Silke, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
My name is Silke Heine. I am 52 years old, grew up in Germany, Duesseldorf. At a very young age I worked in fashion retail, for Peek & Cloppenburg in Duesseldorf being a head buyer by the age of 24. At that time I met my husband Bernhard, who was born and raised by German parents in the US. Between 1995-1999 we lived in Berlin and had our children Lisa and Daniel. Summer 1999 we moved to Marshfield, MA. I was enrolled in a program studying Yoga/Meditation/Ayurvedic principles with Dr. Swami Gitananda in a long distant program through my Yoga school in Berlin, and taught Yoga and meditation in Marshfield for a few years. At the time we arrived in the US, my health was very compromised with a variety of topics, it was hard to make it through the day, and I went from one doctor's appointment to another. Over those years I realized that what works for others does not work for me, and I found my way back to health through food. I enrolled into a class with Dr. Mark Mincolla and graduated as a Bioenergetic Nutritionist a year later. From there my interest in any topic that evolves around nutrition was picked. I studied Holistic Nutrition with various programs, while raising my children. I finished with a Bachelor in Holistic Nutrition, a Master's Degree in Holistic Nutrition and a Ph.D. in Holistic Nutrition. I am also a Certified Natural Health Practitioner, as a Certified Holistic Nutrition Practitioner. Recently I was accepted into the NANP (National Association of Nutrition Professionals), which was possible through an affiliation of my last school and this great organization.
Almost 4 years ago, I started my business Simplify, Holistic Nutrition Consulting in the Norwell Athletic Club (NAC) and practice there ever since. The owner, Kim Trapilo provided me with office space in the window of this beautiful Health and Wellness Center, and from there I see clients almost daily to listen to their stories and determine how I can help them best. I absolutely love it. I see clients from 2 years old to 96 +, and my reputation seems to grow. I do not work with supplements, but food, concentrate on an Anti-Inflammatory, wrote a book 'Simplify Your Diet" about the importance of alkalizing ourselves with food, which is available to my clients, and I continue to study in interesting programs.
I also belong to a group called 'Integrative Practitioners', which gives me the opportunity to study since 5 years every year for 5 days in New York with speakers like Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. David Perlmutter, Dr. Rudy Tanzi, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Daniel Amen, Dr. Leo Galland, just to name a few.
At a conference in New York, 3.5 years ago, I met James White, the owner of KBMO Diagnostics. KBMO Diagnostics owns the FIT Test (Food Inflammation Test), which tests for an inflammatory response to 132 foods, additives and extracts. The test results show Delayed Food Sensitivities, which causes Inflammation in the body. I have been using the FIT Test and now also the FIT 22 in my practice since that day. KBMO Diagnostics partnered with me and provides me with a nurse for individual blood draws to perform the test. I am also able to offer the FIT Test on my website to clients throughout the world. Since 2.5 years I work as a head nutritionist for KBMO Diagnostics and have a team of 12 meal planners creating thousands of meal plans according to their FIT Test results to all patients of KBMO Diagnostics partnering providers. My full time manager Sue Sheehan works nonstop on all communication between our team and the lab. In partnership with KBMO Diagnostics, we developed a beautiful APP that is available to all clients/patients to see their test results, a 7-Day meal plan, and all Possible Cross Reactions on their cell phone.
Between my practice in Norwell, many national and international clients who I consult over the phone, supporting my meal planning team, traveling to Germany to visit my 90 year old very youthful mom in Duesseldorf and my sister in Berlin, I live a very active life giving lots of support to all. My favorite part is to spend time with my husband and my grown children (19 and 23). I try to work out as much as possible at the Norwell Athletic Club, love their classes, and at night I enjoy reading in our beautiful home/yard in Marshfield.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has been a smooth road! It was not my plan to work as I do... The reason to study so much was for my own understanding of how to influence health, and to raise my children in a healthy way. People started to ask me more and more for my advice, and all kind of fell into place.
Simplify, Holistic Nutrition Consulting - what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am specialized in consulting for inflammatory conditions. There is an Anti-Inflammatory Diet that everybody should know about, but then helping my clients with the FIT Test with their bio-individual reaction to food is very helpful. I have tested hundreds of clients in my office. My part is to review the test results with them, and advise depending on their health what to do from here. The stories that I experience daily are amazing and people are surprised how impact-ful food is. Huge health changes can be achieved by removing foods that disagree with us. Typically I see about 5-15 responses in each test (of 132 foods, additives, extracts).
I do not work with supplementation, because if clients can get so inflamed from eating strawberries, basil or asparagus, I can't really judge that a supplement is safe. If supplements are over-consumed, people react with inflammation too, like wild salmon oil or turmeric. Again, what works for one person, does not work for another.
I am very proud of juggling all of this still by myself. There is always so much information that needs to be included in every conversation I have. I still see all my new clients 30 minutes for a complimentary meeting, because we both need to determine if we are a good fit and how I can help my clients best. At the end of the day I always seem to manage to fit all in.
What is "success" or "successful" for you?
In my holistic beliefs, I think happiness in what you do leads to success. Compassion for what I do, being knowledgeable in my field, showing kindness and respect for others, and the rest will come. Studying Holistic Nutrition was not attached to the goal of success. 20 years ago, healthy eating, eating different, was a very provocative topic. I did not have career-plans in mind all these years, also I had no idea that Holistic Health would be so trendy among educated people today (worldwide).
I also always keep an eye on my personal life-balance. Otherwise I am unable to support so many.