During the last 26 years, we’ve certified over 119,000 health, nutrition, and fitness professionals. Each month, we recognize one of our distinguished graduates who use what they have learned to inspire others and make a difference.
Meet our graduate for the month of January, Meghan VanAuken , an AFPA certified Holistic Health Coach
How did you initially become interested in health and fitness?
Health is a lifelong journey, and my own personal health journey fueled my passion for health and wellness. At a relatively young age, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder, Hashimoto’s, acid reflux, and generalized anxiety disorder. I was taking my prescriptions and following the doctor’s orders but wasn’t feeling any better. Also, at the time, I was going through a very difficult emotional situation, and my eating became erratic. I later admitted myself to the hospital for Avoidant Restrict Food Intake Disorder to get help. I was confused, afraid, and overwhelmed with not knowing what was going on in my body and why.
I knew that I had to go deeper and not just “cover-up” my ailments. Everything was spiraling and was all interrelated but was treated separately. I wanted long-term health and wellness. I decided to pursue education to understand and get to the root cause of my ailments and get my health into my hands. The perfect storm taught me how intimately related the mind, body, and soul are.
What certification did you choose, and why did you choose AFPA?
I chose the Holistic Health Coach Certification because it was all encompassing of lifestyle and nutrition, our daily habits, and our daily nourishment. Holistic Health Coaching allows me to educate and empower clients for sustainable, long-term health, wellness, and vitality and create personalized wellness plans specific to the individual in all areas of their life while taking an integrative approach with modern medicine. This is my intention as a coach—to empower my clients to think about taking care of themselves in a way they maybe haven’t thought of before. Our body was designed to heal itself when given the right tools. AFPA has given me the tools to achieve this. I believe most people don’t realize how good they should feel and can feel, that we’ve adapted to this lower quality of feeling because it’s “good enough.” Everyone deserves to live a beautiful and vibrant life. I am now able to support people in achieving their desires.
What was your career like prior to becoming certified?
Prior to getting certified I was working a 9-5 in an office desk tucked in a corner.
What is your career like now?
Now with my career, I am meeting new people, networking, guiding, and connecting with people in the hours that I create for myself! I also host webinars, teaching about health and wellness, and have spoken to local companies and their employees, giving presentations.
What are your favorite parts of your career?
My favorite parts of my career are connecting with people and empowering them with their health and wellness; it lights me up! I love learning more about each of my clients individually and working specifically with them, for them and their unique, most important needs.
How has becoming certified with AFPA impacted your life?
Becoming AFPA certified has opened so many doors for me. I started my own online coaching business, which has always been a dream of mine. This program taught me to implement these strategies with myself first, and now I am able to positively impact and influence others around me. It makes my heart smile knowing AFPA has given me this opportunity that I get to share.
Do you have any client success stories you would like to share?
I had a client who desired to feel more 𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘨𝘪𝘻𝘦𝘥, 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦, 𝘤𝘢𝘭𝘮, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘳 𝘧𝘰𝘤𝘶𝘴ed. She is a devoted vegan who was experiencing hormonal imbalances, gaining weight in her midsection, feeling very bloated, and having very poor sleep. She was frustrated with being told to just go eat a hamburger because it would increase her energy, and she no longer wanted to live in the fearful, anxious future. I helped her with holistic approaches specific to her. I am so glad to see that she is progressively feeling more energy, sleeping better, losing weight and bloat, and seeing skin rashes clear up! She continues to live empowered with her health in her hands from the practices and tools we integrated into her life.
What advice do you give others thinking about becoming certified?
My best advice is know that you are a student in your own body, and you always will be. You are your biggest testimonial! Know your why, keep an open mind in recognizing that everyone’s path is different, and be a guiding light by leading by example every day.