How Working for Whole Foods Market inspired me to become an IIN Health Coach

During the summer of 2012 I was minding my own business, working part-time at the Detroit Institute of Arts and providing massage therapy at my riverfront studio when a lightning bolt shocked my world! It was time to take life to the next yet level again.

Stagnation can kill your spirit if you let it.

I began seeking out venues to host holistic health education classes in my community and I was drawn to the Woodward Ave community office for the new Whole Foods Market® that would open in about a year. I felt I was ready for something big so the idea of providing workshops and classes at a venue that represented organic food, healthy lifestyle and prosperity in Detroit felt really good to me.

VK at WFM Community SpaceMy primary thoughts were centered around working on my own health and well-being, while discovering what this shock to my internal system was supposed to mean for my future. Everything happened so fast, but the end result was, I resigned from my part-time job and took the full-time entrepreneur leap, again. I knew that the work I had done in my community for the 12-years prior was only the tip of the iceberg. I was being prepared for something greater than I could imagine.

In the time that it takes to conceive and birth a healthy new baby, this arrangement came to an end and I was offered a part-time position with Whole Foods Market®as the Marketing and Community Relations Specialist for the Detroit store. I was ecstatic that my connections with the community and social media marketing skills had been noticed by the green people in the sky, so I went in visualizing the people who would come into the store seeking healthy nutritious food, served on a platter by friendly caring people. I saw them taking cooking and yoga classes and leaving out invigorated by their experience.

VK WFM Detroit Grand OpeningThe doors of Whole Foods Market ®Detroit opened June 4, 2013 and although I was not there to celebrate with the amazing team that dug in deep and built a natural and organic grocery machine that awed not only the immediate community but the world, my heart still leaped for joy with them in Atlanta. You see, another embryo was planted inside of me. While at Whole Foods Market®, I met Dr. Akua Woolbright, a renowned nutrition expert who introduced me to the concept of “food as medicine.”

Before meeting Dr. Akua, I had only studied 20 hours of nutrition (more than most physicians) in massage therapy school. Providing massages and healthy lifestyle consultations for more than 3000 people was a great feat as a holistic health professional, but my optimal health tool-box was about to overflow with goodness. Dr. Akua challenged me to dig deeper into the art of eating to live. I watched all of the amazing healthy food videos like “Fat Sick and Nearly Dead” and “Forks Over Knives” and I found what most people find, a lot of controversial information about diets and super foods. This moved me to more research.

Heaven knows that at 50-years-old, I was not ready to go back to school again, but the fire that drives me to help people live their best lives was so strong. The amazing health coaches who came to teach and speak at the Whole Foods Market ® Community Room prompted me to look at my online connections to find out where they received their training.  After interviewing several of these dynamic coaches about their learning experience, I found that the Institute for Integrative Nutrition® taught more than 100 dietary theories and helped you weigh the pros and cons of each. Can you say “nutrition education gold mind.” Several of the lecturers at IIN were also connected with the Whole Foods Market® immersion program that Dr. Akua recommended I attend.

In addition to learning dietary theory, IIN taught bio-individuality®. That’s just a fancy word for “one person’s food can be another person’s poison.”  IIN was the best school to receive my health coach certification and the ripple effect that is being created by each of their students is changing the landscape of what it means to live a healthy, happy life.

The last 6-months have been challenging and enlightening to say the least. I have worked through some of my own health concerns and have developed classes and a customizable coaching program to support people experiencing repeated yeast infections and inflammatory responses like atopic dermatitis. Although I absolutely love working with healing artists, I also enjoy supporting busy women entrepreneurs who create amazing, innovative businesses, but need a little support finding life balance.

Working at Whole Foods Market® was a catalyst to my continued growth and development as a holistic health professional. “America’s Healthiest Grocery Store” is so much more than a place to buy nutritious food for your family. Whole Foods Market® is a playground for health seekers and professionals to connect with one another in order to shift the epidemic of death by poor nutrition into an epidemic of health and happiness, for all who seek it. Learn more…

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