By Kristen Manieri

The Foundations of Wellness

Here’s a thought that feels true for me: it’s so much easier to be grounded and happy when I feel good. If you’ve ever tried to a handle a frustrating, stressful or aggravating situation when you’re tired, undernourished or over-caffeinated, you probably had the experience of struggling to be at your best, to harness a peaceful way of being. But when we’re well rested, and we’ve got some good food in a bellies and we’re generally feeling well, accessing the zen parts of ourselves is incredibly easier.

This is why I thought it was important to bring this week’s guest into this conversation about living consciously.

Linda Matteoli is a functional medical doctor who graduated from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and continued her medical training in a family medicine residency at Eastern Virginia Medical School where she served as chief resident.  She is board certified in family medicine and also holds a master’s degree in nutrition from Simmons College in Boston. Additionally, she has an undergraduate degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition from the University of Florida.

She began with a traditional medical training background but at some point took a sharp turn towards a growing field of medicine that focuses on finding the root causes of our diseases and imbalances instead of simply treating the symptoms. Since changing course, Linda says she looks at disease differently. She founded Origins Functional Medicine, located in Longwood, FL, to create an all-encompassing holistic healing experience.

As you’ll hear from today’s conversation, she’s passionate about helping people find a sturdy foundation of wellness so they can thrive in their lives. But what are the foundations of wellness? What should be some of our ‘non-negotiables’ when it comes to our health? And how can we tap into our own inner guidance system? Feeling good is your birthright. You are entitled to live a thriving life.


  1. Linda hones her patient work and designs her life around five pillars of wellness: good nutrition, movement, sleep, stress release and community/connection. Think about possibly doing an audit on yourself to see how you stack up in these areas. It’s not about perfection or following a cookie-cutter plan; it’s about exploring what works for you, in your body, at this moment.
  2. We’re moving away from a “doctor heal me” approach to health while many of us find that wellness can’t be found in a pill; it’s the result of so much more than the medicine we take. For many, the first step is tuning in and strengthening the connection to self so that we can start to be aware of how we are feeling and what our body is asking for.
  3. I wasn’t that surprised to hear that Linda suggests therapy to most of her patients. Whether it’s a therapist, psychologist or coach, using communication with a trusted and professional guide can help us explore the thoughts, beliefs and past experiences that wired who we are. Wellness isn’t just a physiological state; it’s a state of mind as well. But unlike a broken arm or a sore stomach, the aches and pains of our heart and psyche aren’t all that easy to detect or explore on our own. My own experience with therapists and coaches has allowed me to see patterns and negative narratives that are in my blind spot. It has been like shining a light on my brain.
  4. What are your non-negotiables? For Linda, it’s a 9pm bedtime. For me, it’s the hour I spend each morning in reflection and quiet. What are a few things that set you up for wellness that you could commit to without compromise?
  5. Self-care is becoming one of those phrases that we hear so much we don’t even know what it means anymore. Strip it down to its basics and it’s really just your commitment to taking care of yourself. It’s not a collection of shoulds or ten more things to add to your to-do list. It’s simply a re-orienting to seeing your wellness as a priority, and it should feel good. Keep looking, keep investigating, keep experimenting like a scientist to continue to reveal what taking care of yourself looks like to you.
  6. Connect to your inner guidance system. Stop on a regular basis and ask: hey body, what do you need? Hey heart, what’s shaking? Hey mind, what’s going on in there? Ask yourself, how do I feel right now? How does the life I am living make me feel? Your inner guidance system has answers, it has an opinion. Just listen, without judgment, sensor or the need to jump into action. Just slow down and listen to what you’re body is trying so desperately to tell you.
  7. Finally, layer any changes you want to make bit by bit. If you do too much too fast, it could topple like a house of cards. As Linda suggestions, try one new thing at a time and just see how it goes.


If you want to learn more about Dr. Linda, you can find her at originsfunctionalmedicine.com.

Until next time,

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