Hiya, I'm Kara.
Health + Lifestyle Strategist. Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner. Certified Holistic Health Coach. Poo Whisperer. Thought Provocateur. Natural Chef. Troubleshooter. Teacher. Speaker. Classical Pilates Instructor. But titles don't make the dame, right? Simply put, those title represent the tools in my practitioner toolbox.
I have helped hundreds of frazzled, Type-A women get their shit together - literally and figuratively. It's my passion. Why? Because I believe (1) every woman deserves a life spiked with passion and slathered with joy; and (2) that kind of living starts with great health.
You see I wasn't always so full of life and vigor.
Let's start from the beginning. I grew up in a small New England town where the diversity was largely French Catholic or Irish Catholic. (Boring.) I did my homework. I played sports. I followed the rules (ok, mostly followed the rules). I went to college and worked really hard to get the "right" job as Certified Public Accountant. After interning, I rolled into my senior year with a job with one of the 3 most prestigious firms on the planet. I even passed that 16-hour headache-maker of an exam. Eventually, it led me to the New York office. Wasn't I fancy?
Turns out, the "right" job was so absolutely wrong for me. At points, I was working 100-hour weeks. My health was slipping away from all the take-out, boozy client dinners, stress overload, and lack of sleep. My energy and creativity eroded. My weight exploded. I cried in hotel rooms as I missed family and friends' birthdays or other milestones because of my indentured servitude as a "team player." Let's not even talk about dating. For what? A small card from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that said I could really count some beans. Hell, they don't even laminate the damn thing.
What did I do? Hmmmm, at first, I self-medicated. It was a mind-numbing, gut-scrambling mix of emotional eating, partying and oversleeping (when I actually could). Surely, this caught up to me. By my mid-20s, I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and handed a fistful of prescriptions. Take until you don't need them. It went way beyond just having a pissed-off digestive system. Turns out, my job and my lifestyle were, quite literally, rotting my guts out. I was sitting in an existential dirty diaper.
What did I do next? I left my doctor's office. For one city block, I cried. The next, I got pissed. For the last city block, I thought, "Giving my condition a name doesn't change the fact that I've literally shit my pants in public as a stone-cold sober woman. Thanks, double-Ivy doc, but I'll take it from here." Then, I hopped on the subway. As I slid into a seat, I took stock of everything that I had learned and all of the skills that I had acquired. All of the analysis and process re-engineering training. All of the client service training. All of the time management & accountability training. All of the sports training. All the health & lifestyle books that I had read and geeked-out over. All of it. Plus, liberal dose of intuition.
Turns out, I was really awesome at cleaning up messes. Whether it be a bankrupt company, a disorganized company, a startup, an ex-boyfriend, or well, me. So, I became the Chief Consultant & Advocate to myself. The most effective plan that I built in my life was My Exit Plan, also known as The I'm Sick of Feeling Like The Walking Dead Every Day Plan. (That was before zombies were so hip.)
One by one, I layered in changes and made some experiments. Exercise. Better eating habits. Figuring out why I'd binge on saltines or marshmallow fluff standing at my kitchen counter. Sleeping more. Stressing less. Cooking more. Advocating for change. A job with less travel. A job with less hours. A Pilates apprenticeship. A health coach training program. A part-time job with flexible hours, so I could grow my wellness practice. A plant-based culinary program. Transitioning to working for myself with clients that inspire me as much as I inspire them.
It took me many years to make all of those changes and experiments. I tried and failed. I tried and succeeded. It took a lot of heart, smarts and guts. Now, I get to use all of that wisdom and fantastic experience to fast-track the process for you.
Are you even a little bit curious about how health & lifestyle strategy coaching can help you? Don't be scared. It could be the most fantastically awesome call that you'll ever make. You can even start by saying, "I don't know what to say here, Kara." A lot of people don't really know what health & lifestyle coaching is, so it's all cool.
I received my training as a Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition's cutting-edge Health Coach Training Program. My IIN education has equipped me with extensive knowledge in holistic nutrition, practical lifestyle management techniques, innovative health coaching tools, and preventive health as taught by some of the world's top health and wellness experts - Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Walter Willett, Dr. David Katz and Geneen Roth. Drawing on these skills and my knowledge of 100 different dietary theories, I work with clients to help them make lifestyle changes that produce real and lasting results.
Knowledge is great, but application is transformative. Many of my clients knew what they should be eating, but it all broke down in their kitchens. Buying greens are great, but actually getting them in your face is even better.
I'm also a graduate of the Chef Training Program at the Natural Kitchen Cooking School in NYC. The program provided hands-on culinary instruction as well as innovative, plant-based approaches in a small group setting. The curriculum demonstrates food as medicine without tasting like medicine. Guest chefs included Alex Jamieson, Fran Costigan, Maureen Huntley, Kevin Archer and more.
And when I wasn't coaching and cooking, I was moving...
I'm a graduate of the re:AB Pilates Teacher Training where I apprenticed under bestselling author, Brooke Siler, and master instructor, Cary Regan. I received 900+ hours of education both in the classroom and in the studio using Gratz apparatus. I was classically-trained in the same style & lineage as Joseph Pilates himself. While some training programs certify instructors in a single weekend, that is not the case here at vital corps.
It’s not corpse. Why is my health + lifestyle practice named vital corps?
vital: \ˈvī-təl\ adj. 1 : full of life and vigor + corps: \ˈkȯr\ n. 1. French, from Old French cors, from Latin corpus body; 2 : a group of persons associated together or acting under common direction