RWS Alumni Spotlight: Colleen Flynn

Margaret Floyd Barry

October 10, 2023

Discover The Missing Link with Award-winning RWP Colleen Flynn

Wondering what it takes to be named one of the top nutritionists in Austin, TX – not once, not twice, but three times? Look no further than Colleen Flynn, a Restorative Wellness Practitioner who has transformed her own life through functional nutrition and has dedicated her career to empowering others to do the same.

 We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Colleen to learn more about the road that led her back to health (and, most recently, to be named a top three nutritionist by Austin Fit Magazine). Turns out that Colleen’s story is one many of us can relate to. But, even more important, her transformation – personally and professionally – is one that is achievable by you, too. Read on to learn more.

Making the Shift from Chronic Stress to Holistic Healing

Like many other practitioners, Colleen's journey into the world of functional nutrition was born out of necessity. Her first career was in commercial real estate in Washington, D.C. – a fast-paced, high-stress environment that took a major toll on her health. “It was work, work, work, stress, stress, stress, eat when you can,” says Colleen. Eventually her body said ‘enough’ and she experienced a complete health shutdown, including issues with her adrenals, digestion, and sleep. “Physically and emotionally I was just done,” recounts Colleen.

Colleen knew things needed to change and that it would take more than just a new job to jumpstart her healing journey. Drawn to Austin, Texas for its thriving wellness community, Colleen decided to make the move and embark on a new journey in pursuit of a healthier, happier, and slower paced lifestyle. It was there that she was introduced to a number of new-to-her healing modalities. It was also where she started to realize how many people needed the type of support she was experiencing, noting “I moved to Austin to focus on my own healing, but I quickly realized how many other people were in need of this support. No one sleeps, people aren’t exercising, they’re not connecting with nature. I saw that it wasn’t just me who need to adopt new habits and ways of being, but our society at large needed to, too.”

Over the next few years, Colleen completed a number of certifications – including programs through the Nutritional Therapy Institute (NTI) and Nutritional Therapy Association (NTA) – and began building her own private practice as a functional nutritionist. She offered 1:1 coaching and nutrition courses and was finding great success with a number of clients. But, she always had “those cases” – the clients who were really sick and that she wanted to help the most, but that she couldn’t (or, at least – not yet….). “I had such a connection with these clients,” says Colleen, “I wanted to be able to take them all the way and not have to pass them on to another practitioner.”  

Discovering The Missing Link

When Colleen heard about Restorative Wellness Solutions, she knew it was the missing link in her journey. RWS offered the comprehensive and clinically-based root-cause approach she needed to dig deeper into her clients' health issues and provide them with the personalized solutions they needed. “I knew right away that Restorative Wellness Solutions was what I needed to take my practice to the next level. It was research-based, professional, organized, and easy to follow,” says Colleen, adding “And, I loved that it would offer me a process I could follow to craft custom and effective protocols for my most complex clients.”

 Not only did Colleen’s RWS experience transform her clinical capabilities, but it shifted her business structure, too – “Before RWS, I was offering much shorter packages and my price point was a lot less. After RWS, I learned how to structure longer-term packages and nearly 4x’d my pricing thanks to the additional value I was able to offer as an RWP. And, I felt really confident in doing so because once you go through Restorative Wellness Solutions, you know so much more than nearly any other practitioner.”

 In just six short years, Colleen has grown from a 1-person practice to a team of 5 helping clients from all over to reclaim their health. And, she credits RWS as playing a key role in her success – “I’ve taken a lot of courses, but RWS is where it’s at. Their courses prepare you the best, they have an amazing alumni community, and their ongoing resources and programming – like their Clinician’s Corner webinars – are such a value add.”

Words of Wisdom for Fellow Practitioners

 Colleen's advice to aspiring practitioners is simple but powerful: “You have to just start.” She highlights the importance of taking that initial step, even before you feel ready. In fact, Colleen rented her office before she had clients, demonstrating her commitment to her mission. Her top tips for practitioners just starting out include the following:

– Be Patient: Colleen acknowledges that growth takes time. For her, it took her a year to establish her practice followed by a few more years before her practice reached six figures in annual revenue.

– Always Be Learning: Colleen continues to invest in her own growth through coaching, lab training, business training, and self-growth programs. “You really need to be doing this work in order to continue to grow and be able to support your clients,” she notes.

– Support Your Humans As A Whole: “I have a lot of really busy clients – CEOs, tech clients, etc. – who prioritize work. For them, it’s often more about the emotional component – helping them reduce stress and create space for restoring health that we need to work on the most. So, acknowledging and supporting their emotional needs is important, too,” shares Colleen.

– Hire Help: Colleen knew early on she wouldn’t be able to do it all herself – “This work is exhausting – you’re a therapist, friend, practitioner, going deep into analysis and creating custom protocols. I’d get done doing all the client work and not have time or energy for business work, which is when I knew I needed to hire a team.” Today, Colleen has 3 other functional nutritionists and a client coordinator on staff, giving her the time and space to serve as the visionary for the business.

If you’re ready to create meaningful change in your own life and in the lives of others, be sure to apply for Mastering the Art & Science of Gastrointestinal Healing. In less than 12 weeks, you’ll gain the clinical skills and confidence you need to help clients address complex health issues and get back to living a happy, healthy, vibrant life.


Colleen Flynn is an Restorative Wellness Practitioner (RWP), Functional Nutrition Therapy Practitioner (FNTP) and the founder and owner of Nutritional Zest – a private practice dedicated to helping clients change their relationship with food, balance their body and help them live up to their full potential. You can find Colleen on Instagram @nutritionalzest.

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