Meet the PHD Team
PHD Founder, Dr. Ashley Lucas
PhD in Sports Nutrition and Chronic Disease
Registered Dietitian (RD)
Dr. Ashley Lucas is the owner, founder and advisory consultant for PHD Weight Loss and Nutrition. She has over 15 years of education in the field of nutrition and metabolism. In her mid 20s, she retired from her professional ballet career. While understanding the importance nutrition played on her own sport performance, she went on to earn her PhD in Sports Nutrition and Chronic Disease from Virginia Tech. Her research throughout her six-year post-graduate doctoral training, focused on energy metabolism and the Female Athlete Triad. She was awarded the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Scholarship and completed her dietetic internship at The Ohio State University. She passed the national examination registering her as a dietitian offering expert food, wellness and nutrition services. Dr. Lucas is a nationally renowned speaker, columnist, and leading expert in the field of weight management and behavior change.
Through a scientific method that focuses not only on the metabolic consequences of fat gain, but also on the behavioral and psychological aspects, she created and continues to innovate the PHD Approach which has helped thousands of people nationwide achieve their peak wellness once and for all.
DR. DOUG LUCAS
DO, PHD Chief Science Officer, Orthopedic Surgeon
Dr. Doug Lucas completed his training as an orthopedic surgeon at Stanford University with a fellowship in foot and ankle surgery. He completed his residency at Ohio University in Columbus, OH and medical school at the Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine. During his training he published 12 peer reviewed journal articles available here. He currently serves on the research committee of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society to further research in this field. His subspecialty training exposed him to the tremendous impact of obesity and related disease such as diabetes to his patients. This in combination with his own struggle with weight maintenance led him to create and grow the role of Chief Science Officer within the PHD organization. He still practices part time as an orthopedic surgeon but spends the majority of his professional time educating PHD coaches and clients. He is passionate about providing answers to the challenging questions within the field of weight loss and hopes to change the lives of as many people as he can by providing content on the PHD RESEARCH CORNER and through social media outlets. His background in research and medicine puts him in a unique position to read, digest and understand medical literature in multiple fields of medicine. His goal is to then incorporate that information into PHD coach training as well as public information for clients and anyone interested in making a life change to improve their health.
Dr. Brooke Feinerman
MA, PhD in Clinical Psychology & Somatic Psychology
After graduating from Pepperdine University with a masters degree in clinical psychology, Dr. Feinerman earned a doctorate from Pacifica Graduate Institute, where she specialized in somatic studies—the investigation of the connection between mind and body. Her interest in mind-body wellness subsequently led her to complete two certificate trainings from Harvard University’s Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, as well as becoming a certified yoga instructor. She also holds a graduate degree from New York University in Communications, which has helped inform her understanding of systems of communication in various domains of life. In addition, she is a member of The Institute of Coaching, at McLean/Harvard Medical School, which provides on-going seminars, education and research on coaching and well-being. She has presented her research at conferences both nationally and internationally. Dr. Feinerman performs multiple roles within the PHD organization. She elevates our Certified PHD Consultant and Coach education with additional behavioral health training. She coaches our PHD Team herself to support their well-being so that they can best support yours. She also provides coaching to PHD clients when needed. We know that 80% of the PHD journey is psychological and Dr. Feinerman brings her expert perspectives and tools to the PHD program.
THE PHD TEAM
Western Carolinas Regional Manager & Certified PHD Consultant
Rachel grew up in Denver, Colorado and attended Colorado State University where she obtained her bachelor’s degree in Health and Exercise Science with a concentration in Health Promotion. Shortly after graduating, she moved to Durango, Colorado where she began her career with PHD Weight Loss and Nutrition. When PHD decided to expand to North Carolina, she quickly followed and moved to Asheville to help open up our doors. She is currently the manager of our Asheville Clinic and is eager to help grow our Greenville clinic when we open early summer of 2020. PHD has transformed not only the lives of our clients, but it has transformed hers, as well. Every morning, she feels empowered with the opportunity to wake up and do what she loves with an amazing team and an amazing community that is passionate about their health and wellbeing. Her decision to work in the business of life transformation truly leaves her in PEAK state.
