Interview with Jaime Fontaine Nappi, NTP
Jaime Fontaine Nappi is a Certified Nutritional Therapist based in Newport Coast, CA.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AN NTP?
I’ve been obsessed with nutrition ever since I can remember. I literally would read about healing foods and herbs when I was seven years old. I knew in my soul there was something about these healing foods, but I was too young to articulate it. My mom lost her battle with ovarian cancer, my own autoimmune diagnosis and then my father gets colon cancer, I wanted to help others with their diseases and health. I was searching for holistic schools that shared my same beliefs. After doing my own research and due diligence researching many many schools – I found NTA! I was impressed with the topics, the fact that we are taught about bioindividuality and supplementation was exactly what I believe and knew in my gut (no pun intended) that this was the school for me. I wanted the holistic route!
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT THE PROGRAM AND WHY?
Oh, loved the Functional Clinical Assessment part! To tap into my client’s bodies, identify what supplements work and what issues they’re having is fascinating. This proves to my clients that their body has an innate intelligence. They are always amazed by this.
HOW ARE YOU CURRENTLY USING THE EDUCATION YOU RECEIVED THROUGH THE NTA?
I’m using my knowledge in so many ways! I currently write articles, speaking events, interviews, have my own practice in Los Angeles and Newport Beach, have founded a nonprofit, Patty’s House www.pattyshouse.org that serves low-income women who are fighting a gynecologic cancer and has access to good, healthy and nutritious meals during treatment. Last but certainly not least I’ve created a protein bar company design specifically for the holistic and NTP community as I believe working together is an integral part to the long-term health of others. I got so frustrated and angry with the so-called “healthy” protein bars that took matters into my own hands. With the knowledge I’ve obtained from NTA, I was determined to make a bar using limited organic whole foods ingredients, allowing our bodies to absorb and utilize the way nature intended and of course didn’t cause inflammation in the gut! So, I got in my kitchen and did just that. Having the NTP certification has given me the credibility and knowledge to pursue all of this!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PRACTICE.
I do see clients on a one on one basis. Since I founded a nonprofit for cancer, I tend to get clients who are in this battle or who have significant health issues, complicated cases. Working with clients who are fighting a disease (any disease or health issue) gives me great joy as I see my mom in each client. My heart aches for them. I can see their battle and know what they’re going through. I’m blessed to be on their journey. For this, I am grateful for. Now, I know why I went through the battle with my mom and dad. Losing my mom was heart-wrenching. Seeing my dad go through yet another cancer battle was painful. I could NOT believe I had to do it again! I was angry about it. Now, I understand. There was a bigger picture a bigger plan. Now, I have the fierce passion to help, to guide, to spread awareness about nutrition and healing foods, to conquer disease and have the compassion, empathy and love to be with each client on their journey.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE ANY OBJECTIONS YOU HAD TO OVERCOME BEFORE STARTING THE PROGRAM OR YOUR BIGGEST FEAR BEFORE TAKING THE LEAP?
Started my own practice and protein bar company was the biggest challenge after graduation. You work so hard to get through the program, you graduate, have all this wonderful knowledge and then you’re like “Now what?” It took me two years to do what I’m doing. When I created the bar I had so many “what if’s” in my head. “What if no one likes them?” “What if I can’t sell them?” “What if no one understands how healthy they are?” “What if I fail?” Then I read something that helped me – “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.” I decided to just take a leap of faith and go for it.
IS THERE ANY ADVICE YOU CAN SHARE WITH NEW GRADUATES?
Take a few weeks to decompress from the program. You graduated, celebrate! After that join networking groups. That’s how I hooked up with my Newport Beach office. You get to meet a lot of connections through these types of groups. Get involved in the community by volunteering your time….such as teaching to local schools, community centers, churches. Go to Doctor’s offices and ask if you can teach nutrition classed in their office. I would stick with NDs, Chiropractors, and Acupuncturist as they are more open to our type of work and beliefs. You will be able to meet a lot of people this way, building your network and get clients. By volunteering your time at these Doctor’s offices they will get to know you and then you can ask for a position there.
WHAT HAS BEEN ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE CLIENT SUCCESSES THUS FAR?
I have a client who came to me 1 ½ years ago with horrible stomach pains that she had for years. She went to medical doctors who told her she was fine and take some antacids. Poor thing was miserable. The pain would wake her up in the middle of the night causing her many sleepless nights. After changing her diet, taking supplement and working on her emotionally, she’s pain free! She will have the occasional pains, but it’s generally upon stress. We still do follow up visits to keep her on track but she’s doing amazingly well and I’m so proud of her! She truly was a very compliant client which makes our jobs easier!
CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR HEALTH JOURNEY IN APPLYING THE PROGRAM’S CONCEPTS TO YOUR OWN SITUATION AS YOU WERE GOING THROUGH THE CURRICULUM?
Having an autoimmune disease and a chronic migraine suffer NTA showed me how to manage my condition and learning about supplementation has been very helpful.
WHAT ARE A FEW OF YOUR GO-TO SNACKS?
My protein bar, raw cheeses, nuts, raw sauerkraut, avocados, plantain chips.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE TREAT OR INDULGENCE?
Oh gosh yes! Anything chocolate. The struggle is real my friends!
WHAT’S THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL SOMEONE WHO IS THINKING ABOUT BECOMING AN NTP/NTC?
Do it! You will learn so much and be able to help people. Giving back people’s health is a big responsibility, but a huge gift.
You can find out more about Jaime and her company, EatToHeal, by visiting www.eattoheal.net.