Today we’d like to introduce you to Christina Tanios.
Christina, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was actually working as an editor before I went to nutrition school. I always packed my lunch and took it to work. I’d get so many questions like, “what is that?!” Or “how can you have time to make a healthy lunch every day before work?” I’d split up my lunch hour so that I could sit and eat for 30 minutes and then go for a 30 minute walk later in the day. More and more co-workers kept joining me. It was a really fun way to take a break from the office, get some fresh air, and bond with each other. Pretty soon my co-workers kept saying, “you know, you should really go to nutrition school so you can meet with people and help them learn all this stuff so they can get healthier.” So I did. I went to nutrition school and got my certificate in holistic health and integrative nutrition. We were allowed to work with clients as we were going through the program, so it was a great way for me to start practicing everything I was learning right away. I knew it was what I wanted to do so eventually I quit my editing job and started my health coaching business.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It definitely has not been a smooth road! I think that anyone who is switching careers or starting their own business will tell you that there are lots of struggles and sacrifices that are part of the process. When I quit my editing job, I didn’t have another source of income aside from clients, so of course that was really stressful. I would actually advise against doing that, but everything becomes a learning experience. I’d recommend building a safety net for yourself as you’re growing your business. Aside from that, marketing was a struggle in the beginning. Referrals became the best way for me to get clients; my past and current clients still refer people to me all the time, actually. And I love that! My clients are always really amazing, so chances are that whoever they refer to me will be really great to work with as well. I appreciate them so much!
Please tell us about Christina Tanios Wellness Coaching.
I’m a Certified Holistic Health Coach who specializes in plant-based nutrition and working with women. Specifically, I work with women so that they can form a more positive relationship with themselves and with food. I want people to truly learn to love themselves and to understand that food is meant to nourish us – and we’re supposed to enjoy it! I see a lot of wellness practitioners focusing on what not to eat, but to me, health is much more about what we *do* eat. I always remind my clients that when we’re changing the way we eat, it’s not about starvation or deprivation; it’s about finding a new way of eating that’s healthy, enjoyable, satisfying, and right for us. I want people to let go of the shame and guilt that surrounds food and to instead practice mindful eating. The focus shifts from “what are all the foods I should avoid?” which can be daunting and instead becomes, “how can I make this meal healthier and tastier so that it nourishes me and I enjoy it?” And I think that’s really important. I work with a lot of women who have spent their lives dieting and they’re just really frustrated, you know?
But I truly love working with my clients and helping them find foods that they’ll enjoy. I really believe in the food-mood connection, too. There really are foods that can boost brain health and there are definitely foods that will stabilize our blood sugar levels, which is really important. I’ve been facilitating the Diabetes Prevention Program since 2014, so in addition to working with participants in the program, I also love showing the women I work with all the ways they can manage their blood sugar levels and eat in a way that keeps them healthy, happy, and will prevent things like hanger, mood swings, and even anxiety (but I go over non-food related ways to manage anxiety because they’re really important). I believe that health extends beyond what’s on our plate and there are other parts of our lives that nourish us. I like to dive into all of these things with my clients. We talk about relationships, career, exercise, spirituality, home environment – all of the parts of our lives that we can improve so that we truly feel happy, healthy, and fulfilled. I also really like to focus on self-care, which is something that we learned a lot about in nutrition school. And It was definitely an area of my life that I needed to work on because I was so used to pushing myself until I got burnt out.
Now I know how to recognize the signs that my body is telling me so that I can slow down before I get really stressed out and then burnt out. I like to do some things every day that will help me manage stress, like taking a hot shower at the end of the day or giving myself a little mini massage before bed – it’s so relaxing! I’ve also been going for a lot of morning walks these days. It helps me clear my head, get some sun and enjoy some fresh air before I start my day. All of these things are really simple, but they’re part of self-care. And that’s what I help my clients figure out: what are some really simple things that I can do every day that are going to keep me healthy and happy? It doesn’t have to be a massage or a spa day -it can, but it can be as simple as meditating, drinking enough water, lighting some candles, getting some more sleep (which is actually harder for some people, so we work on that too!), or having more “me time.” We all need it!
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I can honestly say that I have the best friends in the world. Truly, they have and will always be my biggest and best support system. I’m so lucky! And my clients are really amazing as well. They make me want to keep expanding because I love working with them. I’ve met so many incredible people on this journey and their ability to take charge of their health and change their lifestyles is always so inspiring to me. Making changes to your diet and lifestyle can bring up a lot of emotions. My clients always ask me if I’m a therapist. I’m not. But every day, it’s my job to provide them with a safe space to talk about what’s really going on in their lives and as much as I can see that it’s bringing up a lot of past pain and frustration for some of them, I know that on the other side of that will be a lot of self-care and self-love and hopefully a lot of kindness towards themselves, too. And that makes me really happy.
- Website: www.christinatanios.com – I’m revamping it right now so stay tuned!
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @plantbasedhealthcoach