Nine years ago, Stacee Akins was a single mother with three kids, one of them Autistic. She was struggling to balance her life between doctor’s appointments for her son, dropping off and picking up her children from three different schools, dealing with her own allergies and bloody noses and, with all that, spending the last waking hours of the night trying to research the best treatments for her son.
“It proved to be nearly unmanageable,” Akins said.
She eventually came across a lecturer online named Michael Lang. While on his website, Akins watched a video of the talk he gave explaining detoxification and the benefits for children with Autism. Two weeks later, Akins ran into Lang in Capitola, Calif.
“I got up the courage to introduce myself to him,” Akins stated on her bio. “I explained that I was a fan of his work, and to my surprise he offered me a job at his company.”
Akins spent the next four years working with Lang at BrainChild Nutritionals in Santa Cruz, Calif. During her tenure with the company, Akins learned more about detoxification, digestive health and the use of herbs and botanicals for nutritional therapy. The experience was enough to convince her to pursue a career in holistic nutrition.
“It truly turned my pain into triumph,” Akins said. “I knew this was somewhat of a calling for me in my life.”
Even though Akins graduated with her nutrition consultant certification less than two months ago, she has already tested her program and has several success stories. Leann Bailey started working with Akins in January when she was still a student at Baumann College of Holistic Nutrition and Culinary Arts. Bailey said she had dieted for years and knew a little about nutrition but never could put all the pieces together.
Bailey said the program changed her life just by teaching her to critically analyze the food she eats, how often she eats and what portions she eats.
“I look at food completely differently,” Bailey said. “I didn’t know I was an emotional eater but I’m not anymore. I also listen to my body. If I eat something and feel lousy, I don’t eat it anymore.”
Stan and Shirley Curtis of Exeter have been trying to lose weight and eat healthier for years. Gimmicky diets, fad fitness routines and short lived lifestyle changes all worked for a little while, but nothing long term.
“Stan has diabetes and we are both overweight so being healthier is something important to us,” she said. “We would go on diets and lose the weight, but once we went off the diet we would gain back three times the weight.”
In May, the couple was approached by Stacee Akins about hosting a holistic nutrition class at the women’s transitional living facility fondly known as the Old Yellow House that the Curtises manage on E Street just north of Pine Street in Exeter. After the first meeting, the couple started juicing, a quick way to get nutrients, paying attention to labels and understanding which foods are nutritious and which just claim to be. Within a month, Stan’s doctor had taken him off one of three medications for diabetes, he had lowered his blood pressure and felt better and had more energy.
“I would recommend this to anyone,” Shirley said.
Akins is already considered an expert in her field. Her website, www.akinsholisticnutrition.com, was recently ranked No. 38 on the Top 100 Holistic Nutrition Resources Online for students studying holistic Nutrition.
Akins training included whole foods nutrition education, a comprehensive knowledge of digestive physiology, understanding of macro and micro nutrients, nutrition analysis, counseling and therapeutic nutrition. She teaches the Eating for Health (E4H) system created by Dr. Ed Bauman, founder of Baumann College. Described as a “rejuvenating system,” E4H is based upon the consumption of organic, seasonal, nutrient-rich foods found within a given geographic area to individual nutrition for each person.
“The class are not rules but guidelines to healthy choices,” Akins said. “I don’t think anyone can be expected to eat healthy 100% of the time. The goal is to aim for 50/50 balance of good vs. bad food and eventually work your way to a long-term goal of 80/20. By being healthy the majority of the time, your body will be better prepared to recover from the times you eat unhealthy.”
Akins is offering a six-week workshop for $125. Topics of the six, one-hour classes include: Eating 4 Health, Allergy Free Eating, Lean Protein and Clean Fats; Best Choices for Growth and Repair, How to Gain Energy and Lose Weight, Colorful Complex Carbohydrates and Sustainable Nutrition.
“Give the area we live in allergy free eating and gaining energy and losing weight are all essential to living healthy in the Central Valley,” Akins said.
Akins first, six-week workshop began on May 27 and ends on July 1. Her next six-week workshop begins on July 8. The workshops are held from 10:30-11:30 a.m. every Monday in the back room at Cappella Coffee House, located at 132 N. E St. in Exeter.
The $125 per person price includes the six sessions, recipes, tips and healthy eating materials with citations and references for participants to verify that the participant keeps forever. Akins understands $125 can seem expensive in today’s economic times. That’s why she is offering a one-hour introductory class for just $15. The class, called Eating For Nutrition (E4H), helps participants learn concepts of healthy eating and to meet identify Nutrition Heroes (healthy food) and Bandits (unhealthy food), understand the four levels of eating and identify where your present diet most consistently fails and learn now to track food choices and attitudes pertaining to making choices. The class is held from 10:30-11:30 a.m. every Friday at the Old Yellow House, located at 224 N. E St. in Exeter.
“This is a life changing course that goes well beyond money,” Akins said. “I don’t want anyone to ever be turned away from a healthy lifestyle because they can’t afford it.”
Akins also offers one-on-one nutrition counseling, customized nutrition plans, shopping tours, research on conditions and recommendations, menu plans and recipes and snack demonstrations. Akins is part of a larger team of certified practitioners and healers at the Meridian Center for Wellness in Visalia. For more information, call Stacee Akins at 559-679-3099, visit her website www.akinsholisticnutrition.com or like her Facebook.