Two things that have always interested me are food and health. That didn’t always mean that I ate well, but it did mean that I watched a lot of food documentaries. Two particular documentaries, ‘Food Matters’ and ‘Food Inc.’ had a big impact on me. After watching them for the first time, I was finally motivated to take control of mine and my family’s health. Well, kind of motivated.
While I thought it important to get in control of our health, my first efforts were inconsistent and half-hearted. For years, all I did was make a few small changes like adding supplements. It was ‘Food Matters’ that once again came to my rescue, this time through its Facebook page.
There was a post about the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and the Health Coach Training Program (HCTP) that they offered. Intrigued, I took a sample class and started getting emails about the program. Like most people, I would normally ignore those kinds of things clogging my inbox or even get angry at them. Instead, I devoured them, delving deeper into the Institute’s approach to health. The emails from the IIN’s founder Joshua Rosenthal in particular grabbed my attention. His passion and enthusiasm for his mission was infectious. It seemed like a good way to deal with the daily stress from my software job so I signed up for the HCTP back in January of 2016. I didn’t stop there. Just a few days after starting the HCTP my husband and I started the 28-day raw food diet.
You might think that a diet like that is simple. After all, I didn’t have to cook anything. Actually, between that, my family, job, and courses, I was exhausted at first. Before long, the two of us began to feel the changes in our bodies. I soon had so much energy that I quit my morning creamer with a shot of coffee, replacing it with yerba mate tea. Now the thought of all the GMO milk and other questionable ingredients quickly kill any temptation I may feel for a Frappuccino, no matter how delicious they are.
It hasn’t all been easy though. The day after I finished the raw food diet, I got hit by a car while crossing the street. Before I knew it, I was in the hospital awaiting surgery for multiple fractures in my tibia and to repair my left knee.
The results were devastating at first. I couldn’t use my left leg at all for three months. I was relegated to sponge baths and laying on the couch while I desperately counted the hours until my next pain pill. I couldn’t even wash my own hair. The medications and the pain killed my appetite and I lost a troubling amount of weight.
Somewhere along the way, I began to see my predicament as a blessing. For far too long, I had been working ten hour days and studying on the weekends, leaving little time for my husband and three boys. God used my accident to help me realize that my priorities were all wrong. As I recuperated, going to physical therapy and beginning to work again, this time from home, I was able to reconnect with my family and realized what I had been denying myself and them.
This spiritual growth was reinforced by the Primary Food element of my HCTP courses. Primary Food is about much more than the meals you eat. It talks about how important good and lasting relationships, a fulfilling career, and a spiritual life are even more important to your physical health than eating and exercising (no cheating, those are still important).
More than a year after the surgery, things are going well. I continue to grow as a wife and mom, creating a healthy and loving environment for my family. And my health continues to improve. I’ve nearly regained all the weight I had lost in the aftermath of the accident.
I have also completed my courses and am now a Certified Health Coach for the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Having personally experienced the difference a healthy lifestyle can make not only on my physical health, but on the happiness of me and my family, I am eager to share that knowledge and experience with others. IIN has given me the tool to do that, to take my experience and knowledge and use both to help transform lives. Join me, and together we can work towards a better life for you and those you love.