Reinventing Wellness: Sarah Stout
Jan 27, 2011 01:23PM
By Kristin DeMint
It’s not about deprivation,” begins Indianapolis’s own Sarah Stout, a certified natural health professional, certified clinical nutritionist, and certified raw food gourmet chef, as she explains her approach to wellness. “You have to make [your diet] feasible, and you have to work [toward wellness] at a pace that’s going to work for you.”
Stout’s individual-centric approach, which she started several years ago through working with her own dietary challenges, is becoming more and more common as more and more people within the medical field and beyond are opening up to holistic efforts to prevent illness rather than to simply treat it. Nutrition is also taking a central role as doctors and researchers find that the key to wellness—and the causes of illness—often lie in the gut.
“[Using nutrition for health] is where my passion has always been,” says Stout, “and [for a long time] I ignored it. When I wound up sick and was diagnosed with food allergies, I decided to really look into [nutrition]. I started enrolling in educational programs for personal interest; I would find myself giving people advice when they came to me, and [that advice] worked.” From there, Stout’s successful career as a Human Resources professional turned to helping individuals in a whole new capacity.
Reinventing Wellness is Sarah’s semi-new venture toward helping individuals work through chronic health problems by modifying their diets. Although her clients’ health challenges are wide and varied, the most common are those who have been diagnosed with food allergies, candida, hormonal issues, diabetes, arthritis and other inflammation-related conditions, as well as people who just want to improve their nutritional habits or do a detoxification. “I also work with people with cholesterol issues and such, but the ones who are nearest and dearest to my heart are [those facing candida and food allergies], because this is what I experienced,” says Stout.
Something Stout’s clients often find is that the foods they once craved incessantly are no longer a source of temptation. “Processed food kills your taste buds,” Stout explains. In addition to helping these clients work toward intestinal healing, she says, “I just give them the gift of one of their senses that for so long has been muted.”
Stout’s work takes many forms, all of them personalized. She gives her clients numerous recipes, and they’re always customized to the client’s dietary needs and lifestyle. If for an appointment a client wants to go to a grocery store, she and the client go shopping together. She can also create meal plans and grocery lists and help with rotation diets. She also does small small-scale catering. Essentially, Stout offers to help in any way her clients will most benefit.
In addition to the personal consultations, Stout offers cooking classes featuring both cooked and raw foods. All cooking classes are gluten and dairy free, and many of them are vegetarian/vegan; “if the meal contains meat, it’s an option, not the main event,” she explains. “I also try really hard to incorporate the entire class’s allergies into the meal,” she says. “I’m really interested in accommodating and customizing and meeting people’s needs and desires, and I’m really about satisfying their soul—it’s not just about the body.”
Stout holds the cooking classes in her home, the open layout of which allows her to accommodate up to 25 people in one class. “When someone teaches in a commercial kitchen setting, attendees often think, I can’t do this at home because I don’t have that fancy equipment. Because I teach out of my home, I have the same equipment that my clients do—I have a standard stove, for example—nothing fancy. People see that everything I do, they can do.” Stout is also mindful of how she wants her clients to feel while attending a class. “They don’t feel like a guest,” she says. “They feel like family…. They feel loved.” If the group setting doesn’t suit you, Stout also offers private cooking lessons.
“My grandmother taught me how to cook,” Stout shares. “I had always promised her that I would incorporate that into my life every day. In my mind, it wasn’t so much my promise—it was her telling me that this is what I’m supposed to be doing.”
“It’s so fun to celebrate with people when they get over the hump; they’re changing their own lives,” explains Stout. To her clients, she says, “I’m not doing the work for you; I’m guiding you.”
For more information or to contact Sarah Stout, visit www.ReinventingWellness.com.