Maia Lagerstedt, a 2007 graduate from New Fairfield, CT, has always loved writing, yet she didn’t find her career as a freelance writer completely fulfilling. When she came across the Health Coach Training Program she was able to combine her passions for writing and health, and created a career that she loves.
Now a Health Coach and published author, Maia helps people eat healthily within a budget, and has several other projects in the works including a cookbook and a wedding guide. Read on to learn more about this successful graduate!
What were you doing before Integrative Nutrition?
Before Integrative Nutrition, I was working as a freelance writer in Fairfield County, CT and Westchester County, NY
What led you to explore Integrative Nutrition's program?
I wasn't feeling fulfilled in my writing job. In the fall of 2006, I was working on two separate articles: one on a gourmet vegetarian "to-go" restaurant in CT and one on belly dancing for exercise in Westchester. Through each of those articles, I was led to IIN. I e-mailed the school for information on a Thursday, enrolled the following Monday, and started classes that Saturday.
What happened since you enrolled in Integrative Nutrition's program?
Since graduating from IIN, I have brought together my two career loves: writing and health coaching. I've written a book called Conscious Shopping: Making Decisions About What You Eat & How You Buy It. As a budding health coach, I heard a lot of concerns from clients about the expense of healthy food so I began teaching my clients how to plan menus. There are ways to shop that maximize meals and ingredients so you waste less food and still save money. I've turned that method into the program/book that I now call “Conscious Shopping.” I am also working on a cookbook as well as a green wedding planning guide.
What did you learn at Integrative Nutrition?
I learned a lot at IIN. I really enjoyed exploring the different dietary theories and connecting with people- that part of my education was invaluable. I also learned to learn to trust my instincts. I always believed that eating whole food over processed food was essential for good health, but it was amazing to have that idea reinforced by a whole movement of like-minded people.
What do you love about the school?
I love that there are so many Health Coaches making a difference in the world, and I love that the school encourages an environment of community rather than stimulating a competitive attitude among its grads.
Is there a need for Health Coaches where you live?
I think there's a need for health coaches virtually everywhere, including where I live. When I graduated in 2007, there were very few IIN grads in my immediate area and it's been very nice to see that number growing.
What do you love about your work?
It's always rewarding when I work with someone who "gets" it and to watch their enthusiasm as they witness the positive changes in their own lives.
Tell us about your practice.
I still see private clients, although at the moment I'm focused on writing and in particular, promoting my book. With Conscious Shopping, I'm able to reach people who I can't necessarily coach one-on-one and teach them to plan menus and how to make informed shopping choices--at their own pace--while educating them about the importance of eating whole, local, and organic foods.
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