Inspired by her own passion for health, the environment, and nutrition, Amber Maron experienced a profound change by altering her diet and knew it was something she wanted to share with others. Now, as a Holistic Nutrition Consultant, she provides her clients with individual nutrition plans to address all aspects of their lives that impact their health. Her interview inspires us to break down our goals into daily steps and to embrace our own value as practitioners.
What inspired you to become a holistic entrepreneur?
I’ve always been interested in health, the environment and food. I became a vegetarian at 12 years old, and was constantly being asked about what I ate, so from a young age I gained experience thinking about and discussing food. Admittedly as a teenager I was a bit of a “junk food” vegetarian, eating lots of bagels and veggie dogs. As I got older I started to cook more and learn about the environmental impact of agriculture and the food industry, and I started to clean up my diet, eating lots of locally grown, organic produce, and cutting out the processed junk. I felt better, and by changing my diet I was able to clear up my own issues like acne and eczema. The profound effect our diet has on our health became obvious to me, and I knew it was something I wanted to share with others.
I’ve found that this work allows me to integrate a number of things I care about – food, the environment, education and helping people feel good.
Tell us about your business.
I am a Certified Nutrition Consultant and creator of Amber Maron Nutrition. My approach is very holistic, meaning that while food and nutrition is the focus, I work with clients to address all aspects of their lives that impact their health. This includes addressing stress levels, relationships, lifestyle habits, exercise, and attitudes. Each client receives individualized food, nutrient and lifestyle recommendations, meal plans and recipes based on their personal needs and goals. While the details of the recommendations are always specifically tailored to the client, the general plan focuses on eliminating the processed ingredients and enjoying real, whole foods that the body needs to thrive. For many, it means reducing animal products and enjoying more fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices. When people begin to eat this way, the results are amazing. Inflammation goes down and people experience less pain, more energy, better digestion, clearer skin, and weight loss.
Some people come to me looking to resolve specific health issues, some just feel generally run-down, and know they could be eating better. I educate my clients on the causes of their symptoms, which represent underlying health issues, and how they can use food to heal from the inside rather than relying on creams, pills and a string of other “treatments” that simply cover up symptoms while the underlying problems persist and often worsen. Much of what I do is preventive, such as managing blood sugar issues before it worsens toward diabetes, or lowering blood pressure to reduce the risk of strokes and heart disease.
I offer support and encouragement, without any judgement, pressure or unrealistic expectations. If they’re local, we’ll go to the farmers’ market and cook together, because I want people to enjoy the process of taking care of themselves. Undoing bad habits and shifting perspectives takes time, but my goal is always to help people make lasting changes that will support their health for the rest of their lives.
Can you share any strategies you’ve found to be particularly effective for growing your client base?
For me, word of mouth has really been the most effective. When clients share their story with friends and other people can see the results, that works better than anything else I could personally do.
What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in running your business?
I was used to working a 9-5 job, where I had a desk and clear assignments to complete. Running my own business was completely foreign to me, I found myself waking up some days wondering, what should I be doing today? It can make someone who likes stability and clear deadlines pretty uncomfortable.
How have you overcome those challenges?
I’ve learned to create my own tasks and deadlines. I break down my goals into steps to complete each day, so that I’m not completely overwhelmed by a new project or unsure of where to start. Whether it’s creating a meal plan for a client, developing a new workshop, or reaching out for collaborations, I’ve found it is so helpful if I create a plan with clear steps and actually put them into a calendar.
What were some of the first mistakes you made that you would tell a new holistic entrepreneur to avoid?
I think in the beginning I was so unsure of myself and my business, I probably got taken advantage of. I did too much for people, without asking for compensation. I don’t regret it, I think it’s all a good learning experience, but I would tell people starting out to understand their own worth, and the worth of what they are providing. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve.
What has been the best piece of advice you’ve received as an entrepreneur?
To be patient. These things take time, and I often want things to happen immediately. But persisting and letting things naturally evolve in their own time has been a great lesson.
What is your morning routine?
I always drink a big glass of water as soon as I wake up. Then I do some stretching. Some days it’s mellow, some days it’s sun salutes, but I try to move a little each morning to get the blood flowing before I sit down to read emails and start to work. Then, to be honest, I usually do the dishes from the night before. For some reason, it’s just more meditative and enjoyable in the morning than at the end of the day. My schedule differs a lot day to day, so getting a good, calm start to the morning is important.
What is your favorite indulgence?
Sleeping in. Sleep is underrated, and waking up without an alarm is the best feeling.
Most exotic thing you’ve ever eaten?
Natto. It’s a fermented soybean usually eaten in Japan. Really good for you, but definitely an acquired taste!
Most memorable place you’ve ever visited?
Oh that’s tough, I love to travel. I’d have to say the most memorable would be San Blas, Panama. It’s a group of 365 islands, all still governed by the indigenous people there. I had been travelling for 6 months through Central America with my husband, and we stayed there for a week before coming home. It wasn’t built up or luxurious, but the water was warm and beautiful and the islands were quiet and remote. I remember trying to soak it all in before returning back to life in the States.
Last book you read?
The Girls, by Emma Cline.
If you could only have one kind of food for the rest of your life, it would be…
Mediterranean Food. I could easily live on tomatoes, hummus and olives.
What is your go-to breakfast?
In the summer it would be a green smoothie. The ingredients always vary, but some combination of leafy greens, fruit and good fat. In the winter it’s usually a quick scrambled egg with some spinach, tomatoes and avocado. We have three of our own chickens, so we get plenty of eggs!
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur?
The flexibility! I can be as creative as I want, try new things, be open to possibilities and constantly learn. Creating my own schedule is pretty amazing too, and having the freedom to travel and work from anywhere is a huge bonus.
Amber Maron is a Holistic Nutrition Consultant based out of Redondo Beach, CA. You can learn more about Amber and her business, Amber Maron Nutrition, by visiting www.facebook.com/ambermaronnutrition and www.instagram.com/ambernutrition.