The Gilded Ones
Dr. Vivian Burkhardt The Healing Soul
THE DOCTOR IS IN!
To say we’re in awe of our newest Gilded Ones member is an understatement. Meet Dr. Vivian Burkhardt — a stunningly beautiful medical doctor based in Munich, Germany. Vivian is deeply passionate about developing and sharing her philosophy of ‘harmonizing the mind, body, and soul for optimum health.’ It is obvious that she practices what she preaches! While Vivian’s combination of beauty and brains may seem intimidating — she is anything but. We spent an afternoon in New York with Vivian (she flew in from Los Angeles on her way to Grenada before heading back to Munich) learning more about what makes this inspiring health and wellness professional tick. The bonus? The good doctor shared some stellar tips on diet, fitness, and stress relief. And — oh yeah — what she loves about Auvere jewelry!
So, Let’s chat!
Where are you from and where did you grow up? I was born in Munich, Germany to a German father and a Grenadian mother. When I was 16 years old, my parents, three brothers and I moved to the Caribbean island of Grenada where I lived for the next 9 years. While studying medicine, I moved to New York to do my clinical rotations and eventually, my residency in internal medicine. I lived in New York for a total of 5 years. These days, I reside in Germany. I’d say that I am a world citizen!
The J.O.B.: I am a medical doctor who specializes in internal medicine. Presently, I practice outpatient primary care in Germany. I am developing a practice that emphasizes preventative care — so I am continuing my education in nutrition and sports medicine.
Tell us about your career path: I studied medicine at St. Georges University — an American University located on the island of Grenada. At St. Georges, the first two years of study take place in Grenada while the clinical portion is taught in the U.S. I chose to do my clinical rotations at the Brooklyn campus of NYU School of Medicine. I loved New York and NYU so much that I completed my residency at the same hospital in which I did my clinical rotations.
What is the craziest thing that you have ever done that you do not mind admitting in public: Oh — I’ve done some naughty things — none of which I plan to share!
WHEN DID YOU REALIZE THAT YOU WANTED TO BECOME A DOCTOR?
I believe I am, and have always been, a healer in some form or fashion. When I was a young girl, I gave people advice on pain relief, home remedies for various illnesses, how to sleep better, and how to live a healthier life. Moreover, I have always had an affinity for science — it came easily to me. I lived on an island with a population of 100,000 people and a large medical school. So, when I started to think seriously about a career, it became pretty clear what the universe had in store for me.
WHAT IS YOUR FOCUS AND PHILOSOPHY WITH RESPECT TO HEALTH AND WELLNESS?
I believe strongly in preventative medicine. Chronic diseases strain not only individuals, but the health care system too. Yet, most chronic diseases can be prevented with proper diet and exercise. We’ve all heard this mantra before but it remains true — a good diet and consistent exercise go a long way towards building a happier and healthier lifestyle.
Humans are complex beings, thus, healthcare should be approached in a holistic manner. This means seeking harmony of the mind, body, and soul. We live stressful lives, and while acute stress is vital in certain situations, chronic stress isn’t compatible with a long healthy life. It is critical to incorporate relaxation and stress reducing techniques into one’s daily routine. Techniques that work for one may not work for another. I tell my patients to try different things to see what works best to calm one’s mind, including running, yoga, meditation, or simply a walk in nature.
These are the sort of things that excite me tremendously. I see my calling as spreading the word on important health and wellness facts.
WOULD YOU GIVE US A FEW TIPS ON HOW TO INCORPORATE HEALTHY PRACTICES INTO OUR DAILY LIVES?
Diet: I practice intermittent fasting during the week. This means that I eat only one meal each day. Fasting may sound extreme but it is actually good for the body. Studies have shown that intermittent fasting promotes healthy brain function and clearer skin, provides anti-aging benefits, and increases metabolism. Intermittent fasting is great for diabetics as it improves insulin sensitivity. Fasting also works for me because I don’t like eating food I don’t prepare myself. And my career leaves me with very little time to prepare home cooked meals that I can eat while I am at work. How does it work? Simply put, you fast for approximately 14 - 16 hours. For example, if you have your last meal at 8:00 pm, you shouldn’t eat again until 10:00 am the next day.
Fitness: I do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) for at least 40 minutes, 2-3 times weekly. I also run for 40 minutes twice a week. HIIT is easy to do at home. All you need is a yoga mat, free weights and your phone. Use your phone to search YouTube for “40 min HIIT” and lots of videos pop up. HIIT really gets me going!
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON MISTAKES WOMEN MAKE IN OUR HEALTH/DIET/FITNESS ROUTINES?
Diet. The first mistake that both men and women make is believing that short term diets work. If you change the way you eat for a specific period of time solely for the purpose of losing weight, and thereafter, you return to your ‘normal’ way of eating, you will put the weight back on. And then some. This is what we call the ‘yo-yo effect’. The only proven way to maintain weight loss is to make long term lifestyle changes in diet and fitness. Most people know this by now, but it’s easier said than done. I recommend a diet comprised primarily of vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and fruits, but — and this is important — NO sweet sugary beverages. Over the long term, this approach to meals makes it easier to be both slim and satiated. I know many people do not want to eat 100% plant based meals. This is totally okay. Animal products should be kept to a minimum, though. Why? Meat is very ‘energy expensive’ to digest as it is usually high in fat and protein. On the other hand, vegetables are ‘energy efficient’ because they are full of fiber, water, and nutrients that will fill you up even though the digestion of the same requires much less energy than meat. Moreover, vegetables contribute to good gut health.
