April 23, 2024
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April 23, 2024
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Nourishama: Nourish Your Body and Soul

Many of us know those people who write inspiring tag lines at the end of their email pages. They leave you with some inspirational wisdom to ponder as you go about your day. Neshama Kutin is a conveyor of those messages, but not just on her email pages. Her positive messages permeate her work as an Integrative Nutrition Certified Health Coach and founder of Nourishama. Through Nourishama, Kutin provides nutritional coaching and lifestyle changes through a holistic approach to health and wellness. She explores how all areas of a person’s life are connected—career, health, relationships, physical activity and spirituality—enabling her to support them in their goals of eating the right foods and leading fulfilling lives.

Some people know Kutin as the mother of Naomi, who at 12 yrs. old, is the world record holder for all women 97 lbs. or less in squat weightlift. But this busy mother of five has dealt with weight in other ways. After losing 140 lbs., Kutin enrolled in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN), a health coach training program. After graduating in 2012, she founded Nourishama to help others with their weight control and related issues.

“My business is about identifying the causes of unhealthy behavior. My belief is that for most people neglecting their health is as much about attitude as actual exercise,” explained Kutin.

She utilizes a whole body approach, by identifying the challenges of a person who is overweight, while simultaneously educating them about foods that are healthy. Challenges may include lack of time to cook healthy meals, having children that are picky eaters, or medical related issues such as celiac disease or food sensitivities, all of which can be addressed through an educational process.

The tendency to overeat may stem from emotional eating, when comfort foods are used to satisfy feelings, not hunger. “It comes back to loving yourself and accepting yourself. A lot of people were damaged in childhood and it carries into adulthood. Once we accept ourselves, we like ourselves and treat ourselves better,” stated Kutin.

“I work with people to increase their knowledge and build positive relationships, so they can become healthier,” said Kutin. She asks questions that will enable clients to work through the process on their own, believing that when they are empowered they will make good choices and take better care of themselves. In addition to teaching about food, she conducts cooking classes and supplies recipes to her clients.

Feeling exhausted and stressed from her commute to Manhattan, Connie Klube of Fair Lawn wanted to eat healthier and adapt a better lifestyle. After meeting Kutin at Intoxx Fitness, Klube began sessions with her that she found warm and inviting. During those sessions, Kutin provided paperwork for discussions on topics such as choosing greens and handling cravings. “I felt like I knew her forever and could trust her in any possible way. We discussed everything and talked about any topic that crossed our mind,” said Klube. She credits Kutin with helping her sleep better by finding a sleep pattern that fit into her busy lifestyle, thereby reducing her exhaustion and stress level. Klube is also more conscientious about the foods she buys and where she purchases them. Discussing weekly menu ideas and sharing recipes helped Klube stay focused on her goals.

Kutin’s personal background enables her to relate to clients from different religious backgrounds. “Being a convert, I understand a lot about Christianity. I certainly understand Judaism. Whatever my clients talk about, I am comfortable talking to them,” she said. She discusses the nutritional value of food that is within their religious requirements, whether it is hallal, kosher or other restrictions.

Being trained in over 150 dietary approaches gives Kutin the ability to match the appropriate weight loss method for each person. She considers whether a client is vegan, a meat eater, has religious dietary needs, food sensitivities or other food requirements. Since she is not trained as a nutritionist, she is unable to devise meal plans, although she follows the states statutes for nutrition.

The American mindset is to seek a quick fix, whether by diet pills or shots, trying to avoid the need to diet, Kutin observed. “The truth is, with anything you get, you still have to change the way you eat,” she said, reflecting on this trend. In the same vein, people run to doctors, when nutrition and exercise can heal a lot of illnesses, although doctors are beneficial when needed, she noted.

Kutin believes that four systems are necessary to allow us to maintain our healthiest selves – mental framework, food, exercise and spiritual. She defines spiritual as a spiritual connection, not a religion. One of her clients connects to spirituality through nature and not a specific religion. Kutin guided this woman, who has an office job, to schedule outdoor activities. “It helped her to go outside and put her on a healthier trajectory,” she said. She contemplates what foods she needs to eat to optimize her endurance while hiking, improving her stamina and health.

Kutin’s approach is not to weigh clients, believing that feelings rather than numbers are what should be emphasized. Yet, she deferred when one of her clients who lives alone, preferred to be weighed, feeling it would aid in her accountability. “My goal is to meet the clients where they are at and move them to another place,” explained Kutin.

Kutin is flexible in her approach with clients, communicating with them in their home, office, coffee shops, telephone or by skyping. She communicated with a client, Susan St. Vincent, who lives in Colorado, through skyping. St. Vincent and Kutin were friends from junior high school and reconnected through Facebook. Kutin guided St. Vincent through the mental and emotional challenges after her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer as well as with her own ongoing health concerns. Along with their weekly sessions, Kutin sent text messages and emails with appropriate information and thoughts, helping to keep her perspective and remain grounded. “Although my mom has since passed, I still reflect on the wisdom and life skills Neshama shared with me—things like music, meditation, and having a healthy balance in life,” mused St. Vincent. “Even in my saddest, most emotional times, she had a way of bringing a smile to my face and even laughing…how great is that!”

Kutin also gives seminars, lectures and cooking demonstrations. You can subscribe to her newsletter through her website www.nourishama.com or follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nourishama. She can be reached for consultation at [email protected] or at 201-978-4109.

By Shelley Fisher

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