Clinical Nutritionist
Give Me Life

Certificate in Anatomy and Physiology (Level 3)
Diploma in Nutritional Science (Level 6)
Naturopathic College of New Zealand

Karen wanted to adopt a more holistic approach to her work as a lifestyle and weight loss coach, so she enrolled to study at NCNZ. It laid the ideal foundation for her role as a clinical nutritionist at Give Me Life, her Christchurch-based women’s health and wellbeing clinic.

What motivated you to pursue a career in natural health?
I’ve always had an interest in natural health and know how powerful it is through my own personal experience. I was working as a lifestyle coach, helping people who wanted to lose weight for medical or cosmetic reasons. I felt a more holistic nutritional approach would better help my clients, so I decided to study at NCNZ.

How did NCNZ enhance your natural health journey?
I loved the learning. It was fascinating to look at nutritional science from a whole-body approach – this is not something that is offered at university. NCNZ taught me to never give up on looking for a root cause, to keep looking deeper and think outside the square. It gave me a really good foundation – but you always need to keep learning. I attend regular conferences and seminars, anything that’s in my area of clinical focus.  The research keeps changing and you always need to upskill.

Through studying at NCNZ I’ve also become part of a community of natural health practitioners. I’ve stayed in touch with classmates who now have their own practices and we bounce ideas off each other and help each other find solutions to different health problems.

Studying at NCNZ had its challenges – primarily the deadlines. I was also juggling a busy job and raising three kids, so it wasn’t easy. But I absolutely loved it.

What have you been doing since graduating 18 months ago?
After graduating I completed a Certificate in Plant-based Nutrition through eCornell in America to deepen my knowledge of how to best support people who are vegetarian and vegan. I also spent a year training as a Natural Fertility NZ educator.

My focus now is on women’s hormonal health and natural fertility for couples who are struggling to get pregnant. I’ll be undertaking some more advanced natural fertility training towards the end of this year, and I’m enjoying working with clients through my business Give Me Life. We specialise in natural fertility and offer nutritional and lifestyle support for all aspects of women’s health and wellbeing including menopause, reproductive disorders and hormonal imbalance.

In addition, I’ve started doing a bit of public speaking – I love getting women thinking about their health and wellbeing. We are all so busy and often run ourselves into the ground until we have no reserves left – then we wonder why we get sick! It feels good to get out into the community and teach women how to improve their health and enjoy their lives.

To find out more about Karen’s upcoming speaking events visit her Facebook page