Laurie Erdman Fights Chronic Disease with Chronic Wellness

When IIN graduate Laurie Erdman was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, she decided not to let the disease get the best of her, her body, or her attitude. Practicing what she calls "radical self-care," Laurie is now symptom-free. As a Health Coach with her own company, Chronic Wellness Coaching, she shares her journey, her advice, and her lifestyle with others struggling with chronic conditions. Read more from this amazing 2011 graduate below!

What were you doing before Integrative Nutrition?

I was an attorney and business development professional for a public company in the online learning market. I loved my colleagues, but hated the stress of being at the beckon call of other's demands and goals. I always seemed to be looking for a something else, but never knew what I wanted to do when I grew up.

What led you to explore Integrative Nutrition's program?

When I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2009, I went to my shelves of nutrition books (it was always a hobby) and began researching. I changed my diet. I changed my approach to stress and whole outlook on life. The changes were profound. Within 6 months I was symptom-free (and continue so to this day. I also lost 40 pounds and tripled my energy. I knew I couldn't keep this a secret, so I started looking for a way to make this a career. Not having been impressed with nutritionists, I wanted to find something where I could really work with people, not just give prescriptions. I discovered the field of health coaching and then IIN.

Why exercise doesn’t have to be a marathon

Fitting in exercise can be a real chore. Between work, family time, errands, and social lives, there's often little time left over for sleep, let alone for the gym.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends adults get 2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate activity every week. For some of us, that's almost hilariously impractical. If only there were 36 hours in everyday.

There's good news, though! According to a study reported on in TIME, even small amounts of exercise can improve heart health.

Integrative Nutrition Graduates Are Making a Difference this Food Day!

On October 24, 2011 the first annual Food Day will bring awareness to the need for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way. Food Day seeks to bring together Americans from all walks of life—parents, teachers, and students; health professionals, community organizers, and local officials; chefs, school lunch providers, and people who just love food. Thousands of events in homes, schools, churches, farmers markets, city halls, and state capitals are being planned all over the country. 

When we announced our partnership with Food Day we began to hear from our community of students, graduates and health coaches, about the amazing events that they are planning.

We asked our community for some tips on how they got involved with food day and here is what we found out:

And the Seed Grant Recipients Are…

Earlier this year, we announced our Seed Grant Program to help fund members of our IIN community in their initiatives to make a positive impact on the lives of others. We had a tremendous response, and it just goes to show that our community is truly creating a ripple effect that is changing the world!

We were so impressed by the creativity and variety of projects that were submitted to the program. We finally narrowed it down to six amazing recipients. From helping underprivileged youth and the special needs community to assisting busy families, these projects are sure to spread health and happiness.

Here are the projects that our seed grant recipients are launching to create a healthier world:

Health Coaching Duo Turn Their Dreams into a Reality

Making a major change to your lifestyle can be difficult, but when it makes you happy, it’s completely worth it. Integrative Nutrition graduates Leigh Rogers and Togo Keynes learned this first hand when they decided to quit their jobs and focus on doing what they love. Now, they have a blossoming Health and Wellness brand, Me Organics in the United Kingdom with a very bright future ahead! Check out their story here:

What were you doing before Integrative Nutrition? Leigh was working for Commission Junction as a senior account manager in affiliate marketing in New York and I was a senior management executive working for leading sports marketing company, IMG in New York. 

Health Coach Kris Barrett Taking Australia by Storm

As the world continues to battle rising obesity and diabetes rates, it seems that health coaches are more important than ever. We recently spoke with IIN grad, Kris Barrett who told us about her experience at IIN and the need for health coaches in her native country of Australia. Check out what Kris has to say here:

What were you doing before Integrative Nutrition?

Running my own business importing and supplying specialty foods for people with multiple allergies.

What led you to explore Integrative Nutrition's program?

Every day I'd have new customers on the phone asking me all sorts of questions about what to feed their child, and how to get them to try new foods. I really wanted to be able to offer more advice but felt I wasn't "qualified" enough to do it, even though I had been doing a special diet with my son for 7 years after his autism diagnosis and knew the power of food in healing. When I finally learned about Integrative Nutrition, I was so excited, as this was exactly what I was looking for!

Wellness Warrior Alvaro Matta: A Holistic Force to be Reckoned With

We recently caught up with one of our graduates of the Health Coach Training Program, Alvaro Matta, to hear about the amazing things that he is doing as a Health Coach. As it turns out, he is doing a lot! Alvaro, a Marine, is working hard to introduce health and wellness to others that are in the military and to veterans. Here is what he has to say about his Integrative Nutrition experience. 

What were you doing before Integrative Nutrition?

I am a Marine Corps Veteran that served in the first Gulf War & Somalia. After serving, I went to work for a wine, beer, spirits & new age beverage company. Staying true to the food and beverage industry I made a lateral move to the food side & went to work in sales for SYSCO Food Distributors.

What led you to explore Integrative Nutrition's program?

Integrative Nutrition Grad is Winning the Lunch Wars

Our grads are constantly amazing us with the interesting and worthwhile things that they are doing with their Integrative Nutrition education. Amy Kalafa is no exception. Master-mind behind Two Angry Moms, a movement that pushes for healthier school lunches, Amy just finished her first book, Lunch Wars, which is due to be released this summer on August 18th. We caught up with Amy for a first-hand look on what we can expect from Lunch Wars. (Hint: we also teamed up with her to create a special offer for you…read to the end to find out what it is!)

What is your new book, Lunch Wars, about?

Lunch Wars is a guide for parents and school administrators who want to know how to create a sustainable, delicious and healthy school food system in their district.

How did your experience at Integrative Nutrition inspire you to write the book?

So much!  I had just been accepted into a PhD program when I happened to read the brochure for IIN and realized that I didn’t need seven more years of school and that the education described in that brochure was exactly what I wanted.  I’d been a filmmaker for 25 years, and my year at IIN gave me the confidence to make an independent feature documentary about school food, Two Angry Moms.  IIN brought me back to speak to students and the response I got from students, alumnae, parents and others in the holistic health field was overwhelming!

Summer Reading: Integrative Nutrition Staff Recommendations

Summer is in full swing and vacation time has arrived. Since one of the best things about this time of year is kicking back with a good book, we asked our staff for their summer reading recommendations. The list they came up with is full of inspiring and educational books for you to enjoy while you are getting your R&R all season long.

Women, Food and God, by Geneen Roth
Christy, Marketing
"Simple, profound and so helpful for anyone who's ever struggled with emotional eating"

mastery through accomplishment

Mastery Through Accomplishment - Developing Inner Strength for Life's Challenges, by Hazrat Inayat Khan
Laura, Student Services
"This book offers guidance for all stages of life. As needed, I can read just a few pages and gain wisdom and strength."

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