I was diagnosed with Steven’s Johnson Syndrome in 2002 and since then have been on a quest to prevent ill health. Not being able to take any antibiotics forced me to focus on how to nourish my body and I was surprised to discover that was no small task. I found myself swimming in a sea of conflicting information and learned that the foods I’d trusted were highly processed and full of things that were not going to lead to optimal health.
That led me to discover Ann Louise Gittleman’s work. She actually taught me about the biochemistry of my body and that opened up a whole new world to me. I started doing her detox four times a year and 10 years later was told I was finished with menopause. I had been dreading menopause after watching friends and relatives struggle mightily with hot flashes and mood swings and I didn’t even know I was going through it! I knew then that I was on to something important and life changing.
When I moved to New Zealand I had to put together an eating plan using local products and convert all of the measurements to metrics. My friend Taryn Ellis was my guinea pig for the first trial and loved the detox plan so much that she convinced me to teach it to others so that they could improve their health and wellbeing too, and take-off was born. I still wanted to have more knowledge so I decided to go back to school to become certified as a Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
During my training, I studied over 100 dietary theories, practical lifestyle management techniques, and innovative coaching methods with some of the world’s top health and wellness experts. My teachers included Dr. Andrew Weil, Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine; Dr. Deepak Chopra, leader in the field of mind-body medicine; Dr. David Katz, Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center; Dr. Walter Willett, Chair of Nutrition at Harvard University; Geneen Roth, bestselling author and expert on emotional eating; and many other leading researchers and nutrition authorities. This education, combined with over a decade of independent study, has equipped me with extensive knowledge in holistic nutrition, health coaching, and preventive health.
I have always had a passion for helping people reach their full potential and that has driven my career in education, training and development for the last 30 years. From 1992 – 2008 I worked for Ethan Allen Global. They are an innovative US based furniture manufacturer and retailer providing one-stop interior design services to their customers. Commencing as an Interior Design / Sales Consultant in 1992, I was promoted on numerous occasions ending up in the role of International Training Specialist at the firm’s corporate headquarters in Danbury, CT, USA. Some of my key responsibilities within this role included:
• Designing and developing a wide range of training courses and activities;
• Working with management to complete training needs analysis and assessment;
• Facilitating and leading highly effective classes, workshops and seminars;
• Developing, producing and utilising a variety of training materials, manuals, presentations and technology to most effectively meet student needs and learning styles;
• Assessing, recommending and coordinating external training and professional development courses.
As a training specialist, I led the development and facilitation of a wide range of courses including the company’s Management Training Program, week long Design Intensive Training, and presentations for our International Conventions, as well as courses on team building, coaching / counselling, time management, communication and goal setting skills. During my last 8 years with EA I developed the international training standard and travelled to several countries to open stores and provide ongoing training to our partners overseas. This work took my to China, Thailand, England, and the Dominican Republic.
My appreciation of cultural and personal differences, and my experience working with over 10,000 participants, contributes to my ability to evaluate and encourage people of all ages and stages in life. We all crave a witness to care about and understand what drives us and I provide that for my clients. I often see potential that is not evident to them, and that realisation can empower them to make lifestyle changes that produce real and lasting results. Often having an empathetic partner allows people to achieve things they never thought were possible.
The men and women I work with all share the desire to declutter and simplify their lives. The declutter philosophy is one that can easily be applied to the pantry. Try eating foods with 1-3 ingredients in them for a week and see how much better you feel. I am often challenged to do this myself, especially when travelling and entertaining. That’s why I started offering a 6-month Picture of Health plan to help clients understand the importance of healing by eating real fresh whole foods, moving their bodies and learning how to reset the nervous system through relaxation. We not only have fun but have the time to make small changes that lead to great results over time!