About Us

Where did NFP Basics start?

NFP Basics started as a program of the Diocese in Oakland, California. We realized that the introduction to Natural Family Planning needed a refresh. The "NFP, Sex, and Intimacy" talk at Marriage Preparation weekends wasn't working. There was a huge gap between couples learning about NFP (sometimes for the first time) to actually learning a method of NFP and using it in their marriage. It didn't matter how good the talk was, there was too much information and confusion around what the next steps would be for a couple who is preparing for marriage.

We realized that each an every couple had a unique and individual situation and there wasn't a one-sized-all fit for introducing Natural Family Planning. We decided to try out meeting briefly with each couple who came through marriage preparation for a month to see what couples really needed when it came to NFP. It turned out that meeting one-on-one was exactly what those couples needed.

There is too much information to sort through when it comes to NFP, especially if this is a brand new concept. Things like efficacy, church teaching, method selection, instructor selection, and where to find support are among the most common questions that couples have. When we met one on one, we were able to answer the specific questions that each couple had, help them select a method that would be a good fit, and ultimately help them take their next step, whatever that step might be.

After running the test one time, we immediately realized we had stumbled upon a process that would impact couples in major ways. It was after that first set of couples that Ellen Holloway began to take this idea and organize it into a scalable program. With support from The GIVEN Institute, the NFP Basics Program was created, tested, and grew to where we are today.

What is NFP Basics?

NFP Basics is an add-on module to any marriage preparation program to give couples a solid introduction to Natural Family Planning from both a theological and practical perspective and to support them in taking their next step with this important Church teaching by providing one-on-one accompaniment.

Learn more about NFP Basics, our results, and view a sample of the program below

Meet the Team

All of the coaches and staff of NFP Basics are practicing Catholics who also use Natural Family Planning in some way and fully agree and promote the Catholic Church's teaching on Contraception, Sex and Intimacy, and Natural Family Planning.

Ellen Holloway

Ellen is the creator of NFP Basics and currently manages the program.

Ellen promotes NFP and the Catholic teaching on sex and intimacy through her business Vines in Full Bloom and through her podcast Charting Toward Intimacy. Beyond NFP Basics, Ellen does one-on-one coaching in the area of sex and intimacy for Catholic women. Ellen holds a certificate in the fundamentals of Sex Therapy from the Buehler Institue (2023) and is in pursuit of her Master's of Sacred Arts in Theology of the Body and the New Evangelization through Pontifex University (2025).

Ellen lives in California with her husband and two kids. Ellen has used both the Sympto-thermal method and Marquette method of NFP at different times in her life.

Reach out to Ellen at ellen@vinesinfullbloom.com

Agata Yaretz

Agata lives in Texas with her husband and is expecting her first baby boy in May of 2024. She is a Parish Relationship Manager at Ascension. Agata uses the Marquette method and also likes to observe basal body temperature.

Sarah Forte


Sarah lives in southern Maryland with her husband and two kids. She has been teaching as a part-time special educator at a Catholic high school since 2018. Sarah currently uses the Marquette method of NFP and has also previously learned a mucus-only method.

Kristen DeMauro


Kristen currently resides in Southern Maryland with her husband and two daughters. In addition to working as a coach for NFP Basics, Kristen has enjoyed helping clients as a Mental Health Counselor since 2019. In the past she has charted using the Sympto-Thermal and Billings Methods, but is now a Marquette Method user.

Kristy Kowalczyk


Kristy was amazed to discover the science of NFP and believes everybody deserves to know that NFP exists. A skeptic at heart, she had to look at the medical research behind NFP effectiveness for herself. It was so convincing that she felt compelled to start her own company to help spread the word and educate others. She is the founder of NFP Instead, and gets SO excited watching her clients feel empowered by learning fertility charting for themselves!! Kristy also has 15 years experience building satellites and launching rockets as an engineer in the aerospace industry. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering from University of Washington as well as an MBA from Pepperdine University and plans to go to space. She and her husband live in the Seattle area with their 3 kids and 2 cats, and currently use the Sympto-thermal and Marquette methods of NFP.

Morgan Pruett


Morgan lives in Texas with her husband and daughter. She is an elementary-teacher-turned-stay-at-home-mom. She enjoys reading, exploring her community, baking, and her side-work with NFP Basics in teaching couples about NFP. She has personally used Sympto-Thermal, Marquette and temperature tech to track her fertility.

Marioxy Contreras

Marioxy is our Coach for PNF Conceptios Basicos, the NFP Basics program in Spanish.

NFP Basics is proud to be fruit of the 2022 GIVEN Institute Cohort

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