During the last 26 years, we’ve certified over 119,000 health, nutrition and fitness professionals. Beginning in March of 2020, we'll be recognizing one of our distinguished graduates each month who uses what they have learned to inspire others and make a difference.
Meet our graduate for the month of April, Kelsie Justice, an AFPA certified holistic nutritionist.
How did you originally become interested in health and wellness?
My own health journey sparked my interest in health and wellness. Four years ago, I ended up in the ER with chest pains and shortness of breath. After numerous tests, everything came back "fine," and it was determined I had a panic attack. This was a major wake-up call for me, as I was only 23! That night, after getting out of the ER, I was watching Netflix and came across a documentary that introduced me to a plant-based lifestyle. I gave it a try, and my health changed! I lost 15 lbs., overcame sugar addiction, and had no more bloating or craving, and seeing my physical health change sparked a fire to care for my mental, emotional, and spiritual health as well. I started blogging about my story and experience, and people started asking me what I was doing and how they could change too. A light bulb went off, and I knew this is what I was supposed to do, help others take control over their own health! I already had a degree in psychology and counseling, and I thought, "I can help people with nutrition counseling or coaching!" This is when I started researching nutrition programs so I could learn everything I possibly could, and I came across AFPA.
Which certification did you choose? Why did you choose AFPA?
I went through AFPA’s Holistic Nutrition program and LOVED every minute of it. Before joining AFPA, I researched numerous other programs and schools, but none seemed to compare to AFPA. What stood out to me about AFPA and why I ended up joining was the variety of programs they offered as well as required CECs. The fact AFPA required you to renew your certification every two years and take CECs showed me that they care about being up-to-date with the education they deliver. I think it is so important to stay educated and continue to grow your knowledge as a coach or leader. Going through the program, it was very obvious how much the instructors and leaders at AFPA cared about the quality of education and the wellbeing of their students.
What was your career like prior to getting certified?
Prior to getting certified, I was a supervisor at a "health food" store. This store still sold very processed items, and it killed me scanning and promoting certain items that I knew were not good for the individual. I was working 40+ hours a week at a job that, although I was grateful for, I did not enjoy, and it did not align with my values. I always knew I wanted to help others, and being in this career, I wasn't doing that. I knew I needed a career change. And being on my own health journey at this time, starting to become more and more interested in health and wellness, and coming across AFPA, all seemed to align at the same time.
What is you career like now?
After getting certified through AFPA, I launched my own online nutrition coaching business. I was able to start my dream career! I now get to work for myself and take my business wherever I want to! Aside from the perks and freedom of running my own business, I also know I am having a positive direct impact on others. My clients are incredible. Connecting with women all over the US and meeting with them weekly is the highlight of what I do. And, through this journey, I've been able to connect with other incredible health coaches, nutritionists, and trainers as well.
What are your favorite parts about your career?
My favorite part about being a Certified Holistic Nutritionist is seeing the incredible transformations my clients go through. I love the positive impact I have on others and knowing I am spreading health to everyone I possibly can! My education through AFPA has also changed the health of my family as well. I've been able to help numerous family members change their eating habits and tune into their own health journey. Seeing my family change their habits and make positive changes in their own life has been so rewarding.
How has becoming AFPA certified impacted your life?
Becoming AFPA certified has impacted my life tremendously, in the most positive way! Going through the program, I learned so much about my own health journey and how to help others in their own journey, and I have an incredible amount of knowledge now around holistic health and nutrition. AFPA has improved my overall wellbeing and quality of life because I get to do what I love as a career and have a positive impact on others' lives.
Do you have any client success stories you would like to share?
Every single client I work with has an incredible transformation story. One for example, she came to me wanting to improve her overall gut health, lose weight, and eat more nutrient-dense foods. She also had Ulcerative Colitis, so she had digestive concerns as well. Within two weeks of transitioning into a plant-based lifestyle, her bloat decreased. Within 3 weeks of going plant-based, she no longer struggled with cravings. Within 6 weeks, with the guidance of her doctor, she was able to get her medications cut in half. Week 8 of working together she said, "I can't remember the last time my digestion and stomach have been so good." She not only reached all of her goals within 12 weeks of working together but exceeded them. THIS is the exact reason I do what I do. I want my clients to feel the best they possibly can!
What advice do you have for others thinking about getting certified?
My advice for others thinking about getting certified is, stop thinking about it and go do it! Through AFPA, you'll not only learn how to help others but you'll also learn so much about your own health and fitness journey as well. If you're looking for a career that is going to have a positive impact on others’ lives, go get certified through AFPA.
Article Categories: Grad Spotlight