Zoraida Morales

Zoraida Morales tells us that, “I never thought healing myself mentally, physically, and spiritually after a cancer diagnosis would lead me to become a Certified Transformational Nutrition Coach and Certified Holistic Cancer Specialist to empower and support cancer survivors and caregivers, but it did. 

WHY do I feel pulled to help 1.8+ million people diagnosed with cancer last year? 

My WHY is simple…

I was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia in 2008, am celebrating 31 months in remission, and believe my life’s purpose is to heal my cancer community when they need compassion the most.”

Before you became the business titan you are today, enlighten us about the thrilling adventures of your pre-business life.

I dreamt of having enough food to eat, pretty clothes, education, a beautiful family and home with a lucrative career as a child living in poverty in the South Bronx of New York City in the 1960s.

As a young child, all I wanted was to achieve self-actualization according to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The first level is physiological (food and clothing); the second is safety. Abraham Maslow’s argument is that the most basic needs must be met before people can move “up” to the more advanced needs.

While working as an investment banking administrative manager at Morgan Stanley in 2008, I thought I had everything I ever wanted. I worked long hours, had a beautiful family and home but I rarely considered my heart and feelings when making decisions. I was living a life fueled by the mind and ego. Looking back, I thought I was living the American dream of living in the suburbs, owning a home, and being the proud mother of two young boys while working as a manager at a New York global financial services firm. What else could I possibly want or need?

Could you elaborate on the nature of your initiative/ business/current role, highlighting its purpose and the ways it benefits people? 

Absolutely! As a nutrition and cancer coach, my main goal is to support cancer survivors and caregivers in optimizing their nutrition (mental, physical, and spiritual) to enhance their overall well-being and resilience.  Life By Design Not Default.

My holistic program focuses on mindfulness, personalized nutrition and movement plans tailored to the individual’s needs and learning to have a transformational relationship to self. I call it Devotion to Self. The cancer survivor needs to make the mindset shift to accommodate their new lifestyle. They do not know that their big and little traumas and limiting beliefs may be preventing them from leading their best life with or without chemotherapy. Because you don’t know what you don’t know. By providing guidance, education, and emotional support, I help them manage side effects, fear and anxiety, boost immunity, and improve quality of life during and post-treatment. It’s about fostering a positive relationship with self, food and promoting physical and emotional healing.

What has been the response of the users/consumers towards your venture? 

When I tell people I am a nutrition and cancer coach, they look puzzled because they have never heard of the title. They are pleasantly surprised and want to learn more about my story. As a society, we typically use only oncologists and their team to support the cancer survivor. But after experiencing cancer myself, I recognized I also needed mental, physical, and spiritual support alongside the team and there was not one place to get it. That’s why I became a coach. I met with many therapists, hypnotherapists, nutrition coaches and personal trainers to show me how to move through the seasons while taking chemotherapy because I wanted to feel like a whole person. I wanted to live a life with little regret. A life by design, not a life by default. I remember clearly how I received a tap on the shoulder from God/Spirit with the message that I am here to learn then teach others, so others do not have to go through the loneliness I felt when I received my diagnosis.

Since I have re-established a relationship with God/Spirit, I learned that I have angels who support me on this journey. We are all special and we all have Angels. We just have to BE instead of DO to hear them, feel them. 

 And because I am not alone, I have been a contributing writer in books on single parenting and cancer. Perspectives On Cancer launched March 25th, as I type, where I share my cancer journey and cancer business. I speak on podcasts and fundraisers on topics like cancer and devotion to self and am creating a podcast to share inspiring stories from survivors, caregivers, and advocates. That’s coming late this summer. All of this is happening because I said yes to God’s call and worked through big and small traumas and limiting beliefs. 

No one succeeds alone.

Having a strong support system is essential for your well-being. We would love to know who your biggest supporter is. Share with us and let’s celebrate the amazing people in our lives who make a positive impact.

The world needs more supporters of women. My biggest supporters are my college age children. The same children who were 3 and 6 years of age when I heard the words: You. Have. Cancer. And let’s not forget my beautiful friends, who accompanied me to doctor’s appointments, took my boys for a playdate and called me to check on my health.

I created my coaching program because not everyone has the support they need or want. A survivor or caregiver may not have family physically in the same location. Additionally, many families do not know how to emotionally support the survivor. You cannot give what you never received. I never want anyone facing cancer to experience the isolation that comes with this diagnosis.

As a young woman entrepreneur, what changes do you hope to see in the world and what opportunities are you seeking?

I love that you call me young. This is my second career after 30 years as a finance professional.

As a woman entrepreneur in the cancer and nutrition space, I hope to see a greater emphasis on preventive measures and holistic approaches to cancer care. 

My vision includes promoting early detection, education on lifestyle factors, and access to nutritious foods for all. I aim to create opportunities for innovative solutions that bridge the gap between conventional medicine and holistic wellness, empowering individuals to take charge of their health journey. I want to change health reform so that every person with a cancer diagnosis automatically has a cancer coach alongside the oncologist. 

I’m seeking collaborations, platforms, and resources with health and wellness coaches, doctors, and physical therapists to amplify awareness, advocate for change, and support those affected by cancer on a global scale.

Women now stand shoulder-to-shoulder with men in the workplace, breaking through glass ceilings to reach the top. What are your thoughts on women’s leadership today?

It’s incredible to witness the progress women have made in leadership roles, shattering stereotypes, and paving the way for future generations. Women’s leadership today brings diverse perspectives, heart, empathy, and resilience to the forefront, enriching workplaces and driving innovation. 

However, there’s still work to be done to ensure equal opportunities and support for women of all cultures, at all levels. 

Let’s continue championing women’s voices and achievements, creating inclusive environments where everyone can thrive.

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