Fortified HHC owner Jamie Siwinski’s health coaching services benefit the body and mind.
Jamie Siwinski knows that the way one eats is directly connected with the way that one feels. Noticing behavioral changes in his son following the consumption of certain foods, Siwinski began to contemplate the connection between attitude and nourishment. Siwinski parlayed this query into his business: Fortified HHC, a holistic health counseling practice.
“Neurological issues are where my passion lies,” said Siwinski. “Things that affect learning, memory and mood; including anxiety and depression.The idea [behind Fortified HHC] is to help clients with a variety of health concerns like fatigue, weight loss, diabetes, digestive, hormonal issues.”
Swinski recalls his family’s frustration at their inability to pinpoint a reason for their son’s behavioral complications: “This was seven or so years ago, [when] he was in preschool. We were seeing mood swings and crankiness that were far beyond a typical child’s tantrum.” Not wanting to put his young son on medication, Swinski and his family decided to explore the possibility that there could be a solution to this problem through dietary changes.
As his son’s eating habits shifted, so did Siwinski’s family’s; and they all noticed that they started to feel differently. Unpleasant aspects of daily life that Swinski considered normal like exhaustion and anxiety began to dissipate. Siwinski realized he could share this awareness with others.
With the desire to help his son and community members identify which foods could be causing their health problems, Siwinski attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. The training he received at Integrative Nutrition helped him hone the skills to become a lifestyle coach as well as a nutritional educator. Through this education, Siwinski realized that every client that comes to him will need an individual track in order to achieve wellness via dietary change.
“If the answer were that everyone become vegan, Paleo, whatever special diet is the flavor of the month, then all our concerns would be gone,” said Swinski. “But that’s not how it works. We’re not just saying to eat more kale or have a green juice and you’ll feel better. That doesn’t help if someone is dealing with something chronic and debilitating. I want to look at symptoms as a constellation of what’s going on holistically with a person.”
Siwinski’s success as a private lifestyle coach encouraged him to branch out to larger audiences in a classroom setting. He’s taught several classes that implement food as a healing practice, focusing on those geared towards families looking to identify their own children’s behavioral and nutritional relationships. Citing Hippocrates’s mantra, “let food be thy medicine,” as his own dogma, Siwinski reflects on Fortified HHC: “My main goal is to help people feel better. I’m an educator; bringing science, research, practical strategy [to clients,]” said Siwinski. “[I want to bring] people to mindfulness that simple food decisions can affect how they feel for the rest of the day.”
Choosing not to characterize any foods as “bad,” Siwinski encourages anyone struggling with digestive complications – or those who are simply interested in alternative nutrition – to consider reframing their diets without harsh restrictions. “If someone has a favorite recipe of their grandmother’s, I’d never recommend they stop eating that dish,” said Siwinski. As a health coach, Siwinski is willing to recommend dietary changes, but he doesn’t want to make his practice a static set of solutions, as everyone’s body works differently.
Identifying catalysts for uncomfortable symptoms and moods are Siwinski’s bread and butter, and a truly important aspect of his practice: “Once someone realizes that [food] can change the way they feel, that’s when someone might have an ‘Aha moment,’” said Siwinski.
Siwinski’s next class, Food for Thought: Core Nutritional Support for Memory, Mood and Learning, is Thursday, Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Adult School of Montclair. For more information on healing through food and other upcoming Fortified HHC events, visit Siwinski’s website, fortifiedhhc.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.