These days it’s all about reducing stress and staying healthy. And because the two go hand in hand, having a coach to personally guide individuals to care for themselves and for others eases the challenge to maintain optimal health for mind and body.
Enter certified nutritional therapy practitioner Kat Selman and her new virtual nutritional and wellness coaching service, Stone Flower Wellness. Selman lives in Cold Spring with her husband, Stephen, and her two young children, a newborn and a three-year-old. Selman said it was her own life experiences that led her to seek solutions to lessen stress and deal with dietary issues.
“For me, it started back in high school with stomach pain, bloating, weight gain and chronic acne, which I still had in college,” Selman recalled.
Selman pursued a master’s degree in music and ended up teaching at a music school in Brooklyn. When she lost her job due to the pandemic, she experienced a good dose of anxiety.
“It was stressful,” Selman said. “I had been teaching music there for six years.”
Another experience that motivated Selman to check out the health-nutrition connection was in 2007 when her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She and her mother researched cancer-fighting foods and immune-boosting diets. Today, her mom is cancer-free and Selman wanted to learn more about the connection between disease and nutrition.
She checked out various nutrition certificate programs and eventually enrolled in a one-year intensive program with the Nutritional Therapy Association, a nationally known vocation nutrition school since 1997.
Selman said that being a professional musician and teacher has informed her of how listening is key to tune in to one’s body.
“It’s important to listen to your body to know when you are not feeling great,” she said. “I can help people connect to what’s going on in their body and the need for supportive, nutritious foods.”
Part of Selman’s nutritional therapy is being mindful of one’s eating habits.
“I take a gentle positive approach when I meet with clients to see where they are willing to change,” she explained. “It’s important for us to slow down, especially when we sit down and eat. We need to take a couple of deep breaths before the meal, not answer the phone. Put your fork down between bites.”
Selman focuses on whole foods plus hydration, mindful habits and a healthy lifestyle. In order to tailor different nutritional and health plans for her clients, Selman said she needs to understand certain eating habits by asking a short series of questions.
“I ask why someone wants to stop eating sugar and the answer is to lose weight and have better energy. The next question is usually ‘What would you do if you had extra energy?’”
Selman said the answer usually is being able to enjoy a specific activity. Ultimately the connection is made between eating less sugar and the ability to be active.
“It’s a way I have of identifying some of the barriers someone may have to certain eating habits,” Selman said. “People build habits differently. I tailor a plan and a regimen that one could easily adjust to.”
Selman believes food should sustain one’s health, but that doesn’t mean one should be on an eliminating diet.
“You need to enjoy your food and find foods that work for you,” Selman said. “Never having bagels, lox and cream cheese again, what kind of life is that?”
As for high cholesterol levels, Selman said there are bad fats and healthy fats.
“I take a look at what a client is already eating, have them fill out a five-day food and mood journal to get a snapshot of their eating habits and mental health,” she said. “Then I can suggest a diet I have tweaked especially for them.”
Selman had a soft launch of Stone Flower Wellness a couple of days after Thanksgiving, and saw a handful of clients asking for her guidance. She offers a one-month Kickstart package for $250, a three-month package for $550 and a six-month package for $750. She just recently launched her service.
“For people that prefer a DIY approach, the simple package is a good fit,” she explained. “For people that like accountability, which I’ve found to be very powerful, the three- or six-month packages are better and include more follow-ups and support.”
Nutritional therapy sessions are also available now. Sessions are virtual. For more information on nutritional therapy, visit www.stoneflowerwellness.com.