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Conversations with the Inspiring Katie McDonald

Today we’d like to introduce you to Katie McDonald.

Katie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I had to learn the hard way that I was more than a human doing. That the human being part mattered too. Productivity and measurable results were how I defined my self-worth and only when I got very sick, did I realize I needed a new standard for self-esteem. I worked for Time Inc as Senior Account Executive in San Francisco, then Seattle and finally in Upstate NY and Toronto. My personal needs like rest, healthy food, stillness, exercise, even hydration felt like obstacles to what would have been an otherwise successful day. I resented the demands of my mind and body until they screamed for my attention in the form of ulcerative colitis, shingles, pneumonia, asthma, allergies, irritable bowel, depression, anxiety and more. This time, I had to listen. I had to act.

So, I implemented everything I had been studying in the holistic wellness field for three decades. Intellectual curiosity and a passionate hobby were not enough to cure me, but a deep commitment to my wellbeing through conscious, deliberate habits proved to be my only way out. Meditation, raw food and juices, naps, gentle exercise, aromatherapy, Bach Flower remedies, and most importantly, nutrient-dense plant food created the scaffolding I needed to rebuild myself over a six month period. I transferred the skills and self-discipline that made me successful in my career to my own wellbeing. Finally, I took care of myself and not just business.

I launched bnourished in 2010 because I understood that my tribe of high achievers needed to know what I had learned. Daily self-care practices like walking, journaling. gratitude, mindfulness, deep breathing, superior nutrition are the leverage we need to be at our best, rather than the obstacle I always imagined them to be. I could no longer deny that self-neglect is, in fact, selfish as the consequences for my misplaced priorities piled up.

I coach clients to achieve and maintain the highest version of themselves. During the six (6) months of personalized, concierge coaching, they become informed and empowered advocates for themselves. They know what they need to do to be at their best and they do it consistently and without apology. They learn how to nourish themselves at all levels and in doing so, their intentional habits ensure peace of mind, energy, mental clarity, often relief of distracting symptoms, and positivity. They get better results in their professional lives than ever before and what’s more, they parent themselves skillfully at home too. The legacy they craft is a thoughtful and transformative one.

Has it been a smooth road?
Not at all. The bumps along the way helped me wake up.  I suggest women just starting out make self-care a non-negotiable and daily gift to themselves. We delude ourselves into thinking we can get away with inadequate sleep, chronic stress, convenient foods, scattered and cluttered minds and spaces. We tell ourselves we will tend to it all once we get that promotion or make the big sale or move out of the city or get married, etc. Often around the age of 40, women have to urgently address the nagging symptoms that now roar because getting by is not good enough. We need more from our bodies and minds. We have to give more while also adjusting for often decades of inadequate attention. Don’t wait until you feel too tired to continue,  until you can no longer stomach the pace of your life,  until you worry that the life you choose is not sustainable. Craft a different story now in which you radiate health.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into bnourished story. Tell us more about your work.
I am a Self-care Strategist, certified Holistic Health Coach and Raw Food Chef & Instructor. I work with clients in private, customized sessions over a 6 month period to help them become deeply aware and respectful of their needs. Clients come to me because they are tired, questioning if they could do better to feel better. They feel rushed and constantly reactive to the clock and everyone else’s poor planning. They tend to be highly accomplished women in their own right but consistent self-care has often been one area where they have not made it the priority it needs to be.

My approach is unique in that I always begin with food habits because without nurturing foods, we lack clarity and creativity to embrace change. Once clients are eating in a way that makes them thrive rather than just survive, we turn our attention to habits around time and thoughts. We have the best intentions about exercise, good food etc but somehow we are not mastering our focus long enough to make it happen. Clients have a system of accountability that ensures success. Finally, we learn to befriend our minds with compassion and higher standards for how we talk to ourselves. We quiet the bully within through mindfulness practices.

My clients transform in breathtaking ways. They are restored, boundaried, intentional and in a word, badass. There is a clear demarcation between before beginning this journey and after. They have become the person they have always wanted to be but could not figure out “the how” on their own.

While I am in Southern RI, I work with clients all over the country and world.

What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
The biggest barrier to leadership is the lack of leadership we have in our own lives, with our own daily habits. We forgo the responsibility and privilege of self-care and instead, throw ourselves under the bus in the name of professional mobility. We must heed the call to tend to body and mind and from that place of abundance, serve as only we can. Martyrdom is so last century.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Kim Fuller except for the last one-pleather jacket-which is by Stephanie Ewens

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