressing one’s lifestyle, in addition to health and fitness, can miraculously transform one’s drive and sense of purpose on this planet. Writing has become an integral part of my mark that I chose to leave with this world. As part of my pursuit toward enjoying life to its fullest, I have fun participating in board sports with my husband—including snowboarding, surfing and long-boarding at Portland’s waterfront. In addition, as self-proclaimed foodies and wine enthusiasts we look for any opportunity to partake in Oregon’s abundance. And, of course, I can be found organizing nooks, crannies and my life on a regular basis. But, you figured that, didn’t you?
As part of my career, I enjoy teaching in every capacity and am available to guest speak, create topic-specific seminars tailored to you or your company’s needs and provide individualized patient care and coaching. Feel free to reach out to me as I welcome the opportunity to serve you and assist you in your journey.
To your health,