Meet Caitlin Crowell, a nutritional therapy practitioner who obtained a BS in Global Community Health and a minor in Nutrition from George Mason University (Go Patriots!) Having grown up in a small town just outside of Harrisburg, PA, Caitlin now currently lives in Denver, CO with her wonderful husband and French bulldog, Denali.
We find out how Caitlin us using her platform What Cait Ate to share her story with us all, and how she is providing us with real guidance along our own unique journey to optimal health.
Hey Cait, can you introduce yourself to us?
I’m Cait Crowell, the creator behind What Cait Ate. I work online remotely as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner helping guide people to optimal health by balancing their body systems with properly prepared, nutrient-dense, whole foods and functional lab testing. I live in Denver, CO with my incredible husband, Stu, and adorable Frenchie, Denali!
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
I’ve always been an extremely passionate person from the time I was a small child. I always wanted to help people at some capacity, and I loved learning how to understand complicated systems. I went into my undergrad studies of college undecided and ended up falling in love with a Global Public Health intro class that catapulted me into declaring my major. I officially declared my major in Global Public Health and minored in Nutrition Science during my second year of school, and decided I needed to experience Global Health from a first-hand perspective.
Driven by a force much bigger than myself, I decided to travel by myself to Dhaka, Bangladesh to study at the International Center for Diarrheal Disease research hospital within the Nutrition Rehabilitation Unit. It was here, working with the beautiful women and children from the slums of Bangladesh, that I realised my love for the healing power of nutrient-dense foods.
I came back to the states with a fiery passion to learn as much as I could about the innate intelligence of the human body and how to best support the body as it heals at the root level from all imbalances. After graduating with my degree, I was craving a deeper understanding of how to identify and work through the root cause of disease and decided to obtain my Nutritional Therapy Practitioner Certification through the Nutritional Therapy Association.
Today, I am grateful to say I have worked remotely online with over 150+ clients in the last two years all over the world to balance their body systems naturally with properly prepared, nutrient-dense whole foods, supplements, and mindset work.
What is a day in the life of you like?
I’m very much a type B person, so no single day is the same for me. I either wake up at 5:30am and go to Crossfit with my husband, or I sleep in until 7:30am. Stu and I make breakfast together around 8am, feed our dog and take him out for a quick walk together, and the day gets rolling! Often times around 9am I have a meeting with someone I met on Instagram, a brand that wants to collaborate, a friend, and so on. I make a point to try and meet with at least 3-5 people each week in person for a coffee/lunch date, and I try to make most of them with new people.
After morning meetings, I’m usually home for the rest of the day until 5-6pm digging into client consults, emails, creating content, shooting photos, writing blog posts, editing videos, and the like. My husband typically gets home between 5-7pm and we’ll either go out to eat at an awesome restaurant in Denver, make dinner together, or make/grab dinner with friends! I like to get into bed around 10-11pm, clear the energy from the day with some palo santo, set intentions for the next day, and either do some journaling or reading to quiet my mind.
How did you launch your career as a nutritional therapy practitioner?
Two months after I finished the NTP program and at 23 years old, My husband and I moved across the country from Washington DC all the way to Colorado. We didn’t have jobs, but we did have full hearts and hopes of creating a life we always dreamed of; a life of balance, living in a new city we loved, surrounded by incredible people and some of the most beautiful sights in the US.
Since we were living off savings and I had no idea how to start a business, I started working at a local acupuncture clinic. At the same time, my entire network of potential clients was back on the east coast so I was working to find a way to work with them remotely. I ended up sinking more time and energy into my Instagram account, my blog, and eventually started working with clients online- which was never my original vision for my business. I always imagined having a physical practice, but life pulled me in another direction and I followed suit.
After a few months, my business became so demanding that I did not have time to work at the acupuncture clinic. Fast forward two years into the future and I am in love with my versatile, online business and the ability to help so many people all over the world!
What training did you undergo and where did you study?
I earned my Bachelors of Science in Global Public Health and Nutrition from George Mason University and went on to complete my Nutritional Therapy Practitioner certification through the Nutritional Therapy Association. I am currently completing the Restorative Wellness Solutions program- a program for nutrition + wellness professionals to deepen their practice with functional lab testing.
