April 2, 2022

The IIN Community of Well BeIINgs: Ethan Schiff, on Why Health Isn’t All-or-Nothing

Name: Ethan Schiff 
Location: Petaluma, California, United States
Instagram: @optimizedhealthcoaching 

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Q: What inspired you to enroll at IIN? 

A: I personally went on a 130-pound weight loss journey after yo-yo dieting for 15 years, which completely transformed my life. I wanted to help others achieve their health goals and enrolled in IIN’s Health Coach Training Program to help myself be able to make that impact for others.

Q: How are you using your Health Coach Training Program education? 

A: I graduated from IIN about two years ago and am now a full-time Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I owned a company for the last 10 years but dissolved it to pursue health coaching and now am a full-time coach along with a team of three others, all of whom are IIN graduates! I shared more about my story and IIN experience here.

Q: Did IIN help you find a way of eating that works for you? If so, tell us more about that journey. 

A: Yes! It helped show the balance in not obsessing over any specific food as "good" or "bad" so much as listening to your body and the root causes and knowing that it will always ebb and flow, depending on other factors. 

Q: How do you nourish yourself beyond your plate, with primary foods? 

A: I have an amazing relationship with my wife and a core group of close friends, and I prioritize other areas of my life, like financial planning and happiness in my work. 

Q: Health is not a destination; it's an evolution and a journey. How does this resonate with you? 

A: I firmly believe in constantly evolving as both a human in general and a vehicle of health. Continually growing, learning, experimenting, and observing is a beautiful and ongoing process as opposed to achieving some sort of fixed "goal" or final destination with health.

Q: How are you living a life you love? How did the program help you achieve this? 

A: IIN allowed me to begin coaching others, which transformed my entire life. It showed me the happiness I personally felt from working with others, the ripple effect of that work that extended well beyond myself and my client. And now I'm a full-time Health Coach, which has made me happier than ever in my entire life!

Q: If you could tell your pre-IIN self one thing, what would it be? 

A: Instead of focusing on fixtures like weight on a scale or calorie counting as milestones to achieving health goals, spend much more time observing the root causes that dictate both positive and negative habits and fixate on those root causes above all else.

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Q: What is your morning routine? 

A: I wake up, drink a glass of water, make coffee, and read a (physical) book for 45 to 60 minutes to begin every day. I do this before checking my phone, talking to anybody, or doing anything else.

Q: What music do you play to get out of a funk? 

A: (Not so) ironically, funk music! I love '70s funk and soul (James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone, Parliament-Funkadelic, etc.) and find it nearly impossible to not feel better if you're blasting funk music.

Q: What's your favorite on-the-go snack? 

A: A slice of whole-grain toast and organic cottage cheese (in a to-go/compostable bowl), with berries or organic dried fruit.

Q: What's one thing you can't run your business without? 

A: Google Drive! We organize all client ongoing health plans with it as well as use Google Sheets for internal recipes and client support information and documents. 

Q: We're calling our IIN graduates and community members Well BeIINgs. How do you embody well-being? 

A: I believe that true health is not a linear approach, and it isn't solely focused on nutrition and fitness. I try to encourage people (and myself) to make any sort of health progress each day, even if it ends up being different from what you’d planned to do that day.  

For example, instead of beating yourself up for missing a workout you wanted to do, instead you could do 10 minutes of stretching or meditation, cook a new recipe, or read an article about something health related. All that is progress and removes the all-or-nothing mindset that can cause negative health habits to unfold when you don't do exactly what you had planned that day with your health.


You can start living a life you love, right now. Take our free Sample Class to dive in. 

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Integrative Nutrition
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The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) was founded 30 years ago and has evolved to become the world’s largest and leading online health coaching and nutrition school.

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