Audrey Zona is a nutrition and wellness expert. After overcoming her own struggles as a child, she committed to healthy eating and exercise and turned it into a career. She loves to help others find the same path. Read on to hear all about Audrey- and how she can help you!
FO40: Audrey, how did you become interested in nutrition and healthy lifestyle management?
AZ: I was an overweight child, struggling with a dysfunctional relationship to food, especially with a sugar addiction. At 10 years old, I attended my first diet camp. I spent the next 3 summers there, losing weight and learning how to make healthy choices. It wasn’t until my last summer that something “clicked” for me. Of course, losing weight felt amazing- but I fell in love the the whole process. The combination of clean eating and exercise made me feel alive. My life was forever changed!
As an adult, my passion for the “healthy body/ healthy mind” never waned. I continued to help many friends and family with menu planning, meal prep and recipes. After having children, I became even more aware of the negative effects of processed foods, GMO’s, gluten and sugar. My enthusiasm and strong belief in the benefits of the right diet and lifestyle have translated into a passion for teaching and guiding others. I became certified as an integrative health coach with the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. My goal is to educate, inspire and empower my clients to the become the most beautiful versions of themselves from the inside out!
FO40: What is the first thing you do when someone comes to you looking for help?
AZ: The first visit with me is an “intake” session, where I spend close to 2 hours getting to know my client. It’s very important to understand their unique background and story, and also what their goals and desires are. Everyone is different, so I don’t use a “one size fits all” approach. For example, for my clients who love to cook, I’m able to offer many recipes with which to experiment in their kitchen. Other clients despise cooking, so I have other tricks up my sleeve for them! Based upon that initial session, I’ll be able to create a personalized roadmap that encourages a healthy lifestyle- from the food they are eating to their exercise regime and much more.
FO40: What makes your approach to nutrition different?
AZ: First, I connect on an intimate level with my clients, and most of them become my friends. I’m a very good listener (and cheerleader!) and I’m able to read between the lines as to why and where my clients might be struggling. I’m great at dissecting their day, and pointing out why certain routines and habits may not be working for them.
Having had food and sugar issues most of my life, I feel I am well equipped to empathize with a client’s issues – assuring them that they can absolutely heal (because I have). Many coaches are strictly about counting calories, but my program is different. Yes, we need to pay attention to our portions, but I don’t make my clients count calories all day long. I believe there are many factors as to why people have success with weight loss, so I incorporate a number of strategies to assure that success.
FO40: What do you think the key is to staying on the right track with a healthy lifestyle?
AZ: Mindfulness and awareness are key! This theme pops up over and over again. Most people know what they should be eating and drinking and they know they should be exercising almost every day- but they don’t always do it. That’s where the “mindfulness” piece comes in. If you become your own best friend and “listen” to your inner voice, you’ll have a much better time staying on the right track. I’m a big fan of meditation, and I recommend it to all of my clients. When I meditate regularly, I feel amazing and I have a much easier time sticking with sensible food choices. When we get stressed from our busy lives and decide and don’t have time to meditate (lose the sharp mindfulness)- that’s when things fall apart. When you are able to press the “PAUSE” button, come inside yourself and listen-you will do what’s best for yourself and you will naturally stay on track.
I also believe that preparation is key. I can’t stress this enough. I encourage all my clients and followers to have a “prep Sunday” (or another day of the week) to meal prep. I personally rely on my food prep day for support throughout the week and find this investment of time and effort set good habits in motion. Everyone is busy- having a good amount of food prepared (and/or planned) and “ready to go” at any given moment will feed your hunger, contribute to better health, and minimize the urge for impulse eating.
FO40: What are the suite of services that you provide?
AZ: My services include: one on one coaching; small group coaching; health and wellness workshops; personalized food shopping tours; fridge and pantry purge; and preparation for travel.
I teach how to combat emotional eating and balance mood swings; revive your metabolism through dietary changes; navigate your toughest food situations; increase fat loss without excessive exercise; discover hidden contributors to weight gain; and enlist powerful strategies for a positive body image.
FO40: Are you able to deal with people remotely or do they need to visit your office?
AZ: I can work remotely using Skype or Zoom. I have clients all over the country! And I of course love to meet and see my clients in person in my office.
FO40: Where can we reach you?
Thank you Audrey!