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Meet Trailblazer Kristen Ciccolini

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristen Ciccolini.

Kristen, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was working in social media marketing with very little work/life balance. Around the time, I started my last job. I also started getting more into working out and eating healthier. A couple years later as work started taking up more and more of my personal time, I realized I wasn’t enjoying it anymore and found that nutrition was really where I was excited and passionate. I enrolled in the Academy of Culinary Nutrition, got certified as a Culinary Nutrition Expert, started my business quietly on the side and saved up as much as I could to feel comfortable leaving my full-time job, then I made the big move in June 2017 to go out fully on my own. It was scary but my family, friends and partner were super supportive and now, I’m working on my business full time as a nutrition coach and cooking class instructor and I couldn’t be happier!

Has it been a smooth road?
It took a little while to really get started, but that’s why it was so important to save enough money to keep my bills paid while I built my business. There have been ups and downs, but my best tip is to say yes to everything (if it feels right, of course), even if you’re scared. I’m shy, introverted and don’t love being the center of attention, but when you’re self-employed, you’re the only one who’s going to market your business, so you have to put yourself out there and get out of your comfort zone. A lot of the time, I would just say yes to things and figure out how to get them done later. Once you agree to something, you can’t always take it back, so it’s a way to hold yourself accountable, meet new people, do things you’re afraid of doing and gain more confidence.

We’d love to hear more about Good Witch Kitchen.
I offer one-on-one and group nutrition coaching, cooking classes (public and private), meal planning and corporate workshops. I also cook for clients as well and have consulted on allergy-friendly menu items for restaurants.

What I’m most proud of is also what I believe sets me apart; What I do is not, for lack of a better word, pretentious. Health should be accessible to everyone, not just a high-end thing. We don’t need expensive superfoods and supplements to be healthy — they do give an extra boost, but they’re not necessary and they imply that you have to be rich to feel good in your body.

I try to educate as much as possible, too. In my recipes, I like to share what the ingredients do for your body and how they help certain health conditions. I like all the ingredients to have a purpose, not just for flavor but for your health. This applies to baking too, it’s good to make your desserts work harder for you.

Also, how many nutritionists do you know who teaches a class in a Motörhead T-shirt? Even metalheads like a nutritious meal.

Do you feel like there was something about the experiences you had growing up that played an outsized role in setting you up for success later in life?
Food is a very personal thing in an Italian family, it’s how we show our love. We gather in the kitchen, we get offended if you don’t want seconds, we love being showered in compliments about our food – I got all that and my love of cooking and baking from my Nonni. She makes the best food, the best pasta, the best desserts. Even now, as I eat a lot healthier than I used to, I just use more natural and nutritious ingredients and when Nonni likes something, it’s the ultimate compliment. I think having food is such an important thread in my family’s lives, it’s the big reason why it’s a big passion of mine today.

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