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.
What happened since you enrolled in Integrative Nutrition's program?
My life blossomed. Half way through, I quite my job and began seeing clients full time. I am currently building my coaching practice, writing for several blogs and doing public speaking on the healing power of food, including an upcoming speech on diet and MS for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
What did you learn at Integrative Nutrition?
I learned to move through my fears. It's a continual process, but IIN has and continues to give me the inspiration and tools to move beyond my comfort zone. And I'm always thrilled when I do.
Tell us about your practice.
I help people with chronic illness double, or even triple, their energy and reduce their symptoms so they can get a new lease on life. I do one-on-one coaching, as well as virtual group programs. I also teach anti-inflammatory diet and cooking classes through our local adult education program, and am launching myself as an inspirational speaker on the subject of food as medicine. It's all about spreading the word and making people think.