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Published: June 8, 2024

Meet Our July 2017 Leadership in Health Coaching Award Recipients!

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Congratulations to our Leadership in Health Coaching Award recipients for the HCTP July 2017 class! Integrative Nutrition believes in, supports, and celebrates all our outstanding graduates for spreading the ripple effect of health and happiness in the world. The Leadership in Health Coaching Award was created to recognize the amazing accomplishments of our graduates, specifically those doing outstanding work that aligns with Integrative Nutrition’s core mission. Learn more about the winners below.

Adell Bridges
Worldwide Nomad

What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
I explored the Health Coach Training Program after speaking to a few friends who had done it. Ever since I was a teenager I’ve been interested in wellness in general and nutrition in particular, but I always ended up going down a different path when it came to formal education. I had always known I wanted to do something in the nutrition field, but becoming a nutritionist or a dietitian never felt right. 

So when, in a matter of just a few months, I met four different people in different parts of the world who had studied with IIN, I felt it was more than just coincidence. It was like I was being pointed in the direction I was meant to go!

How did your life change after enrolling?
My life began to change in that first module, and the first six months of the training especially were really eye-opening. I enrolled to learn how to coach others, but I hadn’t expected how much I would learn for myself, for my own lifestyle habits and choices. 

Exploring bio-individuality was the number one thing that changed everything for me. I realized I had tried dozens of diets only because of articles I’d read, documentaries I’d watched, or people I’d spoken to. The idea of actually listening to MY body and “being a scientist” to figure out what works best for me was mind-blowing. This last year has been so transformational for me in my own diet and lifestyle thanks to adopting this simple concept!

Miriam Koval
Cleveland, OH

What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
I was raised with many of the Blue Zone characteristics. I grew up in a family surrounded by loving grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and a whole lot of siblings. My family was part of a close-knit religious community where people practiced kindness. My parents introduced us to the beautiful outdoors and took us on trips to parks, mountains, and lakes. We spent summers in the magnificent countryside surrounded by the magical outdoors. We had a vegetable garden and we composted. My home smelled of fresh homemade bread and my mom’s tasty food that was laden with love. My experiences led me to be intrigued by the integrative approach since I believed that the primary thing nurturing a person is far more than the food on their plate.

How did your life change after enrolling?
I am currently focusing on my wellness business. I am creatively engaged in a passion I believe in and love! I am helping people in a way that feels so right to me. I love putting healthy foods together in artistic and creative ways. I enjoy discovering new healthy foods and creating recipes with them. I continue to concentrate on my own integrated nutrition, where I nourish myself with healthy food, good friends, spirituality, and community work. I joined barre3, rooted in three fitness disciplines: ballet barre, Pilates, and yoga. It leaves me feeling strong inside and out. I find joy in my family. Together with my wonderful husband, we enjoy raising our children and laughing at the daily chaos of our lives.

Dona Winger
Rapid City, SD

What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
I have always been interested in nutrition, but a traditional nutritionist or dietitian job didn’t appeal to me. I wanted to actually help people get healthy, not just follow a protocol and give out menus. When I discovered that there was such a thing as a Health Coach that not only guided people toward healthy eating but also recognized that lifestyle and mind-set as important factors, I was all in.

How did your life change after enrolling?
I am less inclined to listen to my limiting beliefs. I am more inclined to make the changes necessary for positive self-improvement.

Denise Bullen
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia

What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
I learned about the school through a friend of mine who is also a Health Coach. She introduced me to IIN, and I decided that while on maternity leave, I would take the course.

How did your life change after enrolling?
My life has changed so much since enrolling at IIN. I’ve become a mother, and on that journey, IIN was there reminding me and educating me on nutrition for my family and self-care and personal and professional development.

Michele Orrson 
Covington Township, PA

What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
I am a two-time cancer survivor (kidney cancer, 2008; stage III breast cancer, 2012). After the second diagnosis, I needed to make significant changes in my life if I wanted see my son grow up. I started reading everything I could and found my way to plant-based nutrition. I chronicled my health journey in my blog, Lights Cancer Action! I found that people were interested in my journey and were inspired to make their own lifestyle changes for improved health. When the latest reorganization led to the elimination of my position in July 2017, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Fate would lead me to a career counselor who in turn led me to IIN!

How did your life change after enrolling? 
As I began to take the IIN classes, my confidence in my decision increased. I had been self-taught in many of the subjects covered, and I really started to believe I could be successful doing this. While an advocate of plant-based nutrition, I found a balanced view of dietary choices through the ongoing conversations on bio-individuality. I think this enabled me to find a way to work with all individuals, even if not 100% plant-based.

