In the last 27 years, we have certified more than 130,000 health, nutrition and fitness professionals. Each month, we recognize one of our distinguished graduates who uses what they have learned to inspire others and make a difference.
Meet our graduate for the month of April, Laura Hefflin, an AFPA Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant.
How did you initially become interested in health and fitness?
At age 19, I found myself struggling with borderline anorexia. My relationship with food and my body was very toxic, and I was really sad. The emotional and physical stress I was in and the huge amount of weight I lost eventually led to hormonal imbalances as well as anxiety and depression. I completely lost my menstrual cycle for half a year, and I didn’t have the strength or the will to get up and do what I needed to do. One day, I woke up and realized, “There must be a better way to stay fit and in shape.” So, I decided that what I really needed to do was learn how to do it right. I started researching what is needed to improve a healthy adult human body and I found myself fascinated by the many amazing and healing foods and remedies that were at my fingertips and have always been. I stopped counting calories and restricted myself to certain food groups, and spent a lot of time in the kitchen creating recipes that were plant-based, anti-inflammatory and balanced (all seen in my blog and my book. Healthy with Laura) Make a living). Within a few months, I regained my radiance, increased my strength, leveled my hormones, and returned to a healthy weight. I then realized that food was not the enemy, but rather it was a powerful healing tool for my body. My husband saw how happy I was and how passionate I was about health and wellness and he encouraged me to be certified so that I could help others. So, ten years ago, and after a lot of research, I came across AFPA, and within six months, I became certified as a nutritionist and started helping others find freedom and healing. Ten years ago, my company Live Healthy with Laura LLC was born.
Which certification did you choose and why did you choose AFPA?
I chose the Nutrition and Wellness Consultant Certificate because it was built around the belief that I already knew it to be true, and that food could be the best form of medicine or the worst form of poison. In our culture, we often focus on the wrong aspects of one’s diet and we focus too much on the scale. So, using my certification and using it as an opportunity to be a voice, I was excited to change the way our society thinks in order to redefine what it actually means to be “healthy.”
How was your career before you got certified?
I was a business head, and at the time, I was working as a receptionist for my father, who was a family physician.
How is your career now?
I have my own office space in my father’s office. He is a well-known family physician in the area of Fredericksburg, VA, and he often mentions to me patients who he believes can be cured overall through their diet as opposed to drugs. I am the nutrition spokesperson for fit20 USA and the author, published three times this month.
What are your favorite parts of your career?
I like to help my clients rediscover a healthy relationship with their body as well as their diet. I also love teaching them how to match their unique body needs. I love hearing their positive feedback about how their energy and overall quality of life has increased!
How has being certified with AFPA affected your life?
I feel so empowered to help others now, and I just like to make a difference! I, by helping my clients, are reminded more and more of taking care of myself, especially as a busy, working mother of two. I know I can’t burn if I want to make an impact (I dive into this in my second book, Mom, you still matter)!
Do you have any client success stories you would like to share?
I recently had a woman who was told that the rate at which her diabetes was progressing could lead to permanent organ damage and be dependent on insulin for the rest of her life. Within three months of working with me, she was thirty pounds less. She has been told that within a few weeks, she will be able to stop her insulin completely. He also revealed to me that since he started with me, he has felt better over the years and he feels that he has finally got his life back.
What advice would you give others about being certified?
Dip all inside. Don’t be afraid to work hard. Get excited for what’s coming up and come up with a company name, logo and social media page. Learn what you believe and be passionate about sharing those beliefs with your clients. Remember, you are allowed to be unique and you do not have to teach in the same style as other nutritionists. Don’t be afraid to challenge your clients and hold them accountable in a kind way. You can teach them what you know, but remember, it is up to them to implement and implement the changes. Lastly, organize your lesson plans, client questionnaires, and handouts, and secure office space that you’re proud of and it’s your personal.
To connect with Laura, follow her Instagram See https://www.livehealthywithlaura.com/ for more information or to learn more.