The IIN community is comprised of over 155,000 unique individuals from all over the world, but we all share similar stories of what IIN means to us and how it changed our lives. No matter the circumstances that brought us here, we’ve learned the journey toward health isn’t linear but rather filled with ups and downs that challenge us to grow into people who are capable of sparking real change in ourselves and others. In this series, you’ll hear from IIN students and graduates who share their inspiring stories about how IIN transformed their health, from physical to spiritual health and everything in between. These stories have the power to unite us in continuing our mission to spread the ripple effect of health and happiness, one Health Coach at a time.
Erica is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach who graduated in 2017. She has served in business development roles in a variety of companies in the telecommunications and SaaS industries. In November 2020, Erica joined IIN as an admissions representative, helping others realize their health and wellness dreams. In addition to being a Health Coach, she is a reiki practitioner, independent distributor for Young Living essential oils, and intuitive medium. She lives on Long Island with her boyfriend and her fur family: dogs Daisy and Butch and Pal the cat.
What was your life like before IIN?
“In 2014, I became really interested in health and wellness. I discovered food documentaries, like Forks Over Knives and Food Matters. Shortly after devouring every documentary possible, I bought a NutriBullet and began drinking smoothies regularly. I also introduced more whole foods and eliminated processed ‘frankenfoods’ from my diet.
“Because I was researching different kinds of recipes and smoothie blends online, an ad for the Institute for Integrative Nutrition appeared. I remember having a physical reaction reading about health coaching – I knew in my heart right away it was something I was meant to do.”
What shift occurred in you to finally enroll?
“My aha moment came when I read about primary food, which refers to all the elements of our lives that nourish us on a deeper level than food, like our relationships, careers, spirituality, and physical activity.
“It was then I realized I wasn’t as healthy as I thought I was. I could drink countless kale smoothies, and it wouldn’t matter; I was unhappy in my marriage, burnt out from my corporate sales job, had no spiritual practice, and lacked exercise.
“For two years, I attended every webinar IIN held and opened every single email they sent me. After those two years, in 2016, I quit my job, divorced my husband, and enrolled in the Health Coach Training Program.”
You came into your IIN education with an understanding of nutrition, but the concept of “primary food” seems to have made the most impact. How did you go about nourishing your health with primary food?
“Once I was enrolled, I had a deep internal feeling this program was exactly the thing I needed in my life – I needed healing.
“I finally understood I needed a connection to a higher power to feel more in control. There’s so much more to life than what we can detect with our physical senses. I started to tap into my spiritual side more. On a scale from 1–10, my spiritual woo-woo barometer went from about a 3 to an 11!”
How would you describe the health transformation that occurred during your time as a student and beyond?
“IIN changed my life in so many ways.
“Enrolling in the program was a major financial investment for me because at the time I was also going through a divorce and leaving my corporate job where I had worked for over a decade. I could have let the financial aspect of this decision take over, but I trusted it was the right path. I’m so glad I did because IIN broke me wide open!
“Not only am I healthier physically, I am now tapping into my psychic abilities that laid dormant for most of my life – my grandmother was actually an intuitive medium also! I learned fear is an illusion from my studies around the law of attraction, and I am a cocreator of my reality. In fact, I manifested my role of admissions representative at IIN!
“One of the lessons that stood out for me during the program was taught by an IIN visiting teacher at the time, Kathleen Graham. She talked about writing your intentions down and placing them into a ‘Universe Box.’ One of the intentions I wrote was to find a meaningful opportunity that would bring me happiness and prosperity on all levels. That came true when I was offered my role at IIN.”
Spirituality and spiritual practice are often overlooked when it comes to health and well-being. What guidance do you have for those looking to tap into their spiritual side?
“One of the most valuable spiritual tools and self-care rituals is meditation. There’s this misconception you have to sit in a certain position or have a special room for meditation to be effective – it’s simply not true.
“Wherever and however you meditate is up to you; as long as you are comfortable, that’s all that matters. Starting with just five minutes a day to concentrate on nothing but your breath can make a real difference. It’s the gateway to all things spiritual, in my opinion. You never know how meditating can break someone open like it did me!”
Health transformation will not look the same from one person to the next, and that’s what IIN is all about – encouraging you to dig deep to figure out who you truly are and what makes you truly happy, fulfilled, and healthy! Our Health Coach Training Program has transformed the lives of over 100,000 people, and YOU could be next! Learn more about what makes our innovative curriculum so life changing by downloading our free Curriculum Guide today.