How IIN Graduate Amanda Hayes Morgan Followed Her Passion to Create a Thriving Career and Life She Loves
One of the best parts of our job here at Integrative Nutrition is learning about what our incredible students and graduates are up to! People join the program from all over the world, and have the coolest experiences!
Recently, we connected with Integrative Nutrition graduate Amanda Hayes to get the inside scoop on her experience at the school and what life has been like ever since.
What were you doing prior to enrolling at Integrative Nutrition?
Prior to IIN, I was working in finance and marketing in New York City. Despite knowing that I had no passion for either industry, I stayed in it (more for my parents than for anyone else!) for two years. After realizing that I was never going to be fully satisfied and fulfilling what I felt was my life's dream, I left my job and decided to make a big move...literally. I packed my bags and drove to San Diego, CA, where I ended up living for two years. I had always been interested in nutrition, but wasn't sure how to make it a career. I ended up managing a wellness center and was able to witness the amazing changes nutrition could have on someone's life.
What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
I met a fellow IIN grad when I moved to San Diego, Christa Orecchio, who quickly became my mentor and a great friend. I knew I had a passion for nutrition, and Christa suggested I enroll at IIN. I'm forever grateful to her and the program for showing me that my dreams were a possibility.
How did your life change after enrolling?
Oh, let me count the ways! It was so interesting because I had lived in New York City (where IIN was doing their final year of the live program), only to move 3,000 miles away and find a network of 30 women who were also doing IIN at the same time in San Diego. We would do monthly potlucks, which is where I ended up meeting two of my best friends to this day. I also worked harder than I ever had at that point in my life – I woke up before work on Fridays to get through the modules, I ordered additional books to further my education, and I realized without a doubt that I was meant to do this work.
Which topics and modules were most beneficial for you?
There were two people who had a major impact on my life during my time at IIN.
Debbie Ford, for her coaching around how to bring your authentic self into everyday life and into your business. It was one of my first introductions to personal development and I was hooked! One of my favorite quotes from her lecture: "Allow the part of you that you may be ashamed of to float to the surface – it may bring gifts to your life."
And Howard Lyman, for his incredible story about growing up as a cattle farmer, being diagnosed with a life-threatening disease and beating it through a vegan diet, and his courage in telling the truth about the food industry. His story lit a fire in me and was a catalyst for my newest program, Food or Fiction.
What are you doing now?
I run a virtual nutrition coaching practice, as well as offering private coaching and two group coaching programs. My passion lies within the group work, as I believe creating community around this work is what really motivates women to want to make lasting changes.
I'm also in the midst of developing a vegan protein bar. When it comes to protein bars, the market is saturated with brands that are (in my opinion) junk. So, I decided I had to do something about it! We're in the beginning stages, but I'm hoping to bring our product to market within the next two years.
What makes you and your practice unique?
I think it's so important that who you are as a person shines through in your brand, and unfortunately, this is a lot less common than it should be. I've been called a "rebel" nutritionist because I believe we don't have to associate with any particular diet label, regardless of its current popularity in the media, in order to be healthy and happy. I actually teach my clients to avoid the "noise" so they can learn to listen to their body's own intuition rather than letting food run their lives via what the latest and greatest "expert" has to say. There's a lot of great work being done, but sometimes we also need to question what we're told.
What do you love about your work?
I love being able to witness changes in my client's lives: from making their first green smoothie, to finding confidence in their food choices, to learning to understand nutrition so they can alleviate confusion, to increasing their energy, and so much more.
I've also created a flexible lifestyle so I can come and go as I please. I live in Connecticut, so I like to head to warmer clients in the winter months. I can work from anywhere, and it's a part of my life I truly cherish.
Is there a need for Health Coaches where you live?
There's a need for Health Coaches everywhere! IIN has single-handedly changed the wellness landscape and we're just getting started :)