I am a Massachusetts native who is passionate about running, hiking, photography, healthcare, travel and dark chocolate. My personal and evolving journey with health began as a freshman in college when after two months of hospitalization for an eating disorder and a near death experience, I desperately turned to journaling, a whole-foods plant-based diet, healthy movement and practices in self-love to help me build a healthier relationship with food and recalibrate my body image. By incorporating these practices, I noticed improvement in my strength (both mental and physical), vitality, mental clarity, relationships and overall wellbeing. The benefits only improved over time and this way of life helped me heal both my body and mind.
I went on to receive my Master's in Advanced Practice Nursing from Boston College in 2009 and began working as an oncology Nurse Practitioner at Tufts Medical Center in Boston. I quickly realized that the term 'healthcare' in the United States is a misnomer. Our broken system focuses on fistfuls of pills to mask chronic problems, rather than providing the tools and education to allow people to truly heal or help prevent illness from occurring altogether. Frustrated by the lack of focus on true health and the tables of cookies and Coca Cola at "Healthcare" Conferences, I enrolled in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and received a certification as a Holistic Health Coach in 2011.
I moved on to a position at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York in 2013 that allowed me to better integrate my health coach knowledge into patient care. Here, I worked with bone marrow transplant recipients who had a profound influence on me in another way. After many conversations with patients that regret not traveling enough, not spending enough time with loved ones, not making changes because of fear and just not being present in their lives on a day-to-day basis, I learned how to reprioritize my life. It is often not until people recover from a serious illness that they start to live lives they love. I became determined not to live a life deprived of vitality, new experiences, meaningful connections, self-love and good health and after 7 years working as an oncology nurse practitioner; I am now on a mission to help others do the same.
As a full time traveling health coach and member of The American College of Lifestyle Medicine, I specialize in supporting people during and after cancer care, helping people better manage and even reverse chronic disease (such as high blood pressure and cholesterol) and assisting people who are interested in transitioning to a plant-based diet. For me health and wellness is about abundance, expanding your vision and vitality, not dieting and deprivation. The body is a powerful, integrative machine capable of self-healing when provided with the right conditions- including food, movement, healthy relationships, stress management, etc. My coaching technique focuses on providing knowledge, tools and encouragement that will empower you to make lasting lifestyle changes to achieve specific health goals and also positively impact all areas of your life. My sessions focus on enjoyment, because what are the chances that your healthy changes will stick if you aren’t having fun? The American College of Lifestyle Medicine uses the phrase: “Add years to your life and life to your years”. Well, I am here to help you do just that!
I work with people in person and by phone or Skype, so location is not a limiting factor.
Kara's training, memberships and certifications:
- American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Member, 2016
- ONCC Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner, 2015
- Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Certified Health Coach, 2011
- ANCC Board Certified Adult Health Nurse Practitioner, 2009
- Boston College, Master's of Science in Advanced Practice Nursing, 2009
- Providence College, Bachelor of Arts in Social Science with a Minor in Spanish, 2006
I am available for:
- Public speaking
- Interactive workshops
- Writing/blogging opportunities