Health Professional Radio – Health Wellness
Neal Howard: Hello I’m your host, Neal Howard, welcome to Health Professional Radio. From kindergarten classrooms to corporate board rooms, our guest in studio today has inspired tens of thousands of individuals to improve their health and happiness, Kathryn Guylay. She’s constantly admired for her effective and fun wellness education. She’s a Speaker, a certified Nutritional Counselor with the Master’s Degree in Business Administration going from business into nutrition, we’ll talk about that. Also the Founder and Executive Director of Nurture, a national non-profit where she provides nutritional and wellness education to kids and their families. In addition to all of these, she’s an Author, an award winning bestselling Author, the Author of ‘Mountain Mantras’ her first work and her upcoming book, ‘Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow.’ Welcome to Health Professional Radio Kathryn Guylay.
Kathryn Guylay: Thank you so much Neal for having me today.
N: Thank you. You’re an Author, a Speaker, how do you find the time?
K: Oh. Well, it’s interesting I just read…book before our work week. (Laughs) And I laughed my way through that because I am not able to get even close to that but what it really is about is what does work mean to all of us, right? And I really love what I do, I love helping families, the kids, I love working with schools and it’s interesting when it comes to corporate wellness, your kids that are in school just grow up to be adults in the workplace, right?
K: So a lot of the work that I do in schools has easily translated to some of my work in corporations. So I look at it more as sort of a life mission than work.
N: Now as the Founder and Executive Director of Nurture based in Chicago, you do some collaborations with several organizations and initiatives, one of which and not the least of which is our First Lady Michelle Obama’s ‘Let’s Move.’ Talk about your affiliation with that initiative.
K: Well I think it’s so important for all of us in the healthcare profession to really think in terms of collaboration, especially when it comes to nutrition because there’s so little time to work with patients and in individuals on all of their needs and sometimes nutrition is a huge factor but gets kind of pushed to the end of the conversation, “Oh here, let me give you some resources”. So yes collaboration is key, I support Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, I support Food Day with the Center for Science and the Public Interest and last but not least Mrs. Obama has been such an inspiration to me and to so many others and I’m a big fan and I participate with the Let’s Move Initiative and I had the opportunity to meet her and have lunch with her as part of her Healthy Kids Lunch Time Challenge which is about getting kids back in the kitchen and having them come up with ideas on how we can improve the School Lunch Program across the nation which I think is a great thing to tackle.
N: Now you’re a parent in addition so you’ve got all of these jobs and then the biggest job you’ve got is being a parent. Let’s talk about your kids’ involvement in what you do.
K: They’re very involved and what I love about having them be part of Nurture, I mean I really did bring them with me to all the programs when they started. Our programs started in food pantries and so we would go to food pantries and we would enroll families there, low-income families that really wanted some education and they got free food and they give them cooking equipment like a slow cooker. A lot of times these families were joggling multiple jobs or there was somebody with a disability in the family so time was a huge issue in addition to you making it simple and in addition to budget. So we systematically overcame those obstacles by having these cooking classes and it was usually in a series and we had kids in one room and we had parents and grandparents in the other, although we would teach parallel lessons. So my kids have been involved with Nurture from the very beginning and it’s been really helpful to get their sort of unedited feedback on what works and what doesn’t and what motivates kids and families and what doesn’t.
N: You’re, as I said an award-winning and best-selling Author, your first book being Mountain Mantras: Wellness and Life Lessons from the Slopes. These personal stories and experiences from your personal life using sports, snow sports as metaphors for success in life and health. Now, I’m assuming, haven’t read the book, that it’s geared more toward adults. Now this latest work that you’ve got coming up that it’s gonna be published July of this year, it’s a kid’s book. Talk about some applied augmented reality, I’d like to give our listeners some insight into this method that you’ve employed.
