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Jordan Crofton, FNP, is the Director of Patient Care for THE WELL New York and a board-certified family nurse practitioner who specializes in functional medicine, which focuses on identifying and addressing the root cause of disease.

Crofton holds degrees from Emory University, George Washington University and the University of Georgia and is trained in functional medicine through the Institute for Functional Medicine. She spent years training under Frank Lipman, MD, Chief Medical Officer of THE WELL, and has also trained with the team at The UltraWellness Center.

Operating from the deep belief that true health and vitality involves the mind, body and spirit, Crofton is also a breathwork facilitator who can guide patients through an active pranayama breathing technique that is focused on emotional release and healing.

Q:

What brought you to functional medicine?

A:

So many things: A long-standing passion for nutrition science, witnessing people heal from chronic disease, a love for research, my own health journey, a very brief — and mind-boggling — career in both Big Food and Big Pharma and an obsession with farming and environmental wellness.

Q:

What does wellness mean to you?

A:

Wellness is an ever-evolving journey. We never just “arrive” in a place of wellness one day. It’s a practice, a lifestyle, a shift in perspective and it encompasses far more than merely physical health. To me, true wellness is at the intersection of emotional, sexual, spiritual, environmental, mental and physical vitality.

Q:

Name three non-negotiables in your life.

A:

Sleep, live music, matcha lattes.

Q:

What do you fiercely believe in?

A:

I fiercely believe in the boundless power of love. I believe that what we feed our bodies (food, sex, spirituality, love, sleep, purpose, joy) has the power to affect every part of our being. I believe that the body has incredible healing power — and always wants to find homeostasis — it just needs to be given the right tools. I believe that humor is essential to life. I believe that while in many ways we are in control of our own well-being, the social determinants of health play a huge role in the health of individuals and communities. I believe that food is nourishment, nature is medicine and the health of our planet is inextricably connected to the health of our bodies.

Q:

What is something that’s changed your life?

A:

Breathwork — so much so that after practicing personally for years, I became a practitioner myself. I now lead people through Conscious Connected Breathing sessions specifically designed for emotional release. It’s powerful — some have even described it as 10 years of therapy in 45 minutes.

RELATED: 3 Breathing Exercises for Restful Sleep

Q:

Favorite book?

A:

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Q:

Best beauty/grooming secret?

A:

Less is more.

Q:

Inspiring quote?

A:

“What is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” — Mary Oliver.

Q:

When you're not at work, where can you be found?

A:

Outdoors. Whether it’s hiking, farming, biking, running, swimming or surfing, I’m always up for an adventure.

One of my favorite things to do in the spring/summer is play in the dirt and spend the day planting and harvesting on the farm, courtesy of my amazing friend Farmer Frank of Bhumi Farms!

Q:

Describe your approach to treating patients in a sentence.

A:

I use a personalized, comprehensive approach that focuses on treating the whole person (not just the diagnosis or symptoms) and allows me to identify the root causes of imbalance or illness, treat the underlying issues and restore vitality and resilience.

Q:

What's one way you take care of your mind every day?

A:

Focusing on gratitude, finding joy in the little things and carving out time for meditation.

Q:

Morning ritual?

A:

I’m a much happier person when I go to bed early and wake up early. Mornings are sacred time. My goal (not always successful!) is to avoid looking at my phone for the first 30 minutes that I’m awake. I also try to get a few minutes of direct sunlight, which helps regulate circadian rhythms, and then spend 10-15 minutes moving my body. Lately, it’s been jumping jacks and yoga. I meditate for 20 minutes, make my matcha latte and if I have time, try to spend a few minutes journaling.

Q:

The key to a good night's sleep?

A:

Prioritizing practices that shift us into our parasympathetic nervous system during the day (meditation, conscious breathing). Time spent outside — especially watching sunrises and sunsets (again, circadian rhythm)! Limiting caffeine after 11am. Exercise in any form. Avoiding screen time an hour before bed. Magnesium.

RELATED: Discover Your Sleep Chronotype

Q:

When you really need to chill out, you…

A:

Steam, sauna, cold plunge, repeat. Or if that’s not an option… downward dog. I stay inverted until stress dissipates (sometimes it takes 2 breaths, sometimes it takes 50).

Q:

Instant mood lifter?

A:

GET OUTSIDE.

Q:

Food philosophy?

A:

I think we can all benefit from Michael Pollan’s advice: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." And I would add to that — organic and local whenever possible.

Amazing things happen when we connect with our farmers and support regenerative, organic practices. I’m a HUGE advocate for food sourcing and quality. The toxic effects that glyphosate and other herbicides and pesticides have on our bodies and minds is indisputable.

Food is information for us on a cellular level and while I believe that diet is bio-individual, there are basic principles that support every human. Limiting sugar, processed carbohydrates and inflammatory vegetable oils (like soybean, canola, seed oils) and focusing on lots of leafy greens and colorful vegetables (phytochemicals and antioxidants are key), healthy fats and some wild-caught seafood and grass-fed/pasture-raised meat helps build microbial integrity, immune resilience and supports optimal brain health.

RELATED: How to Cut Back on the "Big 3" — Sugar, Caffeine and Alcohol

Q:

Something you can’t live without?

A:

My people. I feel wildly fortunate to be surrounded by incredible family, friends and colleagues.

Q:

Most used condiments?

A:

Himalayan salt

Q:

Happy place?

A:

The ocean

Q:

How do you take your coffee or tea?

A:

I’m not a coffee drinker but can’t imagine life without my daily matcha. I whisk together a teaspoon of matcha, some spices (ceylon cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, etc), unsweetened pistachio or cashew milk and a few drops of raw stevia extract.

Q:

Favorite smoothie recipe?

A:

I’ve made a smoothie almost every morning for close to a decade. Here’s my current go-to:

  • Water or unsweetened almond milk (I like the brand Three Trees)
  • Collagen protein powder
  • Zucchini or cauliflower, sometimes avocado
  • A few brazil nuts
  • Lots of greens (baby bok choy, power green mix, etc)
  • A few berries
  • Ground flax and chia seeds
  • Chlorella
  • Mushroom blend (lion's mane, chaga, reishi)
  • Chunk of peeled organic ginger root, ceylon cinnamon and garam masala
  • Handful of ice

RELATED: The Secret Immune-Boosting Power of Mushrooms

Q:

Hydration strategy?

A:

I feel naked without a water bottle — it’s basically an extension of my body at this point. For me, staying hydrated is the cornerstone of feeling great.

Q:

Go-to wellness gift?

A:

Gift card to THE WELL — endless options :)

Q:

Words to live by?

A:

Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.

Q:

How do you reboot?

A:

Ideally: saltwater and sunshine. In the city: a bike ride on the west side highway. Anywhere: running, music, meditation and/or alone time — I’m undoubtedly an introvert.

Q:

Preferred form of movement?

A:

Dancing.

Q:

What's sacred to you?

A:

Love. Breath. Sex. Connection. Time. Plants. Kindness. Nature. And probably chocolate.

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