Marie Naumann

In the grip of inspiration, a leader emerges to connect the community of naturally minded people. Marie Naumann; wife, mother of two, entrepreneur, and founder of the Holistic Education Foundation’s (HEF) Suffolk County Chapter, has begun to collaborate & organize a local group of the 501c3 non-profit that is dedicated to free education in holistic health & natural alternatives.

Marie, following her life’s mission, to live her best life to the fullest while helping others who want to do that too, is often referred to as a career volunteer. She is a Girl Scout Troop Leader for two troops and volunteers as part of the Girl Scout Service Unit Team. Marie was a Big Sister for Big Brothers/Big Sisters for several years and had three “Littles”. She is still in touch with her first “Little” who is married with a teenage daughter and another on the way. If that’s not enough, Marie volunteers to help with the accounting functions for an annual event held by Hair We Share, which is a nonprofit organization that provides free wigs to those who suffer from medical hair loss.

At an early age, Marie had a successful career in both the private & public sector of accounting. Yearning for a different life, Marie left behind, to marry her best friend, Brian & became a mom to 2 beautiful daughters.

Being a stay at home mom was Marie’s dream come true, and like all moms, she wanted her children to be happy and healthy. When her youngest was an infant, Marie began to take notice of a series of health challenges her baby was experiencing. When she couldn’t get answers from the medical community, she began to look for alternative ways to help her family. Marie tirelessly investigated many different modalities of health, and she found natural ways to help her daughter through the health challenges… and today her daughter is thriving!

In life, we all get lemons, Marie is one of those that made lemonade. It was through that rough journey that she grew as a mother, and a person. Along the way, Marie learned many different holistic and natural life skills that she brings to HEF. The more she learned, the more she wanted to learn. Marie, went back to school and became a Certified Life Coach.  The things she learned along the way, not only helped her children, but also her husband, and herself. Through her efforts, she made great connections, making new friends that looked at life the same way she did. In her travels to find natural cures, she met Lety Algerie, who is the co-leader for HEF Suffolk County, and Catte O’Connor, Founder of Holistic Education Foundation.  In an effort to share her knowledge & expertise, while connecting the community of naturally minded people, Marie along with her friend Lety, and Renee Barbis, launched the Suffolk County Chapter of HEF.

Holistic Education Foundation was founding in 2017 in Florida. In 2018, Catte O’Connor reached out to Marie to see if she was interested in launching a local chapter in NY. Marie jumped on the opportunity to take HEF to the national level. In January 2019, HEF launched the chapter & Marie, Lety, and Renee have been holding free monthly meetings ever since. Each month is a different topic & a guest speaker is invited to share their expertise with the group. It is an informal meeting, which allows & promotes community connection & interaction. The local chapters participate in a wholesale coop, which allows them to group buy natural & organic products at wholesale prices.

Nationally, HEF has an active Facebook group which allows people to connect with holistically minded people across the country. HEF currently has chapters in Florida & New York, and is in the process of launching Chapters across the country. Nationally, HEF has also launched a new virtual program called The Achievement Project (TAP). TAP is a goal setting program infused with holistic modalities to help people achieve their dreams.

We asked Marie what HEF means to her, she defines it as: “HEF is dedicated to educating everyone, not just one specific demographic, on different modalities of holistic and natural lifestyles.  We welcome everyone at our meetings and hope to make everyone feel connected, regardless of where they are in their holistic journey. Some are just starting to learn about health alternatives, some already know many of the alternatives and are already incorporating them into their lives. Wherever you are in your journey, we are here to welcome you.  We are run by volunteers and run on a shoestring budget.  We hope that people will want to join us and support the Foundation by becoming a member, but membership is not required to attend our meetings. We do hold member only events and participate in a member only buying coop, but our monthly meetings are always free to attend.”

For Marie, the best thing about HEF is the people.  Creating a group that supports each other and shares ideas to help each other in a multitude of ways.

We asked Marie: “Is there anything you wish people knew about HEF” She replied: “That we (HEF) really are just a nice community of like minded, non-judgmental people.  None of us are in exactly the same place in our holistic journey and we are all working together to support each other where we are…and we would love for you to be a part of it too.”

For more information about Holistic Education Foundation including how to find or start a chapter in your area, please visit our website:

Denise Schnell

HEF Chapter Founder~Dubois County, Indiana

Denise is the owner of LIFEshift, discover JOY in Jasper, IN.

She practices as a JOY+ Coach, Reflexologist and dōTERRA Essential Oil
Consultant. Denise holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, is a
Consultant/Facilitator/Trainer for 3 in 1 Concepts, and is a Reiki Master.

She considers herself a Life Long Learner and has studied under many great teachers including but not limited to the Teachings of Abraham Hicks, Hopi Native American Teachings, Louise Hay, Wayne Dyer, and Eckert Tolle.
Denise’s holistic mindset has been her guide throughout her life. She was a La
Leche League (Breastfeeding Support) Leader, Girl Scout Leader, President of the church council, a volunteer for all of her daughter’s adventures and a founding member of The Lounge Series, The Council for Holistic Awareness, and the Holistic Wellness Expo.