Durango Team Manager & Certified PHD Consultant
Samantha Schmidbauer is the Manager of the Durango Clinic. She is Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition, a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and Certified PHD Consultant. After experiencing many health issues and chronic back pain in her early 20’s, she went back to school to learn how nutrition could heal her body. Her passion is for helping others achieve a peak state in life to pursue what they love. Her heart is in Colorado now, after moving there 5 years ago from California. You can find her skiing, backpacking, or traveling to a new destination on the weekends. You might even find her fly fishing on the Animas river in Durango with her fiance, Michael.
Farmington Team Manager & Certified PHD Consultant
Jessica was born in Groton, Connecticut but moved to Farmington, New Mexico when she was very young. After graduation, she decided she wanted to be a banker and spent the first 10 years of her working career doing just that. In 2017, she & her family realized that they were not living a healthy lifestyle and had to make serious changes to accommodate their new goals. She left her job and began searching for a health oriented, supportive atmosphere, which led her to PHD. Since then, she has become a PHD Certified Consultant, and in November 2019, took on the role of the Farmington Team Manager. Her new life is amazing. She has great energy, time to focus on her family and an amazingly supportive and uplifting environment with her PHD family. When she is not at the clinic you can find her with her husband and son mountain biking, hiking, weightlifting or playing frisbee golf. She loves exploring the outdoors and everything New Mexico has to offer!
Social Media Manager & Certified PHD Consultant
Talia is PHD’s Social Media Coordinator for PHD Weight Loss and Nutrition. She attended school at Colorado State University and has worked with PHD and the Lucas’ for over 4 years. In her time with PHD, she has been lucky enough to participate in a 2-year intensive internship with Dr. Ashley Lucas, PhD, RD and become a Certified PHD Consultant. She holds a specific interest in diabetes which led her to complete her certification as a Diabetes Paraprofessional. Talia has fallen in love with helping people change their lives and especially helping Type 2 Diabetics reverse their disease. She loves bringing her creative side to our online presence and she cannot wait to see what the future holds for PHD.
Certified PHD Consultant
Jamie Langlois is a Certified Life Coach, PHD Health and Nutrition Consultant, and a Yoga and Meditation Teacher. Jamie comes to PHD with nearly a decade of experience assisting addicts on transcending destructive behavior patterns so they may enjoy freedom from various substances, including refined carbohydrates and sugar. Her role at PHD Greenville is in direct alignment with her passion for helping others live their highest potential in all areas of their lives.
Certified PHD Consultant
Mandi is a Certified PHD Consultant based out of the Asheville, NC office. She is certified as both a life and wellness coach with additional training in strategic intervention. She utilizes cognitive behavioral work in her coaching sessions. This approach allows clients to quickly become aware of inaccurate or negative thinking, thus enabling them to view challenging situations more clearly and respond to them in a more effective way. This technique creates the potential for fast and permanent transformation.
Certified PHD Consultant
Alexis Rachkovsky is academically trained in psychology and neuroscience, with occupational experience in the fields of integrative medicine, addiction and yoga. After attending the College of William and Mary and graduating from the University of North Carolina Asheville, she spent nearly five years on the clinical team at an Asheville based biomedical company specializing in identifying neuro-hormonal imbalances. During this time, she was also able to travel to India where she earned her teaching certification in holistic yoga. A calling for bringing more compassion, connection and creativity into her professional life led her to help young women in recovery from addiction where she served as an educator, mentor and life coach. Alexis is passionate about helping support, educate and inspire others towards a healthier lifestyle. She currently enjoys utilizing her unique skill set and background to help transform lives at PHD Weight Loss. Alexis has been fortunate to call Asheville her home since 2009 and lives with her husband, their dog Humphrey and soon to arrive baby girl. She loves spending her free time outdoors, hiking, gardening and near any body of water.
