Hiya, I'm Kara.
There are a lot of nouns people use to describe me: Strategist. Creator. Podcast host. Collector of task lists. Health/lifestyle coach. Advocate/Secret Weapon. Functional nutrition practitioner. Poo Whisperer. Mentor. Thought Provocateur. Natural Chef. Troubleshooter. Troublemaker. Negotiator. Teacher. Speaker. Classical Pilates Instructor.
Yet, titles don’t make the dame. I believe playing to my strengths, critically thinking, and applying what I’ve learned – in the classroom, boardroom, and kitchen – to creatively solve problems is far more important.
Since 2009, I have helped hundreds of frazzled, Type-A women get their shit together – both literally and figuratively. It's my passion.
You see I wasn't always so full of life, vigor, and purpose.
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. I was externally successful, but internally bankrupt. At points, I was working 100-hour weeks. My health was eroding from all the take-out, boozy client dinners, stress overload, and lack of sleep. My energy and creativity were sapped. My weight exploded. I cried in hotel rooms as I missed family & friends' birthdays or other milestones because I needed to be a "team player." Let's not even talk about dating. For what? A small card from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that said I could dollars and inventory. 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 League 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 plant-based culinary program. Functional nutrition training. 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 my clients. (Had enough trial & error? Contact me for a free Hello! session.)
Note: This summary excludes workshops & continuing education.
- UMass (Amherst)
- Institute for Integrative Nutrition
- Holistic Nutrition Lab (Full Body Systems)
- Tools for Teaching Toxicity
- Functional Diagnostic Nutrition
- Natural Kitchen Cooking Program (10-months)
- re:AB Classical Pilates Apprenticeship w/ Brooke Siler
- School of Life
What's the deal with the name vital corps?
The name of my boutique practice is pronounced like vital core. The meaning is quite literal: 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
What is my mission at vital corps?
To create a connected vital corps of healthy, energized, and assertive women leading lives spiked with passion + slathered with joy.
Who do I work best with?
I work best with frazzled, Type-A women who want to feel more energized, focused, and powerful. My ideal client knows she could be playing a bigger or different game, but is feeling way too spent, overwhelmed, and encumbered by bullshit to successfully navigate that transition. When you ask her how she is, her answer is likely: I’m so busy! She’s willing to invest in herself to reverse that burnout and achieve more joyful flow in her life, but asking for help doesn’t always come easy. (She usually tries like 967 things first.) Most importantly, she’s courageous...or courageous enough to be at least 51% excited to work together (instead of terrified).
Who is not going to be a fit?
Because I devote a lot of time to a limited number of private clients these days, I deeply want to work women who inspire me as much as I support them. My clients need to communicate with me openly, honestly, and non-combatively. I’m not for excuse-makers, negative Nancies, or the possibility blind. I have no time for women who are unwilling to prep in advance of our sessions together, to keep appointments, or to take action towards their own transformation between our sessions. While I may employ a playful approach to personal growth, I’m not for clients who don’t consider me a professional with business hours & rates that reflect that fact.
Why don't you call yourself a health coach or a life coach?
While I utilize many of the same techniques both health coaches and life coaches do, I am a strategist. I always have been. It’s kinda my special sauce. I have an intuitive knack for coming into a painful, chaotic situation, quickly assessing what’s really going on, and identifying what changes will turn things around.
In the early days of my career, it was for high-profile bankruptcy clients. The work I do now with women requires the very same skills. I’m talking about skills like: interviewing, collecting/analyzing data, critical thinking, time/resource management, negotiation, forging a strategy using both art & science, and being unconventionally resourceful within challenging constraints.
They don’t teach those skills in coaching programs. Them there are hard-won skills – the ones that I use to catalyze the kind of soul-smooching, complex change you desire. Learn how I can put those skills to work for YOU.