I’m here to guide you along your path to success
Whatever your art, skill, or passion is, a foundation of vibrant health and peak cognitive performance is what leads to mastery. Let me give you the tools and knowledge so you can have more time and energy to spend on creating your art, building your business, and enjoying your relationships.
How does it work?
Order your genetics
I use 23andMe, a commercially available service, to sequence your genome. For $99, they’ll send you a kit, you’ll send it back with a saliva sample, and in a few weeks they’ll send you the data. Then, I’ll take the raw data and analyze it with Apeiron Center’s proprietary algorithms.
Comprehensive Lifestyle Assessment
Before your genetic data comes back, you’ll fill out comprehensive intake forms and we’ll meet (either in person or on skype) to talk in depth about what your goals are. We’ll review what you’re doing currently in all areas of your life and identify the highest impact changes we can make right off the bat.
Precision Genomic Review
I’ll take a look at how your genetics influence the way you respond to foods, supplements and, exercise and how your genes effect the way you sleep and detoxify substances from your body. I’ll make recommendations on how to best support your underlying genetics by choosing the right foods, supplements, herbs, and lifestyle choices.
We’ll work together over a 6 or 12 month period to continue to develop and implement effective lifestyle strategies. Coaching is truly a partnership and we’ll both learn from each other. I’ll provide support, help you stay accountable to your goals, and we’ll keep adding new layers to your increasingly successful routine.
Optimal Health Creates the platform for success.
Some coaches focus on wellness or prevention. I focus on optimal. If you suspect that you have the potential for bigger creativity, deeper connection, and greater vitality, then you’ve already taken to first step. By combining leading-edge knowledge in nutrigenomic and nutrigenetic diets with a systems-thinking approach to holistic health coaching, I can help you rapidly up-level your body and mind so you can maximize your energy, motivation, and connection to your purpose.
Think of your body as the hardware that supports the software of your mind. By upgrading the hardware, the software can run a whole lot faster. The science of epigenetics is showing how we can create positive feedback loops between the software and the hardware by simply inputting the right information and avoiding the things that slow us down. By information, I mean all the things you put in your body, thoughts and emotions that trigger biochemical cascades, and environmental factors you interact with. Food, water, light, sleep, herbs, supplements, exercise, even relationships, thought patterns, and stress have all been shown to change the way our genes are expressed. As an epigenetic coach, I’ll use your own genetic makeup to create customized strategies to make all these factors work for you as an individual.
If you’re ready to up-level your energy, motivation, and sense of wellbeing, I’m here to jump-start the process for you.
Your own genetic makeup holds the key.
Making the decision to start a new diet or to change a habit can be daunting. How do you know what the right choice is when there are so many options out there? There are thousands of diet books published every year, each with a different approach. How is it possible that there can be so many “right” ways? They must be working for someone, right? The answer is that we all have unique bodies with unique metabolisms that respond to and process foods and substances differently. Those differences are encoded in our genes. Yes, some of those diets do work… for some people and not others. I understand if you don’t want to spend your whole life searching for the perfect prefabricated approach. Fortunately, theres a better way…
With the tremendous advances in genetics research over the last 20 years, it is now possible to formulate a perfect dietary and lifestyle plan that is unique to you. Our genes code for the individual differences in all of the metabolic pathways in our body that create our unique responses to food. Thats why two people can eat the exact same diet, and one gets fat and other stays thin. I look at several hundred of these genetic variations called “single-nucleotide polymorphisms” (or SNPs for short) to get a big picture of the way nutrition will impact health, weight loss, and optimal performance. I then can design a customized nutrition plan that is suited to your own genetic makeup. This approach, known as nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics is truly the future of precision self-optimization.
In life there are no shortcuts, but there are more efficient and effective approaches.
This is the lifehack you’ve been looking for.
But… Food is only a piece of the puzzle.
