Meet the Team

Shanon Hoffman, Publisher & Owner

From a career start doing radio promotions for Clear Channel in Boulder, to hob-nobbing it with Department of Defense bigwigs as Associate Publisher of an IT/simulation publication in DC, Shanon finally found her true calling and passion when she began her work for Healing Lifestyles & Spas magazine in August of 2002. She combined her PR, marketing, sales and publishing skills gained through her previous life in radio and the DOD and brought it all together to eventually become Publisher of Healing Lifestyles & Spas. The 14 + years of working for the multimedia brand has led Shanon down a road of rediscovery, transformation, healing, mindfulness and all things inspiring. Intertwined with working very hard, her career path has afforded some spectacular adventures and experiences. When not at her desk, you can find Shanon jumping off sail boats on the Aegean with Shiva Rea, on a luscious spa tour through British Columbia, or rafting down rivers in Costa Rica sleeping with the monkeys at eco-lodges along the way. The spa life is never far away—while at her desk, you can find her slathered with her daily homemade face mask, or caked in a hair mask concoction of coconut and sesame oil… that is if she’s not practicing transdermal marma meditation learned through her Ayurvedic studies. Shanon’s purpose put simply: to live inspired and to share the HL&S mantra: Live Mindfully, Eat Joyfully, Travel Consciously.

Melissa Williams, Spa & Wellness Editor

Melissa began her interest in health and wellness (and writing) at a young age, receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications with a Minor in Exercise & Health Science from the University of California–Santa Barbara. Melissa joined Healing Lifestyles & Spas in 2000, and served as the Editor-in-Chief for ten years. Being the editor of a spa publication affords some amazing experiences including a Tahitian spa wedding with her husband, an Australian spa tour of the rainforest (complete with a cruise for crocodiles), a tour of the best spas of Malaysia, and a mountain getaway at an abandoned ghost town in Southern Colorado. After the birth of her children, Melissa transitioned to a contributing editor role for Healing Lifestyles & Spas. Melissa is also a yoga teacher and the owner of the Yoga Junction, in Louisville, Colorado, where she specializes in working with pregnant women. She is also a freelance writer and has contributed to a variety of wellness publications, including Yoga Journal, Cooking Light, Shape, Natural Solutions, and Delicious Living. Melissa resides just outside Boulder, Colorado, with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs.

Bess O’Connor, Marketing & Acquisitions

Bess O’Connor has a deep love and respect for ancient healing traditions. She is a Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and Ayurvedic Therapist and has studied Traditional Chinese Medicine and many other forms of alternative medicine. She spent over 8 years as a Healing Arts Master for the Chopra Center where she immersed herself in meditation, yoga and Ayurveda. She is also a Natural Beauty Advocate & Wellness Expert, contributing to a variety of publications including Mind Body Green, Examiner, Elephant Journal, Yogi Times and is the owner of urbanwellnessmag.com. She wears many hats, two of which happen to be a devoted wife and mama to four magical children (all under the age of 8!).

Jason Bazilian, DAOM, MTOM, L. Ac., Complementary and Alternative Medicine Advisor

Jason Bazilian is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine – the first to earn a doctoral degree in this field in the United States from the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine in association with Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Prior to his doctoral degree, he received his Master’s degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine (MTOM), summa cum laude, from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, and attended the University of Florida for his undergraduate degree.

Dr. Bazilian is state licensed in CA, NY, and CT, and is a nationally certified diplomate (NCCAOM) in Acupuncture and also Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine. He is a certified specialist in Traditional Chinese Medical women’s health (OB/Gyn), having completed a 2-year post-graduate course of intensive study in Boulder, Colorado. Dr. Bazilian completed two months of post-graduate training/internship at the foremost integrated Chinese/Western medical hospital in Changsha (Hunnan Province of China). He spent another two months in China completing advanced doctoral training at the W.H.O. international training facility in Nanjing, where he focused on the integrative medical treatment approaches for pain conditions degree.

