Take 5 is a meetup with a local entrepreneur.

After teaching healthy lifestyle classes at what is now Virginia Mason Memorial hospital, Elaina Moon decided she need to do more to help people in Yakima make changes in their lives.

She then struck out on her own.

Moon, 33, started Healthy Eats Nutrition Services, where she provides health coaching to clients, as well as teaching nutrition education and cooking classes both privately and publicly. She has done presentations at Yakima Valley College.

And there is a need. A 2014 Gallup research survey rated Yakima as the nation’s fourth-most obese city, and plans to implement a “Blue Zone” program to promote healthy lifestyles was scrapped for a lack of funding.

Originally from Enterprise, Ala., Moon graduated from Central Washington University with a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and organizational management. She is also a certified health coach, weight management specialist and Memorial CDC diabetes prevention facilitator.

She lives in Terrace Heights with her husband, Dave, and their dachshund, Conan, who she said has a personality that fits his name.

How did you become a health coach?

Right out of college I took the health coaching certification course through the American Council on Exercise. Later, I completed another certification for weight management specialist. I knew I wanted to start a business helping people with practical applications of nutrition.

Do you see a great need in Yakima for training in healthy eating?

I do for sure. I love that Yakima is starting to shift to healthier options, but it’s at the early stages. Much more work needs to be done to get our city at a better state healthwise. Through everything I’ve done, there seems to be a lot more interest in health and wellness and preventive care.

What was the hardest part about starting your own business?

Finding my niche. I remember another business owner telling me you can’t do everything and serve everyone. But with my personality, I love new challenges and diversity in my work. I enjoy doing different things every day; it keeps work interesting.

What do you like best about what you do?

Serving others. There is no greater pleasure in what I do than hearing success stories about someone using one of my recipes for their family who enjoyed it, reaching a health goal, or having more energy to perform daily tasks. Those stories make the long days worth it.

When it comes to food, what is your guilty pleasure?

French fries. I love Miner’s fries and only have them two times a year. I feel no guilt in that.

If you are a business owner who would like to be featured in Take 5, contact Donald W. Meyers at 509-577-7748 or dmeyers@yakimaherald.com. Twitter: @donaldwmeyers.

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