Denise has been married for over 30 years to her high school sweetheart and
together they have raised 3 beautiful and talented daughters. Denise loves
outdoor adventures and spending time playing games with her family.

Dhyana Houghtaling

HEF Chapter Founder~Port St. Lucie, Fl

Dhyana Houghtaling is an avid holistic health practitioner, combining eastern and western practices in her daily routine. Dhyana has searched for what she already believed in since she was a child; practices that would enhance and support her body to do what it knows to do; heal itself and maintain balance;
mentally, physically and spiritually. Dhyana uses her personal experiences with working through trauma, addiction and domestic violence to enhance her ability to be of service to others.Dhyana usesher “mess”, as her message. Dhyana studied Yoga mixed with various other Ayurvedic practices in India
in 2014, obtaining her 200hr yoga certification and again in 2017 completing her 300hr yogacertification, studying deeper into the Yoga Sutra’s, the Bhagavad Gita, Meditation and Yoga Nidra.

Dhyana worked in the field of addictions as well as mental health, assisting individuals whom struggleddaily with emotional, mental and physical disabilities. Most of Dhyana’s insight, her ability to becompassionate, empathetic and present for individuals is due to her innate quality of willingness to show up for herself and do “the work”. Dhyana’s willingness to be open, humble and harness the courage to look within, through many modalities of healing. This innate quality allows her to be present
for clients, friends and whomever crosses her path. We are all just looking in the mirror….. love what you see.

Dhyana continues to learn, process and expand her knowledge daily, understanding she is in the driver seat of her own life, and holds the key to opening to the vastness of this life. Dhyana thrives on sharing experiences and “the way out”, to be of maximum service to others. Dhyana thrives on connection with other practitioners wherever her feet land. Dhyana holds an A.A.S in Chemical Dependency Counseling & a B.S. in Holistic Health and Wellness. Dhyana is a level II Reiki healer; (Healy Institute for Healers in Albany, NY). Certified 500 hour Yoga Teacher, with the Yoga Alliance.

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Disclaimer: If you or any other person has a medical concern, you should consult with your health care provider or seek other professional medical treatment. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something that have read on this blog or in any linked material.

Facebook Challenge

February 1st to February 10th 2020, winners announced February 11th.

We are getting ready for the Leap Year Yoga Challenge. Click here for details. 

Learn how to complete a sun salutation with this fun challenge & win some awesome prizes!

Each day HEF will post a Instagram & Facebook video of our the Leap Year Yoga Challenge Leadership Team demonstrating one pose from the sun salutation vinyasana.

We encourage you to practice the pose, then post a pic on your Instagram and/or Facebook page of you in the pose of the day. To see the Instagram instructions, click here. 

Facebook Challenge  Instructions:

Everyday, Each person who posts & follows the person who challenged you, will be entered to win one of these prizes. We will announce the winners on Day 10.

Introduction January 31: Share the post on your Facebook page,
Day 1: Mountain pose, Tag #HEFgives #LYYC2020 , Like:  SophieQuiche  CatteOconnor
Day 2: Forward fold, Tag #HEFgives #LYYC2020 , Like:  TheHealingHouse  Never Settle Life Coaching
Day 3: Flat back pose, Tag #HEFgives #LYYC2020 Isabelle & Kim Vaccaro
Day 4: Plank, Tag #HEFgives #LYYC2020 tag and Like: Empower Me Tamela and  Tranquility Haven Center
Day 5: Chataranga/Dandansana, Tag #HEFgives #LYYC2020 Like: Lotus Loft
Day 6: Cobra/Upward Facing Dog  Tag #HEFgives #LYYC2020
Day 7: Downward Facing Dog, Tag #HEFgives #LYYC2020
Day 8: child’s pose, Tag #HEFgives #LYYC2020 Like: The Yoga Shrink
Day 9: modified beginner sun salutation,  Tag #HEFgives #LYYC2020 Like: Anne Warner and LL Counseling and Wellness
Day 10: advanced sun salutation, Tag #HEFgives #LYYC2020  Like: Down To Earth Yoga
Day 11: Announcement of Winners!

Dr. Kimberly Vaccaro

HEF Founding Member ~West Palm Beach, Fl Chapter

Kim is a Naturopathic Nutrition & Lifestyle Consultant/Postural Alignment Therapist/Stress Management & Relaxation Coach

Kim is a lifestyle medicine expert. She studied at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine where she earned her Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree. She is a certified Postural Alignment Specialist, Personal Trainer and a Registered Yoga Teacher. Kim’s philosophy of health, through balance and simplicity can be summarized into three words: Move, Nourish, Recover.

