June 25, 2022
Last Updated:
June 27, 2022

The IIN Community of Well BeIINgs: Shaira Dossey, on Cultivating an Intentional Life

Name: Shaira Dossey 

Location: Kalispell, Montana, United States 


Instagram: @shaira.dossey

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Q: What inspired you to enroll at IIN?  

A: Before my son was born, I was looking for work-from-home options, saw the term Health Coach, and put it on my list of potential career options. I’d always had an interest in health and wellness, but no background in it whatsoever. Everything I knew was from Google.  

After my son was born, he was diagnosed with a very rare neuroblastoma at just six weeks old. We were life-flighted to Seattle after his biopsy, and he went through four cycles of chemotherapy. While there, I quit my job at Wildland Fire Dispatch and took a big risk by enrolling in IIN. I didn’t even know what health coaching was, exactly, but I wanted to learn about nutrition and wellness and to build a business with this knowledge.  

Within the first few modules, I was blown away learning how the risk of cancer could have been reduced if the generations before mine had been more intentional about what we put in our bodies and how we take care of ourselves. After that, I had no doubt that I’d made the right decision to attend IIN. I knew I was in the right place and that this was exactly where I needed to be at this point in my life.

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

A: Every aspect of my life has been impacted by IIN. Not only am I more confident in the health and nutrition decisions for myself and my family, but I went through a lot of self-growth as well. I went from being a chronic people pleaser to having no problem honoring myself, from feeling like I was responsible for the happiness of those around me to recognizing that I needed to make sure I was taking care of myself so I could be the best mom, wife, sister, friend, and neighbor to my loved ones and friends.  

I’m able to teach others about how to nourish not only their bodies but also their relationships as well as their mental and emotional being. I love the importance of primary food that IIN teaches in the curriculum. It’s so important ‒ I think everyone subconsciously knows that those areas of life are important to their health, but IIN does a great job of bringing that to light. That’s something I refer to when factoring the state of my health and the health of others.  

Using my education and what I learned from my own personal journey, I started my health coaching business specializing in perinatal health so that I can help, educate, and support new moms on their pregnancy/postpartum journeys as well as support current moms in creating balance and making healthy lifestyle changes for their families and holistically managing mental health.

Q: How did your understanding of spirituality expand upon taking the program?  

A: As a Christian, I have to say that what I learned at IIN made me even more in awe of God and how amazing He is. He didn’t make mistakes when He made our bodies. He didn’t make mistakes when He created our world and the food we eat, and I think it opens people’s eyes to their need for Him in their lives. It’s amazing, learning how capable our bodies are of healing ourselves if we go back to eating what He created for us, nourishing whole foods; cultivate intentional relationships; and live a life of purpose. 

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

A: Before IIN, finding or creating healthy meals was not a priority. Now I’m more intentional about scanning the ingredients on food labels and spending more time in the produce section of the grocery store rather than in the aisles. I lean toward a more Paleo/Lacto-Paleo diet. Our household limits dairy and gluten, and we incorporate more whole, unprocessed, non-GMO foods into our diet. What used to be kind of a guessing game whenever I went grocery shopping and cooked meals is now second nature for me.

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

A: The biggest areas of primary food that I spend time on outside of my health are spirituality and relationships. My Christian faith is important to me, and I want to be able to model that and cultivate it in the hearts of my kids, first and foremost. Relationships are next ‒ that’s what I struggled with the most, not knowing how to prioritize and feeling obligated to everyone at the same time. Now I know my limits and set boundaries and focus on the relationships most important to me, those that are more life-giving than life-sucking.

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

A: I’m secure in who I am and what my role is in this big journey of life. I love that I’m able to be home and cultivate and nourish my son’s mind, body, and soul as he grows. I love that I can reach out to people and give them knowledge and support as they try to make lifestyle changes and go through the same struggles I used to have. I‘m so thankful I’m free from my anxiety and depression and that the voice of fear no longer controls my life. This is all because of IIN.  

The program enabled me to learn how to help myself so I could help others. It allowed me to set up a business where I can work from home on my own time and still be a wife and mom. I can still impact people’s lives and be a friend to those who need one who knows how to give the right support.

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

A: I couldn’t agree more. A few years ago, I was yearning to be at a point in my life where my mental health wasn’t taking such a toll on me. I’m at that point now, but it’s not just a checkbox ‒ it’s a way of living. And in this lifestyle, it’s a journey, and I continue to grow 1% more every day. I don’t ever want to reach a plateau, where there’s no growth happening. Whether it’s personal growth or health and wellness, we can grow every day. There’s no end goal; it’s just continuous self-betterment.

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

A: There’s freedom from the internal struggles that you feel trapped in and aren’t sharing with anyone. It’s not your identity, and this is not forever. Have faith, reach out to those who love you, and don’t be afraid to set boundaries and say no. Everything’s going to be okay. 

Q: What’s your morning routine?  

A: Right now, I try to get up before my son gets up! I do a quick swap out of the laundry, cook breakfast, get myself ready, and go over my planner. I do 15‒30 minutes of work and eat breakfast with my son. We spend all morning together, maybe go to the gym for a bit, spend one-on-one time with him, or he does some independent play while I do my Bible study time. When he goes down for a nap in the late morning, I do a one- to two-hour workflow until he wakes up. That’s how things have been working out so far, but it’ll probably change when baby number two arrives this year! 

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

A: My go-to has been everything on The Greatest Showman soundtrack. That’s also my feel-good movie. It’s so great, and I love everything about it. Specific songs on repeat are “This Is Me” and “From Now On” ‒ and my son also loves the music, so that’s a plus!

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

A: Anything chocolate, for sure. I’m trying to incorporate more nuts into my diet, so I’ve been eating trail mix, sneaking a bit of chocolate into each handful!

Q: What‘s one thing you can‘t run your business without?  

A: My clients! Women who are fearful of going through pregnancy, new moms trying to figure out their life postpartum, people who are struggling with managing their mental health and want to be able to put their best foot forward for their loved ones. They’re the ones I reach out to, and I help change their lives. Without them, there’s no transformation happening. 

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

A: I try to live my life as an example. Someone who loves Jesus and reflects Him in how I treat others. Someone who’s intentional about taking care of their health and can make it easy instead of a struggle. Someone who’s a wife and mother before a business owner and is proud of that family role.  

My goal is to shed a positive light on all these aspects of life. Today’s society, in this fast-paced world, tends to view those things as negative: being religious, being a “health nut,” or choosing to be a stay-at-home mom. What I’ve taken from IIN is that I’m able to slow down, cultivate intentional living, and model that to my family, friends, and community.

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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