Originally from Panama, I moved to the United States with my mother, father and sister Michelle at a young age. Michelle and I enjoyed a happy, albeit nontraditional, childhood in St. Louis, Missouri being raised by Dad while Mom completed her medical residency. After graduating from high school, I moved to California to attend Stanford University and earned a BA in American Studies. I also earned a JD/MBA degree at the University of Southern California. A former attorney, I am delighted to have left the corporate legal world to pursue my passion of making the world healthier and happier. In addition to spending time with my family and beloved pets (Billy pictured above) in Panama, I teach and write.
Until I further flesh out this bio, here are 25 random things about me:
1. I get really nervous when I’m running late so I generally run on-time, and usually even arrive early. Not very cool to be the first, but it helps me keep my cool.
2. In my next life I want to be a dancer — either a ballet dancer or part of a pop dance crew, like Janet Jackson Rhythm Nation.
3. I love skin and probably should have gone to medical school and become a dermatologist.
4. I have run 5 marathons and a bunch of other shorter races and completed triathlons. I was never encouraged (or discouraged for that matter) to do sports growing up but have really enjoyed strengthening my body and mind training for and competing in endurance events.
5. I have the best mom.
6. My dad is hella old. He turned 93 this year.
7. I’m very pround of my sister and consider her to be Most-Improved.
8. I once hung out with Darius Rucker of Hootie and the Blowfish in a hotel room. Unfortunately, this sounds more interesting that Hootie turned out to be. Nothing happened. Really.
9. I speak Chinese.
10. Ok. I lied about number 8, but Spanish was my first language.
11. While on a fishing trip in Mexico with my friend Pete, our boat saved a 14 year-old girl lost at sea. He had been in the water for 2 days after the boat she was on caught fire.
12. I have a passion for healthy food and nutrition. A couple of years ago I attended a week-long raw food retreat in Maui; I’ve been to the Optimum Health Institute twice; and spent a week in Canyon Ranch — the second happiest place on earth — with friends last year.
13. The first happiest place on earth is Sephora. I love, love, love cosmetics and had to make a point to stop buying them a few months back since I had so much.
14. My favorite city is Paris and I don’t even speak French.
15. I love product samples. What kind? Any kind. I love them because they’re small and they’re free.
16. I once got a ticket for jumping through the underground Muni entrance without a ticket. I thought I could get away with it since there was no one around. Turns out an officer was right there. He told me, “This was a test of your integrity and you failed.” Bummer.
17. I have an aversion to public transportation and drive just about everywhere. If I can’t drive, then I prefer to walk.
18. Going to yoga, minding what I eat and getting sufficient sleep are the three best things I do for myself. Not doing any of these consistently puts me in a very grouchy mood.
19. I like to sing. I was the star of elementary school plays and participated in school and community choirs growing up. I sang in a college a cappella group and continue to sing with other former members of that group in SF today.
20. I have terrible vision and must wear corrective lenses at all times. However, the idea of eye surgery freaks me out so I hang onto my glasses and contacts for now.
21. My favorite color is aqua, my favorite foods are pizza and chocolate chip cookies and my favorite movie is Memento.
22. I still keep in touch with Brenna, a friend from second grade. Teachers used to make comments on our report cards that we were both bright, but that we “talked, and talked, and talked, and talked.”
23. I have a fantasy of owning a farm and living a very simple life living sustainably off the land.
24. One of my favorite authors is Echkart Tolle. Reading his books calms me.
25. When I’m really smitten by someone, I will write them a poem. I guess that makes me a poet.