Certified PHD Consultant
Jayde is one of our most senior certified PHD consultants. After graduating from the University of Florida, she completed a 2 year intensive fellowship with Dr. Lucas and has been working with Dr. Lucas for over 5 years. She is also a Certified Primal Health Coach. Jayde opened & managed the New Mexico office and led the Florida office in Ormond Beach. Helping people live longer, healthier lives is Jayde’s goal and she takes great pride in the services PHD Weight Loss and Nutrition offers. Jayde began her interest in health and wellness at the age of 5 as a competitive ballet dancer and gymnast. Winning many competitions over years of grueling training illustrated to her the difficulties of weight management. Her dedication and devotion to these sports demanded adherence to a way of life which taught her the importance of lifelong nutrition and the habits and behaviors that come with life change. This knowledge and first-hand experience propelled her advocacy for others dealing with the same struggles. Jayde is vested in helping others succeed in improving their health once and for all!
PHD Health Coach & Nationwide Training Specialist
Megan joins the PHD Family as a PHD Health Coach and our National Training specialist. She comes to us from the restaurant side of the healthy living industry. She is the former Training Program developer for the 60+ chain fast-casual, clean eating concept, CoreLife Eatery that started in 2015. This came after graduating from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Public Relations and Business. Megan grew up in Upstate NY where she spent her childhood and adolescent years as a competitive gymnast, spending 25+ hours a week training. After retiring from the sport she spent her high school and college years learning how to live a healthy lifestyle without the structure and support of a demanding community that gymnastics created — sometimes this brought challenging seasons of deprivation, frustration and confusion in trying to maintain a healthy body without a strict and excessive exercise routine.
PHD Health Coach & Durango Front Desk Coordinator
Carter is the Outreach Coordinator and Health Coach for PHD Weight Loss and Nutrition in the Durango, Colorado office. She has been with PHD since the fall of 2019 but before she graduated from Texas Tech University with a degree in Human Sciences with a focus in Nutrition. She has always been passionate about overall health and wellness. Through her experience at PHD she has been able to educate her clients on nutrition but also emphasize the importance of all-around self-care.
PHD Health Coach
Anna started working as a health coach with PHD Weight Loss in August 2019. Nutrition wasn’t always in Anna’s career goals. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Kinesiology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Not knowing exactly what she wanted to do, she then attended the University of Kentucky and received her Master’s Degree in Health Promotion. During this time, Anna fell in love with the behavioral aspect of making healthy decisions in order to improve quality of life. In addition to PHD, Anna is also a coach at Orangetheory Fitness, and holds certification as a Personal Trainer as well as Group Fitness Instructor through ACE. She is very passionate about health and wellness, and believes that it should be possible for us all to live a healthy lifestyle. When not working, Anna can be found running at her favorite greenways, caring for her indoor plants and vegetable garden, and Facetiming her family members.
PHD Health Coach and Naturopathic Doctor
Darlene is a naturopathic doctor. She holds a PhD in natural health of which she pursued due to interest in improving her own health which presented some difficult challenges. At one point during her adult life, she spent nearly five years seeing different doctors and specialists with no positive results. She finally met a naturopath who taught her the importance of nutrition on her own health. Once she learned that what she put in her mouth didn’t just fill her belly, but affected her physical health, mental health and pretty much every aspect of her life, she was able to make lifestyle changes, the most important being her food choices. As a result, she was able to lose 40 pounds and cure her depression. Now she is a mother of two girls, recently became a grandmother and is loving life. It has become her passion to share this information with others so that they too can take control of their health one meal at a time.
Asheville Team Manager & PHD Health Coach
Hannah is the Asheville Team Manager as well as a Health Coach at the PHD Asheville location. She received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology from East Carolina University. Hannah’s love for health and wellness began at an early age as her family would spend many weekends enjoying the hiking trails and playing sports. During her undergraduate degree, she served as a Mentor to adolescents who were looking for support in making lifestyle changes. She spent her undergraduate internship at a Wellness center where she worked in Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab, Exercise Prescription, and the Exercise is Medicine program. She found PHD when she moved back to the Asheville Area. She fell in love with the philosophy and approach; she is so excited to serve the Asheville clients and help people change their lives!
PHD Health Coach & Greenville Front Desk Coordinator
Tara has worked both in our Durango, CO & Farmington, NM clinics and now serves as a PHD Health Coach & Front Desk Coordinator for our Greenville, SC clinic. Having grown up an athlete, she is familiar with the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle in order to perform her best. She believes the most rewarding part of a healthy lifestyle change is becoming blissfully aware of what the body it is capable of – simply by fueling it with the foods that love it back. Tara is also a strong advocate for mental health and wellness and is passionate about helping clients reach PEAK state & overcome their challenges.
