Gia is a DC metro area-based certified integrative nutrition health coach. Having studied at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, she created Urban Sanctuary and has been coaching private and corporate clients since 2012. Through Urban Sanctuary Wellness she has created programs to help groups and individuals meet their wellness goals through mind-body practices including nutrition, and mindfulness. She is a certified microbiome and gut-health specialist, and is currently in graduate school furthering her clinical knowledge of integrative nutrition. She is trained in mindfulness meditation, and holds a certificate in the Power of Awareness from the University of California, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach. Gia continues to educate herself in the evolving field of wellness, and is currently being certified as a mindfulness meditation teacher with a concentration in trauma and resilience through the Engaged Mindfulness Institute, studying with experts such as Kelly McGonigal, Rick Hanson, Joseph Goldstein, Reverend Angel Kyodo Williams, and more. She also volunteers with at-risk communities, children, and schools to enhance resilience using a trauma-sensitive approach.
With lineage and ancestral roots in ancient India and ancient Egypt, Gia grew up with Ayurveda, yoga, and meditation. Meditation is a pathway to decolonizing the mind and habit patterns that we internalize through life. Gia is invested in working with people to address unconscious habits and biases. As well as helping individuals use an integrative and bespoke wellness plan, she regularly works in corporate wellness. Working with different companies, including Accenture and National Older Worker Career Center (NOWCC), she encourages and instills healthy values for both body and spirit, educates employees on work/life balance, and coaches in mindful practices and how to work with stress. Her core values have always been about connecting people and fostering community. She is fascinated by microbiology and the human microbiome, and passionate about wellbeing on Earth, at home, and in the body.
She enjoys working with children, and as a mother of two, she works with her own children and others within the community to teach mindful-based tools and practices to help ease anxiety, cultivate empathy, and build resilience. Most importantly, she creates safe spaces to work with racialized, generational, and childhood traumas.
Gia is also deeply passionate and influenced by the power of plants, educating clients on the medicinal and transformative value of a plant-based diet. Not adhering to the principals of any one dietary theory, she firmly believes in biological individuality, knowing that each person has their own needs, which evolve as they grow. It is widely accepted in all areas of nutritional and medical research that a diet mostly made up of plants is the best plan of action for all humans, due to their medicinal value, high vitamin and mineral content, and nutrient density. Living in a world of packaged convenience food, and a lifestyle that is increasingly demanding and distracting, more and more people have fallen into the trap of relying on processed foods, even those that are marketed as seemingly healthy. Creating healthful snacks and nutritionally dense meals that are easy for others to recreate is a guaranteed part of any conversation you will have with Gia.
Before starting her business, she chose to plant the seeds of mindful and holistic living, staying at home raising her children. She has lived and worked throughout the Middle East as a writer, reporter, and copy editor. Through her work in publishing she co-founded the online magazine, The Human Experience and is currently the co-host of the podcast Relatively Nobody which exists to give voice to the underrepresented. Her body of work serves to give back to the community and allow all beings to live a healthy and happy life.