One of the things we do annually at FocusCore is “Health Challenge” to work on our own health. This year we brought in executive trainer and coach Katheryn Gronauer who is both experienced in nutrition, but also in international business, change management, and cultural awareness. I went on Google to find someone that met our needs for the year and Thrive Tokyo came up. Then from a couple of acquaintances, Katheryn was recommended to us. She has come into FocusCore and provided us with health training and follow-up coaching programs.
She is certified in change-management from ATD, has an IIN coaching certification, and was raised between Japan and the U.S. Her company, Thrive Tokyo, has been named “One of Tokyo’s hotspots to satisfy anyone” by Eurobiz Magazine and her work and accomplishments have been featured in Women’s Health, HuffPost, Mobility Magazine, Mindbodygreen, JapanToday, Savvy Tokyo, and so much more.
Here is a bit of the conversation that we had together. If you'd like to listen to the whole conversation, try theBarefoot Lunch Podcast.
David: First, to start off, you have a wonderful background, you’re successful, busy...what do you do to unwind, relax, and recharge? Do you have a morning routine?
Katheryn: Since I work independently, I’m able to have control over my schedule. And I like to do the bulk of the work in the morning. I take 2 hours off at lunchtime because I know I’ll fall into a food coma. Then I do the administration in the afternoon. It really helps to manage my energy levels.
Aside from that, I like to do things like going out for a walk to really help me re engage with my creativity. I also love salsa dancing!
David: Tell me about setting up Thrive Tokyo?
Katheryn: I was born in Florida and my mom is Japanese, so I spent a lot of time going back and forth from the U.S. and Japan. I went to Sophia and graduated and was working with a company called TEN. I realized that there wasn’t an opportunity for upward mobility. So I had a couple of options, I could go to a new industry or I could maybe take a chance and start my own business. I felt that if I started my own business, if it didn’t work out after a couple of years, I could always go back into the corporate world.
So I set up Thrive Tokyo where I could help people really thrive. Part of that is executive coaching for clients for cross cultural understanding. We also do training in this area. Another thing I work on is around health, which is what we did for FocusCore.
David: So it was really great, you came in and did training with our company and then followed up with coaching to really make sure the training sunk in. Not only did we get to learn, but you also helped bring out and work with our own goals, which I appreciated. The first thing I liked was how you defined “health.”
Katheryn: For me, I like to define “health” as “ease”. I learned from a functional nutritionist that disease is really just dis - ease within your body. The concept behind this is that your body already knows what it needs. Basically, your body is set up for success. Your digestive system knows how to digest; if you get a cut, your body knows how to heal. Your body naturally gets tired at the end of the day when the sun goes down and naturally feels energized in the morning when the sun starts to rise. All these functions are already starting to happen. So how can we get out of the way and help our body most optimally perform? So I would define “health” as “ease”. How can we make things easier for ourselves? How can we remove stress so our bodies can function naturally?
David: You talked about Eastern Holistic Nutrition...what is that?
Katheryn: Well, like we had talked about, it is really listening to your body and doing what is natural. In the West we like to talk about protein, calories, fiber, all of these elements that are in the food, that we can’t see or understand without going onto Google and researching. I find that this gets in the way of developing the intuition with the relationship with your body.
Whereas the Eastern way is to really ask, how is my body performing? How is my nutrition? Am I having a daily bowel movement? How is my circulation? Sleep? Energy? For example, if you have cold hands and cold feet, then maybe you need to look at things like introducing foods and activities that enhance this aspect, such as ginger, or warm teas and drinks, baths which increase circulation.
It is using the elements of your body to guide you to do what you need to achieve that balance. It's more about achieving balance for your body instead of measuring and calculating everything. But then, once you do that, and you want to do something like run a faster marathon, like you, or do body building, then you start to tweak with science. First, however, you start with achieving that balance. So I see it as that two step process.
David: What one health tip would you leave us with?
Katheryn: My main recommendation would be to start with something that is easy. Even if that means doing something for relaxation instead of exercise. Another example is that most people know sugar, fried food, and those types of things are not good for you, so most people try to cut those out of their diet first. But that is also the hardest because that is what your body craves the most.
An easier thing to do is to increase the amount of vegetables you have or change to white bread or whole grain. Doing something you don’t have such emotional connection to, and you’ll discover your cravings starting to change. Just by keeping it easy and small, you can start to gather success, build momentum, and make quicker progress.
David: Thank you for sharing your insights with us, Katheryn. I’ve really enjoyed and so happy with how you’ve supported FocusCore and our own employee’s health.
Links to find more about Katheryn:
David is the Founder and CEO of FocusCore Group. He'shelped companies in Japan for over 20 years focus on their core business. Feel free to reach out if your company is searching for talent, your seeking a new job, or just a general chat @ David.Sweet@FocusCoreGroup.com