PHD Health Coach
Desiree is a Health Coach at the Asheville, NC clinic. She earned her B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Educational Counseling. She also holds a School Counseling & Early Childhood Education Credential. Although Desiree is originally from California, moving to the mountains of North Carolina with its abundance of adventure and beauty is one of the best things that happened to her. Inspired by her own personal journey, Desiree’s passion for providing effective and compassionate guidance and education that allows individuals to reclaim their physical and mental health grew. She looks forward to partnering with you while you create the foundation for the rest of your life and achieve optimal health.
PHD Health Coach
Linzie is a Health Coach for PHD Weight Loss and Nutrition in the Durango location. Colorado has always been Linzie’s home, and she fills her free time with adventures with her husband Christian, their wonderful friends & family, and their dog Nika! She moved to Durango ten years ago, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Business Administration, and Marketing at Fort Lewis College. Her journey with PHD Weight Loss started in 2018 when she made the decision to make a substantial life change as a client. Through her personal experience with the PHD lifestyle, she now has a passion for helping others achieve their physical peak state. She knows firsthand how much making this life change impacts ALL areas of our clients’ lives.
PHD Health Coach
Born and raised in South Alabama, Emily earned her B.S. in Sociology from Presbyterian College. She has a background in sales and administrative support but took a break from working outside the home to raise her family. In 2015, after her husband’s diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis and Lyme Disease, she sought to reclaim her family’s health through diet much like ours at PHD, which sparked an interest in health and wellness. During the COVID-19 outbreak, Emily decided it was time to start the master’s degree that had been on her mind for the past few years. Additionally and with her family’s support, she ventured outside her family’s business to combine her health and wellness interest with her professional career. Emily is looking forward to applying her experience and knowledge to serving her clients. While not working and studying, Emily enjoys spending time with her husband of 20 years and 3 kids, cooking, reading, and being active with her family.
Asheville Front Desk Coordinator
Fionna works at the front end of our Asheville clinic to help coordinate and greet all of our clients coming through our doors. A fun fact about Fionna is that she grew up in Japan on a military base for 7 years and was fluent in 3 languages by the time she was 7 years old. Once she moved to the United States, she started her gymnastic career which helped blossom her love for health and wellness. After diving into the field of health and wellness, she evolved her education and earned her certifications in USAG Coaching as well as becoming an AFAA Certified group fitness instructor. PHD has made her realize how much she loves seeing the progress up close and personal. Similar to our before and afters, she loves seeing the progress day by day but even more, the end transformation. Most importantly, what she loves about PHD is witnessing our clients thrive in PEAK state and evolving from the person they once were for the better, mentally, emotionally and physically.
Certified PHD Consultant
Angelica was born in Durango, Colorado and raised in Farmington, New Mexico. She grew up being very active in sports, especially softball, volleyball and cheerleading. She attended Arizona State University and majored in Cardio-Pulmonary Science/Respiratory Care. Prior to PHD, Angelica was a Respiratory Care Practitioner for over 10 years and practiced in the ICU, NICU, trauma center, and ER. When she moved back to New Mexico a few years ago, she noticed that she was not as healthy and active as she once was, so she decided to change her life. This 180-lifestyle change led to her working at PHD, and she couldn’t be happier! Now, she is active again, diving deeper into her yoga practice (especially aerial yoga), weightlifting, discovering her love for cycling and has even decided to run for Mrs. New Mexico USA!
PHD Health Coach
Jessica joined the PHD Asheville family in May 2020. She earned her BA in Environmental Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder. While starting her family, Jessica realized her passion was helping people realize the goals they set for themselves and went back to school for a MS in Health and Wellness. As a certified Health Coach and Behavior Change Specialist, she works with individuals seeking to live healthier lives and recover from addiction. Jessica compassionately meets people where they are and utilizes goal setting, Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy principles to move them forward toward their true self. She enjoys exploring the mountains of western North Carolina with her family, reading, and hiking.
PHD Health Coach
Bio coming soon.