Tell me about what you do - and why it’s so important?
I’m a clinical herbalist, wellness coach and teacher.
My goal is to help you remove harmful chemicals from your body. I assist people in resolving their health challenges by incorporating delicious, healthy food, herbal medicines, clean alkaline water and simple lifestyle changes into their daily life.
My specialties are working with digestive issues such as GERD, IBS, colitis and simple gas and bloating, anxiety / stress related problems as well as helping people who are unable to get to sleep or stay asleep as well as those who suffer from menopause symptoms such as hot flashes, mood swings and vaginal dryness. In addition to my work with people I also work a lot with dogs and cats with health issues such as urinary and digestive disorders, some cancers in addition to many other health issues.
My mission is to help you obtain that natural glow that comes from the inside out. Let me put you on the path to wellness and help you regain your health and enjoyment of life.
What is the passion for what you do based on?
Over twelve years ago my oldest daughter was diagnosed with Lyme disease which developed into Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. The doctors had her on one pharmaceutical after another. It was like a shot in the arm for me, how dare this happen to my daughter. How dare the universe play this game with us? I needed to learn more, I needed to find a solution to her problem. Eight years later she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and then Osteoporosis, side effects of the pharmaceuticals. Even though I was a practicing herbalist at the time, I knew that I needed some additional tools in my toolbox. The universe stepped in this time with ionized alkaline water. We bought her a Chanson Alkaline Water Ionizer. With just this water she was able to wean off of the drugs and last summer advised me that she is now off of the drugs entirely and in wonderful health with clean blood work and no pain. I need to help others make these changes in their lives.
I am asked all the time, what started you on this path? For many years I worked as a CPA, it was a job, but I never felt connected to it. Once I had my family I was determined to create a healthy environment for them and part of this plan was for my family to eat organic foods. The cost was not so important to me. I just knew this was necessary. My friends and family initially were not on board. They’d ask “why spend so much money on organic foods?” My response has always been “I rather spend my money on healthy organic food to keep my family from consuming harmful pesticides.”
I was introduced to the magic of herbs at an herbal conference. I came home from the conference and I just knew that I needed to learn more about medicinal herbs so that I could help change my own health and the lives of so many others. Through my studies with Robin Rose Bennett, David Winston and many other herbalists, I realized that I had the tools to help so many of the health issues that I had seen in friends and family. Bonnie’s Herbals, now rebranded as Radiant Health for Life was born. I invite you to let me show you how these plants can help reduce or eliminate health challenges you may be facing.
What do you mean when you use the words “radiant health”?
“Radiant Health” is about turning on your light. It’s the radiance that comes from getting to know your body, your chemistry and your needs in a whole new way. Everyone can hit that place of radiant health – not through fads or a one-size fits all program. Simple good health is a great thing – but radiant health is several steps further. I don’t want to scare you, not everyone reading this wants to have radiant health, and I don’t only work with people who do want that, however if you are one of those people, I’d love to help you achieve it so that you can begin to walk through life with that radiant feeling. I love that “aha” moment when my clients feel when it all clicks in.
Tell us about what you do?
I help people remove their health challenges so they can move through life with ease. So many people are being held back by their health; they may always have had stomach pain, they’re exhausted as they’re not sleeping well, their anxiety is stopping them from doing the things they want to do or they just simply need something to shift their energy and focus.
As an herbalist and a holistic practitioner, I feel it’s so important to support my clients. I not only assist my clients in applying my knowledge, I teach them simple ways to incorporate them into their life. I will hold your hand as you go through this journey of eliminating what doesn’t serve you. It can be as simple as helping your body deal with your daily stress to as complicated as a health condition such as a digestive problem or blood sugar issues you’ve dealt with for years. Together we will put together a plan. You are encouraged to work at the pace that you feel comfortable with. Some people want to change everything at one time, but for most people baby steps are necessary.
My number one goal when working with clients is to help them feel their best. Just because today they are suffering with some “dis-ease” doesn’t mean that they are stuck with it forever. Change can happen. Together we work to incorporate delicious, healthy food, water and simple lifestyle changes because simple changes can create powerful shifts.
