In this series I highlight someone in the Upper Valley who falls under the title of "Wellness Professional" - trainers, nutritionists, therapists of all kinds (physical, psychological, massage), and creators of healthy products, to name just a few. I give them a list of 20 questions and they choose to answer them however they'd like. [Are you a "Wellness Professional"? Email RVCAmy at gmail dot com to be featured here.]
This week I'd like to introduce you to Kelli DiFazio, Board Certified Integrative Nutrition & Holistic Health Coach
I’m a Jersey girl through and through. I moved to the Upper Valley in February 2017 with my fiancé who was born and raised here. I started my health coaching practice in 2016 to help other women like me get regular, heal their guts, and beat the bloat for good. I have since expanded my practice to the local community of the Upper Valley, through River Valley Health & Wellness
, alongside my colleagues at Upper Valley Chiropractic. It is my mission here to guide clients toward optimized health through the power of nutrition. We focus a lot on anti-inflammatory foods and lifestyle choices, as these are the root cause of many chronic diseases of today.
What is your fitness/wellness philosophy?
I believe in bio-individuality, first and foremost: What works for one person, won’t necessarily work for another. This is true for diet, exercise, and lifestyle. I believe in balance: healthy living isn’t about deprivation, and it is possible to have space for being ‘bad.’ I also try to get people to stop counting calories, and start thinking about how food fuels the body for our daily tasks.
How did you get to where you are now?
Fresh out of college, I moved to NYC, and worked on Wall Street at an inter-dealer brokerage firm, which took my college partying lifestyle to the big leagues. As a former athlete, I didn’t like where it was going. I didn’t look or feel like my youthful energetic self, and began experiencing major warning signs of a failing system: ovarian cysts, acne, weight gain, constipation, bloating, brain fog, sore joints, etc. I knew I needed a change. It started with diet and exercise, and I lost some weight, but as I got further into the work on myself, I realized that diet and exercise are only a small sliver of the healthy lifestyle pie, so to speak. I knew I needed some deeper transformation. My work with a health coach changed my life, my relationships with others, and most importantly my relationship with myself. Once I had this clarity and unconditional self love, I saw very clearly that I wasn't passionate about finance at all, and wanted to be of service to others in the way my coach was of service to me…and it is the most rewarding job I could have ever dreamed of!
Did you ever have any setbacks and how did you get past them?
ALL the time. I NEED set backs because for me, failure is the most powerful teacher. In the past, holidays always threw me off the wagon. I was stuck in the cycle of eating clean 4 days a week, then Friday, Saturday, Sunday would look the complete opposite. I got that in check by establishing a more balanced plan for eating and indulging. I’ve had some physical setbacks as well, including a knee injury. Physical set backs are hard for me because I use exercise as one of my outlets for stress. However, this shined a light on my stress management. It’s inefficient to only have one outlet for stress, so I began picking up more tools that fall by the wayside when I’m feeling good (meditation, self-care, etc). I also used this as an opportunity to balance out my exercise regime. I tend to over-do it with the running, and not do enough cross-training : )
What makes you unique in your field?
Hands-down—my personality. I’m pretty funny and try to keep things interesting. Many of my clients often report back they hear my voice in my head, and encourage me to make WWKD (What Would Kelli Do?) bracelets. I also think that my philosophy of not buying into specific products or Multi-Level Marketing is much different, because I believe in getting most of your nutrients, minerals, and vitamins from food. If you focus on adding more mineral & vitamin rich foods to your diet, it doesn't leave a lot of room for the processed junk!
What's your go to meal for: breakfast, snacks/sweets, lunch, dinner, beverage?
Breakfast: Depends on the season but breakfast is usually a big bowl of nut-based granola (my favorite is Back Roads Granola that they sell in bulk at the co-op), with hemp hearts, flax milk, and just a dash of maple syrup.
Lunch: chickpea salad in a collard wrap
Dinner is never the same! I get bored with dinner easily. But lately if I can make it in my instant pot, that's what I'm making. I love winter for the ease and speed of lentil based stews & roasted veggie soups! Last night I made a veggie Korma that blew my own socks off!
What's you favorite place to eat out in the Upper Valley? What do you usually get?
If you could only have one piece of fitness/wellness equipment what would it be?
My at home TRX straps because they can come anywhere with me... but I would easily trade them in for a Peloton Bike!
What's something health and wellness related that you wish you'd known years ago?
The long-term effects of being on oral contraceptives and what chemicals in makeup, shampoos, and other beauty products can do to your endocrine and organ systems.
What's your favorite non-gym physical activity?
Skiing & hiking. I just love to be in the mountains and the trees!
What are your passions outside of your field?
Golf, Music, Photography, & Dogs.
How do you make better bad decisions?
Loving myself without conditions. It allows me to hold space for those 'bad' decisions, forgive myself quickly, and move on. Beating myself up in the past literally did nothing. Ultimately though, the more in-tune I am with my body, the less I make ‘bad’ choices, because I like to feel good more than anything!
Where can people learn more about you?
Did you enjoy this interview? You might also like:
My Last Interview - Patricia Norton, Choral Director of Juneberry Choral Program
My Next Interview - Brandi Burnett, Skin Care Specialist at the River Valley Club
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More about the author, Amy Fortier: A short interview