Health Coach on a Medical Mission
Integrative Nutrition graduate Kathi Naumann always made healthy eating a priority, but it wasn’t until she overcame serious illness that she decided to dedicate her life to the study of nutrition. With the desire to help others find health and happiness, she learned about Integrative Nutrition and immediately enrolled in the Health Coach Training Program.
Since graduating in 2005, Kathi started her own company, Natural Nutrition Services, and has partnered with camps and hospitals to educate medical patients about the core principles of a healthy lifestyle. What a rewarding career!
What were you doing prior to enrolling at Integrative Nutrition?
I was married, finishing a BA in Liberal Studies, raising two children, and working part-time as a physical therapist’s assistant.
What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
I was always the one who ate funny, grew my own food, canned and preserved it. I had been very ill with Epstein Barr Virus and Hypothyroidism. I wanted to share my experiences and knowledge with people so that I could spread health and happiness. In 2005, I traveled from Maryland to NYC for the open house and knew right away that IIN was the school for me.
How did your life change after enrolling?
Aside from the fact that I was exposed to like-minded people and no longer felt so alone, I felt liberated. My health soared to a new level and my family's health improved as a result. I am a confident, healthy woman with a happy, healthy family – life doesn't get much better than that. Thanks IIN!
Which topics and teachers had the greatest impact on you?
John Doulliard and Sally Fallon Morell had a huge impact on me. In fact, I had always practiced Ayurveda and didn't even realize it. Sally Fallon and the Weston Price research was astounding, and I share her information with clients quite often.
What are you up to now?
My company, Natural Nutrition Services, is teaming up with Dragon Fly Heart Camp, Johns Hopkins, and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. We are creating a program to support 18 to 22-year-olds who have had heart transplants. These young adults are faced with serious side effects from medications and have very little support regarding nutrition. We are planning a retreat to support these amazing young people and their families.
What will the retreat be like?
The 3-day, 2-night retreat will offer education on self-advocacy, to support the transition from childcare to adult care. I will be offering cooking classes and teaching the basics of Ayurveda Medicine, including eating with the seasons. We will also focus on peer support, lifestyles and nutrition (to include immune support), self-image, development and stress management.
As a Health Coach, how will you make this program appeal to a young audience?
There will be fun cooking classes that teach these young people how they can eat on the go and still hang out with their friends. I will also create a family plan for parents and siblings about nutrition and feeding the soul.
What makes your practice and your product unique?
I have been a Health Coach for seven years now and it took all seven for me to figure out my niche. I think that makes me unique in my own right. I am currently creating a product for the caregivers of a stroke patient. This product will provide the caregiver with all the tools they need to promote the health and wellbeing of the patient, as well as a step-by-step guide on how to provide proper care.
Can you describe your product for stroke patient caregivers?
The product for stroke patient caregivers will be an ebook. I will incorporate my skills as a physical therapist assistant and Health Coach to offer helpful health tips, breathing and stretching techniques, what to look for in a rehab, how to handle stress, how to organize medications, a glossary of medical terms, and typical tests and procedures.
Going back to your comment about it “taking seven years to figure out your niche.” Can you describe that journey?
I had a thriving health coaching business and was able to pay for my tuition before I even graduated from IIN in 2005. But my sixty-year-old father had a massive stroke and I was forced to put my business aside to help take care of him. I then joined the ambassador program to reconnect with the IIN community, but continued to offer free public lectures to keep my business alive. Much of what I offered was free.
In 2009 I created an afterschool program and this is where I realized my love for program development. I live in a very small town on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. A young heart transplant recipient was in the program and her mother thought of me when she received the call from Johns Hopkins. I loved working with young people, and felt I had a purpose and drive to help them.
Do you think there is a need for Health Coaches to team up with hospitals and other medical institutions?
I definitely believe that there is a need for Health Coaches in the medical sector, but hospitals have nutritionists who aren’t necessarily open to what a Health Coach has to offer.
How has your own journey to healing and better health aided you in helping others?
I believe that when you have lived the life of a sick, out-of-balance person, it is much easier to help someone who is in that place. I have more compassion.
How do you help your clients be successful?
I find that people need to be told exactly what to do. Giving a client specific instructions and steps has been the sharpest tool in my toolbox.
What do you love about your work?
I love when someone's health improves because of something I did. I also love to create programs. I am grateful to Joshua for working so hard to create a community that is recognized all over the world.
Connect with Kathi