Medea Galligan & Healthy Lifestyle Concepts (February 2017)
For Medea Galligan, nutrition is nurturing.
In 1985, a 19-year-old college student embarked upon a quest to understand what the word “health” meant—not just the dictionary definition, but the entirety of good (or bad) health, and the resulting implications for humans. Medea Galligan would eventually go on to earn a master’s degree in nutrition from Oklahoma State University and graduate from New York City’s Institute of Integrative Nutrition. By 1998 she’d launched her own business, Healthy Lifestyle Concepts, LLC, in order to help people recognize and sustain the very real connection between nutrition and health.
“[Even] as a pre-med student, I somehow knew that drugs and surgery would never make anyone healthier,” says Galligan (MS Nutrition, CHHC, AADP). “And later, after having my first child, I realized that if my family and I were going to stay healthy, I would need to learn all I could about the human body and nutrition. Now, the rest of the world has finally caught up to the concept that ‘food is medicine’—that, ‘when we eat better and exercise, we feel better.’”
“Most people really want to be healthier, but with all the misinformation in the media, they just don’t know where to start. Most people weren’t raised knowing what foods support their health and how to prepare them.”
Simple enough in concept. But not so simple in execution, as anyone who has ever attempted to maintain a healthy lifestyle can testify. So for close to 20 years, Galligan has dedicated herself to supporting her clients’ transitions to good health. Explains Galligan, “While my education allows me to teach my clients the simple science-based truth that ‘the quality of our food directly determines the quality of our health,’ my clients [also] learn that health is not just a mathematical formula of calories, carbs, and pounds, but that it is ultimately dependent upon them understanding themselves.” She adds that once unhealthy behaviors are unlearned, follow-ups and emotional support are crucial, so those become key components of her health coaching, which is organized as a six-month program.
As suggested above, though, it’s rarely a seamless process. She points out that her greatest obstacle has been the mass marketing of processed foods and the multi-billion-dollar diet industry; obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer are constant concerns. “Twenty years ago, the concept of ‘real food,’ was foreign to most people,” she says. “Only ‘health nuts’ ate in a way to support their health. Now, I’m happy to say that most people really want to be healthier, but with all the misinformation in the media, they just don’t know where to start. Most people weren’t raised knowing what foods support their health and how to prepare them.”
In addition to creating goal-based, personalized health coaching programs for clients, Galligan offers wellness workshops on a variety of health topics to businesses and organizations throughout Western North Carolina. She’s also a prolific writer, having published over 70 articles (viewable at her website, www.MedeasHealthyLifestyleConcepts.com) for numerous regional and national publications, and is currently planning on publishing a book on nutrition and sex. (“Yes, believe it or not, they are related!”) And until this past December, she operated Medea’s Espresso & Juice Bar; the popular Arden-based business, which opened in March of 2015, had eight full-time employees, and regularly hosted nutrition-related workshops, closed in the wake of Galligan’s recent divorce.
She’s busier than ever, though. One current project is The Foundation for REAL Food, a new nonprofit whose mission is to teach practical skills of gardening, how to support local farmers, and demonstrate simple farm-to-table cooking techniques. As executive director, she’s planning several fund-raising events to get the foundation off the ground, with the first group of classes to be taught this summer. Long-range plans include hosting The REAL Food Festival in downtown Asheville in the summer of 2018.
By empowering people in these ways, asserts Galligan, “we can directly and dramatically improve our personal health, our local economy, and the state of our natural environment.”
For more details, visit MedeasHealthyLifestyleConcepts.com
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