Nutritional and Wellness Education through NURTURE [Interview][Transcript]

Kathryn_Kemp_Guylay_NurtureGuest: Kathryn Kemp Guylay
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Kathryn Kemp Guylay is Founder of Nurture in Illinois. Kathryn wears many hats for Nurture including Board Chair and Executive Director. Kathryn loves to work directly with participants, applying her bilingual abilities as needed and offering her expertise as a Certified Nutritional Counselor. Kathryn also gives presentations at school assemblies or other group gatherings and is available as a Trainer on the Nurture curricula. Kathryn has a masters degree in business administration (MBA) and was a principal in a management consulting company prior to her entrance into the world of nutrition education.

Segment overview: Kathryn Kemp Guylay, MBA, and Certified Nutritional Counselor, discusses her work with Nurture, a nonprofit that she founded, that provides nutrition and wellness education to children and families.


Health Professional Radio – Nurture

Neal Howard: Hello and welcome to Health Professional Radio. I’m your host Neal Howard, so glad that you could join us today. Our guest learned very early in life how the food that she eat directly affects how you feel and quickly became, well for lack of a better term, hooked on nutrition and what a great thing to be hooked on, Kathryn Guylay, certified Nutritional Counselor. And she’s here today to discuss her work with Nurture, it’s a non-profit that she’s founded where she provides nutritional and wellness education for kids and their families. In addition she’s also an Author of the upcoming book, “Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow,” where she educates kids about the importance of eating a colorful variety of fruits and vegies and also her first book, Mountain Mantras: Wellness and Life Lessons from the Slopes, where she presents stories and experiences from her personal life. Welcome to Health Professional Radio Kathryn Guylay.

Kathryn Guylay: Thank you so much Neal for having me on the show today.

N: Talking about nutrition, we are geared toward healthcare professionals getting information from our topics here on Health Professional Radio and when it comes to nutrition, I’m of the mind that, that should be first and foremost when it comes to education, training, information. You being a certified Nutritional Counselor, where do you see us when it comes to educating our healthcare professionals on nutrition?

K: Well I know in the healthcare field how time is so limited, right? There’s so much that we have to do with our patients in the time that we have and often nutrition is a root issue, meaning it might not be why the person is in there from an acute sense but it might be something that’s underlying. So I do think it’s very important to have some tools for every healthcare professional to have some tools at their fingertips that they can reach for in a quick and efficient manner and I think a lot of times to it’s very important to keep in mind that low income populations are really the populations that are most highly affected by nutritionally related disease. So having this material in multiple languages, I think is very, very important and so that’s really why I started Nurture and had a lovely team of registered Dieticians and healthcare professionals working to create materials not just in English but also in Spanish.

N: Now let’s talk about Nurture. It’s a non-profit, you’re the founder. Educating healthcare professionals is one thing but it’s the family that’s the first line of defense when it comes to improving your diet talking about how to improve your diet and gaining that information. What caused you to go into non-profit?

K: Well I’ll tell you a story because I grew up in a household of a Biochemist, so my father has a PhD in Biochemistry and did talk about the micro and macro nutrients in every meal I ate as a child and I sort of ran through the halls of Chicago Medical School bugging the various Chairmen and Chairwomen in their departments. So I’ve always had an interest in nutrition but I actually went into business when I got out of school and was just in a completely different field until I became a parent and when I became a parent that’s when I started to take these walk and talks as what I call them with my father and we talked about what we were reading in the medical journals about beat the diabetes and about nutritionally related disease and the fact that 1 out of 3 children born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes and my first daughter was born in the year 2000.

N: And that’s 1 out of 3 you say?

K: One out of 3 children, yeah. And there’s a lot of interesting data that match that in a 1 out of 3 kids don’t have any vegetables on a daily basis. There’s a lot of interesting data but and it actually gets quite much more scary when we’re looking at…population, families with diverse background, families that have emigrated, that have left their cultures behind and are trying to make their way in this American culture of fast-food. So it was really that statistic Neal that was for me and I’ve talked about roots before but that was the root of how Nurture was born and Nurture really is called Nurture because it’s about creating a nurturing relationship with families including the children, including the parents and probably the grandparents too, so multi-generational.

