An interview with Rebecca Kastin, NBC-HWC from Integrative Nutrition, hosted by the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health at FAU Medicine on October 5, 2023, by George Ackerman, Ph.D, J.D.
Rebecca graduated from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and is a National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach. Rebecca is also a Hormone Health Specialist and graduate of The Institute for the Psychology of Eating as a Mind-Body Eating Coach. She is a 200-hour Vinyasa Krama teacher, has authored her first cookbook, “For The Love Of Real Food,” and is a mother to 3 beautiful, empowered daughters. Rebecca’s compassionate, loving approach to wellness comes from decades of personal experience and her struggles to overcome her unhealthy relationship with food.
Rebecca helps you create sustainable, lasting change through dynamic eating psychology, mind-body nutrition, whole food, and lifestyle changes. Together you will create a customized, easy-to-follow food and wellness plan based on your individual needs that will transform your relationship with food, body, and self from the inside– out through coaching, education, nutrition, and physical activity. It’s an empowering process that promotes excellent health and is your doorway to liberation from the prison of diet culture and weight obsession.
Please tell me a little about your background and what got you involved with awareness.
Rebecca’s transformative journey from personal struggles with food and health to becoming a National Board-Certified Health and Wellness coach, Mind Body Eating Coach and Hormone Health Specialist has ignited her passion for holistic well-being. Her diverse expertise, including teaching yoga, healthy eating, and cooking, reflects her commitment to a balanced life. This multidimensional background drew her into Parkinson’s awareness through empathy and a desire to enhance lives. Her workshops and coaching sessions provide valuable insights for Parkinson’s patients seeking holistic support. Rebecca’s nurturing approach, influenced by motherhood and her own challenges, positions her as an advocate, fostering awareness and promoting healthier lifestyles for those affected by Parkinson’s.
Can you tell me more about your organization?
The mission of Rebecca Kastin and Radiant Wellness is to make healthy choices and optimal health easy and accessible to everyone through a whole-person-centered approach to radiant health and lifestyle management, by empowering you to create higher quality of life and discover the best version of yourself through education and empowerment.
The Radiant Wellness Coaching Program is entirely unique in the wellness industry.
It’s the culmination of over 40 years of personal experience, healing, education, and experimentation, designed to do one thing: discover what works for you and your body.
I will work with you to discover the individual rhythm of your body and treat it accordingly by creating a uniquely personalized program that fits your bio-individual needs.
Health isn’t just about “being healthy”. Health isn’t just how many nutrients we’re getting or how much we exercise in a week.
Health is relationships, careers, spirituality, and fulfillment… Health is mind, body, and soul… And it needs to be treated that way.
What is your passion and how did you get involved in Parkinson’s awareness and hope for a cure?
Becoming involved in Parkinson’s awareness and brain health advocacy is motivated by witnessing the challenges faced by individuals living with Parkinson’s or other brain health conditions; this has evoked empathy and a strong desire to support and advocate for better care, nutrition, treatment, and resources.
I make healthy choices easy for you through a whole-person-centered approach to radiant health and lifestyle management, by empowering you to create a higher quality of life and discover the best version of yourself.
What type of goals do individuals with Parkinson’s have when working with you?
When individuals with Parkinson’s and their caregivers work with me, their nutrition goals often revolve around improving overall well-being and managing specific aspects related to Parkinson’s disease.
Balanced Diet: Achieving a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrients to support overall health and energy levels.
Symptom Management: Addressing specific symptoms associated with Parkinson’s, such as constipation or difficulty swallowing, through dietary adjustments.
Medication Optimization: Learning about the interaction between Parkinson’s medications and food, and developing strategies to optimize medication effectiveness.
Weight Management: Managing weight to support mobility and overall health, as both weight loss and gain can be challenges for individuals with Parkinson’s.
Bone Health: Focusing on bone health through proper calcium and vitamin D intake, as individuals with Parkinson’s may be at risk of osteoporosis.
Digestive Health: Promoting a healthy gut through dietary choices, which can have a positive impact on overall well-being.
Energy Levels: Addressing fatigue and maintaining energy levels through balanced meals and snacks.
Hydration: Ensuring adequate hydration, which is important for mobility and preventing issues like urinary tract infections.
Cognitive Health: Exploring foods that support cognitive function, as some individuals with Parkinson’s may experience cognitive changes.
Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Focusing on foods with anti-inflammatory properties to potentially reduce inflammation associated with Parkinson’s.