Dr. Bazilian works with athletes, women and men, and children treating a broad spectrum of conditions at their private practice, Bazilian’s Health Clinic in San Diego, alongside his partner and wife, Wendy Bazilian, who has her doctorate in public health and nutrition. Individually and along with his wife, Dr. Bazilian regularly offers specialty workshops, lectures and writes on a variety of health topics in the field of complementary and integrative medicine and public health. He has been associated with the spa industry for over a decade and was the consulting acupuncturist at Golden Door fitness resort and spa since 2002 providing patient-focused-care and treatment to guests.

Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, RD, Nutrition Editor

As a writer, researcher, educator, and food enthusiast Dr. Wendy Bazilian brings experience in nutrition science, public health and counseling to her work. Dr. Wendy received her doctoral degree in Public Health and Nutrition from Loma Linda University and received the highest university academic honor, the Chancellor’s Award. She graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts. She received her Master’s degree summa cum laude at the University of California, San Diego in Latin American Studies focusing on public health and nutrition in Brazil.

Dr. Wendy, as she is referred to affectionately by her many clients in her private practice, is a Registered Dietitian and American College of Sports Medicine-certified Health and Fitness Specialist. She is co-owner and Chief Wellness Officer of Bazilian’s Health Clinic in San Diego with her husband and partner, Dr. Jason Bazilian. Dr. Wendy is a nutrition consultant to the spa industry, and led the nutrition program at the renowned Golden Door spa and fitness resort in Escondido, California for more than a decade. As a leader in the fields of nutrition and fitness, she is currently involved in a variety of practical, writing, lecturing, and research endeavors focusing on weight management, sports nutrition, women’s health, healthy aging/longevity, nutrition and skin health, and exercise nutrition. She serves on several clinical and professional committees that help evaluate and apply sound nutrition science to public health.

Dr. Bazilian has written for and been featured in numerous magazines like Martha Stewart Living, Allure, Town & Country, Fitness, Natural Health, and of course, Healing Lifestyles & Spas, as well as television programs including NBC’s Today Show, Live with Kelly and Michael (and Regis and Kelly), ABC’s Good Morning America Health, Fox Business’ Money for Breakfast, NBC’s Telemundo, Univision and a variety of others. As a professional writer on nutrition, public health, and exercise, she has published 200 articles for corporate and other media. She is the Nutrition Editor for Healing Lifestyles & Spas Magazine and the author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet: Lose Weight with the Power of SuperNutrients (Rodale).

Debra Bokur, Travel & Wellness Editor

Debra Bokur has spent over two decades traveling the world as a writer, filmmaker, and journalist, exploring the roots of healing traditions in cultures from Iceland and the South Pacific, to Europe and the Middle East. She’s particularly fascinated with how centuries-old cultural practices have found their way into modern spa settings, and with how populations from diverse areas and backgrounds approach the concept of balance, health, and well being. Bokur contributes regularly to a variety of media outlets, including Global Traveler Magazine and Wine Country Network’s national radio program. She’s also a contributing author to Spreading the Word: Editors on Poetry (The Bench Press, 2001). Based in the Rocky Mountains, she spends her spare time experimenting in the kitchen, and hiking with her husband and two dogs.

Shannon Kaiser, HL&S Wellness Coach, Wellness & Spa Writer

Shannon Kaiser brings her passion for living life to the fullest to everything she does. As a die-hard adventure guru, world traveler, designer, art director, travel writer, and author she shares her experiences with the world and motivates people to play and make the most out of their own life. She has 10 years experience in the advertising agency creative world, working on skin, beauty, healthcare, fitness, travel, and tourism products in San Francisco, Australia, New Zealand, Atlanta, Chicago, and Portland Oregon. She has won numerous design industry awards. When Shannon’s not writing, designing or traveling she is usually training for an endurance event. Her most recent competition was the Hawaii 70.3 Ironman triathlon. Shannon shares her athletic and travel adventures on her blog playwiththeworld.net and a handful of her motivational stories have been published in “Chicken Soup for The Soul” and the “Worlds Most Amazing Travel Stories.”

