Student Spotlight: Keith Duffy

Keith Duffy Nutrition & Health Coach

Keith Duffy is a qualified Health Coach based in Barcelona. His objective as your Coach is for you to get well, feel well and stay well. You will have the chance to relax and talk openly about what you want to achieve to lead a healthier, happier, and sustainable lifestyle. During the time you work together you will soon have a better understanding about food and nutrition.Whether it is weight control, sleep management, or stress issues, you’ll find the best solutions for your goals and put you back in charge of your own health and life.

Thank you Keith for taking part in our Student Spotlight Series.

Tell us a bit about yourself 

I was born in Dublin, January 1971. Although I’m Irish and I consider myself Irish, I think I now have lived half of my life outside my country. My first real trip, well without the folks I mean, was when I was 18 when I was selected for a 3-month scholarship in Germany in 1990. Reunification day happened while I was there. It was an exciting time to be in Germany as you can imagine. In 1996 I spent 15 months in Australia. From there, I went to New Zealand for 1 year, followed by 3 months in SouthEast Asia. A couple of years later I traveled around Vietnam for 3 weeks. In 2003, I decided to leave Irish shores on a more permanent basis and head for warmer waters and thus moved to Barcelona. I met my wife in 2008. A year later to help look after her ill mother, we moved to Brazil. We got married in December 2009. We stayed in her home country for just over 5 years. After her mother passed, we returned to Barcelona in 2015 where we’ve been ever since. 

Keith Duffy Nutrition & Health Coach - With Healthy Foods

When did you first become interested in nutrition and health? 

Two reasons: The first being my own health issues. I like a lot of people, especially back then, assumed that if you exercised a lot and ate reasonably well you’d live a long & healthy life. While living what I thought was a very healthy life in Brazil, practicing some type of sport 5 days a week and eating moderately well, I ended up in hospital with 3 stents put in my heart. I was 44 years of age. My father had had a triple bypass when he was the same age and he had died at 68 in his sleep of a heart attack. To be honest, his heart had never really healed following the death of my mum some 15 years previously. People say you’ll eventually get what your parents or grandparents die of, right? That’s when I started to wonder, are we all doomed to the same fate of our parents’ illnesses. 

The second reason: A few years later, I decided to go vegan (not anymore). I really started to look at the food I was eating. Started to research extensively on food sources. I became that annoying vegan, exactly like the joke: How does one know they are vegan? – They tell you. I saw the profile of an author, Indy Power, in her cookbook, “The Little Green Spoon”. The title Health Coach in bold stood out for me and that’s when I got in contact with Richard and the gang in IINH. If I’m going to be annoying or should I say encouraging and empowering, I should probably get a qualification. 

So what made you decide to study with IINH?

If somebody had said to me that I was going to study again in my forties, I would have told them they were crazy. I had struggled in school, had always found it hard to concentrate, I never knew how to study and I got bored very quickly, so I was nervous that I was going to do the same.

I saw that IINH offered a Sports course that lasted 6 weeks so I thought I’d start with that and see how I got on. The fact that the classes are recorded and can be viewed any time and there were the supporting tutorials during the week was revolutionary in education for me! I wish something similar had been set up for the leaving certificate!

So on the strength of this and the excellent tutoring, I enrolled in the Health and Nutrition course. I’ve commented many times on Richard’s and Julia’s contrasting but ultimately impacting teaching techniques. Richard teaches Nutrition as if it’s story time, whereas Julia’s method was more like back to school days, constantly reviewing, making sure everybody was keeping up. This along with the case studies where you could apply and practice with real people were the game changers for me. I think IINH at the time was the only institution to include case study work and the first institution in the world to offer a certificate in Health Coaching!

Another point worth mentioning is that part of the courses include a day with Richard’s wife, Maggie and her cooking team in their purpose built kitchen at their home. When I arrived, Richard & Maggie were both at the door to greet me. As I was doing the course online from Barcelona, it was the first time to meet them face-to-face. I can’t remember how many dishes she made, but it was an impressive amount in such a short time. Maggie’s a very talented cook and it was a joy to be able to sit down with Richard and Maggie at the end to taste her treats. It’s truly a wonderful day. They are both so lovely and make you feel very much at home in their own home. 

Keith Duffy Nutrition & Health Coach - Doing a Talk

You own your own business, Keith Duffy Health Coach. Tell us a bit about that. 

There is a lot of information to process and I think for me especially it was important to start practicing immediately, so I started to talk to my friends and coach them. I also started doing talks on Nutrition at events and this is what I enjoy the most as I can reach a larger audience. 

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I have always been some type of coach or teacher in my life and my method of Health coaching is: Educate, encourage, empower. I genuinely want to help people. I see the world as being very sick. I think it ‘s too easy to blame Big Food Inc for poisoning over the last 50 years. The responsibility is up to us. The massive effort that parents make to bring up children, yet we still see them eating false food and garbage on a daily basis. 

And what advice would you give to someone who is considering studying Nutrition & Health Coaching? 

Nutritional education i.e. the dangers of eating processed foods, smoking and also drinking alcohol should be compulsory in schools from an early age, but it’s not. So it’s down to ourselves to get educated. I would encourage everybody, especially those with children, those who have their own issues, or have family and friends with health problems to do a course with IINH, I can’t recommend it enough. Richard started to study Human Nutrition 50 years ago, even before most people knew it existed! So is there any better person to trust in this area? He and his team make you feel like home. It’s like being part of a family. Moreover, the support that you receive during and after is second to none. 

If you’d like to learn more about Keith Duffy, you can visit his website Keith Duffy Health Coach or connect with his on the below social media channels.

Instagram: @keithduffyhealthcoach

Facebook: @keithduffyhealthcoach

LinkedIn: @keithduffyhealthcoach

If you’ve been inspired by Keith’s story and would like to start a new career, learn more about our Nutrition & Health Coaching course.

Photographs by Elena Benedettini:

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