I’m Monica and I love amazing food. Before moving to the greater Philadelphia area, I spent much of my life living in New York City being exposed to all sorts of (amazing) cuisines. And since moving, it's been a lot of fun jumping into Philly's growing food scene. I get it. Food is a big reason why life can be so enjoyable. It can also be a big source of stress. It doesn't have to be and we can decide to enjoy eating and ditch our dieting mentality together.
Like many of you, my family has a long history of medical issues, including morbid obesity and extensive cardiovascular disease. From a young age, it appeared to me that many of these health issues resulted from an unhealthy relationship with food and a lack of understanding about nutrition.
This led me to study nutrition at Syracuse University, where I was fortunate enough to graduate at the top of my class. While at Syracuse, I took a class called "Diet and Disease" that crystalized the correlation among nutrition, medicine and disease, and inspired me to pursue a career in medicine to complement my nutrition background.
After graduating from Syracuse, I went to Physician Assistant school at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn, NY, where I graduated with honors.
Since graduating, I have trained with Wellcoaches and the Institute for Functional Medicine, whose mission is to get to the root cause of our medical and nutritional issues by taking a whole picture view of the person.
My weight struggle
During PA school between the endless studying, clinical rotations and stress, I let my eating and exercise routine slip and found myself significantly heavier by the time I graduated. My cholesterol was high for the first time ever and I felt fatigued and moody with an entire closet full of ill-fitting clothes.
I made it my top priority to change my behaviors while healthfully eating and exercising my way back to good health. As I started my first job as a PA, I dove head first into the famed NYC exercise scene, trying nearly every form of exercise (Soul Cycle, Physique 57, Pure Barre, Yoga, UFC Boxing, Equinox) until I found Pilates, my fitness passion. Even with my long hospital shifts, I started making the lifelong behavioral changes that I adhere to today. In a year, I lost the weight. And despite my clear genetic predisposition to obesity, I have managed to keep it off using the skills of Intuitive Eating.
My clinical practice as a PA
I began my career as a PA, practicing Internal Medicine at New York-Presbyterian, Columbia, New York's #1 hospital. As my career progressed, I moved to the east side of Manhattan to New York-Presbyterian, Cornell, practicing in Internal Medicine and Geriatric Medicine as a Senior Physician Assistant. It was so rewarding to be able to treat some of the sickest of the sick in their time of need. But my time at NYP also made clear the shortcomings of conventional medicine whose focus is treating diseases rather than preventing them. After moving to the Greater Philadelphia area, I joined a weight management practice to help patients prevent disease by helping them take steps to overhaul their lifestyle and habits.
My bottom line
What's the bottom line? Health is about more than calories, more than taking medicine, more than picking up weights and putting them down. Health is a mindset and state of being that is truly a lifelong commitment that requires behavioral changes.
By combining my conventional and integrative medical background alongside my many years of clinical medicine, nutritional and fitness experience, I am so excited to work with you to develop and implement your health and lifestyle goals as your integrative health coach. I cannot wait to share my love and passion for health and wellness with you! LET'S DO THIS TOGETHER!!
Weight Management Physician Assistant
New York-Presbyterian Cornell Internal Medicine and Senior Geriatric Medicine Physician Assistant
New York-Presbyterian Columbia Internal Medicine Physician Assistant
Hiking/Skiing/Kickboxing/Yoga and of course Pilates - love being active!
Traveling - 26 countries and counting!
Concerts & Music - especially Nine Inch Nails, Classic Rock, 90's rap and *guilty pleasure*, the Backstreet Boys!
Cooking - realistic, simple, delicious
Animals - having had both a golden retriever + cavalier king charles spaniel, I LOVE big AND small dogs!