Laurel House, Fit Living & Relationships Expert

Have you slipped in your Quickie today?… I have. My name is Laurel House and I’m a 33-year Fit Living Expert, 3x published author, nationally recognized magazine writer (Men’s Journal, Elegant Bride, Fit, Playboy, etc) , regular contributor to Yahoo! Shine, Discovery’s PlanetGreen, and the “Fit Life” Expert and Facebook “voice” for ExerciseTV, and Your Shape for Xbox Kinect… and your Quickie Chick… well, that’s thanks to my book “Quickie Chick: Live the Fab Life on 30 Grand” (St. Martin’s Spring 2012) based on my website QuickieChick.com.

So what’s a Quickie? Originally, it was a workout — workouts that you can do in your car, while watching TV, while standing in line at the grocery store, even mile high (on a plane). But it has evolved into much more. Now there are Quickie tips on everything… including: upping your metabolism or your sex drive, easing a bad mood or a hangover, feeling better after heartbreak or a hard workout, even faking a perfect body before a big date or faking confidence before a big meeting… pretty much every facet of life. There are Quickies in the Kitchen (fast, easy, healthy recipes), Daily 100s (100 seconds or 100 reps of an exercise, any exercise to help up your metabolism, burn calories, and put you in a fit mindset), Quickie Workouts, Bites with Benefits (shopping lists of body & life-benefiting foods — slim, uplift, depuff, energize, de-stress), and Living Quickie (everything else — beauty boosting to stress reducing). …because there’s always time for a Quickie. Oh! Almost forgot — I’m kind of obsessed with red velvet cupcakes. Life is about balance and the simple pleasures isn’t it?

Heather Vuchinich, Lifestyle Writer

Heather Vuchinich is a writer and intuitive consultant. Co-author of the book “Simply Sacred: Everyday Relationship Magic”, she has also has been published by Organic Spa Magazine, Mountain Astrologer, Yahoo Shine and the Good Spa Guide UK. She works with clients locally in Marin County, California and internationally through her private practice. Her blog Spaliciously provides reviews and news about green beauty products and eco-conscious resorts and spas.

Sami Marquez, Wellness Editor, A.P

hslsamibioSami Marquez is a Healing Lifestyles and Spas editorial contributor on wellness. She’s an Ayurveda Lifestyle and Nutrition Consultant focusing on internal healing. Sami is an influencer on Mindfulness as an innate passion to guide others into seeing their own pure potential, with the Law of Attraction supporting her strides. From the Age of 8, Sami grasped onto the notion of coaching and as she grew older, she did that through Sports and Performing Arts. She believes Creativity stems beyond a paintbrush or skill, but rather as a powerful tool of the mind through it’s ability to save lives. On the flip side, Sami is a former Choreographer, Bachelor of Applied Science in Fashion Design and Merchandising and Associate in Graphic Design student, which she applied through a 10-yr span in the Music & Fashion industry. Visit her Website, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Safe Beauty & Body Panel Of Experts – Making A Difference

Rachael Pontillo, Holistic Skincare and Image Coach

Rachael Pontillo, M.Msc, CIHC, LE, IAHC Certified International Health Coach, Licensed Aesthetician (LE), Skincare Formulator and Educator, Bestselling Author, Public Speaker. Rachael Pontillo is the bestselling author of Love Your Skin, Love Yourself, and co-author of the cookbook, The Sauce Code. She is also an award winning IAHC Certified International Health Coach, licensed aesthetician, and metaphysician; and is the creator of the popular blog and lifestyle site, www.holisticallyhaute.com. In her private practice, she helps women heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually from skin conditions and self image issues. Rachael’s also a natural skincare formulator and is the founder and instructor of the 6-week online course, Create Your Skincare. In addition, Rachael is the President and co-founder of The Nutritional Aesthetics™ Alliance—a professional organization dedicated to advancing an integrative approach to healthy skin.