K: Oh I love to do that and I’ll first just say that with the ‘Mountain Mantras’ book, that’s a book that does use skiing or sports as an analogy for wellness but a lot of it is that I was learning the sport, I was not good at the sport and a lot of times I was making fun of myself and then trying to play lessons. So I think part of what I was doing with Mountain Mantras that is unique is a kind of disarming the reader. I really feel that when somebody’s on the defensive, it’s very difficult to educate them and I also feel like when there’s a differentiation between, I’m on a pedestal, I have my chef’s coat on, I have my health care professionals’ coat on, it makes it harder sometimes for people to realize that you’re also human and you also make mistakes and all that, we’re on the same journey. So in ‘Mountain Mantras’ that was really the goal was to tell these stories, to kind of get at the same level as readers and show they’re all on the same journey and kind of have a little bit of fun along the way. That was that with. You asked about augmented reality and it was interesting because I’ve been trying to find other kids’ book that use this methodology because it’s so interesting. What it does is that it combines real life photography with like whimsical illustrations that are obviously not real and again like thinking about what makes kids think or what attracts kids to certain things, I enlisted the help of an art educator who works with 3 to 8 children and she said kids are fascinated by this medium because it kind of does allow you to see the real world like when I’m introducing fruits and vegetables. They’re seeing the real thing but at the same they feel like they’re really part of the story because they can actually relate to the drawings because they’re actually from a child. So my son drew the illustrations for this new book and it’s been such a great success so far with our beta readers, the kids love it because they can connect to it.
N: You’ve got a MBA, you don’t earn an MBA just on a whim, you’re kind of serious about this degree that you’ve got. You’ve got a Master’s Degree in Business, how do you go from business administration to nutritional coach?
K: That’s such a great question and we’re all in such an interesting journey and I don’t necessarily believe that journeys need to be linear and so in my case I dig, when I got out of Graduate school and I did dedicate two years to getting my MBA, I put myself through Graduate School which means I was on budget and I had a very little money to spend and I pretty much ate whole grains, lentils, sweet peas, beans and fruits and vegetables for two years and I lived on a food stamp budget and then I did go into Management consulting and that what sort of my experience into the corporate world but when I had kids and then like I said on the earlier segment where I was walking with my Biochemist dad and we were talking about how families on a budget, families on food stamps which is now called snap, they have a higher, much higher propensity for developing nutritional related disease. He was saying, he calls me Kathy instead of Kathryn, “Kathy, if you got by on a food stamp budget when you’re in Graduate school, can you teach others about how you did that?” and that’s another one of these moments in life that I think that are really, they’re pivot points and that’s where I kind of said, I looked around and I said “Okay, I’ve done this business thing, but now I really want to be on a mission to give back and to change the world.” And that’s really how I got into nutrition because I felt like I had some unique background and personal experience that I could share with others.
N: Now where can our listeners go online and get more information about your first book, Mountain Mantras, your upcoming book, to be published later this year and more about Nurture?
K: Oh, great. Okay so it’s really interesting I mentioned earlier I have four jobs, I have three websites. (Laughs) So Nurture is nurtureyourfamily.org and that’s a great resource for health care professionals that are looking for really quick downloads for in English and in Spanish, if you want to get give patients recipes that are a dollar fifty or less per serving, that’s all available at Nurture under the recipes, there’s cooking class resources, there’s all kinds of handouts and really fantastic information that can be easily given to patients on the go. That’s nurtureyourfamily.org then I also have healthykidsideas.com and that’s more for recipes and other ideas around cooking. Now if you have patients that have allergies and that’s becoming whole lot more common these days, I sort my recipes by gluten free, dairy free using certain cooking equipment if you’re very short on time, so healthykidsideas.com is great for that. And then the last website is makewellnessfun.com and that’s really more for some of my corporate wellness workshops and then I have two sort of book-related websites, this is a lot right? There’s mountainmantras.com and then giveitagoeatarainbow.com so I hope listeners are not short of information that they can retrieve.
N: That’s what we’re all about, giving them information. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard and we’ve been in studio talking with Kathryn Guylay, absolutely wonderful having you here with us today.
K: Thank you so much Neal.
N: Thank you. Transcripts and audio of this program are available at healthprofessionalradio.com.au and also at hpr.fm and you can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes.