Finding her own balance led to a career as a health coach

By Brenlee Coates

Losing and keeping weight off might be a little easier if you had access to the teachings of Deepak Chopra every day.
That’s exactly what health coach Patricia Sliwany promises with her business, Alive & Aware.
Trained by the world’s largest nutrition school, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where her teachers included the one and only Chopra, Sliwany says clients have “access to me whenever they need.
“It’s 80 per cent about the accountable part,” says the board-certified holistic nutritionist. “It makes you accountable for your goals.
“A lot of my clients say they couldn’t have stuck to the program without me.”
Of course, she’s the model for a healthy lifestyle now, but it wasn’t always that way for Sliwany.
When she first had her daughter, she fell into the trap of trying to play Supermom and be everything and everywhere at once.
She developed Shingles when her daughter was six months old, and decided she needed to rehaul her diet and behaviour.
“I just did not take care of myself,” she remembers. “When we do that, our bodies end up breaking down.”
Taking a holistic approach to her healing, she realized she could help others make the same changes in their lives, and see lasting impact.
Armed with her nutrition training, she’s developed many tailored approaches to assist people with losing weight or responding to stress-induced ailments like digestive issues or skin conditions.
Her meal-planning program identifies what the optimal diet would be to meet the client’s needs, and she will even act like a personal shopper for food. “Everyone has a unique blueprint. That’s where the personal coaching comes in,” she says.
She often meets clients at health food stores like Vita Health to introduce them to new products to incorporate into their diets, or does a full pantry makeover in their homes.
Naturally, her approach is sort of the opposite of the fleeting fad diets and liquid cleanses.
“I think one of the reasons that diets do fail is that people expect the quick fix and people aren’t making the lifestyle changes,” she says.
“Until you really can curb what’s causing your addictions and your cravings and stuff, it’s a bit hard to really make the change.”
Though she doesn’t completely reject cleanses, she said they’re possible with whole foods, and should include eating until you’re full.
“I believe there’s a safe way and a not safe way to cleanse,” shares Sliwany.
“If you’re wanting to function during the day and work out,” a whole food cleanse will have the same detoxifying result while keeping you energized.
Sliwany doesn’t only do work one-on-one – she’s available for corporate workshops, schools, and small group endeavours. “It’s more cost-effective,” she says, of the group engagements.
Wanting to impact as many people as she can, Sliwany has developed programs that meet the needs of families and kids, adults ages 40 and up, teachers, athletes, and everything in between.
She discovered her knack for developing nutritional programs while working with the women’s basketball team in university during her athletic therapy studies.
Also a former advanced care paramedic, she’s found her passion working with clients to live healthfully, and preventatively, and her own business affords her what she was missing in her life when her body broke down years ago – balance.
“It allows me to do what I love… to help people, empower them to make good choices… And it allows me the flexibility to nurture my family.”
Visit http://www.aliveandaware.ca for more information on Sliwany’s holistic health programs.

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