Why is all of this so important to you?
We live in a toxic world. A world filled with pesticides and chemicals; a world in which people turn towards pharmaceuticals before they turn towards good nutrition. Our water supply is filled with not only chemicals like chlorine and fluoride, but also heavy metals that are toxic to our bodies. Drug residues from all kinds of pharmaceuticals are even being detected in our water source. What can I do to help? I felt the need to coach others, to teach what can be done to eliminate these toxins and show people healthy solutions. By making simple choices we can create dramatic shifts in our health and wellness. I empower my clients, whether teaching how to grow an organic garden, how to make more healthy nutritional choices, how to create and use herbal medicine or introducing ionized water machines and water filters for clean toxin free water. My goal is to help my client become the radiant, healthy person they always imagined he or she could be.
Who needs your help the most?
I’d say that someone who feels they are at their wits end or who feels they have just about had it with their health issues. Many suffer from low energy, brain fog, and high anxiety levels from stress. People are not sleeping well. Others have been diagnosed with blood sugar issues, joint problems, and digestive issues. Maybe you are tired of yo-yo dieting and simply want better health and to feel better.
Following is a short list of the challenges I’ve helped my clients either remove many of their symptoms and in many situations overcome: Hot Flashes, Sleepless nights due to menopause and other issues, Anxiety, Stress, Acid Reflux, Other digestive disorders, Fibromyalgia, Headaches and Migraines, Diabetes, Low Energy, Hard time focusing, Muscle aches and Pains, Back pain and much more.
I think that the one defining factor that people I’ve worked with successfully have in common is they WANT to make a change. They recognize they need help. This is an important step, for one to recognize a problem and want change. My clients want someone who will be there to help them make simple to complex changes; someone they can work one on one with in a coaching program. They want help and what I can do is address their needs and use the tools I possess to produce these changes.
What tools do you use?
These tools range from teaching you how to sprout and eat green smoothies, to cooking long bone broths. Perhaps, I will recommend a water filter or water ionizer; it may be an herbal protocol or it may be as simple as teaching you how to breathe properly. It’s all about you and where you want to go on your journey to wellness.
My goal is to help others realize that being healthy is not complicated.
- Being healthy doesn’t mean spending hours in the kitchen.
- Being healthy doesn’t mean that you need to spend a fortune on your health food.
- Being healthy doesn’t mean that you need to give up all of your favorite foods.
- Often following simple steps can make powerful changes in your health.
What stops people from taking the first step?
I think what keeps people from change is pain: the anticipation of pain, the “not enough pain” to shift and then finally, too much NOT to change. No one is going to take the first step until their problem hurts enough. I always think about this story someone told me years ago:
A backpacker was walking down the street in Thailand when he encountered an old man sitting on his porch and a dog lying on the porch whining and groaning. He asked the old man why the dog was acting that way. “Because he’s lying on a nail” the old man replied. “Why doesn’t he get up?” the man asked. “Because he’s not hurting bad enough” the old man replied. . .
Unfortunately, pain is a great motivator and most of us let things get out of hand before we seek help. I am here to help you make the shift in your thinking that allows for new habits, healthier choices, to take root and grow.
Tell us more about your own story – how did you come upon the realization that this was your life’s mission?
I really understood that this was my life’s mission when I realized that I had been creating a body of knowledge – from spending years studying to be a clinical herbalist (which I absolutely love) to learning so many disciplines in the health and nutrition field , I knew this was what I needed to do. I wanted to make a huge difference in people’s lives. Combining this knowledge with the philosophy of “shift,” I knew this was important to share with others, so they could benefit as well. “Shift” is about breaking out of old ways of thinking, doing, being – and creating something new based on new ways of thinking about yourself and your health. This is central to the realization that my programs were, in fact, my life’s mission.
Thankfully, my health challenges have been minimal – but my family has been a different story (my daughter’s story is above, and my father in law’s story will follow) My main challenge has been my weight – and in predictable fashion, all the yo-yo dieting ended up as a blood pressure issue. What made the difference in my life (I’ve lost 20 lbs in the past few months and I’m on my way to my goal) was that I began to walk my talk. By changing the way I looked at food and how I felt when I ate certain foods I’ve become aware of what my body wants.
