During the last 26 years, we’ve certified over 119,000 health, nutrition, and fitness professionals. Each month, we recognize one of our distinguished graduates who use what they have learned to inspire others and make a difference.
Meet our graduate for the month of October, Jenna Johnson, an AFPA Certified Holistic Nutritionist.
How did you initially become interested in health and fitness?
Growing up, I was a dancer and continued dancing in college. During my college experience is when I really started taking more of an interest in health and wellness and how food affects my body. Dancing five days a week, I needed to make sure my body was strong, energized, and healthy. I began learning about the power of food as medicine, and I became obsessed with learning more about it. I was constantly reading, watching, and listening to content about nutrition, health, and wellness. I thought about minoring in nutrition during my undergrad but decided not to. Looking back, I’m grateful I didn’t because I’m not sure I would have learned a holistic approach to nutrition, which is the approach I take with my clients and what I learned through AFPA. I was also interested in health and wellness because so many of my family members and loved ones have experienced chronic illness, mostly cancer. I wanted to be a part of changing that trajectory for me, my family, and anyone that is willing to listen to me!
What certification did you choose, and why did you choose AFPA?
I chose the Holistic Nutritionist certification because nutrition is my true passion. My fascination with the power of food is where my desire to be in the health and wellness space began. I love that this certification takes a holistic approach, so it not only focuses on food and nutrition but takes a holistic approach to our health by creating a healthy lifestyle. In addition, I love that this certification focused on disease prevention, which is so important to me and my practice.
What was your career like prior to becoming certified?
Prior to becoming a holistic nutritionist, I worked as an advertising executive for nine years. I live in Chicago and worked at several agencies over the past several years, some even in the pharmaceutical advertising space, which was definitely not the right fit for me! However, being in a corporate role for so long taught me so many skills that I continue to use to this day for my business, so I’m very grateful for those opportunities because I learned so much.
What is your career like now?
I am now a full-time holistic nutritionist specializing in helping women eliminate chronic stomach issues without medication. Gut health is so important to me because I’ve experienced so many stomach issues throughout my life, and now I want to help others feel their best. The majority of my business is working with private clients 1-on-1, but I also collaborate with brands. I have another business called The Healthy Giver that I co-founded, where our mission is to transform lives through giving the gift of health. The Healthy Giver is rooted in disease prevention, which is at the heart of everything we do. Our mission is to bring clean, non-toxic products to the forefront; shed light on the lack of regulation within the beauty, household, and food industries; and ultimately bring awareness to the interconnectedness of toxic ingredients and disease. We do this through gift boxes that contain healthy products.
What are your favorite parts of your career?
I love all of the new people I get to meet, sharing my knowledge with others, and changing people’s lives! I’m so happy and fulfilled doing what I love for a living. Continuing to learn about something I truly enjoy and have such a passion for is also an incredible feeling. I feel like for so much of our lives, we are forced to learn about things that we may not actually have a care for or that we may never do anything with, but when you get to learn about something you love, it’s so much more enjoyable. I also love that this work comes so naturally to me; it feels like I was created to do this!
How has becoming certified with AFPA impacted your life?
It has truly changed my life in that I get to help so many people live a better life! As I mentioned above, I feel like I was created to do this work, so now that I’m doing it on a daily basis, it’s the best feeling!
Do you have any client success stories you would like to share?
YES! Here are some quotes from a few of my clients that have completed my program:
- “I struggled with gut issues for way too long. Saw a bunch of doctors, did a bunch of tests, and no answers. I started working with Jenna, and it literally gave me my life back.” – Sam
- “I feel free! I feel that the fear I had surrounding food has been eliminated. I no longer worry about what I’m going to prepare, and I can enjoy the process again. My mind is free from the stress and worry, and it feels so good to eat some of those foods that I eliminated for so long.”– Deborah
- “The program has changed my mindset and refined my knowledge on nutrition! It’s brought energy, healing, and a sense of peace to my life. Thank you, Jenna!” – Lupe
What advice do you give others thinking about becoming certified?
If you truly care about helping others, love learning, and have a passion for health and wellness, you won’t regret doing this program! You learn so much and will only benefit from becoming certified!