Taryn McGray Daley
Easthampton, MA

What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
I have been passionate about nutrition and healthy living for 10 years, and I had become increasingly more alarmed by how we as a nation approach the cultivation of our food. I was interested in seeking out ethically sourced foods. In the realm of glamour and eating right, I saw many people start careers selling creams (filled with toxic chemicals) that would supposedly improve the skin and selling fad diets/powdered drinks, etc. I believed that beauty and great skin are best pursued through disciplined exercise; fresh, living foods; joy; and enough sleep. In my quest to prove this point, I found out what a Health Coach was a little over a year ago, and within a mere half an hour of this glorious discovery, I had enrolled at IIN.

How did your life change after enrolling?
My life has new purpose as I eagerly explored the many tools at IIN to assist our progress in the much-needed global health revolution. I knew I wanted to help people eat well and live well to conquer addictions and toxic dependencies, and now I have the power to do so.

Susan Sagan Levitan 
Pittsford, NY

What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
My successful and rewarding 20-year career in the magazine industry in Manhattan came to an end when my family and I moved to Pittsford, a suburb of Rochester, NY. Overnight, everything changed. Suddenly, I was no longer a career woman and was parenting 24/7 while adjusting to my new surroundings. In the transition, I struggled to find my new identity. 

A close friend of mine, an IIN alum, suggested the program to me. She loved the IIN program and has created a thriving health coaching business. She had mentioned it to me many times in the past. But this time something was different. I knew being a Health Coach was my new calling and I enrolled the same day. 

How did your life change after enrolling?
Everything changed when I learned about IIN and realized being a Health Coach would be a perfect career for me. Learning from some of my favorite health industry leaders provided me the confidence, knowledge, and drive to launch my own business, chapter U health coaching, and share my knowledge to support others.

What I didn’t know was how IIN would also lead to my personal transformation. I have always been passionate about my health and invested in my personal growth. At IIN, I immersed myself into growing and learning and created positive change in all aspects of my life.

I am more “present” and have a healthier influence on my family, while maintaining focus on myself, my relationships, and my career.

Talia Haramati 
Miami Beach, FL

What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
I was looking for a program where I could provide more support to my clients’ well-being, aside from the physical movement part. I’ve also always struggled with seemingly unrelated conditions, like sensitive stomach, various skin conditions, and sensitive blood sugar, and always felt like my doctors were treating the symptoms but not the cause. It was when my son began the same journey that I began to do some more research. Reading IIN’s core concepts of bio-individuality and treating the cause not the symptoms, I knew this was the program for me!

How did your life change after enrolling?
IIN has been completely life-changing, both professionally and personally. As a full-time mom and devoted wife, we sometimes lose ourselves a bit. Especially if you were a passionate professional beforehand. For some of us, it can be a tough transition and it’s not anything drastic, just little things over time. Then suddenly one day you wake up and wonder who you are anymore and what’s your purpose. For me, that was profound. For some women, caring for themselves and their families is their sole purpose and I’m in awe of those women. My family will always be number one! But I realized I also needed something else, another purpose in this life to be my best self. And for now that’s helping other moms find their wellness and joy!

Amanda Freeman
Wollongong, NSW, Australia

What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
I grew up on a beautiful farm overlooking the ocean in Australia where we lived a very holistic life and as a result were very healthy. My family ate whole foods and was constantly outdoors. When I went to boarding school during my teens, there were only highly processed food options available and I quickly became very sick. After two years of dwindling health and doctors’ visits, I left boarding school and went back to living with my family and their whole foods options. My health immediately returned. Food changes everything yet our current healthcare system places little to no weight on nutrition and lifestyle factors. Something needs to change. I joined the IIN Health Coaching Training Program because I wanted to be a part of that change.

How did your life change after enrolling?
I thought that I would be signing up to a nutrition course that I would need to work at to remain enthusiastic. Not only did I remain enthused, I couldn’t wait until another module would open, I would cry during my lectures because they resonated with me so deeply, and my passion for the industry only heightened. I also have had the most incredible self-development journey during my study that I hadn’t anticipated. My life has changed in every aspect for the better, and I am so grateful!

Nicole Dyer
Bristol, IN

What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
I was looking for a program where I could learn more to support my well-being. I wasn't happy with the healthcare system and what they were doing for some injuries I had. I had been sick for several years with inflammation problems – stomach and irritable bowel. I didn't like that the doctors were only treating the symptoms and not the root cause. What really got me was when I went to an NP and I felt like I was coaching her every time I saw her. So I thought why am I paying all this money to be her coach when I can learn how to be my own, fix myself, and then possibly help others.

How did your life change after enrolling?
Learning the Circle of Life and working on the emotional issues helped me immensely. I didn't realize how much baggage I had really been holding on to until IIN. I am a wife, mom, teacher, firefighter, dog trainer…I had so many hats that I no longer knew who I was anymore. Through this last year with IIN and incorporating what I have learned, I am happy to say that I am healthier than I have ever been emotionally and physically. I have lost 70 pounds and dealt with several PTSD issues from my previous job that I never wanted to admit. Figuring out my purpose and what makes my soul happy has been very profound to me through this process.

Interested in learning more about becoming an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach? Click here for more information!

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