Today we’d like to introduce you to Julie Canales.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Julie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Like so many other nutrition and wellness consultants, I decided to get certified after going through my own health challenges. After many (sometimes frustrating) doctors visits, it was finally confirmed that I had an autoimmune condition. As bizarre as it sounds, I actually felt relief and grateful to finally get a diagnosis. To me, this meant that I was not silently going crazy. I knew that moving forward, I couldn’t just rely on medications and other people to feel like myself again, especially if this was going to be my new normal, as I was being told, and, I didn’t want to. I also knew that diet and lifestyle factors were playing a huge role in how terrible I was feeling at the time, yet, more-often-than-not, I would walk away from doctors appointments lacking any new info or tools regarding what I could do about it.
I realized quickly that I would need to become my own best health advocate. My intuition and common sense were telling me that food could be medicine for what I was experiencing, instead of a contributor to dis-ease. And it was. After implementing a holistic approach to my diet and life, most of my symptoms went away, and even though auto-immunity is a lifelong song-and-dance (like all of our health is!), learning about nutrition gave me tools for life and I truly believe everyone should and can have them, too. It’s what inspired me to go to school and eventually work with individuals and groups (which I enjoy the most), as well as share what I can through social media. I’ve also been a hairstylist for the past 16 years so, to me, it still feels like a beautification process of sorts, only now it’s on the inside!
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?
Being a nutrition consultant has been mostly easy but it has its challenges. In a business-sense, you’ve got to be a self-starter, and a creative one in a world that is getting a lot of traction and is so needed, but it still fairly new. It can feel a little like the wild west in terms of how differently each nutrition professional works. I wouldn’t say there is an “industry standard” like in my other profession, the beauty industry. This means you’ve got to be extra confident in your knowledge and process.
And, let’s be honest: the amount of nutrition info people walk away with when they visit their health care pro’s is super limited and most of the time outdated. There is so much conflicting info out there, fad diets, and people who want to be skinny more than they want to know how to live meaningful, healthy lives. The majority of progress clients make usually comes in markers the eye can’t see, and that can be a slow process. Sometimes that can be hard to help people understand, but so rewarding when they do. I’d rather have someone have better bloodwork results and learn how to feed themselves and their family for life, than drop three dress sizes for show.
Also, It’s a bit trickier helping an individual who lives in a household in which others are not wanting to make changes like they are. There is a much higher chance that they will get discouraged or fall back into old patterns due to lack of support in their actual everyday life. You have to be okay with knowing there’s only so much you can do… Which is why I’ve personally enjoyed helping groups more than individuals. They motivate each other and share their experiences, which keeps them in a game that has to be life-long. Making big life changes regarding how you eat, or habits you’ll no longer participate in so that you can feel better, can feel exclusive and lonely for some, while with groups it feels inclusive and energetic.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I don’t believe there is one way that works for everyone when it comes to nutrition. Ultimately, people are coming to someone like me when they are looking to heal and don’t know where to start or what to do. When I am working with an individual I have an initial consultation to see where they are at, what they are looking for, and get a feel for if we are a match for each other. I’m not a psychiatrist, but usually when someone is wanting to change their life, even if it’s just their diet, there are other lifestyle and emotional factors that have to be discussed and we sometimes have to “go there.” This is where being a hairstylist for so long comes in handy. I have to really listen to help them achieve their goals, and know that different steps will be necessary for each person; I have to use a bit of creativity there, too. I have a soft spot and preference in working with women dealing with hormonal challenges, having been there myself. I am also especially into educating people on where their food comes from. A connection to food and its source is part of the healing process and get’s people out of feeling like an island; we’re all connected. I always encourage people to go local, to support companies that have ethical practices.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I believe honesty with a graceful delivery is so important to help someone make necessary changes, and for both of us to have a successful outcome.
- Website: www.Juliecanales.com
- Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @juliecanales_nc