Antonella Palazio, a 2010 graduate who lives in Miami, Florida, focuses on educating people and getting them motivated to experiment and eat wholesome clean foods through her practice. But more than that, she believes food is simply one layer to pull back in discovering who we are. By sharing the basics of nutrition, she helps people link the “whys” and “hows” of changing food patterns. She chooses to use the word “how” over “what” one eats, because it favors the holistic mindset – that it is not just about food. “It entails the whole dimension of who we are, why we are here, and how to enrich our journey in our spiritual evolution,” said Antonella. “Food plays one of the many layers of our lives, and this became very clear in my own life through the Health Coach Training Program.”
What led you to explore Integrative Nutrition's program?
I had a desire to learn more about food than why we just eat to live. I had only heard of the dietician profession offered by universities that required a long, extended program. For me, discovering IIN represented a learning sabbatical. The scope of information became extensive and went beyond the traditional perspective to the holistic approach.
Which parts of the Health Coach Training Program were significant for you?
I have been enthralled to learn about all the alternative approaches to health, the various ways of eating and omitting certain foods, to the fascinating exploration of superfoods. Getting to hear the teachers and speakers share their opinions really taught me to be open-minded on the concept of health without judging any particular approach. The concepts of an individualized approach to health, active listening, compassion, primary foods, and how emotional health plays a major component in our overall life were fundamental to all this new learning. It was a blossoming experience that helped me to transition how I look at life, my health, others, and the world.
What do you love about the school?
The innovative method that the school uses to educate the students is wonderful: the line-up of speakers, the up-to-date information, the business and marketing tools, the forum and ways to connect to the community of students – not just in one specific area but around the world. I also enjoyed the way the school allows each student to develop their own unique style and approach.
Are there specific points during your training or any teachers that helped you understand your own layers?
Bernie Siegel, Geneen Roth, and Deepak Chopra were very influential speakers that go beyond the basics of food. They validate the power of the soul and the deeper meaning we all carry, which we are responsible to recognize within ourselves if we choose to.
Is there a need for Health Coaches where you live?
There is a need for Health Coaches not only to serve others, but also to serve ourselves with this approach. I truly believe we need to be the love and the example we wish to see in the world. In other words, it ultimately starts and ends with how we act, feel, and are in the world.
What type of success have your clients enjoyed once they take on a new holistic mindset? Do you have any specific examples you can share?
When habits, patterns, outlooks, beliefs are in place, I can gently open a new door for my clients, and they begin to look at food with a new sense of wonder and healing power.
One of the greatest examples I can share is my family. They have been utterly confused for three years as to why I became a vegetarian (“nutritarian” as Joel Fuhrman puts it). When I go visit them in Nicaragua, I always make a fuss of having to buy a variety of vegetables. They have recently planted an orchard on the side of the house that has herbs, lettuces, tomatoes, carrots, and squash, to name a few items. I was able to find lacinato kale seeds and now my father is eating kale in everything.
This makes me so proud, particularly because I had so much resistance from them. They still don't ask for advice or guidance but pay attention to what I do and are open to try what I cook for them.
What do you love about your work?
I don't want to use the cliché of "I love helping others feel better," because if one is doing this right, it comes with the territory. I love that I can connect to my truth, stand on my own ground, follow my own heart and intuition, create a path for myself outside the rigorous standards and rules of mainstream. Work is part of life and life is part of work. I am here to evolve and therefore I am always motivated to free-flow and create. What sounds so nice on paper is what I make an effort to put into practice in my life and this comes with a lot of foul-ups and mistakes but even that is what one needs to learn is beautiful, as well.
You say that work is part of life and life is part of work – why is this so important to keep in mind?
We are here to evolve and connect to a higher awareness. This process is always present in every moment we breathe, whether we chose to work, serve, or just be. To live means to surpass our limitations and become exceptional, and it takes courageous determination to get there. This is what I mean by “work is part of life and life is part of work.” There is always a shadow of fear in my path, but I push everyday to be exceptional.