Grad Spotlight

AFPA Graduate of the Month: Maithilee Samant, Holistic Nutritionist

During the last 26 years, we’ve certified over 119,000 health, nutrition, and fitness professionals. Each month, we recognize one of our distinguished graduates who use what they have learned to inspire others and make a difference. Meet our graduate for the month of August, Maithilee Samant, an AFPA certified holistic nutritionist.

How did you originally become interested in health and wellness?

I have always been fascinated by the human mind. Therefore, after a fulfilling 25-year career in Silicon Valley, I decided to switch gears and dive into the intricacies of psychology. I became a certified strategic intervention coach and started coaching engineers and scientists in Silicon Valley. My clients had brilliant but overactive and exhausted minds, and they also had depleted bodies and low spirits! In addition to coaching, they needed some serious healing on all levels.

A healthy body is a foundation for a mind to function at its best. That is why I got interested to know the latest and greatest about nutrition for optimal mental performance.

Which certification did you choose? Why did you choose AFPA?

I have a strong R&D background and worked for a life science company for 17 years. So, the decision to choose the right certification was taken only after considerable research. I decided to do the Holistic Nutritionist Certificate offered by AFPA for the following reasons:

  1. It is holistic (body, mind, and soul) yet entirely based on science, data, and scientific research. So, it offers the best of both worlds.
  2. The amount of research and data presented in the course gives me a clear understanding of the nutritional and lifestyle adjustments needed for optimal health.
  3. The coursework combines the work of many reputed doctors, researchers, and herbalists in nutrition and well-being.
  4. All AFPA nutrition program curriculums fully meet the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP) board educational requirements. The Holistic Nutrition Certification program is internationally accredited by the International Practitioners of Holistic Medicine.
  5. In addition to recognition in the USA and Canada, AFPA is an approved Platinum Training Provider for the International Institute for Complementary Therapists (IICT) for Holistic Health Coach in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK/EU.

What was your career like prior to getting certified?

A competitive place like Silicon Valley demands the best you can be in terms of knowledge, skills, attitude, aptitude, and passion. Just being healthy is not sufficient. You need to be vibrant, vigorous, and energetic.

Before certification, I felt the need to be qualified to guide my clients in their physical well-being. I focused on skills and mental, emotional aspects, and refrained from guiding them on health and nutrition. However, I saw nutritional advice as an unrecognized need for taking their careers and lives to the next level.

What is you career like now?

With the Holistic Nutrition certificate under my belt, I am qualified to give my clients nutritional advice. It has empowered me to guide them to the most inspired life. My practice has become well-rounded, where I can help my clients with their mental skill set, emotional blocks, and physical ailments.

What are your favorite parts about your career?

Seeing people get insights and results that propels them to the next level of their personal evolution is the most fulfilling part of my career. As a coach, I act as their carrier toward their success. This partnership with clients to reach goals is invigorating. My client’s success is my success.

How has becoming AFPA certified impacted your life?

I have always been experimenting with the latest trends in well-being, like trying various diets on myself and seeing what works and reading research on food and nutrition.

Becoming AFPA certified gave me a solid foundation and framework to evaluate the latest health trends. I am no longer seduced by every new diet trend. I know how to evaluate the research that is presented and how to cross-examine.

What I really liked about the Holistic Nutritionist certificate is that it has given me an understanding of how to incorporate a 90% vegetarian lifestyle based on wholesome natural foods. I used to think that the vegetarian diet is limiting and carbs are bad for your health, but now, I see how much variety and richness a vegetarian diet can have and how much energy and well-being whole food carbs can provide.

I have found ways to sustain mental and physical energy. It has improved the way I cook, eat, think, and look. I have gotten similar positive results for my family and my clients.

Do you have any client success stories you would like to share?

The Silicon Valley tech industry is almost obsessed with having optimal mental performance. Most of the engineers tend to be heavily caffeinated, and the executives are known for experimenting with psychedelics to achieve mental clarity.

However, there is also a rising awareness and a strong preference for a natural and organic lifestyle in Silicon Valley.

The Holistic Nutrition certificate has given me the foundation to help clients achieve sustained mental clarity through diet and lifestyle changes instead of relying on caffeine or experimental drugs. This gives my clients the mental benefits without undesirable side effects.

There are some desirable side effects of the diet focusing on mental performance, and those can be quantified like weight loss and biomarkers.

I have clients who came to me for career coaching and, in addition to career advancement, have lost 10–30 lbs of weight and kept it off. They have reached their ideal BMI in a matter of a few months by following a customized diet and lifestyle. One of my clients reduced total cholesterol by 67 points! We did this by intervention in diet, nutrition, exercise, and mindset.

 What advice do you have for others thinking about getting certified?

I cheer for those who are thinking about getting certified in nutrition. The fact that you are considering going deep in nutrition for helping yourself and others will bring you big dividends in terms of your own health and the health of your loved ones. Being able to help clients and have a practice is a bonus. I would recommend you do your research and decide what your niche is and take a certification that will help you serve your niche better.

To connect with Maithilee , follower her on Instagram and visit her website at


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