Standing up for those less fortunate has always come easily to me. I remember being a child and protecting my friends from bullies and never caring about being teased. When I was in college and had to pick a major, all I knew was that I wanted to help people live better lives. I thought “what better way to help people than to become a doctor?” I was 18 years old and I began learning about what doctors do and how they help people. As I studied the methods of traditional medicine I learned that doctors were not actually curing people of disease but mostly they were managing symptoms by prescribing synthetic medications and performing major surgeries. Both which came with serious side effects. That way of practicing medicine didn’t feel right to me and I remember telling my career counselor I had changed my mind about following a pre-med course because I didn’t want to become a “legal drug dealer”. I continued my research and discovered something called Alternative Medicine.
At my local library, I found a small section dedicated to Nutrition and as I began reading about food being our medicine and medicine being our food something inside me told me that being a Nutritionist was what I wanted to pursue for the rest of my life. I discovered that I could earn a Bachelors of Science in Nutrition and I remember being very excited to tell my parents that I didn’t know where this path would lead me but that I knew it was the right thing to do. In 2009 I graduated from the University of Houston and my first job was with a local cardiologist that was teaching his elderly patients how to combat chronic diseases by following a raw plant-based diet for 8 weeks.
Right away I saw the power of nutrition but I also knew that not everyone was willing to follow such a strict diet. I needed to find a path to health that the masses could adopt. That’s when the struggles really began. I quickly saw that there was so much conflicting information about nutrition and because of that, most people had a hard time listening to what I had to say. My second job was with a meal prep company that promoted a low carb diet. I learned a lot about maintaining stable blood sugar levels and helping people lose weight. However, we were overworked and underpaid and for the first time, I experienced work-related stress problems that caused me to leave the organization on not so good terms.
After that, I was a bit disillusioned with the nutrition industry and felt very lost. I wanted to help people live a healthy lifestyle, but even I was confused as to what the right way of eating was. I was also struggling to find balance in my personal life and found myself depressed. In 2014 I made the decision to move to Austin, TX and rediscover myself. I quickly found a job in banking and thought that this would be a great career to pursue. All was well for a few months until a voice inside me telling me to go back to nutrition started getting louder and louder.
One day out of curiosity I visited the WIC website and discovered that there was an opening at my local office. Working so closely with those mothers and their children truly changed my life. After that experience, I knew that I wanted to make a huge impact on the world by helping everyone have access to healthy food and preventative health care. Unfortunately working for the government brought about many challenges. I saw first hand how our society does not prioritize the health of mothers and babies but instead answers to corporations and pharmaceutical companies. I was very sad to leave the WIC program in early 2018 but I felt empowered to start my own business helping people have access to honest health information.
It’s been almost a year since I started this journey and although it was scary at first, following my intuition has proved to be the best decision I have ever made. Since then, God has put all the right people and opportunities in my path. I have a clear vision of what my purpose is and how I am meant to impact the world. My message to all women is to stand up for what you believe in no matter what obstacles may be in your way. It is only because of our struggles that we will know what our strengths are.
What does purpose mean to you?
About Claudia Sanchez:
Apprentice Essentrics Instructor at Essentrics Workout
Former Nutritionist at Williamson County and Cities Health District
Studied Human Nutrition and Food at University of Houston