She started out as a hairdresser at age 18 and continues to do hair at her home-based salon in Melbourne, Australia. But today, at age 46, Kerry Corp @kerry_thegroundedchic also is a women’s health coach known as The Grounded Chic. Her journey embracing both careers took shape after a health coach she hired helped her find solutions to her digestive problems. She looked at the clients she served as a hairdresser, mostly women, and saw the turmoil that they faced in their daily lives. From not eating right to going through their days in a mad rush, they were creating stress for themselves. Corp wanted to help, because that’s exactly how she used to be.
“Upon completing secondary school, I started studying psychology at University, but hairdressing was still calling my name, so I listened and followed my heart,” Corp recalls about her teenage years. “Truth be known, all hairdressers are therapists in disguise!”
After managing a salon for a short time, Corp opened her own salon and ran it successfully for nearly eight years until burnout crept in and she sold the salon. She stayed in the industry on the training and education side, and then, in intuitively seeking balance, she also began doing hair again.
“I opened a little salon at home, which I love,” Corp explains. “Just me and my clients! It allows me to be flexible, without the hustle and bustle of a busy salon. I can pursue my other business while looking after myself, my family and my health interests. When I owned my own big salon, like many in the industry, I worked ridiculously long, tiring hours, failed to look after myself and suffered with my health and complete burnout. After having my daughter, my health really deteriorated. I had very little help from doctors and the medical system, so I sought out alternative advice though holistic and more natural practitioners. This led me to massive changes not only in my diet, but in the way I was living my life. Making this change was not easy at times, but I did it slowly, taking one step at a time and accepting great support along the way from my health practitioner, health coach and supportive hubby! Today I feel amazing, in vibrant health and thriving. I feel that I am more ME than I have been for a very, very long time.”
In 2015, Corp took coursework in health coaching with NYC’s Institute for Integrative Nutrition. “Coaching is where my heart now lies,” she says. “I am passionate about guiding not only other hairdressers, but all busy women to slow down and start making themselves and their bodies the priority!”
Healthy Hairdresser asked Corp to list the top the health errors she observes hairdressers making, and her list comes in as:
- Not slowing down.
- Skipping meals or eating in five seconds flat—inhaling, not chewing!
- Eating convenient food, not real food!
- Relying on sugar and refined carbs for energy.
- Not drinking enough water.
- Not taking breaks.
- Not stretching/doing yoga, which is important for posture.
- Trying to please every single client, which creates emotional pressure and expectations.
- Loading the body with toxins by breathing in chemicals all day long.
Corp’s own day starts with two large glasses of room-temperature, filtered water, followed by gentle stretching or yoga and 5-20 minutes of meditation. She fits exercise into her week as well as she can—walking her daughter back and forth to school, adding in more walking and taking a weekly yoga class or two as well as one or two 15-minute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions.
Her general nutrition rules for herself are simple:
- No 1. Rule: just eat real food!
- No gluten or dairy for me (intolerant).
- Lots and lots of vegetables.
- No sugar.
- Mostly organic and quality proteins.
- Hydrate well with water or herbal teas.
She gives herself lifestyle guidelines, too:
- Breathe from the diaphram.
- Set firm boundaries.
- Learned to say NO!
- Schedule time just for me.
- Ask for help when needed rather than trying to be superwoman!
- Hire a house cleaner.
- Prioritize relationships with family and close friends.
- Let go of the need to be all and be perfect!
Her five top tips for hair pros wanting to improve their health are:
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate—preferably with filtered water.
- Use REAL food as your energy source, not sugar and refined carbs.
- Make smoothies. Get a smoothie maker and have an organic fruit and veggie box delivered for the staff room.
- Take breaks to stretch and go on gentle walks.
- Look after your digestion by chewing your food instead of inhaling it.
Here’s a bonus: Kerry’s Favorite Green Smoothie Recipe:
½ green apple
½ cup fresh pineapple
1 cup spinach
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tsp Chia seeds
1½ cups coconut water
1 or 2 fresh dates if you want extra sweetness
Add all ingredients into your blender/smoothie maker and mix until well combined. Add more water if too thick. Says Corp, “This smoothie is simple, quick and full of real energy and nourishment!”
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