We are excited to share the stories of some of our AFPA graduates, such as Michael, in our “Find Your Inspiration” blog series.
What is your job/role/title and what does that mean?
I am the business owner and holistic nutrition consultant for aliferaft.com. I create food plans and provide healthy, holistic nutritional consultation for people around the world. I participate in various recovery programs, 12-step groups, and seminars, helping to promote a healthy, holistic lifestyle.
How did your journey bring you to where you are now?
My journey started a couple of years ago, when I joined the OA program (Overeaters Anonymous) to see if I could get my eating under control. I was clinically obese and suffering from painful arthritis, as well as being pre-diabetic. My OA sponsor taught me about food plans and the dietary exchange system. I quickly lost weight after adopting a new way of living. My interest in food and nutrition continued to grow. Being a person who gets great joy out of helping others, I decided to explore education options in nutrition. My goal was to help others in recovery adopt a healthy eating lifestyle. In doing more research, it became clear how natural alternatives to harmful medicines—such as turmeric and others—could also be a great benefit to overall health. This is when I opted for the Holistic Nutritionist Certification program with AFPA. The education was awesome, and I learned so much. Having experience in web design, I decided to start an online business providing support globally. Because my business is growing (and to help grow my business), much of the consulting I do is pro bono, combined with paid consultation.
What does a typical day in the life look like for you?
I generally spend about a week or two researching new topics and then post a blog on my holistic nutrition website about the topic. Much of my day is research, exercise, work (got to pay the bills), and time in recovery meetings. Recovery meetings are where I find most of my clients. It’s amazing. If I share my story and how holistic nutrition has changed my life, I have a line of people wanting to talk to me after the meetings. I am sometimes asked to speak in meetings on various topics. While I mentioned exercise before, I do work at it daily. Today, my arthritis is almost non-existent. I am running 5Ks, 10Ks, and currently training for a half-marathon. In the evenings, I operate Skype sessions with clients or attend online recovery meetings in search of those in need.
What do you like most about your job?
There are two aspects of my job that I absolutely love. First and foremost is seeing the light come back in the eyes of those who have suffered so long with fad diets, bad advice, and clever marketing campaigns. Seeing the progress, hope, and excitement a healthy lifestyle can bring is a reward money can’t buy. Secondly, I love the research aspect of being a certified holistic nutritionist. Discovering new alternatives and natural treatments, new recipes, digging deep into scientific research to uncover the real truth—it’s like being a nutrition detective.
What education or certifications do you have that help you in your role?
What advice would you give to others who are looking to get into the same field?
It’s never too late to be what you might have been! This field is not only life-changing for the one pursuing certification, it also has the potential to create a ripple effect through the entire family-and-friends network. In addition, with health care costs exceeding new heights, alternative natural and holistic solutions are ever more needed. The personal and financial opportunities from a career in holistic nutrition are absolutely amazing!
Any final comments or closing thoughts?
We all look back at our lives and can pinpoint life-altering, life-changing events, events that set us toward new directions, new horizons, and new frontiers. Becoming a certified holistic nutritionist was such an event for me. I have grown personally and professionally from this endeavor, and you can, too.