Today I have the great pleasure of introducing you to Melissa Vertosick who is this week's interviewee in Personality Prints, an interview series focusing on the bond between creatives/artists/entrepreneurs and their pets. Melissa is a holistic health coach here in Pittsburgh, PA and owns The Whole Life Approach. This year I have watched her business take flight and in the last couple of months she has been a speaker at Farm to Table, and organized cooking workshops at McGinnis Sisters, among others. Not only is Melissa a coach, predominantly helping diabetics, but she is also an artist. She is combining her love for painting and nutrition, and promoting healthy eating habits by cooking the rainbow. How cool is that?! When I last spoke with her she was finalizing a cookbook focusing on preparing breakfasts of different colors for the seven days of the week. I absolutely adore Melissa, and know that you are going to love getting to know her and her two cats Lizzy and Raoul as much as I have. Tell me where you can be found online: Website: www.thewholelifeapproach.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/TheWholeLifeApproach Twitter: www.twitter.com/MelissVertosick Youtube: www.youtube.com/TheWholeLifeApproach
Tell me a little bit about your business. I am a certified Holistic Health Coach. My business is all about helping you to make changes to your diet and lifestyle in order to be the healthiest you yet. This is the journey we are all on and I focus on getting you back into the kitchen and through that, work with you to use food to heal your body.
So many of the chronic conditions and diseases that are a concern today can be prevented, managed, or reversed by changing one’s food choices. We all know what we ‘should’ be doing but it can be hard to implement what we know into our lives. That is where I come in. I help to make connections between the what, why, and how. I introduce ways to easily balance your blood sugar and to boost your energy by supporting the organs and glands within your endocrine system.
My approach and passion comes from my love of cooking but also from my personal life. Eight of my family had or are struggling with diabetes in some form. I myself have experienced a period of extreme fatigue and stubborn weight. I looked intensely at what I ate and why to find answers. I implemented changes slowly as I learned more about the effects food, emotions, and environment had on my body. My personal journey of health and healing has become the catalyst for my business as I help others to find their own healing path.
Tell me about your pets. My two cats are quite the opposite of each other. Lizzy is large, super friendly, and always happy. Raoul is smaller, loves to sit in my lap and shadow me, but is very nervous around others. He is often hiding before any visitor gets to the front door. Lizzy, on the other hand, is almost always there to greet anyone who stops by.
I picked them up at a local shelter over 7 years ago. I went at the end of 2006 to find a new companion after Merlin passed. Lizzy was there with the other cats I met but I selected a really cuddly cat. Lizzy had been friendly but a little stand-offish. Yet when the staff was getting Eva ready for the cat carrier, Lizzy kept trying to get into the carrier! Eva was actually a very sick cat and I only had her for a very brief time. Lizzy stuck with me so when I was ready, I went back to the shelter to see if she was still there. She was and this time after she greeted me she was very possessive, following me around and not allowing any other cat to have my attention.
The director of the shelter asked me to look at other cats to see if I would like one of them. We were in the kitten area and that is where I saw Raoul. He had very interesting markings which he has since grown out of. He had vertical white stripes on his sides that looked like wood rings. They got along so I brought them both home.
Do you and your cats share personality traits that has helped you in life/business? I would say we all have inquisitiveness that makes my life richer. Raoul and I share being very focused. He will sit and watch a stink bug or a bird for a really long time. He is very patient in that way. Lizzy loves her vegetables (although only when they are in the grocery bag fresh from the farm or store).
How do your pets support you and or inspire you and your business? My cats remind me to take the time to just be. They are both very affectionate and have no second thoughts about coming over and demanding attention while I am working. This helps me not to get too wrapped up in what I am doing. Also, they enjoy certain routines which helps to create the rhythm of my day.
Do you have a favorite quote that you live by? “What is so priceless about being the selves we were created to grow into is that it’s impossible to do it wrong.” This is from Victoria Moran’s book Living a Charmed Life. I think it is such a great reminder to not let fear prevent me from experiencing the now and that my personal path is always the right one even when it seems out of sync.