N: Now we talked about how early in life and you’ve just described the intensity with which you learned the importance of nutrition at such an early age when a lot of kids aren’t learning anything about nutrition, let alone being just basically … Your first book, Mountain Mantras, stories from your personal life that focus on some nutritional information. Talk about the stories from the slopes.

K: Well it’s interesting. So I mentioned earlier in our conversation that I recently moved to Idaho with our family and we live right by the mountains, I actually grew up in Chicago and Nurture was founded in Chicago and many of our programs still exists there but I learned a lot by moving to the mountains and actually having to learn how to ski, I didn’t grow up skiing but my husband did and he really wanted me to face my fears and use my positive psychology and really overcome the challenges that are out there and I found that there was a lot of things that I was facing in terms of needing my positive psychology, facing fears, overcoming challenges that really had an analogue in the world of wellness and sort of using the same kind of principles. So I really, I wrote Mountain Mantras as sort of a fun exploration of sharing stories around wellness. It’s targeted towards parents that might not pick up a wellness book, that might not want to go through a prescriptive nutritional tone but what I found from thousands of readers is that they read the book because it’s funny and I’m telling stories about all my failures and my mistakes and all that but I also weave in stories about as a parent, yes I have mistakes and I learned to how to vent out some of the things that were happening in my house with my kids hiding vitamins. Just silly stories but then I really give some actionable advice that they can take away and I found from many, many testimonials that people were changing their lives and the way they were eating because of the book so it’s been a lot of fun.

N: And you’ve got an upcoming work. When is your new book, Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow, due to hit our online outlets?

K: Oh I’m so excited for Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow, I’m ecstatic about it and there’s already a website. So it’s and you can go there and we already have a lot of interactive services, it’s a multi-media children’s book. So yes, it’s a children’s book, it’s colorful pictures and it’s a magical story and it has all these parallels to Wizard of Oz and Honey I Shrunk the Kids and very whimsical and fun but yet it’s quite profound because it’s also meant to reach parents and teach health professionals that might go “Hey, I want to make eating vegetables cool. I want to make it fun” and so all these online resources connect to the book and really support the book. So those are already live at and the book should hit the shelves this summer.

N: Great, very exciting. Now beyond being a certified Nutritional Counselor, what qualifies you to, well write a kid’s book? Is it because you’re a parent?

K: I think that’s definitely part of it and I’ll tell you what really qualifies this book as far as being able have an impact is because I work with tens of thousands of children and parents and families, I figured out the messages that work, the messages that stick with kids and the messages that don’t and I will tell you that the currency with kids is not cardiovascular disease, it’s not nutritionally related disease, it’s energy and so this whole idea of the rainbow and the pot of gold that you get at the end of the rainbow, it’s all these metaphor, although they can’t really, it’s at a deeper level so the child not necessarily seeing this but it’s all about getting that pot of gold which is optimal health, which is energy and there’s a transformation in the character from being slow and low energy in the beginning of the story while eating junk food and processed food to being vibrant and running and playing which is what kids really want to do and that’s all at the end of the story. So kids love the transformation and I think that working with so many kids and families, I kind of understanding what makes them sick is really what is fun about the background of this book.

N: You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard. Our guest in studio today has been Kathryn Guylay, Speaker, certified Nutritional Counselor and Coach with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. She’s the Founder and Executive Director of Nurture, Nurture’s a national non-profit that provides nutritional and wellness education to kids and adults as well. And she’s been here discussing her first book, Mountain Mantras, where she describes a healthy nutritional lifestyle through personal stories from the slopes and also her up-coming book, Give It a Go: Eat a Rainbow, where she encourages kids to eat a colorful variety of foods for nutritional health. It’s been an absolute pleasure speaking with you Kathryn.

K: Thank you.

N: Thank you. Transcripts and audio of this program are available at and also at and you can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes.

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