When new clients contact Cathy Leman, they often tell her they need a new or different diet, but she knows that what’s eating people is often what is affecting their diet and overall health.
Leman, a Glen Ellyn resident, is the owner of NutriFit, located in downtown Glen Ellyn. She is a registered dietician and nutritionist. NutriFit offers clients, whether individuals or corporate clients, an integrative mix of services from nutrition therapy to weight management services, personal training to small group mind-body classes like yoga.
While her new clients may think they need a new diet, Leman works with them in an intuitive process that helps them become more mindful about what they are eating and why. As a nutrition therapist Leman helps her clients figure out the root cause of their diet issues.
Located in the Little Shops Building, the space the business is located in is unique with high ceilings with intricate moldings and crystal chandeliers. (Her storage space is the former bank building’s vault.) The view overlooks Crescent Boulevard.
It’s not the standard gym experience, which is what Leman wants to avoid.
“We have a lot of people who don’t like going to the gym,” she said. “They feel intimidated or they are not sure how to use the equipment.”
Leman, also a certified personal trainer, and her team of personal trainers work with clients to provide them with one-on-one or partner training in a safe, nurturing environment, she said. Clients receive new workouts every time they meet with their trainers. And, the workouts are geared toward a client’s abilities, helping them to grow and improve physically.
In addition, she works with clients who are seeking to improve or change their diets to a healthier way of eating. For some, who may be athletes that might mean helping them prepare for a race. While, for a client with bad eating habits, it might mean helping them assess emotional eating patterns.
Her background was in information technology, but she went back to school to study nutrition. She has a BA in nutrition from the University of Illinois at Chicago, which offers a coordinated dietetics degree program. Her education and degree required her to do a clinical rotation in a hospital and an internship. She also has a graduate degree in health psychology. She is licensed by the state of Illinois as a dietician and must continue her education.
When she first opened her business she offered nutrition services in office and provided personal training in clients’ homes. Now, with a larger space clients can get their workouts done in her studio. The studio has a bathroom with shower for clients who may need to clean up before leaving. Or, who need to change after a work out.
For her female clients, Leman and the trainers help them build strength and feel good about themselves and feeling good means different things to different people, she said.
“We reconnect the body and the brain in a supportive environment,” she said, and in time it “helps people realize food becomes fuel. Food is not the enemy, it’s nurturing.”
Connecting the dots between nutrition and fitness is the goal of Leman and NutriFit. Clients begin to realize there is a long-term impact related to diet. What they eat affects their energy level and even how well they sleep.
Since she has been working as a registered dietician and nutritionist, she has watched people, businesses and even restaurants take a more proactive approach to nutrition from a health standpoint. More businesses are offering employees nutrition counseling. More restaurants are offering better dining choices and more people realize that they want to make positive changes in their lives.
Sometimes people feel it is self-indulgent or wasteful to spend the time, effort and money to be as healthy as they can be, she said, adding you can’t give to others if you don’t take care of yourself.
“It’s an amazing time to be a dietician and working in the fitness field. People are really starting to hear the message what you put in your body does impact your health,” she said. “When you make your health a priority, you stack the cards in your favor.”
NutriFit is holding a special promotion and waiving all personal training fees, inviting people to pay only what they feel their health is worth in exchange for sampling NutriFit’s personal training services. The program will be held Feb. 11 – 15. Training times are by appointment. To learn more or to schedule a trial workout, call the studio at 630-469-6548. NutriFit is located at 526 Crescent Blvd., Suite 233.