GBWC Featured Profile

Zoe Keller

Wheaton Class of '05

by Gillian Sutton '01
October 2015

On first impression, one can easily see that the role of Holistic Health Coach is a natural fit for Zoe Keller. She is kind and articulate and full of enthusiasm, and clearly has a passion for her work. A self-described food lover, herbalist, amateur yogi, and all-around wellness warrior, Zoe offers boutique food and lifestyle coaching through her business One Beet Wellness, which includes a private practice in Beacon Hill, teaching services, and corporate coaching. Interestingly, however, it was not a direct path for Zoe to her current career. After graduating from Wheaton with a major in Sociology and a minor in Theater & Dance, she worked in non-profit fundraising with the Harvard College Fund, and subsequently Boston's Children Hospital. "My switch to health and nutrition wasn't because I didn't enjoy what I was doing," says Zoe, "but because I felt ready to try something new."

In 2013, she and her husband made the decision to leave their current jobs and begin what they called "The Big Trip", a much dreamed of 10 month journey through Europe and Northern Africa. Zoe feels this chance to step away from her everyday routine ultimately gave her the strength to start her own business. "I'm not sure I would have had the courage to make that change if I was contemplating it from within the comfy routine of my regular life", she says. Having realized the benefits of a whole foods approach on her own well-being, she had already developed a deep interest on this matter and started a food and wellness blog for fun. Upon returning from her travels, Zoe says "she went back to school to study nutrition, began an apprenticeship with a medicinal herbalist, and transformed One Beet Wellness from a hobby blog into a business."

Her time at Wheaton also provided some invaluable life tools for Zoe and she credits Wheaton with preparing her to be an independent thinker as well as an entrepreneur. While at college, Zoe was involved in many leadership roles, such as Senior Resident in Beard and Student Director of TRYBE, among others. These experiences taught her to believe in herself and not be afraid to put herself out there, two essential skills that have enabled her to take on the challenge of running her own business.

Zoe has trained as a Holistic Health Coach with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and also co-founded International Integrators, a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of integrative health on a global scale. Zoe serves as an advisor for this group and recently helped run a Living Whole retreat in the Redwoods of California this past March ("No surprise, I was in charge of the food!"). The retreat focused on self-care and holistic health, and Zoe coordinated meals that were self-prepared by the participants; essentially a series of mini cooking classes that allowed people to experiment with new food selections and recipes.

Her experience at this retreat is exactly one aspect of her new career that Zoe finds so rewarding: connecting with people and enabling them to feel vibrant and healthy. She says "it is the best feeling in the world to get an email from a client sharing a success story." As our society becomes more aware of the benefits of healthy eating, Zoe points out that there is also an increasing array of conflicting information on this topic. A key aspect that Zoe focuses on with her clients is "cutting through all the nutritional hype and helping people find what really works for them."

When asked, Zoe is quick with a list of several favorite Boston food spots including the Sienna Farm store, the Copley Farmers market and SoWa Market, as well as the new Boston Public Market. One of her favorite restaurants is Oleana, which is associated with Sienna Farms and incorporates lots of homegrown produce into the daily menu. She feels lucky to live in a place that has so much to offer in terms of local and organic food, a concept that is familiar and important to her. Growing up on a Vermont farm, Zoe learned early the value of whole food preparation. She remembers "digging potatoes, picking blueberries, and cleaning dried beans" during harvest time and she continues to gain joy from these types of endeavors today, whether it be gathering wild herbs and edibles or growing vegetables in her backyard. "I really love the whole process of growing food, harvesting it, and cooking it into delicious and nutritious meals", says Zoe.

Visit onebeetwellness.com to connect with Zoe and find out more about her inspiring work (the site also features lots of amazing whole foods recipes!). Along with other ongoing opportunities, Zoe is currently offering 10 Days of Real Food, a clean eating group that begins October 13, 2015. The program aims to help participants re-charge and re-evaluate eating and lifestyle choices during this time of seasonal transition and will include daily meal plans and personalized coaching.