Summer Herd is a self-described holistic health coach. Plus a women’s wellness advocate, concerned with empowering her clients. She helps women find answers, feel better connected to themselves and become healthier overall. 

For example:

“Okay, Client A wants to lose weight. By the way, I am not a diet coach,” said Herd. “What we do is figure out the reason why the weight is there; we figure out how it became a problem. For example, was it a lack of movement, the wrong food … where is the disconnect?”

Another client, we’ll call her Client B, lost her job mid-pandemic. “We focused on staying mentally strong. We focused on the qualities she wanted in a new job and not settling,” said Herd, adding that her client put in a lot of effort with resumes and interviews, and resisted settling for just any job.  

The pandemic offered Herd a similar opportunity. As she eased away from teaching yoga in group classes, she said, she had the opportunity to teach the same principals but off the mat, in a broader way. “I want to help women with their whole life, not just their bodies,” she said. 

Herd is teaching virtual seminars, plus offering one-on-one sessions with clients. She recently finished a six-week program co-hosted by the City of Marathon called “The Art of Healthy Living.” She’s also offered a seven-day “Vibrantly You” program to help women connect with themselves by exploring selfcare methods, foundations of health and personal core values. (She plans to offer another in December that is similar.) And she has an ongoing program called “Sanctuary” where the group covers all aspects of health. Herd said the classes have three components: community, or roundtable discussions; a teaching topic; and health work, or homework. One-on-one sessions are available as add-ons. Some of the classes above are free; some require paid membership.  

Here’s more about Summer Herd:

Where were you born and raised? Born in Alabama and raised in St. Augustine. 

How did you get to the Keys? By sailboat in 2013. Before we moved here permanently in 2015, we also took an RV trip across the United States to Oregon, where we thought we would settle. My husband and I were looking for a lifestyle that was compatible with homeschooling for our daughter Chloe, now 14. When we decided that Oregon wasn’t a good fit, we all wrote the name of a place on a slip of paper and put it in a jar. We all chose to return to Marathon.

What started you on this holistic health path? Without going into too much detail, I had a health issue that the doctors said could only be solved with surgery or a lifetime of hormones. I chose to educate myself about nutrition, following the old adage that “food is medicine.”

What are some of the jobs you’ve had? I’ve worked in a women’s boutique, in the restaurant business as a server and bartender to put myself through school, an English teacher, a yoga teacher and at the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounter. Now, I do this.

What movie do you know all the dialogue to? “Love, Actually.” But I only allow myself to watch it at Christmas time. Almost there!

What’s your guilty pleasure? Trashy novels.

If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you eat? Easily, my grandmother. She was 4 feet tall and the most amazing person, who also liked trashy novels. We would have her fried chicken, which is saying something because I’m vegan. 

What three things would you need to survive on a desert island? My husband and daughter, red wine and a notebook.

If you could revisit one place, what would it be? Morro Bay, California. It had the ocean and vineyards. I just felt it in my skin that it was a place we could live. 

What was in the last Amazon box delivered to your home? I don’t know. I’m kind of glad I can’t answer because that means I haven’t ordered anything in a while. 

What’s your go-to dinner? Tacos. I am a vegan, my daughter is legitimately gluten-free and my husband is an omnivore, he’ll eat anything that’s out. 

What are you going to study next? I have a teaching degree and a nutrition degree already. If I chose a personal subject it would be creative writing. On a practical level, I would study business. I have had to learn so much as an entrepreneur. 

What’s something you do for your health every day? Drink a lot of water.

What was your worst health scare? Besides the aforementioned, it was the time I went completely blind when I was 21 years old. It was like looking into the sun, everything was white. At the time I was going to school full time and working full time. I had to learn how to get my stress under control, it was one of the instigators of the issue.

What’s a common part of every class you teach? We begin by dropping into our bodies and watching our breath. People forget to breathe. 

What’s your life motto? Finding my way, living my dream. Also, all knowledge is worth having. 

What’s your mission? It’s for women to see themselves. You may not like what you see, but you won’t know if you don’t look. And if you don’t look inward, you are not empowered in your choices.  

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