7 mistakes even healthy people make...
Lara is a Stress Management Facilitator, Nutritionist, and Fitness Pro, and Speaker on the topics. She's led scores of folks from executives to the everyman in healthy lifestyle shifts on-site, streaming live online, and on live TV.
“Come back to an awareness wiser than thinking. Come back to an awareness kinder than thinking.”
TV & PRINT
As a spokesperson, Lara's represented Del Monte pineapple for high vitamin C (which she eats almost daily), Adidas apparel worn in the Olympics for daily performance, Knudsen and more. As a TV guest expert, she's dished advice on Oxygen, MTV, Fox and more. She was a recurring nutrition and fitness expert on The WB/CW morning show in NYC, including for sweeps, for 3 years.
In print, her simple wellness advice has been penned in Mensa Bulletin, quoted in NY Daily News and Self , and delved into in Weight Watcher’s, SI Advance, Mode and GQ stating early on, “I highly recommend raiding your piggy bank for at least one session with…Lara!” A fitness model during grad school, she booked Reebok Catalogue, Fitness Magazine and more. A teen jock, the LA Times named her a defender selected to the CA A-1 soccer team.
Lara holds a Columbia University, M.S. in Applied Physiology and Nutrition, Cornell University, B.A. in Biology and Society, and certifications from UCLA Semel Institute as a Mindfulness Facilitator, in nutrition and in fitness. She draws upon classical theatre training and is a member of SAG-AFTRA.
Q & A
What's your mission?
"Don't die with your music inside you," as Wayne Dyer said. That's my mission: helping tune up your instrument—your mind and body—towards that end, by improving your stress, food and fitness. I share evidence-based strategies that can be fused with a fun lifestyle, in part or in whole. According to participants, in part can change your day; in whole can change your life.
What influenced you?
It might not be what you think! The women in my family were mental and medical health professionals, so I became a health professional myself. However, the men in my family – father and mother’s father – worked in politics in Wash DC. That field is turbulent, cutthroat, and uncertain, with high stakes, power players, the whole nine, even though it’s ultimately about (or should be about) helping society at large. I stayed out of that world myself, but not without its hidden influence. When I started teaching wellness, I invariably took on a bit of a different approach. I teach…
wellness not simply for a stress-free life, but in the face of friction, so we can live an exciting life without sacrificing health
wellness not simply for energy or weight loss, but for universal values, cultivating a personal sense of life, liberty and happiness
wellness not just for high-end venues, but for communities and the everyman; not necessarily for everyone, but for anyone
What’s your story?
Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons, for starters. Psychotherapist BFF Mom participated in the first-ever weightlifting video pilot for women by Jane Fonda, and Richard Simmons’ first-of-its-kind Deal-a-Meal (which I experimented with aside her, as his youngest participant). My M.D. aunt, Public Health Commissioner in New Mexico, inspired me into contemplative practices at age 13. It all gave me insight.
When I became a health professional myself, I was working from 6 am through 11 pm. I was working with us regular folks to A-listers. And I started doing enough regular TV to be occasionally recognized on the street — which altogether led to a lot of pressure to be “ON”… all. the. time.
To sustain that lifestyle, a sugary item for breakfast, a few diet sodas, non-organic foods, and 4-5 hours of sleep a night became the ritual. Stellar portion control, conversely, with sprint interval training and contemplative practices was my secret formula. I was half healthy and half not-so-much and, despite knowing better, could totally get away with it... or so I thought.
As my teacher says,
“The question is whether we have to swim through the pool of sh%& or we can heed the sign sh%& to wake up.”
When I booked a line in a film, complete with my own little trailer, the professional grade make-up did the opposite, making me look worse. I hadn’t realized my skin was quite worn and, WAY MORE IMPORTANTLY, since skin is the body’s largest organ, then what other organs were unnecessarily worn down that I couldn’t see, I wondered. The outer simply reflects the inner. I already knew the city fumes and noise had grated on my health. And I wasn’t actually happy. I had to start taking more care of my own wellness.
What shifted you?
Out of the blue came an invitation to start visiting Jerusalem, spiritual capital of the West converging travelers from the world over (China and India to Brazil). As my colleagues were pilgrimaging East with the yoga movement (Bali, Thailand, etc.), Jerusalem brought a unique perspective. However, when I arrived on a mountaintop overlooking the old city, as silly as it might sound, there was no microwave.
“When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”
I had to shift overnight to locally sourced homemade food, a bit before farm-to-table was en vogue, with other wellness jolts. After eating a peach one dusk off the tree (vs. with “shipping and handling”), I really could taste the vitality. A hop, skip and a jump away was the Dead Sea mineral waters, lowest point on earth (complete with the lowest bar on earth). To realign with nature, those waters became a Saturday ritual.
However, the 14-hr plane flights, the middle east intensity, living from a suitcase, rearranging life accordingly... way more stressful than it’d seem. I couldn’t escape life stress. When psychotherapist BFF mom attended her CECs (continuing education credits) on the topic of stress in LA, I tagged along for fun.
Light bulb! Stress management isn’t just more nature or less clutter but a moment-to-moment awareness, the very mindful awareness I’d been taught and taught, but applied a bit differently. Now this was the missing link to radical wellness, even relationships, and performance—and the therapeutic balance to the trendy sexy diet and fitness industry I'd worked in. My life’s work came together. Trifecta Method® was born.
“Do you have to have a teacher?” the student asked. “No,” the teacher answered, “but it’ll be a lot faster with one.”
If I hadn’t invested some time into real wellness, I would’ve continued with the media, but burnt out like a sprinter. Investing some energy paradoxically earns us even more time in the marathon or ironman of life. You certainly don’t have to travel to 3x your wellness. It certainly can help to learn from a teacher who has.
What’s your motto?
I have many, but one is “all of the above.” For too long, I operated by “either-or”—either wellness and relationships, or career; either wellness and career, or relationships; and so on. I finally leveled up to “all of the above”— not only linking stress, food and fitness as I teach, but as manifested in body, work and relationships, and in body, mind and soul.