Adaptive Eating Strategies: Developing adaptive eating strategies for individuals with tremors or difficulty using utensils.
Caregiver Support: Providing caregivers with nutritional guidance to ensure they can prepare appropriate meals and support the individual with Parkinson’s.
Goal Setting: Setting achievable nutrition goals that align with the individual’s specific needs, preferences, and stage of Parkinson’s.
Education: Offering education on the importance of proper nutrition in managing Parkinson’s symptoms and optimizing quality of life.
Meal Planning: Creating meal plans and recipes that are easy to prepare and nutritionally balanced.
Each individual with Parkinson’s is unique, so nutrition goals are tailored to their specific circumstances, symptoms, and preferences. Caregivers also benefit from guidance to provide the best possible support and care. My role as a health and wellness coach is crucial in helping individuals and caregivers navigate these goals and make sustainable, health-focused dietary choices.
COACH • INFORM • EMPOWER
We can eliminate confusion and create radiance by indulging in gorgeous, healthy, clean eating: no deprivation, fad diets, or gimmicks. We’ll ditch food obsession, emotional eating, and all-or-nothing thinking. You must feel empowered to embrace a healthy relationship with your body and the food you give it by creating optimal sustainable good health. Free yourself from the place that has kept you stuck for years and move toward permanent weight loss, optimal health and wellness, confidence, and joy.
What type of programs do you offer and how long are the programs?
The duration of Parkinson’s nutrition programs, including cooking classes or structured courses, can vary depending on the specific program and the goals it aims to achieve. Here are some common program durations:
Single Cooking Classes: I offer one-time cooking classes or workshops, which typically last 1-2 hours. These classes focus on teaching specific recipes or cooking techniques that can benefit individuals with Parkinson’s.
Short-Term Programs: Short-term programs may span a few weeks or a couple of months. A 4- to 6-week program, covers various aspects of nutrition, dietary strategies, and meal planning for Parkinson’s.
Signature 12-Week Program: A 12-week nutrition program is a relatively common format. It allows for a more comprehensive exploration of Parkinson’s-specific dietary needs, cooking skills, and lifestyle changes. This program provides ongoing support and education.
- Individual 1:1 Coaching (Women and Men)
- Couples Coaching
- Teen Coaching
- Family Wellness Coaching
- Group Coaching
- Corporate Coaching
- Plant Based Lifestyle Program
5 Day Healthier You Reset – The New You Edition
I created this FREE program for you to show you in only five days, you’ll be on your way to a healthier new you. By eating balanced foods, you can overcome your cravings and begin losing weight without feeling hungry. The 5 Day Healthier You Reset will help you get in the habit of eating healthier, exercising, and making smarter lifestyle choices.
With this reset you will fuel your body with the best superfoods, while helping kick-start new habits, remove toxins and give yourself the ultimate gift of health without the sacrifice, it is all about nurturing your whole body and mind without an ounce of deprivation.
28 Days To A Healthier You
I created this program because I want to provide you with a comprehensive way for you to reset your body, decrease stress, boost your metabolism, balance your hormones and gut, create awareness around food, body and lose weight while I lend support as your greatest cheerleader, through our private Facebook Group; exclusive to all 28 Day participants. Part of my support includes helping you let go of any preconceived ideas that block your mindset, help you create awareness about your own body and what to feed it. I support you as we figure out what is preventing you from reaching your ultimate goals.
The 4 Week Whole Food Cleanse
Are you ready to experience sustainable weight loss in just four weeks? Reset your body without dieting; safely and naturally while eating real whole delicious food. Get ready to embrace a strong, healthy body that not only looks good but fills you with confidence! FEELING GREAT IN YOUR BODY is easily attainable without feeling deprived.
This WHOLE FOOD cleanse is a great way to give your body a refresh, and give your body the nutrients it needs while you completely rid your body of toxins, feel energetic, improve your mood and naturally lose weight.
See https://rebeccakastincoaching.com/signature-programs for additional information.
What effect can it have on an individual with Parkinson’s?
- Symptom Management: Proper nutrition can help manage specific symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease. For example, dietary adjustments can address issues like constipation, swallowing difficulties, or low energy levels.
- Medication Effectiveness: Understanding the relationship between medication and food can improve the effectiveness of Parkinson’s medications. Some foods can interfere with medication absorption, while others can enhance it.
- Energy and Weight Management: Maintaining a balanced diet can support energy levels and help individuals with Parkinson’s manage their weight. Weight loss and gain can be challenges, and proper nutrition can assist in maintaining a healthy weight.
