We had the good fortune of connecting with Valerie Feghali and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Valerie, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
Have you ever reached into a bag of chips while standing in the panty trying to decide what to make for dinner, only to realize minutes later you’ve eaten the entire bag? Do you start your workday by opening your email and find yourself lost in the internet vortex without having accomplished anything productive hours later? If so, there was a point in time, I could say the same for myself.
Habits are what got me to a place of confusion and poor health, but they are also the very thing that pulled me out of that life, and placed me gently into a career and journey that lights me up!
Solid, healthy habits are at the core of my business. Not only are habits something that I teach to each and every client, but they are the reason I am even in business. I have built rituals into my life which have transformed to healthy habits that push me closer to my ever evolving business and health goals.
Morning, work shutdown, and evening rituals have changed my mindset, my ability to visualize my goals, and my focus for the better.
Starting my morning first with a fitness ritual, 30 minutes of movement, followed by knocking off the most challenging task of the day pushes me closer towards my goals.
My work shutdown ritual of designing my schedule with specific time allotted for each task for the next day, identifying the number one most important task for the next day, and sending out my daily emails, has given me clarity and allowed me to focus on family when the work day is over.
My evening ritual of gratitude journaling and affirmations has calmed my mind, brought focus to the most important things in life, and has even resulted in better sleep, therefore feeling refreshed the next morning for a productive day.
As a health and nutrition coach, I have also designed specific eating habits that has transformed the way I feel, providing me with the energy I need to thrive. These habits should be unique to each and every person but the first meal of the day for me is the most important. Breakfast is late for me, usually around 11am since most days (but not all) I fast for 16 hours. I complete this meal with healthy fats, clean protein and fiber (usually leafy greens or berries). This sets me up for a day of successful eating, mental clarity, and balance energy.
What should our readers know about your business?
It is clear that the American idea of “health” is backwards. I was a practicing physical therapist for 10 years before opening Valerie Diane Nutrition and Wellness. The way I saw my patients being treated for their health concerns, was far from the standards I held for myself. Most patients were on multiple medications for their “diseases” which only resulted in more problems, thus more medications and side effects. What was never addressed was the actual cause or root of their symptoms. Anxiety… treated with a synthetic pill just the same as end stage heart failure. I kept asking myself why none of these patients were being educated on nutrition, stress management, exposure to environmental toxins, and other lifestyle strategies to improve their physical and mental health.
Needless to say, this got under my skin. I myself had been dealing with some health issues and I was doing everything in my power to better myself, without taking the recommended synthetic medications. Years later, I was finally diagnosed with Lyme disease, which I realized I had actually been managing quite well with nutrition, fitness, quality sleep, and more. I wondered what my life would look like had I not educated myself on these things and taken my health into my own hands.
I am now on a mission on educate and guide people to better health though quality nutrition and lifestyle rituals that results lifelong wellness. I focus on the mind just as much as the physical self. I have both entry level low cost membership programs that anyone can get involved in to clean up their diet and learn more about wellness, as well as one-on-one and group coaching programs. My hope is that one day, healthy living will be the norm with easy access to clean eating and living resources. Let’s treat the one body we were given like it deserves… it will return the favor!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Portland, Maine is a great seacoast city! Downtown Portland is filled with family run small businesses and boutiques. I love bringing my family to American Bayside Cafe for Breakfast and The Honey Paw for dinner. I am also a sucker for coffee shops and Portland Maine is the right place for this! My favorite coffee shops in the area are Tandem Coffee and Little Woodfords. If you find yourself at Tandem Coffee, don’t skip out on the pistachio bread! Try the lavender latte at Little Woodfords for a unique taste! If it is your first time in Portland, Maine, the Portland Head Light and Fort Williams Park are worth the visit for an iconic view. Also, make sure to get yourself a lobster! High Rollers in Portland or the Lobster Shake at Two Lights in Cape Elizabeth are worthy of a stop!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My husband, Farid, certainly deserves a shoutout when it comes to support and belief in my vision. He has always told me that he knows there is more out there for me, and that I can help many people along my journey. With two kids and a well paying job, I was afraid to go all in with my business. What if I failed? What if we went into debt because I couldn’t get the clients? My husband gave me the courage to go after it, and be genuine in my teachings. Without this support, I’m not sure I would have ever taken the leap, but I sure am glad I did! I now get to see my clients lives shift and evolve in ways they never knew possible.