During the last 26 years, we’ve certified over 119,000 health, nutrition, and fitness professionals. Every month we honor one of our outstanding graduates. They use the knowledge they've gained to help others, and are a role model for other people.
Jenna Johnson is our October graduate. AFPA Certified Holistic Nutritionist.
What brought you first to health and fitness?
My family was very active in dance and I continued to do so through college. My college years were when I became more interested in nutrition and the effects it has on my health. Because I was dancing five days a weeks, it became a necessity to ensure my health, energy, and well-being. When I first discovered the healing power of food, my obsession grew. It was a constant obsession of mine to read, watch, and listen to information about nutrition and health. While I was contemplating minoring as a nutritionist during undergrad, I chose not to. Looking back, I’m grateful I didn’t because I’m not sure I would have learned a holistic approach to nutrition, which is the approach I take with my clients and what I learned through AFPA. My family and friends have had to deal with chronic diseases, mostly cancer. This was why I was interested in health and well-being. My family and I want to change that path for everyone.
Why did you select AFPA as your certification?
Holistic nutritionist is what I love most. It was my love of the power and beauty that food has brought me to this profession. It is very holistic and focuses not only on nutrition, but also on creating a healthy lifestyle. It was also important to me that the certification focused on disease prevention.
Was your job before you became certified?
Before becoming holistic nutritionist, nine years of my career was spent as an executive in advertising. Chicago is where I currently live. Over the last several years I worked for several agencies. Some even in the space of pharmaceutical advertising, but that was certainly not my calling. However, being in a corporate role for so long taught me so many skills that I continue to use to this day for my business, so I’m very grateful for those opportunities because I learned so much.
Which is your job now?
Now, I'm a holistic nutritionist who specializes in helping women overcome chronic stomach problems without the use of medication. Gut health is so important to me because I’ve experienced so many stomach issues throughout my life, and now I want to help others feel their best. While my main business revolves around working one-on-one with clients, I have also worked with brands. The Healthy Giving is another company that I co-founded. Its mission is transform lives and give the gift of healthy living. Our core mission at The Healthy Giver lies in prevention of disease. We aim to promote non-toxic, clean products; highlight the lack of regulation in the beauty and household industries; and finally, raise awareness about the interconnectedness between toxic ingredients and diseases. Gift boxes that include healthy products are how we do it.
Are there any parts of your work that you love?
I love all of the new people I get to meet, sharing my knowledge with others, and changing people’s lives! I’m so happy and fulfilled doing what I love for a living. It's an amazing feeling to continue learning about something that I love and am passionate about. I feel like for so much of our lives, we are forced to learn about things that we may not actually have a care for or that we may never do anything with, but when you get to learn about something you love, it’s so much more enjoyable. It's like this is something I am meant to do.
What has AFPA certification meant for your life?
Because I am able to make a difference in the lives of others, this has changed my entire life. As I mentioned above, I feel like I was created to do this work, so now that I’m doing it on a daily basis, it’s the best feeling!
Have any stories about client success that you are willing to share?
Yes! These are quotes from some of my clients who have successfully completed my program.
- I struggled for too long with stomach issues. There were many doctors who recommended me, but no results. I started working with Jenna, and it literally gave me my life back.” Sam
- "I feel free! "I feel free! It's no longer a worry to plan what I will make, but I am able to enjoy cooking again. It feels great to be able to enjoy the foods I have been avoiding for so many years.Deborah
- “The program has changed my mindset and refined my knowledge on nutrition! It’s brought energy, healing, and a sense of peace to my life. Thank you, Jenna!" Lupe
Which advice would you offer others who are considering certification?
If you truly care about helping others, love learning, and have a passion for health and wellness, you won’t regret doing this program! The certification program is an excellent way to gain knowledge and experience.