About Vanessa

Vanessa is a best selling author, Founder and CEO of Feed Your Spirit, Inc., and the creator of Feed Your Power: A Mind-Body Transformation Program for Change-Makers.

Vanessa supports men and women across the country, who are looking to live their healthiest lives and get the results they want in a sustainable way.

Vanessa is a Certified Eating Psychology Coach and studied Fitness Nutrition with the American Council on Exercise. She earned a degree in Human Development & Behavior Change from the University of California, San Diego, and is a previous Division I college athlete.

After an ongoing struggle with food, her mother’s battle with alcoholism, and her father passing unexpectedly to Heart Disease, Vanessa dedicated herself to studying, uncovering, and applying deep healing and discovery that supports longevity, holistic wellness, and letting go of what stands in the way of your healhiest life, your best self.

Vanessa works with women who want to heal their blocks around food and give their biggest gifts to the world. She is helping people all over the nation in reaching their health goals by uncovering blocks, releasing what no longer serves them, and creating a thriving wellness lifestyle that incorporates and nurtures the body, mind, and spirit.

My Story

I have always been really enthusiastic about food, beginning at least when I was a teenager. It made me happy. I used to get a tub of ice cream from Baskin Robins with my dad after my basketball games, and a tub of sprinkles to go with it. I remember often having a huge appetite and eating a lot more than everyone around me. Even with my high school and college sports teams, I was acknowledged for being the shortest one on the team who ate the most. I didn’t really know how to explain it, I usually just laughed it off. It didn’t become an issue until I was older.

Looking back, I would disappear into the eating experience, into the pleasure of it. It took me away from all the other things going on and I got to focus on the taste, the texture, the salty or the sweet.. and ultimately, the escape. I don’t blame myself for developing that kind of drug-like relationship with food. Not one bit. I’ve done the work to understand the root of what was driving my behaviors, and there’s no more shame here for that young girl, only lots and lots of deep compassion and love. The things she needed the most.

Think about your very first memory of food…

A couple come to mind for me. Having to sit at the kitchen table, alone in the dark until I finished my plate. I just hated the texture of apple sauce. Sitting a couple of inches away from the television screen, crushing a tub of “Piknik potato sticks” with salt all over my hands. Going to the movies with a friend and her mom, and telling her mom I wanted two candy bars instead of one, and then her calling my parents and my dad getting very upset and calling the doctor.
I didn’t know it then, but food was becoming my crutch. It wasn’t about nourishment or understanding if my body was asking for certain foods, it was about a mental escape. I was too young to really realize that I did desperately need an escape from the trauma I was carrying from when I was much younger, so I carried on with food, and it helped me feel less discomfort.

Eventually my dependency on certain foods started to get in the way of my day-to-day life, and I had no idea what to do.
Fortunately, I found the right resources, or they found me, and I was able to turn it all around with deep-diving into my inner personal world, getting to know my emotions. I was carrying the trauma of having a very loving mother, who was also suffering from depression and alcoholism which led her to attempt to end her life when I was three years old. I was there for it when it happend, and for her coma in the hospital although I don’t remember any of it. She came out of the coma with brain damage, and with a lot of shame, anger, and pain, and she moved away but later returned. I had to become responsible for myself, and to understand how to handle a lot of fighting and a very unstable home.

I recognize that I needed an escape, and I am glad that I made one for myself at the time. I’m also grateful I was able to recognize when it was no longer serving me, and lovingly let it go.

The work I was able to do around what my food habits allowed me to discover my path to healing, and to give me my true freedom.

Read more about my story here.

What is Eating Psychology?

We know that diets don’t work. That’s why you are here. Ready to do the real work for lasting change.

Through the lens of Eating Psychology, we see our eating challenges as a doorway to growth and transformation. It honors the unique, fascinating and ever-changing experience of food and the body that each one of us has. It unveils, if you know the best choices to make, why are you not making them?

For way too long, we have been inundated with negative messages about food, weight, and diet. We have been told that we’re willpower weaklings or that we need more control.

The majority of nutrition experts promote conflicting advice, and the result is people are confused about what to eat, and how to have a happy relationship with food and a healthy metabolism.

Eating psychology is an exciting and cutting-edge approach developed by the Institute for the Psychology of Eating. It effectively addresses weight concerns, binge eating, overeating, body image challenges, and nutrition-related health concerns.

As a Certified Eating Psychology Coach, my approach is positive and empowering. I do not see eating challenges as a sign that anything is wrong with you (Lord knows I have been there) — I see it as a place where we can more fully explore some of the personal dimensions in life that impact food, weight, and health.

In IPE’s internationally acclaimed program I learned powerful cutting-edge tools and protocols that combine the powerful fields of Dynamic Eating Psychology and Mind-Body-Nutrition.

The skills I use from this training are a combination of practical coaching techniques, results-oriented psychology, clinical nutrition, body-centered practices, mind-body science, and a positive and compassionate approach to challenges with food and health. By working on the places that are most relevant for you, success is more easily achieved. Here I will support you with strategies and nutrition principles that are nourishing, doable, sustainable, and that get results.

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