Her passion for holistic wellness was sparked during her Undergraduate studies in Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Kim began experiencing symptoms of depression. When conventional treatments left her with negative side effects, she sought other answers. Fortunately, her academic work revealed to her the therapeutic benefits of exercise: increased energy, mood, and self-confidence. These were the very symptoms pharmaceuticals had failed to support. She began drawing connections. At the same time, Kim realized that the standard “cafeteria and fast food” collegiate diet that was not supporting her efforts in the gym, may have been contributing to her mental health challenges. She began with small, simple changes: increasing vegetable and water intake, adding sources of Omega-3 fats, and eliminating sugars and trans-fats. The benefits were so powerful, friends and family began asking for advice.
Eager to empower others with the healing ability of exercise and whole-food nutrition, she served as adjunct faculty and Coordinator of the Wellness, Fitness, and Recreation department at the College of Southern Maryland.

Called to deepen her understanding of the human body, she relocated to Arizona to complete her medical degree. There she focused clinical experience in “nature cure” modalities: mind-body, botanical medicine, hydrotherapy and nutrition. Additionally, it was during this time that her reverence for inner healing and spiritual connection blossomed. While utilizing biofeedback and holistic counseling in clinic, she was diving deep into her personal yoga and meditation practices at home. Self-care became the hallmark of her personal and professional perspectives. Connecting daily practices with the physiological and energetic effects is lifestyle medicine.

Her passion for supporting people to heal themselves led Kim to the world-renowned Hippocrates Health Institute, where she served as co-founder of the Weight Loss and Fitness Academy. Kim is excited to share these proven techniques with the Palm Beach County community and looks forward to supporting you to embrace a lifestyle that allows you to thrive, physically and mentally. It really is as simple as: Move, Nourish, Recover.

On weekends, when she isn’t at the beach or riding bikes with her partner, you will find Kim in her botanical medicine workshop, preparing healing remedies and plant-based health foods.

Jessica Slovak

HEF Founding Member ~Martin County, Fl Chapter

Jessica is originally from New York, currently enjoying the sunshine in Martin County, Florida. As the CEO of The Accounting Matrix LLC, this self proclaimed, tax-geek is using her expertise in QuickBooks to help her clients.

Jessica is an Enrolled Agent (EA), has a Bachelors Degree in accounting, is a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP),  and a QuickBooks Certified ProAdvisor, specializes in Online cloud based accounting, as well as Desktop. She has worked with small business entrepreneurs for 15 years, 5 years with regional CPA firms, and 3 years CEO of Accounting Matrix.

Balancing life as a business owner and mom, this momprenure is a beach lover, plant enthusiast, and loves to grow her personal yoga practice. Jessica is passionate about healthy living & enjoys all aspects of holistic health. With a yearning to learn more she joined the Holistic Education Foundation in hope to connect with like-minded people & share her growing knowledge of natural alternatives.


Anne Warner

HEF Founding Member ~Martin County, Fl Chapter

Anne is originally from Minnesota where she received her BS degree in Sports Management from Bemidji State University. Later in life, Anne continued her education at IRSC which got her ready for a long teaching career.

For the past 19 years, Anne taught physical education in Indian River County. Being an educator has helped her to be aware and understand the individual needs of her customers and their families. This background knowledge goes a long way in helping Anne offer outstanding service.
As a proud resident of Stuart, Anne is lucky to say she has been very fortunate to have lived the beautiful South Florida lifestyle for the past 25 years. She understands that one’s home is a reflection of their unique lifestyle.

Anne is highly involved many nonprofits and utilizes her unique ability to connect with emcees events in the amazing community of Martin County, Florida.

In her spare time, She loves to run with the local running communities. She has served on various committees and boards to help in the planning process to organize races throughout the area.

Kris McNeal

HEF Founding Member ~Martin County, Fl Chapter

Kris McNeal, born Floridian, mother of two, and step Grammy of four .

Kris is a registered dental hygienist and holds a General Contractors license helping people remodel their homes & life. After becoming a widow at age 34 with two young children,  Kris entered into a  Grief Coaching Program, from there she went on to study and become  a certified toxin free educator.

Kris uses her passion along with her education to help & inspire other young women.  Seeing their inner strength and beauty, she encourage them to be successful.  Helping women clear the toxins they are holding inside as well as the toxins they may be exposing themselves to on the outside.

She loves walking on the beach, dancing, hiking and reading.

The Holistic Education Foundation is proud & excited that Kris becoming a Founding Member of the Martin County, FL chapter. To learn more about Kris McNeal, click here.  To join us at the next HEF meeting, click here. 

Welcome to the Achievement Project via Zoom

Everyone is welcome to join us for the launch on January 31, 2020 at 7:00pm.

Starting February 2020, only HEF members will be permitted to join the zoom, however, we welcome everyone to watch the replay that will be posted in the Facebook group. If you have not already, click here to join the closed Facebook group.

To become an HEF member click here.

When you become a member, you will also receive the pathbook.

The Achievement Project is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: The Achievement Project ~Launch January 31, 2020
Time: Jan 31, 2020 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 785 962 448

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