October 5, 2020
Last Updated:
February 18, 2021

Celebrating the Latinx Voices of the Integrative Nutrition Community

With Latinx Heritage Month running from September 15 to October 15, Integrative Nutrition is proud to celebrate the culture and contributions of Latinx, Hispanic, and Latino-identifying communities. What started in 1968 as a weeklong event thanks to President Lyndon Johnson’s Proclamation 3869 is now a monthlong celebration of those Americans with ancestors or heritages from Mexico, the Caribbean, Spain, and Central and South America.

The IIN community is made up of thousands of diverse students and graduates, and w are thrilled to highlight some of the vibrant voices who represent the Latinx Health Coaches of IIN.

Michelle Badillo, IIN Class of September 2017

Michelle Badillo is a Venezuelan-born journalist with more than 25 years of experience on TV and radio. In 2014, after she and her family relocated to Miami, Florida, Michelle embarked on a path to healthy living. She earned her certificate as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and then secured her 200-Hour Yoga Certification (200 RYT). She has since connected with the needs of the Latin community by providing healthy nutrition information, meditation and yoga, and workshops, where she focuses on connectivity, spirituality, and emotional well-being.

What led you to enroll in the Health Coach Training Program?

The main reason I decided to enroll at IIN was my health and stress levels. I felt a wakeup call where I had to change if I wanted to live in good health for me and my family.

You started your career as a Venezuelan television figure. How has your life transformed since dedicating your business to health and wellness?

There’s no better satisfaction than seeing people happy because of the content I create across my accounts. As a journalist and Health Coach, I feel that my mission is already accomplished because now my personality and values as a human being align with my life purpose, and I can bring tools to others for their personal growth.

How does it make you feel to support the Latin-American community to live healthier lifestyles?

On the one hand, it feels amazing, but on the other, I feel great responsibility! The Latinx community is very interested in learning, and I consistently do my best to share knowledge and tools to help transform their lives. At the end of the day, this motivates me to keep learning and growing!

How are you celebrating Latinx Heritage Month?

I celebrate it by cooking my favorite Latinx meals like healthy arepas, healthy tacos, ceviche, and healthy pupusas. Our gastronomy is so diverse and delicious!

Luisa Tamara-DeSantis, IIN Admissions Representative

Luisa Tamara-DeSantis is from Barranquilla, Colombia, and moved to New York as a teenager. Besides being an IIN Admissions Representative, inspiring prospective students to seek out their healthiest and happiest life, she is also an artist and uses the vibrant colors from her Colombian heritage to inspire others with her incredible pieces of work. No matter the medium, she enjoys playing with layers, color, composition, and harmony.

What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?

Working with people and for their well-being is something I have always had a passion for. I love IIN’s view of integrating all aspects of our health into a lifestyle that is sustainable and coherent with our personal needs.

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You were born in Barranquilla, Colombia. What parts of your Colombian heritage do you weave into your everyday routine?

Coffee! Good coffee is always part of my day – I cherish a good cup of coffee and tend to drink it all day long. Music is also a big part of my day, I love singing and dancing. It truly gives a beat to my day. I love Vallenatos, Porro, and Cumbia, which is music from the Colombian coast! I am also a painter and the colors from Carnival are my main source of inspiration, as color and happiness go hand in hand. Ultimately, Colombians are happy, loud, and loving, and these are all traits I try to bring into my daily routine.

As an IIN Admissions Representative, what do you love most about inspiring others (especially those in the Latinx community) to live a happier and healthier life?

In most cases, it works the other way around as our prospective students are always an inspiration to me. I love the passion they have for health and wellness as well as how determined they are to help others. Their stories of healing and love make it so easy to love what I do.

What does it mean to you to celebrate Latinx Heritage Month?

This month, I love that we all come together to celebrate and showcase the places that make us who we are, passionate and hardworking! I celebrate every day that I come from the most beautiful country, with people who are full of love, joy, and passion for life.

Celaudys Cignoni, IIN Class of October 2019-Spanish Supported

Celaudys Cignoni is from Venezuela and now lives in Tampa, Florida. She has practiced as an integrative physician for over nine years. After going through her medical school residency, she asked, “How can I help save lives from a nutritional, integrative, and holistic point of view?” Among many other certifications in health and wellness, today Celaudys is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and supports women and men with autoimmune diseases who want to transform their digestive health and lead a happy and fully healthy life.

What led you to enroll in the Health Coach Training Program?

I was looking for a course that would allow me to continue supporting and promoting health from a holistic point of view.

Before attending IIN, you studied internal medicine and practiced as a doctor for several years. What made you choose to take a holistic approach to health?

For the past few years, I have been changing my own habits and lifestyle little by little. Even though I was practicing medicine in hospitals and clinics, I knew there was still something that I needed to know to better support my patients. I definitely wanted to take a more holistic, more natural approach, incorporating tools like meditation, natural alternatives, and healthy nutrition, as that is what I am passionate about. Taking this course has been a wonderful experience and undoubtedly the best decision of my life.

How do you inspire your clients and community to live a healthy lifestyle?

I inspire my clients to live a healthier lifestyle through active listening, which gives them the motivation they need. I continuously give them healthy recipe alternatives and share exercises with them. Ultimately, I try to show how important primary food is for balance in life.

How are you celebrating Latinx Heritage Month?

Latinx Heritage Month is a beautiful commemoration. In the face of the pandemic, I cannot attend face-to-face events, but I am actively sharing valuable information and healthy recipes from different cultures to celebrate.

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