We often think of food and exercise as the biggest factors that go into a healthy life; however, the science of epigenetics has uncovered just how big an impact your more subtle lifestyle choices can have. Epigenetics is the study of how different factors influence the expression of your genes, turning different genes on or off in response to the diet we eat, experiences we have, or environment we’re exposed to. In this context, food is only one of the variables that can contribute to healthy epigenetic expression. Factors like stress, inflammation, light exposure, sleep, toxin exposure, air, water quality, and even our mindset and perception can influence the way we either create or destroy health in our bodies. The human body is an incredibly complex system that is sensitive to numerous different inputs, and the effects are not always obvious or linear. That’s why working with an epigenetic coach is so valuable. I look at the big picture, and I’m able to guide you through how all your day-to-day choices can add up to an optimal version of you.
Who can benefit from epigenetic coaching?
- Anyone who is looking to feel great and perform better. Epigenetic coaching provides the quickest way to precision wellness.
- Artists, Writers, Musicians and other creatives can especially benefit from epigenetic coaching. Achieving total brain health can boost your creativity and help activate the flow state for the ultimate creative hack.
- Anyone seeking to lose weight, whether its 15 or 150 pounds simply needs to have this knowledge. Understanding how to lose weight by uncovering why you respond to certain foods is a missing piece in today’s “try the next diet book” climate. Why waste your time on cookie cutter promises when precision personalized nutrition and lifestyle plans are the key to your success?
- Anyone whose job or passion inherently creates stress. I specialize in working with touring musicians to mitigate the harmful longterm effects of life on the road.
- Business executives, entrepreneurs, speakers, therapists, teachers, or anyone who’s job it is to communicate complex ideas, develop effective strategies, and maintain the energy needed to make a difference in people’s lives can benefit from clearer thought, greater vitality, and a sustained capacity for focus. Epigenetic coaching can give you the edge to standout in your field.
What is nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics?
Nutrigenetics and nutrigenomics are the next phase of personalized precision wellness. In the future, all humans will have access to a personalized understanding of how to eat for their own unique biological makeup. Epigenetic coaching is the first step toward that future.
Nutrigenetics is the study of how to eat for your genes. There are tiny variations in our genetic codes that affects response to nutrients. This knowledge can then be applied to develop personalized nutrition for people based on their individual genetic makeup. For instance, if you had a genetic variation that made it difficult to transport saturated fat in the body, we would alter the diet to include less saturated fat. Or, for someone who may have a genetic predisposition to have lower conversion from the inactive form of vitamin A (beta-carotene) to the active form of vitamin A (retinol), we would add foods high in retinol into the diet or supplement extra retinol to help offset the genetic predisposition.
Nutrigenomics is the study of how food and nutrients effect gene expression. Epigenetics is the study of how genes change their expression in response to stimuli such as food. Genes can be “turned up” or “turned down” through a variety of different mechanisms, and this is a major area of research today. Nutrigenomics allows us to very precisely modify some of the most very basic layers of the human system in order to positively change the health outcome. For example, if you have a genetic variation or SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism) that predisposes you to have low adiponectin, an important hormone for hunger and satiety, we could add more monounsaturated fat into the diet as that has been shown to actually upregulate or boost the expression of the gene that codes for adiponectin. Nutrigenomics is one of most exciting areas of research in science today.
I apply both of these fields in my work as an Epigenetic coach and draw upon a vast array of genome wide association studies to inform my work.
What is epigenetics?
Epigenetics is the study of how the expression of genes can be changed. It is also the study of how gene expression can be trans-generationally inherited.
The central dogma of genetics is this: Genes code for proteins which create the biochemical foundation for life which creates the individual variations we see in organisms.
However, it’s not so simple. Our genome contains roughly 23,000 genes, but we can create over 1,000,000 different proteins. So how is this achieved? Through the magic of epigenetics. Based on the environmental conditions, our genetic code is designed to morph and change its function to meet the needs of the environment. Individual genes can also be epigenetically “marked” to turn off or on depending on if the situation calls for it. It does this through a variety of complex chemical markers and modifications, and more is being understood about this process every day. Everything from diet to meditation to sleep can have profound influences on epigenetic expression.
