Connecting with a Graduate Studies Student Abroad

Jessica (Nomi) Levy, NBC-HWC, RYT

UWS Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine (HNFM) Student in Jerusalem, Israel

Social media handle: @nomiknowshealth

Jessica (Nomi) Spain head shot

How has the HNFM program helped deepen your knowledge and pursuit toward incorporating functional medicine into your life and future career?

I regularly say to my husband – I absolutely love my program! I am learning things that help me on a day-to-day basis make healthier decisions for myself and my family. I am able to be a more valuable resource for my coaching clients and the IFM affiliated doctor that I work with. I see this degree as a stepping stone to so many goals that I have – continuing my education even further, writing a book and getting my CNS certification.

How have you adapted your coaching business and working with clients during this time?

At the beginning of the pandemic I, along with the rest of the world, switched over to Zoom sessions. I was a little nervous because I felt like we would lose some of the “magic” connection that happens in a session. However, I was surprised that for some of my clients it made things easier. It eliminated the trip into my office and let them schedule their session over their lunch break or another convenient time. Instead of me sticking to my office days, like I normally would, my hours opened up. I could see clients while my kids had their evening tutoring sessions or early in the morning while they were sleeping in. As we have now transitioned to being back at my office, I am back to regular hours, but I still offer all of my clients the choice of connecting virtually or in-person. About one-third have chosen to stay on Zoom.

With the normal happenings of each day being interrupted by the pandemic, how have you kept yourself focused in life, motherhood, work and schoolwork?

The pandemic made life a lot more intense in some ways and relaxed in others. The first week of shut down for Israel coincided with winter 2020 finals week. I was writing papers and studying and my kids were just in the house, trying to entertain themselves. I adjusted by waking up early, doing a few hours of work while the kids slept in a bit, and then spent the day with the kids, catching a time here or there for work, and playing tag team with my husband so we could manage it all. I can say that I felt grateful for school, because it kept me focused on something other than checking the news or googling “Corona symptoms for dogs.”

What are some things your family has adopted into their routine that has served you well?

One thing my kids will probably say that has served us well is our new TV! We have never owned a television and have limited, (once a week for two hours) screen access, for my kids. Once corona hit we ordered a television and in the evenings, we would have TV time together. We watched cooking shows, sports and some oldie family movies. My kids got into parkour from watching one show – not the best sport to try while in lockdown! We enjoyed that time to slow down together at the end of the day and just laugh. We are back to our usual limited screen time, but we do enjoy just squishing on the couch together every once in awhile and watching a movie.

What nutrition, wellness and self-care advice could you offer your fellow UWS classmates?

Wherever you are in life, whether in the single and learning stage, juggling with family and work /school stage, or anywhere in between, have a sacred routine. My sacred routine involves getting up each morning before my kids, enjoying a coffee with my husband, and then going for a run. I did this during corona even when the lockdown meant we weren’t allowed to be out of a 100-meter radius from our house. I ran a lot of circles around the block! A sacred routine sets the theme for the whole day. I can’t imagine just waking up and jumping into my day. Entering each day having had a little “me time” means that I am more mentally available for all the different roles and activities in my life.