I’m passionate about helping women take control of their health to renew their sense of vitality and overall wellbeing. I see myself as a client’s companion in the sleuthing process of discovering both what’s undermining her ability to be well and her options for healing.
I also like working with mothers to meet the nutrition needs of their children and other family members.
My passion for empowering women for wellness stems from a combination of my professional background and my personal health journey, from feeling compromised and overwhelmed by frequent fatigue and illness to feeling energized by steady stamina and health.
As a child I endured more than my share of ear infections and common colds. Often after eating certain foods, I struggled to concentrate in school. As you might imagine, that left me feeling frustrated, confused, and insecure about whether I could succeed in school as a student and in life. Not a reassuring place for an adolescent!
Later as a young public health professional, I worked long hours, lived an extremely unbalanced life, and fed myself poorly. I traveled frequently for work and after most trips fell ill. Ironic? Yes! Health professionals often pay more attention to helping other people than to taking good care of themselves.
I wore myself out on a treadmill of excessive stress and work, inadequate nutrition and sleep, and frequent illness. Tremendously frustrated, I bobbed down and up on what felt like enormous mood swells, from despair to hope and back to despair again.
Eventually I stepped off that treadmill, shifting my steps and choices in order to create a family. That’s when I began my long quest to figure out how to nourish myself, and then my children, while navigating nagging symptoms, including multiple food sensitivities.
Today, it feels great to have overall energy, focus, and health that I can count on. Of course, the quality of my health, like anyone’s, is dynamic, subject to change based on a number of factors. When I do feel poorly, or when one of my children starts feeling unwell, I know how to support our needs and facilitate our return to wellness.
The Healing Power of Nature
Nature is a key part of my healing journey and my current sense of well-being. When I spend time outdoors, whether walking in woods or sitting under a tree, whether digging in a garden or watching birds peck the ground for worms and seeds, I feel better. My mood lifts, I sleep more restfully, and I feel less stressed than when I don’t interact in some way with what nature has to offer.
Nature, or the lack of it, is one of the fundamental lifestyle considerations that I include in my work with clients. Read more about the healing power of nature.
My professional background, which is grounded in public health, includes expertise in health education, holistic health, and functional nutrition.
I received my initial nutrition counseling and health coaching training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I studied many of the major dietary theories, as well as a variety of preventive health measures and practical lifestyle counseling methods.
Additionally, I have deepened my understanding of functional nutrition through further studies with the Functional Nutrition Lab of the Functional Nutrition Alliance.
Prior to becoming certified as a Holistic Health Coach, and then as a Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner, I worked for a number of years in international public health as a health educator, project designer and manager, and facilitator of training workshops. I focused on helping health care practitioners in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere strengthen their reproductive health care services for women and men.
I received my Master’s of Public Health degree in Health Education and Community Development from the University of North Carolina’s School of Public Health in Chapel Hill.
As well, in what feels like another lifetime, I served for more than two years as a United States Peace Corps Volunteer, working with malnourished children and their mothers in a rural district of Kenya.
Location of ReNEW Vitality
I run my health, nutrition, and lifestyle coaching practice, ReNEW Vitality: Nutrition for Energy and Wellbeing, from Amherst, MA. That’s where I live with my family and meet with clients, both in person and by telephone. I also hold workshops and give talks in the area about health-related topics.
Because I work remotely as well as locally, I can interact with clients from just about anywhere. So don’t let your location keep you from contacting me!
Are you curious about how health coaching can help you? Let’s talk. Schedule an initial consultation with me today.