Personally, what works for me is drinking a lot of green smoothies, lots of sprouts, vegetables (both raw and cooked), good clean meat proteins, and drinking ½ my body weight of Chanson alkaline water. When I eat this way, my body, mind and spirit become aligned. When I start to eat things like bread or sugar I can really feel that alignment unravel. My specialty is looking at someone’s health issues and pulling together a plan for them to correct their health challenges.
Who’s your personal hero in life? Who is the teacher or professional who taught you the most, given you the most value that you’ve been able to share with others?
My husband is my personal hero in life. He’s the kind of person that most aspire to be like. He knows that if you really believe in something you can achieve it. He feels comfortable in his skin. He makes everyone feel comfortable around him, not by pretending to be something he’s not, but by being who he is.
His law clients adore him, not because he always tells them the things that they want to hear, but because he tells them the truth. He treats people with respect. He believes that life is not only about making money, but taking time to do the things that you enjoy. This includes spending time with our family and for him it means getting on his motorcycle to feel the wind and freedom that comes with it.
The teacher who has taught me the most is Robin Rose Bennett. Robin is not only my teacher and mentor, now she is my friend. Robin taught me the magic of the plant kingdom. She taught me how to look at plants in a different way, that the plants can help us heal in a variety of ways. They can help us physically in addition to helping us heal on a spiritual level. I learned how to make herbal medicines and how to use the plants daily in simple overnight infusions. In my consultations and classes I share the information I learned from Robin with everyone.
Now… let’s dig into your program and process.
First, why are herbs so important and how do you use them?
In my opinion, herbs are essential for re-balancing the body. As an herbalist I look at what you need and recommend herbs that will help balance that area of your body. Certain herbs will be used for acute situations and others are tonic herbs that can be used every day of your life; they help infuse the body with minerals and nutrients. I like to work with herbs in many forms, my preference is to use them in teas, tinctures, baths and oils but they do come in pills and we will work with them in pill form if you really want to.
Many times, I recommend my clients make an overnight infusion – this will help them get the most minerals out of the plant. Another possibility is that I will recommend a tincture formula where the person will take from ¼ – 1 teaspoon, 1-3 times per day. It’ll all be based on what we determine you should use and the method that will work the best.
I create custom formulas to address a client’s current symptoms. I’m not a physician so I can’t diagnose or treat you, however, I offer education and information on herbs that can remove or shift your current symptoms. I will either mix the formula or give you the formula and a list of resources where to get the herbs; or you can get your herbs on your own, it’s totally up to you.
I have a list of wonderful local herb farms and suppliers of herbal formulations listed here on the site.
How does your approach differ?
My client Vicki from www.teachingspirit.com recently said to me “I’ve heard and worked with other herbalists, but what you do differently is that you make the herbs come to life. When I work with you I understand why the herbs will help me and how to work with them.” My goal is to take everything into account – your personal health and nutrition goals – and recommend from there. Each situation is different. I don’t only recommend herbs. It may be that your situation is such that I’m just going to recommend that you add alkaline water to your body and that’s it. I look to find a solution for you that will work with your lifestyle – however I’m also looking for one that will help you to remove your health concern.
For example: You aren’t sleeping well, and you’re a little anxious about something coming up. When I look at the whole picture I’m going to look at what you are eating, what you are drinking, what your current sleep patterns are then come up with a customized plan just for you.
How would we work together?
First, I recommend that you set up our 15-minute Get Acquainted Call. After we speak I will send you the link to my Client questionnaire and a link to schedule our initial meeting. Our meeting can be in person, on the phone or via Skype. I can also meet you at my office at the Center for Aligned Healing in Chappaqua, NY. This call will help us get clear about your issues and concerns and will give me a chance to recommend an initial course of action.
Second, WHY is water so important? Why do you focus on water? Tap water in cities and towns has chlorine and other chemicals, but is that so bad? And if one doesn’t drink tap water, and chooses bottled water most of the time, isn’t that good enough?
