By Carrie Ann Salvi
In April of 2013, Kiley DeMarco of Sag Harbor launched One Healthy Hamptons. Her website, e-magazine, and social media pages share her passion for wellness with health and fitness features with categories that include Body, Mind, Food, Fun, Healthy Bytes, and Spotlight on do-gooders. The focus is on Sag Harbor, where she lives and loves, as well as what’s happening in the wellness world from Westhampton to Montauk.
“My overarching message is to be healthy and happy,” she said. “I believe wellness and nutrition are a cycle based upon sleep, self-care, relationships, stress, and exercise, not just food,” she said. Her outreach has grown to thousands of health-seekers. “It has grown very organically,” she said.
“Anything from personal trainers to restaurants that I deem healthy,” she said she shares, including offerings from local businesses and practitioners. She is also open to expanding advertising opportunities.
In addition to sharing information, Ms. DeMarco uses her Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from Boston College to offer individual and group counseling that relates to health and happiness. Her wellness coaching is available in blocks of four to 12 sessions, and she also recommends follow up “check-ins” and maintenance visits.
Using her certification in Nutrition to coach private clients and families in food choices and preparation, Ms. DeMarco includes a review of ingredients in both grocery store aisles and kitchen cabinets. With a firm belief in starting the day with a green smoothie, Ms. DeMarco includes a workshop on making smoothies as part of her health customized fitness plan, which includes morale support and accountability checks.
Ms. DeMarco regularly arranges discounts for her clients. She also co-founded Hamptons Wellness Week, which she said is “like restaurant week, but better, for the mind, body, and soul” where reduced prices are offered in the realms of retail, fitness, services, and practitioners, twice a year. The next wellness win-win situation for businesses and residents will take place in January.
In addition to One Healthy Hamptons’ own events, Ms. DeMarco partners with others, whether a benefit, class, retreat, festival, or trunk show. She also serves as the resident nutrition and wellness consultant for the at-home Hamptons Health Concierge service.
“What I’m doing now is what I am supposed to be doing,” Ms. DeMarco said last week. After graduating from Boston College, she worked in crisis intervention, but realized that prevention of health crisis and helping others to be happy better suited her interests and personality.
Ms. DeMarco’s social work training and experience helps her to transition those with attachments to food to form healthier habits. “We talk about emotions,” she said, as trends and flags are realized during her reviews of her clients’ food journals.
She helps her clients to deal with “triggers without cupcakes,” she said, as it is common for a deadline or an argument can result in poor food or beverage choices, she explained.
Change in attitude as well as diet can go a long way toward preventing and healing from health issues. Ms. DeMarco said she has “personally been through ups and downs of what society goes through with food and wellness, including positive and negative trends and diet crazes such as low fat food that she said is often “so bad for you.”
Her journey also involved transforming her negative self image and dislike for the gym. “Now I go to workouts that I like,” she said, and shares recipes for salads that she actually enjoys eating instead of depriving herself to be thin. She has seen the results first hand over the last ten years, ending up happy, healthy, and balanced, she said.
“I want to help other people to love living healthy,” she said, especially women who feel bad about themselves.” She can enjoy a dinner out or have wine a few times a week without worry and she wants to help others to do the same. At the same time, she consults with them about their personal thresholds and weaknesses, she said, “Can you have one bite? If not, don’t have it in the house,” she said.
Tuning into ones body is key, Ms. DeMarco said. It is important to learn to recognize hunger and fullness and reasons behind it, as well as when and how often to eat, and how to read labels. These are key skills in the quest for health and happiness.
After last year’s long winter, Ms. DeMarco said she wanted to offer women a chance to get away and experience a week of wellness, self care, and fun in the sun, and so she is co-hosting a yoga retreat in Antigua this January with two local yoga instructors. “I’ll be doing nutrition workshops and private consultations while Erica and Jenna teach lots of yoga at our private villa,” she said, “and there are four spots left as of now!”
Until then and afterwards, she said “I’m here Sag Harbor, and I am not going anywhere. If you need help, I’ve been there.”
For more information, visit onehealthyhamptons.com.