Can you talk us through paleo?
The Paleo Diet is focused on eating the type of diet our bodies were created to consume and is much more lifestyle-focused than it is a “diet”. At its core, Paleo encourages eating whole foods in their most natural form and avoiding processed and refined foods. Paleo insists on getting rid of refined grains, whole grains, refined sugar, processed + packaged foods, dairy products, soda, alcohol, and juice- all things that have contributed to chronic disease since the industrial era. I used to think following a strict paleo diet was the best thing for everyone, but it’s simply not true. Everyone’s body is different and thrives with a slightly different approach. The most important thing is to find the foods and lifestyle that works best for you.
Can you give us 3 tips for finding our own individual “diet” which we can thrive on and the importance of it?
- Work with someone. Many people spend a lot of time on their own reading books, blog posts, scrolling through social media, and get about halfway to their most optimal state.
- Working with someone to figure out what works best for you and having the guidance to learn how to listen to your body can be extremely helpful.
- Take the time to listen to your body’s cues once you’ve learned to recognise them- bloating, indigestion, stomach pain, diarrhea, headaches, inflammation, skin problems, trouble sleeping, and so on are all signs of a body telling you there is an underlying imbalance of some sort. After working with someone to learn the underlying causes of these issues, it’s important to listen to your body and give it what it needs to heal. Understand your diet will change throughout your life. There may be a time dairy digests well, and a time that it doesn’t- this applies to just about every food you may be consuming. It’s important to respect your body through all seasons of life and realise the food that brings you optimal health may fluctuate- this creates space to adjust and change as needed instead of holding too strongly to a certain ‘diet’ that may not be serving your body past a certain point.
Who does the team involve behind you?
I am the only person on my team at this point! I hope to bring on a personal assistant in 2019 as my business expands.
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
I see myself with a thriving online group coaching program, guiding people to optimal digestive health. I am still in the process of scaling my business so that it is working even when I am not. I envision my online flowing perfectly in the next few years! I also plan on having children in this timeframe as well, which is super exciting!
What strategies do you have in place when looking at the expansion of your business?
I am currently working with a business coach and I am part of a mastermind group that continues to encourage and inspires me to create and build bigger and better things in my business. I also take my own personal mental, physical, and emotional health very seriously because it allows me to continue to push the envelope with my business.
Can you tell us what areas you have struggled in professionally?
Like most entrepreneurs, I’ve struggled with fear, doubt, self-sabotage, and the like. I know all of these emotions and roadblocks are normal and they’ve actually been more of a motivator than a source of struggle. Practically speaking, I’ve struggled recently with a vision of how I want to grow moving forward and what my 5-10 year vision is for my business.
Have you ever had any other mentor? If so how has this benefitted you to grow?
Yes! I have many mentors that take many forms. The first kind are the entrepreneurial friends I have in my close circle. These people continue to inspire me on a daily basis and are the ones I turn to when I am stuck in my own head and need to bounce ideas off of someone who understands. These are the people I have brainstorming sessions with, grab coffee with, and so on. Another type of mentor I feel I have, which is at more of a distance, are people like Tony Robbins or Gary Vaynerchuck. I listen to their podcasts and follow their social media for daily inspiration. The third kind of mentorship I have is that from my business coach and mastermind group- very direct and very personal.
What outlets do use to market your business?
My biggest platform by far is Instagram, with my website closely behind. I have also been cultivating engaged facebook groups, have had multiple interviews on podcasts, been shared by word of mouth from friends or past clients, and by attending local events.
Which methods are you using to build your own support network?
As I mentioned before, my mental-physical-emotional health is most important to me and vital for the success of my business. I see an incredibly talented therapist about once per month, an energy therapist once per month, my chiropractor about every 3 weeks, I like to workout at least 3x/week, my husband and I have very clear, supportive communication with one another, and I’m extremely particular about the close circle of friends I spend my time with. Between all of these things, I have created a truly amazing support network that I am extremely grateful for!
What do you believe are the common misconceptions about being an entrepreneur?
