Jamie Kowalik, Health Coach
My journey of wellness began before I could truly understand the importance of being raised a happy, healthy and holistic child. My parents are holistic health practitioners; therefore I knew at a very early age that I needed Echinacea when I had a cold, garlic oil for an earache, and vitamin C supplements to keep me healthy. I was not fed antibiotics, given vaccinations, or ingested many (if any) pharmaceutical drugs. I rarely visited the doctor’s office, ate lots of vegetables, and played outside in the fresh air everyday. I always knew I was raised a little different from the other kids at school (no elementary age kid knew what Echinacea was), but I never realized how much this would shape my future.
This health focused foundation combined with my innate love for animals brought me to the University of Massachusetts Amherst where I studied pre-veterinary science. Here, I took lots of classes on anatomy, physiology, the immune system, nutrition, and how to heal using pharmaceutical drugs. Wait… drugs? What about herbs? I started taking electives on herbal health, nutrition, and spirituality to fill in the gaps that I felt were missing in my western medicine focused major. This is where my interest in medicinal herbal health really began to blossom. By the time I graduated UMass with a B.S. in Animal Science I realized I was more interested in healing people through holistic methods than administering drugs to animals.
After graduation, I found the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Here, I learned innovative coaching methods, over one hundred dietary theories, and was lectured by some of the world’s most influential wellness leaders. I learned about nutritional health for the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual body. After a lot of studying and hard work, I earned my Health Coaching Certification.
Since my college years, my passion for wellness has extended agriculturally. My experience began working on equine farms and then traveled to livestock, taking care of goats, sheep, cows, and chickens and learning about production for meat and dairy markets. This passion for farming extended to vegetables where I worked for CSA farms and farm-to- table farms and restaurants. This gave me the opportunity to grow and harvest an array of New England fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Eating local, knowing your farmer, and growing your own food has become a big part of my focus through my health-coaching program. I love to share my knowledge of seasonally and regionally grown produce, including how to eat, source, and cook delicious fruits, veggies, and herbs for your health.
When I’m not focused on health, wellness, and agriculture I spend my down time nourishing myself. Nourishment for my soul means following my regular yoga practice, riding my horse, connecting with the earth through a hike, reading a great book, cooking delicious meals, and enjoying life with friends and family.