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  • Susan Koursaris, NTP, BCHN®

Hearts, Hearts, Everywhere!

This is the story of how Wholly Heart Nutrition came to be. It has a lot to do with discovering “signs,” in unexpected places, sometimes appearing when they were needed most.

It begins with my amazing sister, when she was still alive on this earth, who loved to tell me about all the hearts she would run across on a near daily basis.


“Susan! I was having such a bad day, and I JUST saw a perfect heart, in the rocks!” Joannie excitedly told me while she was still on her walk. She said they’d always come when she felt low, and then she’d find immediate comfort and sometimes even joy. She always felt it was God’s "wink" at her, His way of saying “I love you” to her. She was amidst her near 3-year cancer-battle, dutifully taking the therapies ordered by her oncologist, and feeling the cancer spread to her bones. Those were the bad days. Still, she remained positive and optimistic, relishing in the “hearts” she’d find in rocks, flowers, clouds, water splashes- anywhere and everywhere. She found them so often, she started taking pictures of them on her phone, to remind herself of how often it occurred.


Why aren’t I seeing hearts like this?? I would wonder in my mind, secretly a tad envious of her “winks” from heaven.


It wasn’t until after her death that things began to change. I don’t remember when exactly it started happening, but I was now seeing hearts in places I had never seen them before. In my eggs, in the tar on the street, in my coffee - it was almost scary! I figured it was my Sis “winking” at me from heaven, so it wasn’t long before I also started to snap pics on my phone to memorialize them. During this time, I had already left my lab consulting job, and was focusing on being a mom. But there was a fire within me to go back for more education and training in a completely different realm. The realm my sister and I were chasing the entire time, trying to find alternative therapies while going through the allopathic one. She always felt "food was medicine," but there was just so much out there, we never found anything that didn’t end up in overwhelm or dead ends. Nutritional therapy was the bullseye I had been searching for since 2018, when I lost her. After successfully completing the program through the Nutritional Therapy Association (NTA), I was so ready to begin this new venture! THIS was what my sister had always wanted to find. THIS is what I couldn’t give her in time. THIS was my new fire, feeding the passion of what I was put on this earth to do.


But what the heck would I name this new venture??


I happened to be with a good friend (and fellow NTP buddy), at a Panera when we celebrated graduating the NTA, in late 2022. After we finished our farewell zoom call, Taylor and I began chatting about what our plans were for our next steps. I told her about Joannie being my ‘why’ and the hearts I had been seeing all throughout the program. I remember Taylor being so encouraging, telling me,

“You HAVE to somehow incorporate those hearts into your business!”

I admitted that I already had some silly names rolling around in my head, so with a semi-cringe face I asked, “wholly heart nutrition?”


“YOU HAVE TO NAME IT THAT!” she said with big, beautiful eyes wide open.


But I was still on the fence about it. She left the table for a minute and, suddenly, the restaurant's radio volume turned up. It made me look up from my computer, it was so sudden. One of the workers must have changed the Sirius channel and upped the volume. It just so happened to begin playing one of Joannie’s and my “memory songs” from high school - Linger, by the Cranberries. It was a song of many, that we’d call each other up when we’d catch it playing, in the present day, and laugh. As tears filled my eyes, I sat there in almost disbelief. Taylor returned to the table, and I told her what happened.


“It’s a sign! Your Sister is watching over you, and I think she wants you to name your business that.”


Thanks to Taylor, I got the push I needed. Thanks to Joannie, I got the confirmation I needed.


By this time, I had collected so many pictures of hearts on my phone, that I had the luxury of creating a gallery of hearts I found only in food. How perfect! Once again, thanks, Joannie!


To this day, I still see hearts everywhere – especially in my food! I am always posting more pics in the gallery on my website. These hearts feed the passion I have to encourage people into better health, that I am on the right path, and I hope I never stop finding them. To me, they are a constant reminder of, not only my lovely Sister, but also of how much I am loved. Sometimes they come when I need them most and I am always comforted. I immediately have to smile, laugh or sometimes even cry. Then, I remember whatever is upsetting me will pass, but that Love will always remain.


I believe there are many signs God sends that bring us comfort, especially during a time of grief. A cardinal stopping by, the scent of a favorite flower or food, a song, a movie. There’s no limit to how a sign can connect with someone, individually. These signs serve to give us hope, and even encouragement to keep going – knowing there’s a higher power that is warmly mending our broken hearts.


What are the signs that make you think of your loved ones?🩷

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