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What brought a nutritionist like myself to San Diego?

You may have seen on my social media recently that I traveled to San Diego, yay! If you’re still wondering what I was doing there here’s a recap post OR if you’re like my mom and don’t have Instagram but you still want to know what I’m up to here are a few details and some pictures:

Here’s the view from a Hike we did at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Here’s the view from a Hike we did at the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve

We enjoyed San Diego's Taco Tuesday at Tocaya Organica

First of all I should explain why I chose San Diego and what was waiting for me when I arrived VERY late on a Friday night. Part way through June a lovely nutritionist reached out to me on Instagram and told me she really liked the way I was going about helping my clients lose weight through healthy eating, she said we had similar practices so I quickly went over to her page to check her out. I felt the same way, Talita was sharing about eating whole foods, that eating healthy didn’t have to break the bank and that cooking healthy foods from home doesn’t have to be complicated. I don’t think I’m unique in these beliefs, I mean, it is what I was taught along with 200 other people in a university lecture hall but, I did think it was pretty special that a like-minded peer was reaching out to me. I’ve always believed in a “the more the merrier approach,” I think this comes from growing up where there was always room at the table for guests even if their visit wasn’t planned. That was a bit of a tangent, back to the message from Talita, she asked if I would be interested in sharing best-practices, what we do with our clients and other “trade secrets,” so I said “yes!” My thoughts were, we live in different cities, I believe in collaboration, my end goal is for people to become healthier through nutrition (I can’t be everyone’s nutritionist!), and what have I got to lose! I’m trying really hard not to give away the punch line here but starting that conversation was one of the best business decisions I have made thus far! I am a better nutritionist to my one-on-one clients because of what I’ve learned through this open line of collaboration and it’s that single message that’s brought me to San Diego.

I think this comes from growing up where there was always room at the table for guests even if their visit wasn’t planned
— My childhood

Through those conversations we decided it would be a good idea to build an online course together, I can’t even remember how we got the idea. From there Talita had connected with another nutritionist through Instagram, Marianna, who would be a good fit for the online course and then we were three. We have the same goal, which is what drove us to create the West Coast Nutritionists, a name we chose for the group who would create the online program.

Mid-June we started brainstorming with the goal to launch our trial course August 1st, it was challenging but we made the deadline and started helping our first clients as online educators. All the sudden my summer disappeared, I was so invested in creating the best online course possible. I was responsible for a third of the content and I made these my priorities:

  1. Make sure that what I am sharing is going to positively impact our students

  2. Simplify while still educating our students on the science of nutrition

  3. Provide tangible strategies for living a healthy life in our current society

  4. Lay the ground work for a solid relationship to form during my one-on-one check ins with each student

  5. Engage and motivate each student through the challenging journey of making changes to our daily routines

I can do that all through an online course, phone check-ins and a private Facebook group, right? The truth is, I know I would not have met the deadline or been as successful if it wasn’t for Marianna and Talita. For 2 girls I’d never met in real life, we work really well together! As the West Coast Nutritionists, we did it! Together we created a 6 week course to help our clients lose weight and, for those that it was the right time for them to change, they did lose weight, the results were fantastic, more than we could have asked for! I’m so proud, there’s a big smile on my face as I’m typing this, is this what being a proud parent is like?!

That’s not all, we worked our butts off to make this course and we want to share it with even more students so we’ve gotten feedback from past students, we made tweaks and we are re-launching next month! We’ve come full circle because the re-launch of our course is what brought me to San Diego! Since our course has only gotten bigger and better we thought it would be really fun to bring a group together in person for a workshop based on mindfulness, nutrition and movement. We collaborated with a mindfulness counselor and a local yoga instructor to round out our event and were fortunate to get many sponsors to ensure the event was a true success! In short, I came to San Diego to meet my business partners Marianna and Talita in the flesh, co-host and speak at the West Coast Wellness Workshop and soak up a little Californian sunshine!

The three West Coast Nutritionists: Megan Lacoste, Marianna Meneses and Talita Barnaby
Roof Top Yoga with Kayleigh Christina in La Jolla
West Coast Wellness Workshop - attendees enjoyed learning about nutrition, mindfulness and a yoga class