A common theme rings true among many health coaches, and that’s having pure love and passion for the work they do each day. Institute for Integrative Nutrition graduate Terry Walters, who completed the Health Coach Training Program in 2000 and currently lives in Avon, CT, perfectly exemplifies this concept. By embracing her own nutritious lifestyle, she leads by example in her role as a health counselor, published author and food educator. Urging people to eat clean, one choice at a time, Terry shares her inspiring approach to finding nourishment and wellness through hands-on cooking classes, private health counseling and her two best selling, award-winning cookbooks. Read more about this incredibly successful graduate below!
What were you doing before Integrative Nutrition?
Before IIN, I had been working in educational marketing. When I had my first child, I quit my job to be a stay-home mom, and to take the time to figure out how I could live my life with one definition of success, not separate ones for my personal and professional lives. IIN turned out to be the first step towards answering that question.
What happened since you enrolled in Integrative Nutrition's program?
I continued to help friends learn about eating clean food, but did so with much more confidence and validation in my knowledge. From a small health counseling/coaching business grew interest in cooking classes, which in turn fed my counseling business, and so on and so on... Everything grew by word of mouth until one day someone asked me to bind my recipes into a book. Three years later I self-published my first cookbook, and life hasn't been the same since. Upon selling nearly 3,000 copies in six months, I started receiving offers from publishers, and two years later I have two best-selling cookbooks on the market and a third cookbook on the way!
What did you learn at Integrative Nutrition?
IIN was the perfect place for me to connect with my passion to eat clean and live well. My time there validated for me how much I already knew, and gave me a wealth of different perspectives to challenge mine and allow me to take my learning to a deeper level. The information shared and the incredible community and network were all equally valuable and appreciated.
What do you love about the school?
If I had to pick one thing that I loved the most about IIN, it would be the incredible sense of community. Before attending IIN, many considered me a health-food nut and looked at me as if I had three heads when they learned what I eat! Kale? Collards? Sea vegetables? Attending IIN connected me with a community that shared my same values and goals and made my journey possible. It's this exact sense of community that I try to share with my clients and readers and that's so important to creating health change from our bodies, our communities and our environment.
Is there a need for Health Coaches where you live?
No doubt, the downturned economy has created a catch-22 for health coaches and clients in my area. More and more people are returning to core values of eating well and healing naturally, and yet there is more and more constraint financially to do so. There continues to be a need for health coaches, but getting people to commit can be a challenge. Across the board, I've not met one person who hasn't been thrilled to engage in the process and who hasn't had great results once they've started.
What do you love about your work?
If I didn't have to work another day in my life, I would still do exactly what I am doing. I love that there are so many facets to my work, and that all help empower people to positively influence their health and their lives. From health counseling, to publishing, to cooking, public speaking, blogging, supporting local food...it's an incredible honor and thrill to share this journey with so many. I also find that doing this work keeps me engaged and making conscious choices for myself and my family as well!
Tell us about your practice.
I have a coaching practice and offer both health counseling and business coaching. I teach regular cooking classes that focus on the foods we all need more of – aka CLEAN FOOD! I am the author of CLEAN FOOD, my first cookbook, which won the World Gourmand Cookbook Awards (best Vegetarian cookbook in the US). My second book, CLEAN START, was nominated this past spring for a James Beard Award. And my third book is currently in the make! I am the author of the popular blog, EAT CLEAN LIVE WELL, and travel all around the U.S. and Canada promoting my approach to eating clean as well as supporting my platform through radio, television and print and internet media.