Jocelyn Weiss, PhD MPH
An Unprocessed Life is the merging of three passions that have guided me throughout my life:
public health, nutrition and photography
Public Health. From the time that I was a small child I knew that I wanted to be involved in healthcare, although at the time I envisioned becoming a pediatrician (no playmate could escape the receiving end of my Fisher Price toy syringe). It was not until I took some time off after college that I questioned this path. In that time, I realized that my passion lies not in treating disease but in preventing it. This light bulb moment was the catalyst for me to go on and earn my degrees in public health and epidemiology. I have had the opportunity to do research at a number of amazing institutions. Something, however, has always been missing for me in my career… that something is the reason for which I went into public health – to feel like I am making a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis.
Nutrition. We all know the obvious role of nutrition in maintaining a healthy weight, but its importance in preventing and reversing disease cannot be overstated enough. In my personal life, I have seen the overwhelming impact that nutrition can make on health – and not just because I was a chubby kid/teenager/adult who has been able to get to a happier place with my weight. Up until almost a year ago, I was on medications for autoimmune disease, hypothyroidism and PCOS that I had been on for many years. Soon after making a move to New York City in 2012, I decided that I wanted to try and get at my dis-“eases” through diet and exercise. My new rheumatologist was more than skeptical and told me “the majority of people put on Plaquenil are on it for life.” After 8 months of tweaking my diet to maximize my immune system, I went back to him to get my latest lab results. He looked down at the results, looked up at me, back down at the results (speechless for about a minute) and then told me with an air of disbelief in his voice that my blood work was normal and that I could try coming off of the medication. So I did, and have yet to look back.
Photography. I’ve always been one of those people who uses both sides of my brain – taking painting and pottery in college along with my biology classes, teaching myself to knit hats and gloves that I sold at craft fairs and taking photos since I got my first Kodak camera as a kid. My love of photography has grown stronger over time and has led to the opportunity to shoot everything from family portraits, to weddings, musicians and travel (www.jocelynweiss.com). What does this have to do with a site about healthy living? Pretty pictures, of course. All photos used on this site (unless credited otherwise) will be my own. I am obsessed with Instagram, so some will come from my fancy Nikon and others will come from my iPhone.
My goal. Through this website, one-on-one health coaching, workshops and any other medium I can think of, my goal is to share with you how you can take ownership of your health to prevent and reverse disease. So much energy (political and otherwise) is spent these days discussing the state of our healthcare system in this country. The truth is, our healthcare system does little to empower people to prevent diseases that are in our control. On top of it, conflicting and inaccurate information is thrown at the general public in popular magazines and newspapers with the latest health claims and one-liners pulled from research studies. As a combined epidemiologist and health coach, I can not only help to decipher all the information out there but I can provide the tools and support for you to transform your health.
In the vein of my favorite spiritual guide, Jack Handy, I leave you with some Deep Thoughts to ponder:
- I have a scar on my forehead resulting from a childhood injury involving another kid’s tooth. Lesson learned: don’t run full throttle at another person who has their mouth wide open.
- Everyone should have a one-year rule before getting a tattoo that pops into their head. I have one tattoo on my wrist that I got after a medical mission trip to Nepal – Mutu, the Nepalese word for heart. Without this rule, I would instead have an elaborate, poorly sketched scene from my favorite book “The Giving Tree” on my back.
- I used to be infatuated with the television show CHiPs. I had Erik Estrada’s picture in a frame in my room and dreamt about being a California Highway Patrol officer. I’ve since given up on Erik, but motorcycle dreams die hard.
- Learn the words to 90’s rap songs like “Ice, Ice Baby” and put on rap performances for your friends. If you’re really committed, learn both the male and female parts to Positive K’s “I Got A Man”.
- Have a laugh off with a friend where each of you makes yourself snort. You will soon be snorting and laughing uncontrollably, without a care in the world. Snorting is like deep breathing, only more fun.
- Be careful about laughing while drinking, though. Unfortunate experiences can be had with chocolate milk and carbonated beverages.
- Go rock climbing, take trapeze lessons and have a mini-trampoline in your apartment. Your parents will ask if you are planning to join the circus.
- Don’t be afraid to lose your inhibitions every once in a while. Go skinny dipping. Eat a field mouse. Drink some wheatgrass. What’s the worst that can happen?