- Digestive Health: A focus on dietary fiber and hydration can promote digestive health and alleviate issues like constipation, which is common in Parkinson’s.
- Bone Health: Adequate calcium and vitamin D intake can support bone health, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, which is a concern for some individuals with Parkinson’s.
- Cognitive Function: Certain foods, like those rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, may support cognitive function. Some individuals with Parkinson’s experience cognitive changes, and nutrition can play a role in maintaining brain health.
- Anti-Inflammatory Benefits: An anti-inflammatory diet, which includes foods like fruits, vegetables, and fatty fish, may help reduce inflammation, which is associated with Parkinson’s.
- Adaptive Eating Strategies: Learning adaptive eating strategies can assist individuals with Parkinson’s who may have tremors or difficulty using utensils. These strategies can help maintain independence in meal preparation and eating.
- Quality of Life: Improved nutrition can enhance overall well-being and quality of life. It can lead to increased energy, improved mood, and a sense of empowerment and control over one’s health.
- Caregiver Support: Nutrition programs can also provide caregivers with the knowledge and skills needed to prepare appropriate meals and provide optimal support to individuals with Parkinson’
It’s important to note that the impact of a nutrition program can vary from person to person, depending on their specific needs, symptoms, and adherence to dietary recommendations. Therefore, individualized nutrition guidance, tailored to the unique circumstances of each person with Parkinson’s, is crucial for achieving the desired effects. Nutrition programs are often most effective when they are part of a holistic approach to managing Parkinson’s disease, including medication, exercise, and other therapies.
What would you like to see as a future goal for your programs?
Personalized Nutrition Plans: Highly personalized nutrition plans based on an individual’s specific symptoms, preferences, and dietary restrictions. This would ensure that each person receives tailored guidance.
Remote Monitoring and Support: Create digital tools and platforms that allow for remote monitoring of dietary habits and provide ongoing support and feedback to individuals with Parkinson’s and their caregivers.
Integration with Healthcare: Foster closer integration between nutrition programs and healthcare providers. This could involve collaboration with neurologists, dietitians, and other healthcare professionals to create comprehensive care plans.
Accessible Education: Develop user-friendly, accessible, and culturally sensitive educational materials about nutrition and Parkinson’s. Ensure that these resources are available in multiple languages and formats.
Family and Caregiver Involvement: Develop programs that educate and involve family members and caregivers in supporting the nutritional needs of individuals with Parkinson’s.
What events do you participate in?
I host programs through the Marcus Institute of Integrative Health at FAU Medicine
Engagement with local Parkinson’s groups through FAU/MIIH. Community involvement plays a crucial role in providing valuable support and education to individuals and families affected by Parkinson’s disease, and it can contribute to improved quality of life and awareness within the community.
Local Support Groups: Joining or leading local Parkinson’s support groups to provide education, resources, and support to individuals with Parkinson’s and their caregivers.
Educational Workshops: Conducting workshops and seminars on Parkinson’s disease, its management, and the role of nutrition and wellness in improving quality of life.
Speaker Engagements: Serving as a guest speaker at events organized by Parkinson’s organizations or educational institutions, sharing expertise on nutrition and wellness.
Cooking Demonstrations: Organizing cooking demonstrations focused on Parkinson’s-friendly recipes and dietary tips.
How does this also assist the caregivers?
Community engagement and education initiatives significantly assist caregivers of individuals with Parkinson’s disease. It offers caregivers access to valuable knowledge about Parkinson’s, its progression, and caregiving strategies, and create a supportive network where caregivers can share experiences, reducing feelings of isolation and stress. Practical tips for meal preparation and adaptive eating techniques aid caregivers in providing better care. Ultimately, these initiatives build caregiver confidence, resilience, and self-care practices, enhancing their caregiving role and the quality of life for their loved ones.
How can someone get in touch? What is your website?
If you had one final statement or quote you could leave for the Parkinson’s community, what would it be?
Within the challenges of Parkinson’s, unity and hope illuminate our path forward. Together, as a community, we stand stronger, raising awareness, supporting one another, and striving for a brighter future where every step counts towards progress and a better tomorrow.
National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach (NBHWC)
Institute for the Psychology of Eating, Mind Body Eating Coach
Health Coaching Intensive (CIP), Institute of Integrative Nutrition
Health Coach Training Program, Institute of Integrative Nutrition
Certificate in Hormone Health, Institute of Integrative Nutrition
200 RYT, Yoga Journey