These epigenetic markers can also be inherited by your children. A number of landmark studies have proven that our bodies select sperm and egg cells that “match up” with the current environment, and pass that information along to the next generation to prepare them to manage and survive it. This epigenetic information can influence generations to come. For example, grandchildren of holocaust survivors have been shown to have abnormal stress responses, a result of epigenetic methylation patterns in key genes.
All of the nutrition and lifestyle factors I focus on in my coaching look through the lens of epigenetics create optimal health and performance. You don’t need to understand the science to benefit from it, thats my job.
Want to learn more about what epigenetic coaching entails?
We’ll focus on optimizing each of the layers below. Learn how each of these factors can influence your health through epigenetic modifications.
Food is one of the most potent medicines we have for maintaining optimal health and the way we respond to food is influenced by our genetics. A 2014 study from the European Society of Human Genetics showed 33% greater weight loss in people following a genetically appropriate diet. Through my nutrigenomic and nutrigenetic analysis, you’ll learn how your genetics influence:
- Key hormones such as adiponectin, leptin, and ghrelin control our hunger and satiety response
- Neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin can hijack our the pleasure and reward response of eating
- SNPs in the genes that code for those hormones and neurotransmitters can create underlying predispositions for weight gain, lack of appetite control, emotional eating, and insulin resistance
- If you have SNPs that may create issues in this area, you’ll learn what action items you can do to help support these important hormones
- Learn whether you are more genetically suited for high or low carbohydrate diet
- Learn whether you are more genetically suited for high or low fat diet
- Fat is an essential nutrient and a building block for much of our biochemistry. Neurotransmitters, hormones, and cellular membranes are made from fat and cholesterol. Your genetics can give us a clue as to the proper balance of fat in your diet.
- What type of fat you metabolize best – saturated, monounsaturated, or polyunsaturated
- Learn how much protein you really need
- Excessive protein can cause inflammation in some people while others need high protein in order to maintain a healthy weight
- Genetic Origins of Taste Preferences
- Prefer sweet foods? Love salty, fatty foods? Can’t stand bitter foods? There’s a genetic basis for that!
- Identifying the underlying genetic origin of some of our preferences can help us understand our eating habits better
- Prefer sweet foods? Love salty, fatty foods? Can’t stand bitter foods? There’s a genetic basis for that!
- Learn about the genetic factors that influence our base metabolic rate, and how we can positively effect our metabolism based our on our genes
- Lactose Intolerence
- Are you likely to be lactose intolerant based on the genes that code for the lactase enzyme
- Is caffeine good for you or not? So many studies contradict each other, and it turns out thats because older studies didn’t control for genetics. Caffeine is cardioprotective for genetic variants with a fast caffeine metabolism and creates cardiac risk with a slower metabolism. Also learn if you have a SNP that predisposes you to have increase beta brain waves from caffeine, a marker of anxiety and stress. Know how your coffee effects you!
Food is made up of a lot more than just fat, carbs, and protein. We require a vast array of biochemical building blocks, and it can very helpful to know where you might need extra support.
- Learn about how your body is predisposed to break down, absorb, and transport specific micronutrients such as vitamin B12, vitamin B6, choline, selenium, vitamin D, vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, vitamin A, Magnesium, and vitamin E.
- Learn how to optimize your body’s metabolic pathways by using the most suitable form of those nutrients for your biochemistry, precisely targeting the weak links in the chain.
- Learn whether or not high sodium intake might contribute to high blood pressure
- Learn about your caffeine metabolism and whether its beneficial or presents a health risk to you
- Learn the best methods for balancing these predispositions through supplementation, herbs, and lifestyle choices
Sleep is quite possibly the number one factor in creating health. This article does a nice job outlining how sleep epigenetically modifies our immune system, stress response, and decreases cancer risk. As your epigenetic coach, I’ll take a look at your circadian genes responsible for sleep to get a look at:
- How much sleep do you really need?