I spend a lot of time focusing on water these days. When we are born our bodies are at least 85% water, as we get older we start to dehydrate (which creates an acidic body pH) and with that comes a myriad of disease. In addition, the water many of us are drinking is either filled with chemicals, coming from plastic bottles and is very acidic. My mission is to help alkalinize your body and remove the chemicals from your life.
The reason I feel that pH of water is so important is because for many of us, our bodies are too acidic and creating an alkaline pH in the body helps the body to resist disease. A quick lesson: At rest, the normal blood pH of a human being is slightly alkaline with a pH of 7.365 and there is very little margin of error with the blood –if it goes up or down just slightly the cells of the body cannot function anymore. The blood therefore has the ability to pull buffers from our body. It will pull minerals from our bones, hair, and cartilage and just about anywhere it can find them to keep the blood in equilibrium. This leads to all sorts of problems – read more about alkaline water in this article.
Next are the chemicals that may be in your water. First, all municipal tap water has chlorine in it and it generally doesn’t taste good and is questionable whether it is good for you or not. Most communities have fluoride in their water. There’s a lot of research on why you do not want to be drinking fluoride. Unfortunately what is now found in our water systems are drug residue and heavy metals, they have their own problems in our bodies. My mission is to help people reduce the chemicals in their lives. I recommend that everyone puts a water filter on their drinking water. If cost is an issue please look at the Chanson C3 – if not I highly recommend that you put the Chanson Nano water filter along with a storage tank on it. It will remove all foreign matter but it will leave the calcium and magnesium in your water. You will have the safest and best tasting water around.
You say that having too much acid in the system is bad, and having more alkaline in the system is good. Why is that? What are some of the ways you tell clients to add alkaline?
What I have learned over the years is that the acid-base (alkaline) balance is crucial to our health. Disease tends to flourish in an acid environment. My goal is to help my clients achieve an alkaline pH so that there is less chance that disease can take hold.
What may be symptoms of an unbalanced pH?
I’d say that most disease is caused by an unbalanced pH. As an herbalist I work with herbal teas and infusions along with nutrition. Combining the alkaline water with the herbs gives me the best results. When your body is balanced, it vibrates at a higher frequency, you feel alive, you feel vibrant, and you feel radiant. However when it is not balanced you may see symptoms such as yeast infections, urinary tract infections, digestive problems, skin problems, low energy, brain fog, menopausal symptoms, joint disorders and more.
What do you say to people who tell you they’re not sure they’re ready to start just now, that maybe they should wait until fall? Or next spring? Or until they have less pressure? Or until they have more time?
This is the story that I’ve told myself many times. I’ll start next week, I’m too busy. There’s too much going on in my life now so I have no time for me. We can all come up with a myriad of excuses to stay where we are now. If you’re happy where you are today, than stay there, however, if your ideal picture of yourself is different thank what it looks like now, than let’s chat about how to get you to that place.
When you finally make the decision to take a “no excuses” approach is when things start to come together. Ask yourself the questions, “Do I deserve to feel my best? Do I really want to feel like this? Do I feel healthy? Do I feel good about my body? If you could choose any home in the world to live in, does your body feel like that home If one of these questions has hit a nerve, let’s talk.
What about the person who is “too busy” to take proper care of themselves, for whatever reason? They might be busy taking care of a spouse, or keeping a demanding boss satisfied. Why does everything about improving ones health seem to require so much time?
It’s a journey.If you are taking care of others, you need to take care of yourself first so that you can be the most effective for your loved one. If you work long, hard hours you need to be at optimum health to do the best job possible. Health DOES NOT require you to take a lot of time. I can show you how eating and drinking healthy actually takes much less time than eating unhealthy and will actually cost you less money. Just changing your water and making some simple nutritional changes will change your life.
Are you willing to advise people who may want to buy products through your website, help them choose the products that are right for them?
Absolutely. What makes me different from others out there is that I am willing to spend the time with you to help you decide on the products that are right for you. You can email me or schedule a time for us to discuss your questions. I look forward to working with you.