Connect with Rachael:

Blog and private practice: www.holisticallyhaute.com
6-week online skincare making course: www.createyourskincare.com
The Nutritional Aesthetics: Alliancewww.nutritionalaesthetics.com
Twitter: @HHaute
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HolisticallyHaute
Linked In: www.linkedin.com/in/rachaelpontillo

Abby Mason, Certified Holistic Health Coach

Abby Mason is a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Author of “Paulina the Picky Princess and the Magic Garden” and soon to be released “Radiant Wellness – Simple tips for a healthy glow inside and out”. Abby specializes in working with busy moms who want to improve their overall health and wellness. Her clients want to find balance in learning how to eat the foods that support their individual needs, have more energy, improve their skin quality and live a fulfilled life along with raising healthy and happy children. She shows them how to make better decisions that fit into their busy lifestyle. Her clients love that they can make simple changes that create lasting results. Abby is the creator of the holistic lifestyle blog Passionate Wellness where she shares ideas on how you can live the life you have dreamed of. There are also tips on how to have timeless beauty naturally, delicious and nutritious recipes as well as self-care and wellness practices through a mind, body, spirit approach.

Lisa Brill, Founder Qēt® (keet) Botanicals

Lisa_BrillLisa Brill is the creator, founder, developer and inspiration behind the natural personal care brand, Qēt® (keet) Botanicals. She is the product developer, a speaker, educator, entrepreneur, wife, mother, and lover of nature and animals. With nearly a lifetime of living organically and being drawn to clean and natural choices, the development of Qēt Botanicals began because of her personal change in physical and internal health. After launching 40 products in early 2013 and celebrating its two year anniversary with a shelf and online presence across the United States and in several other countries, Lisa expanded from just offering Qēt online and opened the doors of the Qēt Botanicals lab and skin studio in early 2015. Lisa discovered ingredients that have natural healing powers and began to build Qēt Botanicals into a skincare lifestyle that would offer users clear, hydrated and visibly healthy skin on their face and body. Lisa continues to test and generate new products while staying committed to full transparency and disclosure of all ingredients included within Qēt Botanicals products. Developed to remedy the various skin difficulties, Rosacea, and even thyroid changes that Lisa was experiencing, Qēt Botanicals works to answer the skin troubles that many individuals experience. All of the brand’s products are ranked in the safest category in the Skin Deep database, Qēt has received a sustainability award for its stone labels and eco friendly packaging, and three of their products have received Earth Day Beauty Awards through Healing Lifestyles & Spas. Her business is a certified Green Business and they are a member of The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. With products offering a safe skincare routine to those with already healthy skin and to those suffering with sensitivities and skin upset, Lisa’s formulas brings a fresh and effective alternative to the mass-produced products dominating the skincare world.

Jeannie Jarnot, Founder of Spa Heroes

Jeannie_JarnotJeannie Jarnot has manifested her dedication to non-toxic beauty and whole person health. After nearly two decades as a luxury spa director, Jeannie turned her passion for finding high-quality, high-performance products for face, body and hair into a service that simplifies the process of using safe beauty products. Her natural beauty subscription box, Spa Heroes, reflects her vision that we resist the urge to compromise health in pursuit of a youthful or otherwise desirable appearance, and that by using pure ingredients, we learn to “Use Less. Love More.”

Jolene Hart, CHC, AADP

Jolene_HartJolene Hart, CHC, AADP is a Health Coach, certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and the American Association of Drugless Practitioners, and founder of the pioneering beauty coaching practice Beauty Is Wellness. She is the author of Eat Pretty, a seasonal guide to looking and feeling beautiful using nutrition and self care, and the co-founder and Director of Education of the Nutritional Aesthetics Alliance. Her beauty and health writing has appeared in a wide range of national and international publications, including InStyle, Allure, Organic Spa, Delicious Living and The Huffington Post. Her next book will debut in 2016 from Chronicle Books.