I believe the key to a healthy balanced life is the ability to motivate behavioral shifts. It is important for each individual to develop self-awareness around the inner workings of their body and mind. These inner workings are what drives decisions and motivations throughout all parts of a healthy lifestyle.
My number one goal and my driving reason for becoming a Health Coach is to give people the knowledge and tools to take control of their own wellness and become as healthy and happy as they were meant to be. Whether you want to lose weight, take control of your eating, get help navigating menopause, or even take that scary step of self examination and change, I can help. Everybody wants to be in optimum health and live a life that is free from disease and pain. But we are not all starting from the same place and for some of us that road to wellness seems long and daunting. It is normal to be scared and feel overwhelmed when we are seeing our healthy selves as a long way off and it’s also normal to think “I’m just not sure I can ever get there”. My goal is to serve my clients by meeting them exactly where they are right now, and to guide them with purpose, positivity and partnership to a way of life that brings them overall happiness and well-being.
I graduated from the University of Oregon in 1989, got married and had four amazing children. I chose to be a stay at home mom for many years and I don’t regret a minute of it – it greatly benefited my kids and allowed my husband to focus on a career that was very fulfilling and challenging. I was always interested in exercise and nutrition but really started to study food’s effects on the body when my Mom got diagnosed with cancer for the second time. My maternal Grandmother had died of pancreatic cancer and my husband’s Grandmother had passed away from stomach cancer. At the much too young age of 64, I lost my Mom to Endocrine cancer which had spread to her liver. What was going on? These women had been vibrant and happy and then so suddenly they were gone. Were they just “unlucky” or was there something more to it? I started learning that there were certain foods that fed cancer cells – what?- and that many of us were consuming these foods everyday and sometimes at every meal! I was finding that so many of the foods that were marketed to us as healthy were anything but. The deeper I dug, the more the truth (sometimes the ugly truth), about the real health benefits and health pitfalls of our food supply became clear.
Then in the Spring of 2015 my husband suffered a severe case of Diverticulitis and was hospitalized for 10 days. He had been working out, eating healthy and then suddenly he was very sick. He recovered and felt pretty good for the next few months. During this time there were a number of stressful events that arose in his life, but he was strong emotionally and physically and he seemed to be handling everything as well as anyone could. Then without warning he started not feeling well again. A random trip to the Orthopedic surgeon and that doctor’s concern over his distended abdomen resulted in a CT scan which showed a tumor in his colon. Three days later we were sitting in the Oncologist’s office being told he had stage 4 colon cancer.
We read, we researched, we asked questions and we tried the best we could to keep him moving towards recovery. There were times when he seemed to be going in the wrong direction that I wondered if the heartbreaking events of that past summer were partially the cause. What happens when the body doesn’t deal with trauma? What happens when it just simmers inside you? Can it manifest in sickness? Or hinder the body’s ability to heal itself? I know now the answer to be yes to these questions but at the time I was still on the path of discovery. After 3 years of surgeries, chemo, unwavering positivity and fighting to the very end, my husband passed away at the age of 52.
After taking a year to figure out how the kids and I were going to move forward, and what this new life looked like, I had this overwhelming urge to go back to school. I had to educate myself further about the role food played in our health and if there were indeed other factors besides genetics that determined how long and how well our lives would play out. I enrolled in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and got my Health Coaching certificate. The Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) is considered to be the world’s largest nutritional school with their philosophy being that every person is unique and therefore has their own individual needs both nutritionally and personally. This aligns perfectly with my belief that there is no wellness program that can successfully be a one size fits all. I have designed my Health Coaching philosophy around this idea and empower my clients to discover and put into practice a health and wellness practice that works for them.
In addition to my degree in Health Coaching I also hold a degree in Gut Health. With 80% of our immune systems residing in our gut (or digestive tract), now more than ever it is vital to our health to take care of and nourish our digestive system. Did you know that the state of your gut is also directly connected to your mental health? Studies show that an unhealthy gut can cause depression and anxiety. If you want to feel more happiness and contentment let’s make sure your gut is healthy and nourished properly!
Finally, I also have a degree in Whole Body Detoxification, which is essentially how to detox your life. There are currently so many harmful toxins in our food and the products we use on a daily basis that digging through all of them can seem overwhelming. I can guide you through the seemingly mountains of information so you can make the healthy changes you and your loved ones need right now. Detoxing your environment can include not only your food and cleaning supplies, but your cosmetics, your furniture and decor, your electronic use and even the people you give your energy to. When working to provide you with whole body health and well-being, cleaning up the area that we have control over – our home and what we bring into it- is another very important piece of the puzzle.
I wasn’t able to save some of the people I loved. It is hard to admit that there are some circumstances that simply can’t be controlled no matter how hard you try. But what I can control is what I choose to do today, and I choose to take care of myself, my loved ones and any other person who wants to embark on their own journey of self care. I have learned so much over the past few years about nutrition, and mindfulness, acceptance and love. I want to empower anyone who has the desire to live a healthier life, who wants to feel that they have choices when it comes to their well-being, and who is ready to be happier and feel good in their own skin. My goal is to serve anyone who wants to take control over their life. I will meet you exactly where you are now and together we will explore a path to the best you you can be.
Circle of Life
Holistic Balance offers a unique approach by looking at your life as the sum of 12 equal and important parts. This Circle of Life gives us insights into our strengths and opportunities and also a starting point from which we can gain information.
From here we will strive to reframe perspectives about relationships with food or preconceived notions about what it means to live a fulfilled and balanced life.
Graphic Data: The Institute of Integrated Nutrition