Heather Pratt is a natural born foodie with a passion for the medicinal effects of food. She is a Master Nutrition Therapist and is Board Certified in Holistic Nutrition and has been helping people to improve their health with nutrition for the past 10 years. She works for Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage as a Nutrition Writer and regular contributor to the Natural Grocers Health Hotline Magazine, where she educates staff and customers alike on how to use food and supplements to enhance their health. She also teaches nutrition classes to the public and offers individual nutrition counseling.
Heather teaches in the Functional Nutrition program.
Why do you teach?
I teach because I love helping students to grasp concepts previously unknown or unattainable to them. I love to see the excitement on a student’s face when they are passionate about what they have just learned.
What is your background?
I was a Nutritional Health Coach for Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage for 8 years, in which time I saw customers one-on-one and gave staff and customer nutrition education courses. I also taught for the Nutrition Therapy Institute’s Natural Foods Chef program for 4 years. Currently I do nutrition writing for Natural Grocers, teach continuing education classes at Colorado Mountain College and in my community and see clients.
What kind of transformation do you see in your students during a course?
Students often seemed overwhelmed and sometimes closed off to new instructors and possibly new information. I see them transform into curious, outgoing and engaged students as we get to know each other through the course.
What is one misconception you see in this field ?
I feel very strongly that nutrition as it is often taught is too dogmatic. I think healthy eating and living is fluid and flexible and that it often shifts throughout the life cycle and even sometimes on a daily basis. I try to teach a middle ground, one based in science and experience and one that does not encourage religious-like fanaticism to anyone diet or practice.
If you could give one piece of advice to all your future students, what would it be?
Never stop learning. Our nutrition knowledge is in its infancy, stay up-to-date and current as best you can.
How do you keep yourself knowledgeable and up to date on trends in your field?
In my job as a writer I spend a lot of time doing research and reading, which is exposes me to new material almost every day. I also subscribe to several newsletters from people I consider to be reputable. I attend the NANP annual conference every year and usually try to get at least one or two additional classes in per year.
What do you like to do for fun?
I love to cook, travel and do anything I can outdoors. I am lucky enough to live in a place where I can bike, hike, backpack, cross country ski, alpine ski and kayak!