Out of necessity, I have been interested in nutrition for as long as I can remember. My mom didn’t really cook so it was fast food and processed foods for most meals growing up. Although I didn’t make the connection back then (I thought it was my lack of willpower), this diet combined with my inherited slow metabolism, caused me to be pudgy from about age 8. I remember being on my first diet in 3rd or 4th grade and was pretty much on a diet off and on until after my daughter was born over 20 years later.
Usually my diet corresponded with whatever fad was going around – low fat (remember Snackwells and Olean chips?), weight watchers, calorie counting, low carb, no carb – you name it I tried it. Of course along with this came even more damage to my metabolism along with mental anguish and an unhealthy dose of self-loathing.
When I became pregnant with my daughter several years ago, I stopped my dieting and ate (pretty much) whatever I wanted. Mostly, because I was highly addicted to sugar, this meant ice cream every night. My waist-band was now elastic and I was able to convince myself that the 3 chins I’d gained was just the baby stealing my beauty (this happens with baby girls, right?). After the baby was born, the breastfeeding would burn the weight off….or so I let myself believe.
Five months after she was born, at my heaviest ever, I had an epiphany that would change my life forever and the lives of my family. I had decided that I wanted to make her baby food (still a bit “forward thinking” back in ’09) and I was given a wonderful book called Super Baby Foods that explained exactly what I should feed her to make sure she was getting all of the nutrients that her growing body needed. It made me so happy to make her these “super porridges” - chock full of veggies, whole grains, and super foods. One day, as I was discussing this “enlightened” way of feeding my daughter with my sister, she said something so simple but so powerful: “I’m sure we should be eating the same way too.”
Somehow, I had never considered this before. Eat to give my body what it needed on the inside? Always before I had eaten with what the food would do to the outside of my body in mind. Would it make me gain or lose weight? I had never considered that my body needed nutrients from my food. From that day forward a passion was born in me to discover what my body needed and the foods I could eat to provide for it. I discovered vegetables and how amazing and unique each one can taste after you break your taste buds of the sugar, fat and salt they crave from a processed foods diet.
Meanwhile, as a side benefit, my energy was soaring, my skin glowed, my mood improved and weight began to effortlessly fall off. It was like I had learned this huge secret that set me free from the dieting chains and I wanted to share it with everyone. Books began to pile up on my bedside table with titles like ‘The Real Food Detox Diet’ and ‘In Defense of Food.’ It was all so simple but why did the common person not know about this “new way of eating”?
A few years into this new way of life, I knew that I had to make a change in my professional career and follow my newfound passion to help others discover how great they can feel going back to the basics and eating real foods. At that time I had been in IT as a business analyst for over a decade and it had never been a good fit. The cubicle I sat in day in and day out felt more like a torture chamber for my soul, but I didn’t have the courage to make a switch and I didn’t know exactly how I could best use this passion of mine. In 2012 I could put it off no longer and I began taking classes at the local community college. I didn’t think a traditional nutritionist or registered dietician was where my calling was, but I knew very little about other careers in the wellness industry. One fateful day in early June of that year, I met a health coach and after he explained what a health coach does, it was like the Heavens parted and I knew that was the exact path I was designed for. The following month I signed up at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and quickly realized this was one of the best decisions I had ever made. In 2013 I launched my company, Nutritious in the City, and quit my corporate job shortly after. My journey over the last year and a half has been hard but amazing. Finally being in line with my purpose and passion and able to help hundreds of people on their healthy journey has been worth the struggles and insecurities I continue to conquer as a small business owner. I have a vision of a world where people feel good and energized by the foods they eat, processed or fast foods are not the norm, and families gather around the kitchen island to cook together, laugh together and inspire one another. I adore the coaching profession where I get to come alongside my clients and not only teach them how simple healthy eating and cooking can be, but also encourage and support them as they embark on their own transformation.
If any of this resonates with you, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love the opportunity to hear about your health goals and how I might be able to help you reach your full potential.
If my career path intrigues you or inspires you, I would be honored to give you more information about my school and my new career path. With preventable diseases reaching pandemic proportions in America, we need all the wellness professionals we can get. Thank you for sharing in my story!