Jonny’s journey to becoming a Nutritionist was anything but typical. In fact, he grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, wanting to be a jazz musician. His two great interests were music and psychology. He studied at Juilliard for a couple of years hoping for the day when Miles Davis would call him for a gig, but—surprise, surprise– it never happened. Jonny studied with the great jazz pianist Herbie Hancock and led jazz bands in the village. He ultimately got a day gig playing piano for the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre, and was eventually considered one of the best dance accompanists in New York. Jonny finished his music degree at NYU (with a minor in psychology), wound up working in musical theatre, did a number of Broadway road shows and worked with quite a number of well-known performers.
During this time, Jonny managed to pick up a Masters degree in psychology and also managed to pick up quite an addiction to drugs and alcohol. He somehow kept working as a professional musician, but was fat, out of shape, a smoker and an addict. His journey from addict hell to wellness nirvana led him to become something of a zealot for healthy lifestyles (not to mention giving him an inside window into food addiction).
Jonny got certified as a personal trainer, ultimately collecting 5 major certifications from organizations like NASM (National Academy for Sports Medicine), ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) and ACE (American Council on Exercise) and got a job with Equinox, ultimately becoming Dean of the Equinox Fitness Training Institute. And it was during that time that he started questioning the conventional wisdom on low-fat diets. Ultimately, Jonny went back to school and got a PhD in holistic nutrition and sat for the board exams in nutrition for the American College of Nutrition, earning board certification and the CNS (Certified Nutrition Specialist) designation from the College’s Certifying Board of Nutrition Specialists.
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