- Most people think they can get by on just a few hours of sleep. But, the average person really needs around 8 hours of sleep to function optimally. Some people genetically are wired to need less or more, and I’ll be able to tell you that.
- Are you genetically wired to have an early morning preference?
- People who match their schedule up with their genetic predisposition tend to have better outcomes and more abundant energy.
- Are you genetically predisposed to sleep disturbances or delayed sleep phase syndrome?
- Understanding why you might not be sleeping can help mitigate the issue.
- How can you get the best sleep possible?
- We’ll work together to develop deep restful sleep. Hacking your sleep by optimizing your environment, learning the latest sleep hygiene techniques, and designing a nighttime routine can make a huge impact. Great sleep is the platform that optimal gets built upon.
The word “detox” has become a commercial fad lately, often designed to sell you products. The truth is our bodies have an incredibly robust built-in detoxification system designed to breakdown and excrete toxic substances. Its extremely efficient, and does not require fancy “detox” drinks to make it work well for most people. However; it is possible to enhance our internal detoxification system using targeted nutrients and herbs. Through genetic analysis, we can determine which genes responsible for detoxification enzymes are functioning well and which ones need support. Then we can add in specific herbs and nutrients that upregulate or balance the function of that particular gene, strengthening the body’s ability to handle and remove toxic substances in a precise and personalized way. This pathway specific method is safer and more effective than a “throw it to the wall and see what sticks” approach. Bolstering the detoxification systems of the body can have very positive effects on inflammation, leading to increased energy, weight loss, and longevity.
Healthy movement and exercise is one of the most powerful epigenetic modifiers for optimal genetic expression. This article outlines some of how this happens. We all know that different people prefer different exercise routines and have different body types. You’ll learn how your genetics effect your:
- Muscle Composition
- Learn how your genes influence the balance between fast or slow twitch muscle fibers in your body
- VO2 Max Trainability
- VO2 Max is the measure of how much oxygen you can deliver to your muscles during heavy exercise and is a measure of cardiorespiratory fitness. Genetics help determine how much you can improve your VO2 max with training.
- Recovery Genomics
- How long does it take for you to recover and build muscle after exercise? Overtraining can do more harm than good, and understanding the genetic basis for muscle recovery is powerful knowledge. Exercising with the right amount of recovery between workouts is critical to getting the greatest benefit out of your routine.
- Power vs Endurance
- Are you genetically predisposed to perform short bursts of exercise or go long distances naturally? Learning the genetic basis for this can help you capitalize on your strengths.
- Soft Tissue SNPs
- Are you genetically predisposed to tendon, ligament, or muscle tears? SNPs in collagen related genes can give us a big clue in what system may fail under duress, giving you the knowledge to mitigate your risks for injury by intelligently selecting your exercise strategy.
- Exercise and Weight Loss
- Want to lose weight? Knowing what type of exercise to do is critical. It may seem counter-intuitive, but not all people respond to exercise in the same way. Some people simply don’t respond to endurance exercise to lose weight well, and others can actually gain weight doing resistance or weight training. Understanding how you are genetically predisposed is a powerful hack to get the most out of your time and effort.
Our environment is more than just the place we live. Its the way our biology interfaces with ALL of the signals it gets. The air we breathe, food we eat, light we see, sound we hear, and products we put on our skin all contribute to the way that our bodies sense what is going on around us. Our biology is evolutionarily designed to adapt moment to moment based on those environmental signals, and so providing ourselves with the most optimal and least stressful stimuli on a daily basis is fundamental to our health. This is the crux of epigenetics. The expression of our genes is meant to be matched to the environment around us. All of the input our bodies get from the surrounding world provides contextual clues to how our bodies can function at their best. We’ll work together to optimize how the following environmental factors work together to effect your biology.
