I was born in Venezuela, and from a very young age, I was exposed to many diets; either doctor-prescribed, macrobiotic, vegetarian or one of several in fashion at the moment. Most of the time, these diets were very restrictive and not in keeping with the traditional foods from my homeland or of my Italian ancestry. I have always had a larger frame than average, and therefore I began to experience a distortion of my relationship with food and my own body image. Food became an "enemy" of sorts. Eating was a source of guilt.
In my twenties, I relocated to Rome for a period of time, and while there I was reintroduced to the tradition of the big Italian family meal, where a meal turned into a discussion of the day's events and experiences. The food was always fresh and home-made. But still, I ate with a subconscious fear.
I moved to the US at the dawn of the era of information. The land of big supermarkets full of convenient "foods." Although I kept with the Italian tradition, it wasn't long before I assimilated to the American way. I became more interested in fitness, and soon the gym became my church. I followed all the fads that presented themselves. My information came from magazines that later became websites.
I joined the crazy train of eating low and nonfat foods, no sugar, diet foods, and drinks. I consumed all the fat burners and pre-workout supplements that promised to fulfill my need to achieve my ideal body image.
For twenty years I followed this lifestyle that added to the stress of the American way of working hard and harder and little by little a big crisis was cooking inside my body, both mentally and physically.
I experienced bouts of depression, my metabolic markers were out of balance and eventually, I was diagnosed with Hypogonadism in my mid-thirties. My body started to exhibit all signs of metabolic syndrome, but still, I continued the battle for another ten years.
By 2011, I was working 80-hour weeks as a visual effects artist. Exercising was almost out of my vocabulary. I was eating crappy foods, tons of carbs and sugars and diet caffeine-loaded sodas because I was sleeping five hours a night if I was lucky, so I was perennially exhausted. I was neither happy or much less healthy.
I was starting to feel that something needed to change, dramatically and it did!
By late 2012 I was diagnosed with cancer. There is no history of cancer in my family...
So, as many of us in the Integrative health field, I began my search for a solution based on a healthy lifestyle. After surgery, I followed my destiny to become a Personal Trainer and take fitness and exercise as medicine. Soon after my Certification by the American College of Sports Medicine, I realized that I needed to reframe my relationship with food, so I began searching for a Nutrition program that would allow me to heal inside and help me become a vessel of information to others experiencing similar issues.
My studies in Integrative Nutrition helped me to shape better my philosophy that is best stated by the Maryland University of Integrative Health (my Alma Matter), where I earned an MS in Nutrition and Integrative Health in 2016.
"Integrative nutritionists use science-based diet and nutrition therapies to support your personal health and well-being. They recognize that individualized nutrition is essential to health and their integrative approach is not limited to one dietary theory. Their support may include the use of conventional and non-conventional dietary philosophies rooted in traditional practice and scientific evidence.
Food can be powerful medicine, affecting your overall health and vitality as well as every function of your body. In fact, what you eat and drink literally becomes the very substance of your body. Whole foods, eaten and prepared properly, can effect profound changes in mind, body, and spirit."
I am not finished with learning; I grow with every client that I have the privilege to work and help. Each of them is allowing me to fulfill my desire to teach, mentor, guide and celebrate!
In turn, I seek out the underlying cause of your health issues, and together we collaborate to find realistic solutions showing you that applying specific methods to your nutrition and lifestyle can help alleviate and resolve your health challenges and achieve optimal wellness.
With all the above in mind, I founded my practice: Leandro Pucci Nutrition DBA in Los Angeles because I want to help you do a great job taking care of yourself, heal, regenerate, find balance and live beautifully and healthfully!
My Clients Health Concerns
Diet and Detoxification
Exercise and Sports Nutrition
Gut Health and Digestive Wellness (allergies/intolerance)