You know when you have an idea that seems really good–so good that you begin to focus on it and dream about it and visualize it happening–but then you have a reality check when you realize that for whatever reason, it can’t happen right at that time? There are lots of things that can get in the way:
- Self doubt
You get the idea.
About 5 years ago, I experienced?firsthand how feeding your body with the right fresh, whole foods, changing from?skincare products full of toxic chemicals and aggressive facial treatments, and adopting a positive and self-loving mindset can help you achieve amazing goals for your skin and health. Before this happened for me, I was miserable. I had acne that kept coming back despite using expensive spa quality skincare products and getting facials, I couldn’t lose the weight I gained after my second daughter was born, and I had developed high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, and hypothyroidism.
Though it took some time for me to figure out the right combination of foods, products, and lifestyle/mindset changes for my unique needs, once it all clicked I saw dramatic results very quickly. My skin cleared up within a month for good, and I lost 80 pounds over 18 months. In the past I had tried healing my skin just using products and spa treatments–but every time I’d run out of a product or miss a facial I’d experience breakouts. I didn’t know it at the time, but the reason was because acne–like most other skin conditions–starts with an imbalance inside the body, usually from years of eating the wrong foods and being exposed to toxins. Until I cleaned up the mess inside, any results I saw on the surface would just be temporary.
Nutritional aesthetics goes beyond holistic skincare.
Once I made that connection–that for the best results you need to heal and nourish the skin from the inside out with the right nutrients from whole foods, AND you need to soothe and protect it from the outside in with gentle products and services without harsh, irritant chemicals or procedures–my original idea for nutritional aesthetics was born.
At the time (and in my book) I still defined this concept as holistic skincare–because to me, the term holistic refers to a whole person, mind, body, spirit approach which would encompass diet, lifestyle, skincare products, spa treatments, and having the right mindset. However, I became confused as?many?aestheticians I came across that considered themselves holistic were really only focusing on using non-invasive spa treatments and all natural products. I’m sure there are several reasons for this–but what I came across as I continued meeting them, is that they either hadn’t yet made the connection of how proper nutrition benefits the skin–or they had made the connection?but didn’t have any formal education about nutrition or a license or certification that would allow them to make such recommendations and still remain within their scopes of practice.
On the nutrition side of things, I started seeing health coaches and other holistically-minded nutrition professionals blogging, teaching, and writing books about what foods benefit the skin–but unless they were also licensed aestheticians,?they didn’t have actual knowledge of the skin. As an aesthetician myself, I know how important it is to nourish and protect the skin topically, because the skin is the body’s first line of defense against pollutants, the sun’s harmful UV rays, microbes, and other environmental aggressors–and because it’s on the outside of the body, it receives the least amount of nutrition and hydration from the food and water we consume internally. And just how individual people have individual dietary needs, individual people also have individual skincare needs, and only someone who has studied the skin and different skin types and conditions knows how to make the best topical recommendations.
Though the term “nutritional aesthetics” is fairly new, it’s what I’ve been practicing in my private practice for years. I coach women on how to find out what types of foods and nutrients their bodies need and teach them how to integrate these choices into their busy lives, and I work with them as well on how to incorporate the right topical skincare ingredients, products, and spa treatments for optimal results. My clients’ results have all been positive. We’ve seen results in as little as one month, and I have clients who worked with me 5 years ago who are still enjoying the results they achieved through this integrative approach.
As much as I love my private practice, as one person I can only reach so many people who can benefit from this approach. And every day I see people who are suffering needlessly with skin problems. So the idea–the dream–to create an army of practitioners both on the aesthetics side and the nutrition side who could introduce this integrative approach to their clients and provide them with support both on implementing healthy dietary changes, as well supporting them topically with the right skincare regimen and spa treatments was born. I wanted to not only create this army of loving and supportive practitioners, but I also wanted to legitimize this connection–this hybrid–as a viable field of practice and offer organization, certification, and high quality continuing education to practitioners in this field.
I wanted to do this very badly, but I’ll be honest with you–having your own business is hard work! And having a business when you’re also a mom is even harder. I’ve been growing Holistically Haute and Create Your Skincare for 5 years and it’s been amazing. Could I really add something else–especially something this huge–to my plate? At the time I began this thought process, no. I mean, sure–I could have started it, but realistically speaking I knew there was no way I’d be able to have the resources and have the impact I wanted to have unless I had help. And not just help–it had to be the right people who cared about this as much as I do. So I moved the idea to my mental “back seat” and focused instead on my other work.
My nutritional aesthetics?dream got a big boost from the Universe.
I attended the International Congress of Esthetics and Spa conference in Philadelphia last October, like I do every year. I was really happy to see a class being taught about integrating nutritional coaching and wellness into the spa, so I attended. At the end of the class, I met Sandra Emmanouilides, another holistically minded aesthetician who also is an Integrative Nutrition? Health Coach like me. We started talking, and sure enough, Sandra also had dreams of her own version of nutritional aesthetics.
We met several more times last fall, and then with the same stroke of serendipity, I came across an article on Be Well Philly by Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and beauty editor extraordinaire, Jolene Hart, who I’d met two years prior at an Organic Spa Magazine event in New York City. The article was about the significance of the skin-health link. I reached out to her and we met to discuss my plans, and Jolene agreed to join Sandra and me in the creation process of this new organization.
A couple of weeks later, I happened to be on the phone with my dear friend Tisha Jill Palmer, who’s also an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and is a fellow natural skincare formulator and enthusiast like me. This call quickly turned into a brainstorming session (as many of our calls do), and it turned out that Tisha was totally game for this new project and wanted to join us.
The Nutritional Aesthetics Alliance was born!
Sandra, Jolene, Tisha, and I have been working tirelessly to create the mission of The Nutritional Aesthetics Alliance, the structure of the organization, the website, and what we’ll offer in our programs–and we just launched publicly on June 1, 2015!?It’s such a sign from the Universe when the right people appear on your path at the right time, willing to dedicate their time and talents to something this important. And this is important–this work, this approach, is going to improve?people’s lives–significantly. It’s gonna be huge.