Your circadian rhythm controls a lot more than just sleep. Every single function in your body is influenced by the timing of circadian genes, and developing routines and schedules that work with, rather than against, the natural flow of time can accelerate your journey to optimal. The timing of neurotransmitters, hormones, and many other biochemical signals all wax and wane throughout the day, and the synchronized timing of these cycles is critical for good health. Imagine sitting down at a restaurant to eat a salad for lunch, and instead of having all the ingredients at once, the waiter brings out a plateful of lettuce. Then 20 minutes later, you get some tomatoes, then 30 minutes later the onions show up, and then an hour later you get a little cup of dressing as a chaser. Not so ideal, right? That’s analogous to what happens in your body when your circadian clocks are not synchronized with each other. Different biological electrochemical processes in your body are designed to function together, and when they are out of phase with each other, chaos can ensue.
Together we’ll create strategies that take advantage of natural rhythms to support optimal heath and productivity.
How do you relate to others? Up-leveling the body’s energy levels, boosting cognitive function, and getting your biochemistry firing on all cylinders can have profound impact on the way you relate to others. If you’re tired all the time, or in a bad mood because you’re hungry, maintaining healthy relationships can be a challenge. By creating a metabolic base for good communication, relationships become easier, and it becomes easier to mean what you say. I’m not a therapist, but having a non-judgemental friend to listen can be extremely helpful to sorting out your thoughts and feelings. If improving your relationships is a goal, having the mental clearance and capacity to self-reflect and empathize with others is critical.
Maintaining supportive and healthy relationships is a key factor in healthy epigenetic expression, and we’ll work together as partners to help bring out your best. For an in depth discussion of how social factors effect genetics, check out this paper by Steven Cole. It’s a bit dense, but a great primer on the genetic factors of relationships.
“Studies of human social genomics are now clarifying which specific types of human genes are subject to social regulation and mapping the social signal transduction pathways that mediate these effects. The results of these analyses are shedding new light on the molecular basis for social influences on individual heath, the genomic basis for human thriving, and the metagenomic capabilities that emerge from networked communities of socially sensitive genomes and underpin human group selection and the evolution of our hypersocial life history strategy.”
Mindset and Perception
How do you reach your goals? Are you in control of your mindset? Do you find yourself knowing what you need to do, but have trouble acting upon it? We’re often driven by our subconscious tendencies and patterns without even realizing it. Trying to paddle a boat towards as our subconscious sweeps us out to see is a very difficult task. Instead of paddling against the current, lets just change the direction the water is flowing in. We’ll work together to identify and dismantle the limiting beliefs that might be holding you back from achieving your goals. We’ll also implement habit formation techniques and other mind hacks that get you where you want to be in the most efficient manner possible. Establishing a robust connection between the mind and body through mindfulness practice has been shown to radically alter genomic expression for the better and meditation has been shown to alter over 2000 pro-health genes. We’ll work together to find the best practices for bridging the mental and emotional gap between you and your goals.
All roads lead back to the brain, and as such, all the other layers of coaching are designed around optimizing brain function. As a creative individual myself, I value peak brain function tremendously, and love working with people who are seeking to optimize their brains too. We’ll work together to provide your brain with the critical nutrients it needs for ideal cognitive function, the sleep it needs to refresh, repair, and consolidate memory, the exercise it needs to stimulate BDNF and other neuro growth factors, the nootropics to boost creative power when you need it, the environmental factors and practices that decrease inflammation for clarity of though, and meditative techniques, functional neuromusic and mindset hacks to shift perception to move past mental blocks.
I’m trained as an Epigenetic Coach by Dr. Dan Stickler, Co-Founder of Apeiron Center for Human Potential, one of the leading Physicians in clinically applied nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics. I use his method of genomic analysis, and you can be assured that any recommendations I make are under the guidance of an experienced clinician. I am not a medical professional and this is not a medical service, but rather a lifestyle coaching service. In the future, precision genomic nutrition will be the standard practice, and I’m proud to offer these next-generation services to you today.