Fitness. Many misconceptions exist about how much one can achieve with fitness routines. Fitness routines are important to one’s overall health; however, fitness routines are seldom enough, on their own, for weight loss. Multiple studies have proven that decreased caloric intake is the most important factor in weight loss. This does not mean you shouldn’t exercise if weight loss is your goal. Cardiovascular exercise is important for heart, blood, and brain health. Weight training is important for bone, joint, and muscle health. Furthermore, increased muscle mass increases metabolism, which also contributes to weight loss.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO GO VEGAN?
I wanted avoid eating food that made me feel low on energy (remember — digesting meat requires a lot of energy). Additionally, I did not like eating meat in restaurants because I knew neither where the meat was from nor the circumstances under which the animals were raised. Eating an animal that was unhappy its entire life doesn’t feel good to me. So, I switched to an organic plant-based diet. I feel more physically fit and clearer mentally as a result. But I must confess — I do eat cheese sometimes — so I’m not 100% plant-based. I LOVE cheese. I believe in balance. If you really crave or miss an animal product in your diet, then eat it. Just keep it to a minimum.
WHAT ARE THE HEALTH AND BEAUTY BENEFITS OF A VEGAN LIFESTYLE?
Ever since I switched to a vegan diet, I have lots of energy throughout the day. My skin is much clearer and I stay slim without trying. My digestion is on point and I feel happier overall, which makes me feel more beautiful.
WHAT’S on YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Travel. Travel. And even more travel. That’s where all of my money goes! I crave time spent in nature and I love seeing the planet’s most beautiful landscapes, flora and fauna — so around the world I go!
LET’S TALK FAVORITES. FAVORITE MOVIE? MUSIC?
The Sound of Music is my all time favorite movie. Music? I love so many genres: house, reggae, conscious, dancehall, hip-hop, pop, chill/ambient music and classic.
WHAT 3 WORDS DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?
HOW DO YOU INCORPORATE YOUR STYLE INTO YOUR PROFESSIONAL LIFE AS DOCTOR?
I have very little opportunity to express my style professionally because I cannot wear anything other than white jeans and a white top. At least white makes my stethoscope pop!
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE GO-TO WARDROBE PIECES?
Jeans, tee shirts and sneakers. Simple — I know!
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE FITNESS BRANDS?
I rotate between Nike and Adidas.
DO YOU THINK THAT EXERCISING IN SOMETHING STYLISH IS MOTIVATIONAL ?
Yes! If wearing something stylish gets you off the couch and working out, then hell yeah! Anything that motivates people to exercise and care for their health is great!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR CURRENT OBSESSION?
At the moment, I am obsessed with tennis. I work with a tennis coach twice a week. I cannot get enough of the game. Tennis is the perfect combination of exercise and fun!
What do you daydream about?
I am a dreamer and I believe in the manifestation of dreams. I visualize my goals daily, which has worked for me so far. My favorite daydream is about having a healthy and happy home with beautiful children in a location close to my parents and brothers. I also daydream about how I can contribute the health and happiness of people around the globe. Finally, I dream about a world in which our institutions and politicians prioritize good education, healthcare and tolerance. In this world I dream about, people would have the time, freedom and energy to align themselves from the inside out, resulting in a harmoniously intertwined mind, body and soul.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT GOLD?
I love the malleability of gold. A single gram of gold can be formed into a semi-transparent one square foot sheet that may be used to reflect infrared light, and therefore, used for spacesuits. What can I say — I am a scientist at heart. Aesthetically speaking, I love how warm and luxurious pure gold feels when I wear it. I like the weight of it pure gold. Gold complements my skin color. Also, the AUVERE concept of wearing your gold investment is just brilliant!
WHAT AUVERE PIECES CAN’T YOU LIVE WITHOUT?
I always gravitate towards clean, minimal design — so the entire AUVERE collection suits my personal style. But if I must choose, I would say the rings. They are bold but wearable. And they look fantastic layered and mixed together.
Good physical and emotional health is the crux of a happy life. It is my mission to teach people how to achieve positive health goals in order to live longer and better. Want to know more? Come visit me on Instagram (@dr.viviancharlott)!
VIVIAN IS WEARING:
- Look 1: Gold Top: Zara; Black Jeans: Scotch & Soda; Jewelry: Auvere (Obelisk Lariat Necklace; Triple Barrel Ring Polished; and Tall Maze Cuff);
- Look 2:Gray Top: TILL.da; Black Jeans: Scotch & Soda; Boots: Halogen; Jewelry: Auvere (Capture Ring; Slash Ring Polished; Luna II Ring; Luna IV Ring; Perigree Bracelet; and Arthropod Earrings);
- Look 3: Black Jacket: Malene Birger; Black Jeans: Scotch & Soda; Boots: Halogen; Jewelry: Auvere (Golden Apex Ring; Double Cone Earrings Tall; and Triple Barrel Ring); and
- Look 4: Sports Bra and Leggings: Nike; Sneakers: Adidas; Jewelry: Auvere (Pavo Necklace Polished; Pavo Bracelet Polished; Vortex Ring; Spike Ring Polished; Golden Moon Ring; Hug Me Huggie Earrings Polished; and Golden Moon Medium Earring Polished).