Grace has over 35 years of experience in the fitness industry
as an AFAA-certified fitness instructor, fitness/swimwear
model, contributing fitness writer and NPC
fitness and bikini competitor. She continues to expand
upon her evidence-based holistic approach to a healthy lifestyle
through mindfulness in both movement and stillness meditation.
What exactly does holistic mean? Holistic (health,
wellness, nutrition) simply means taking into account the
entire--or WHOLE(listic)--person's well-being, connecting
the body, mind and soul as opposed to focusing on just one
aspect or another. For instance, it's a well-known fact
that in order for us to stay in good physical health, we
must exercise and consume healthy foods in healthy portions.
It's not enough to follow through with a good diet and not
expend the energy from those calories in an efficient and
effective manner through some form of exercise. So, too,
our physical & psychological health including thoughts,
feelings and emotions. Somatization
Her health and fitness background helped tremendously as
it gave her the edge of knowledge when she was diagnosed
with Stage 3 colon cancer in 2005, treated with chemotherapy
and due to long-term side effects of chemo, including bone
and joint degeneration as well as peripheral neuropathy
(nerve damage especially in hands and feet), medically deemed
permanently disabled. Numerous surgeries later and at worst,
debilitating pain and up to 24 prescription and OTC medications,
she decided enough was enough. With the help of her primary
physician, she weened off all but one or two medications
(depending on severity of seasonal allergies). Today, Grace
attributes her current good health to the practice of mindful
living meditation, Taoist Tai Chi, nutrition and healthy,
meaningful relationships with loved ones and friends.
2014, she created Be a
Blue Buddy, a colon cancer awareness campaign.
Be a Blue Buddy is currently not an organization,
but rather a grassroots, personal call-to-action through
advocacy and public speaking, reaching out to city and state
officials, and using social
media to help raise awareness of colon cancer, the importance
of screening and early detection in support of survivors;
to give hope to newly diagnosed patients, and to honor those
who have died from this disease. Most importantly, as a
survivor wanting to give back to the community, Grace shares
her story to empower and
inspire others, and to help save lives.
Grace has also been a professional commercial and corporate
actor, spokesperson, voice-over
talent and print model
since 1986. She attended the University of North Florida
(UNF), volunteered in public radio, interned as a TV reporter
at WJXT-TV4 and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in
Communications/TV Broadcasting with a minor in Psychology.
strives for joyful learning and living, and is willing to
step outside of her comfort zone. She has experienced snow
skiing, scuba diving,
paintball wars, and traveling. Grace likes to soak in the
culture's history of traditions, arts, architecture and
daily lifestyle--eating and sleeping as the locals do. She
realized her childhood dream of visiting Greece; Oia-Santorini
completely captured her heart!
enjoys the arts (e.g. music/live entertainment, museums,
paintings, photos, architecture), literature, and botanical
gardens. She is a beach girl at heart. Anything related
to the sun and skyscapes capture her attention. Her favorite
color is a splash of orange. A few of her favorite scents
are flowers/plants (rose, magnolia, gardenia, peony, plumeria,
honeysuckle, hawaiian ferns, citrus), aromatic wafts of
food cooking in the kitchen, the ionic shift just before
rainfall, and the scent of a freshly mowed lawn.
voracious researcher, her interests include astrophysics,
cosmology, consciousness, philosophy, neuroscience, semiosis,
audiology, equanimity in the realms of social justice, economy,
trade, politics, government, education, healthcare, media,
religion, sex, gender, race, creed, color.
is involved in service work (volunteer) on a regular basis
at a local mental health facility, various alcohol/drug
treatment and recovery centers and affiliating with various
organizations such as the Northeast Florida Council on Alcohol
and Drug Abuse (NEFCADA), Recovery Community Organization
(RCO) of Northeast Florida and the World Affairs Council
grew up in Atlantic Beach, FL--the eldest of four in a family
where her parents are still happily married after 50+ years.
She traveled around the world, including Spain, Philippines
& Japan, while her father served in the Navy. Grace's
former spouse of 20 years also served in the military as
a USN F/A-18 Strikefighter (think Blue Angels jets), P-3
and commercial pilot. She has two children and after having
lived in South Carolina, Hawaii and Maryland, is back "home"
in Jacksonville, FL.