Definitely the belief that you need to “HUSTLE HUSTLE HUSTLE”, sleep 3 hours every night, and run yourself straight into the ground to reach your goals. I’m so sick of that narrative. There’s a way to be an entrepreneur and still be a decent human being with a full, gratifying life. I’m a huge believer in working smart, not just working hard. Anyone can run themselves into the ground and keep busy while getting a whole bunch of nothing done. I think it takes a true entrepreneur to work fewer hours more intentionally to have bigger outcomes.
What would you like to see changed for millennials in business?
I would like to see more humble, confident, and hardworking millennials in business. I was raised by a self-made father and confident mother who taught me the world owes me absolutely nothing. If you want something, you have to work your ass off for it and think critically about your choices and intentions. The world is anyone’s for the taking at this point in history. If we were in any other era, there’s no way I would be able to run a successful online business with just my phone and computer from my own home. We live in a time where there are truly NO excuses for not living and creating the life you’ve always wanted. Too many peers of mine in the millennial generation are waiting for a handout or the perfect time to start something new, and there isn’t one coming. I strongly believe you have to create the life you want- no one else and no other “thing” owe’s it to you.
What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?
I’ll never forget the quote, “Complexity is the enemy of execution,” Tony Robbins said this at an event I attended earlier this year, and I always bring myself back to it.
What is the number 1 critical lesson you have learned in your career so far?
I don’t know everything, and I never will know everything. It is so important to always be open to learning new things, to be open to deep personal growth, and to ask for help. At the same time, I have found my greatest power is realising I am my own healer, hero, and leader.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
Since my business and my life intersect in so many ways, the most important thing for me is to recognising when I need a break and then act on it at the moment. I truly love what I do so it can be easy to get imbalanced at times. Since my husband is also an entrepreneur, we keep each other accountable and have open conversations about finding balance in our day-to-day routines. It’s important for me personally to have time in each day that is separate from my business. For example, We have breakfast and dinner together pretty much every night, take time for the gym each day, and make sure we have scheduled time away from work.
The highlight of your career so far?
Earlier this year I had three clients that had all been having issues conceiving. After working with each of them for a few months, all of them happened to get pregnant within a few weeks of one another!! Because of the nature of our work together, I was one of the first people they shared the news with. It was such a privilege to be a part of the process and watch them build confidence in their own bodies.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
My overall favorite part of my business is having a platform to teach others the truths about their bodies and guide them back to themselves for healing. We all hold the power to heal within ourselves, but not everyone knows this and knows how to harness that power. I’m so grateful I get to empower people every day!
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of your business?
The biggest challenge for me by far has been scaling as I grow. I started my business not really knowing what I was doing, and felt like I was flying by the seat of my pants for a while. I still have a super high demand for new clients, and finding ways to help each and every one of them in a deeply transformative way remains my biggest challenge.
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
I really admire people like Tony Robbins, Tim Ferriss, and my close friend Eric Hinman. These people have been huge role models for me in so many ways! From mindset, to work ethic, to the level of forward thinking, to their concept of “work smarter not harder”, these guys really inspire me to be the best, balanced, entrepreneur I can be.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I’ve been addicted to the book ‘Inward’ by Yung Pueblo lately. I must have read it five times the last few months.
Top 3 go-to Podcast channels?
- Chris Kresser’s ‘Revolution Health Radio.’
- The ‘Joe Rogan Podcast’
- ‘Smart Passive Income Podcast’ with Pat Flynn.
How do you measure your own terms of success?
Before I do anything, it has to align with my soul purpose. I am extremely intuitive, so if something doesn’t align with me internally or “feel right”, I don’t do it. This is something I am constantly evaluating in my business. When I am channeling my true self and my true purpose, I find myself in a flow state where things happen quickly and I find myself overflowing with gratitude.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
To me, this means embracing the individual gifts I’ve been given and having the courage to sharpen my skills and then share them with the world. It also means courageously looking at myself without judgement or expectation and seeking constructive criticism from others to learn and grow as a person. I strongly believe that when you heal and take adequate time to understand yourself, you also give permission to others to do the same. The relationship you have with yourself is most important.
Lastly, what is next for you?
I plan on launching online group coaching programs in early 2019, expanding my online business, helping hundreds of more people with their health and nutrition, and eventually starting a family!