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My Story

Hi, I’m Lean Green Island Girl Gabi!

IMG_5667 I  live in the DC Metro Area with my husband. We currently don’t have any pets, but we love dogs, especially our amazing Kyle who passed away in August of 2014. I am originally from the beautiful island of Curaçao, which is located in the Southern Caribbean and is part of the ABC islands (Aruba, Curaçao & Bonaire).

I have a bachelors in Biology and Journalism & Mass Communications from the UNC (Go Heels!) and masters a degree in Human Health & Behavior from Columbia’s Teachers College. I am a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Licensed Behavior Analyst (in Virginia) and work as a Behavior Coach at Behavior Basics LLC, a company I founded in 2010. I am also the Chair of the ABAI Health, Sport & Fitness Special Interest Group.

My work focuses on helping individuals, families & organizations acquire new communication, academic, professional, social and self-help skills, change current behaviors, reduce undesired behaviors and master healthy habits using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, so that they can live healthier, happier and more balanced lives.

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Hiking at Kent Falls with Kyle

My own journey towards a healthier, happier and more sustainable life started in 2009 when I started considering the effects my actions had on the world. I began making efforts to reduce my environmental footprint and through those efforts discovered the joys of gardening, farming, DIY activities and giving back to my community.

As I started embracing sustainability, I also developed a love for cooking. I discovered that food doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious and that simpler is often better. I also focused on my health and wellness. After being active for most of my life, I found myself in a slump. I wasn’t just disappointed by the way I looked, I was unhappy with my lack of fitness and my decreased general health. I was concerned that if I continued down that path, I would shorten my life. I had been a notorious yo-yo dieter for most of my life, but this time it was going to be different!

I was not going on a diet, I was creating a lifestyle change!

Having discovered my love for half marathons in 2005, when I joined Team in Training and completed my first half marathon, I decided to return to running and I also discovered the amazing sport of triathlon.

Running with TNT at the 2013 DC Rock 'N Roll Half

Running with TNT at the 2013 DC Rock ‘N Roll Half

Change has been slow. But I’m a firm believer that small changes are the key to long term success.

Over time it has become less about weight and more about wellbeing. I am a healthier, stronger and definitely more balanced person, both mentally and physically!

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2009 Climate Ride from NYC to DC with injured knees

I am also happy to share that despite suffering many injuries in the past, my new approach has kept me completely injury-free these past couple of years! Bye bye knee problems!

In 2014, Pablo (check out his blog) and I set some big goals! We tackled Raleigh 70.3 (half ironman) in June and Ironman Louisville in August and earned the Ironman title! I also rejoined Team in Training as a Mentor for the 2014 Marine Corps Marathon in October and in 2015 I was an Assistant Coach for Team in Training’s Ironman Team. 2015 and 2016 were slower racing years for me as we shifted our focus to trying to conceive, and that’s likely where 2017 will lead for me too, keep your fingers crossed.

I hope my journey towards a healthier, happier and more sustainable life inspires you as you embark on your own journey! And if you’re looking for some support, you’ve come to the right place. Contact me and we can work together to help you meet your goals!

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