“Don't be afraid to be a beginner. As long as you are consistent and understand your vision, little changes over time will lead to results and real progress.”
Taylor Whisman isn’t afraid to shoot for the stars. The 26-year-old nutrition coach, who was certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, has worked tirelessly to help food-insecure people in her community and is currently pursuing her PhD in chemistry.
The West Virginia-born, Florida-based wellness enthusiast developed a passion for fitness about seven years ago while weightlifting in college. Taylor has since dedicated her life to helping others achieve their wellness goals while she works to bring more education and health services to underserved communities.
We chatted with the driven nutrition coach to learn more about her journey and what she has planned next.
When did you decide to start pursuing nutrition professionally, and what inspired you to help others with their health and wellness??
As a regular user of social media, I noticed how many people pushed quick fixes and pseudoscience just to make money. Not only is this wrong, but it spreads misinformation that can hurt people. This really bothered me, and I felt like it was my personal responsibility to start dispelling some of the mis-info out there. This is difficult to do if you don't have a large following. Finally it hit me that, to truly help people, I needed to help people individually instead of trying to reach millions of people all at once through social media. I shifted my focus toward getting certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine in June 2019 and was able to earn my certification by the end of the year while working full time in my research lab. The process taught me so much about working with people and how to actually help them, in addition to the nutrition science.
I don't think many people truly understand that total health and wellness starts on the inside. Learning about how our diet affects our health puts things into perspective. We are so appearance-focused, especially in the fitness community, and overall wellness doesn't get talked about nearly enough. I know what it's like to feel stuck and confused when it comes to health and nutrition, and I don't want others to feel like they have to figure it out on their own.
What is your favorite part of being a nutrition coach?
My favorite part is when a client has this "ah-ha" moment; when they learn something new about themselves and use it to their advantage. It's really easy to hand out advice as a coach, but when they learn it on their own, that's when it sticks.
You are also a proud advocate for those experiencing food insecurity. How did you first get involved?
Right now, I am not as involved as I would like to be, so I am open to any opportunities that come along. When I first learned about how serious the problem is, just here in the U.S. alone, my heart sank. My immediate response was to start donating a percentage of my paycheck to a local food bank. Recently, I've been trying to get involved with my local health department; however, the pandemic has put a damper on their volunteering process. My next step is to contact local non-profits to see how I can help.
What has your journey taught you about yourself?
As far as my health journey goes, I've learned to stop working so hard, as crazy as that sounds. I used to pride myself on getting only a few hours of sleep and keeping busy all of the time. I've learned that mental health matters more than productivity, and you can work hard while still giving yourself rest, both mental and physical.
You are currently a PhD candidate in chemistry - so impressive! Why chemistry?
I've loved chemistry since high school, and it's highly applicable in everyday life. Chemistry requires a lot of critical thinking, and it's a challenge, which I love. Once I receive my PhD, my goal is to work for or partner with non-profit organizations that focus on bringing more education and health services to underserved communities. It took me a while to reconcile my two [fitness and chemistry] passions, but I believe that graduate school I will be able to bridge the two.
You also enjoy CBD as part of your wellness practice. When did you first begin using CBD?
I first tried CBD a few years ago, not really expecting it to work or make a difference, but I was shocked to find out that it really mellowed me out. I was always busy and stressed, so CBD has been a lifesaver for me. I love that it mellows me out so that I can focus on working, not worrying about how much work I have to do.
What are some of your favorite Bloom Farms products?
I wanted to try the 300 mg Balance CBD, but I was definitely skeptical at first because I had never tried a tincture before. I did a lot of research on it, and now I can't live without it! My favorite products are the 1200 mg Recover and the new 1200 mg Dream 5:1 CBD/CBN tinctures.
Anything else on the horizon for you?
Between my nutrition clients, finishing my PhD, and my plans post-grad school, my hands are tied! I am very excited for what the future holds!
See more from Taylor Whisman and follow her on her wellness journey.