I just completed the very last module of my studies at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I can't believe that the year is over and I'm finally a Certified Holistic Health Coach.
A year ago, this wasn't even on my radar. When I came across the opportunity to attend IIN I tried to put it off, telling myself to wait till I was in a better position to afford the tuition. But it was one of those things where I knew in my gut that I had to do it. As much as I tried, I couldn't put it out of my mind.
So I took a leap.
When the program started I had no idea if I even wanted to have a health coaching practice. My personal health was in a state of confusion. Things were going on in my body that I didn't understand. I knew what was going on wasn't normal and I wanted to learn how to eat to fix it.
Having worked with a functional medicine doctor, I believe that food can be medicine and thought that IIN would teach me how to eat to heal myself. I also hoped that I would learn so that I could to help others in my family, particularly my mother who has an autoimmune disease.
One year later, I can tell you that I learned more than I ever expected. I studied over 100 dietary theories but learned that food is just that - food. My thinking has become more organic. Nutrition is not just about what we eat. It goes deeper into what I have previously referred to as "primary foods."
"Healthy relationships, regular physical activity, a fulfilling career and a spiritual practice can fill your soul and satisfy your hunger for life. When primary food is balanced and satiating, your life feeds you, making what you eat secondary."
The more primary foods I "ate", the easier eating healthy foods became. And the easier it was to eat healthy foods, the easier it became to crowd out toxicity from my life.
As the year progressed I consciously worked on eliminating toxic foods, chemicals, environmental factors, relationships and even my own ego.
And what I've found is that healing is not about doctors and hospitals. It's about ourselves.
I have been intrigued by the idea of parasympathetic nervous system healing; i.e., the role stress and anxiety play in illness and imbalance.
I am a Type A person. I thrive on structure and live by rules. I stress myself out when I don't meet my own self-imposed deadlines or break my own rules. What I've learned is that, if I just chill out, healing and recovery will happen by itself.
"The body doesn't make mistakes. Our lungs breathe, our hearts beat. Humans put too much pressure on our bodies that it can't deliver what it's programmed to do. If we slow down it will recover itself and its balance." - Joshua Rosenthal
Many have asked me what I plan to do next, now that my IIN studies are done. Right now I'm furthering my education and personal development by attending Holistic Nutrition Labs. I'm also taking Jess Lively's "Life With Intention" course, working through my ego versus intuition, and identifying what my values-based intentions are.
But unlike many of my classmates, I don't have any plans or desire to leave my full-time job. In this season of my career, I am truly happy and fulfilled with the work that I am doing as a program manager at my corporate job. I enjoy the work that I do and the people that I work with.
But I also feel so passionately about the work that I can do as a holistic health coach. I am particularly interested in helping those like me, the Type-A, driven person who is always in pursuit of doing more. I'm doing this by offering private coaching, group programs and self-study programs.
I have experienced so much joy and happiness, yet so much frustration and confusion in my pursuit to better health. And I so clearly see others experiencing similar, if not the same struggles that I have had, whether they realize it or not. I feel that it is my responsibility - my mission - to do this work.
I'm not going to lie, it's new and it feels scary. But I think that means it's what I should be doing. I want to live my calling and will "feel the fear and do it anyway."
I've spent the past couple of weeks interviewing and speaking with women like you and me. The struggles they have are very real. There are some very common themes, but yet many different ones too. Not surprising since we are all different, unique individuals.
If you are reading this and you'd like to share your story with me, I'd love to hear from you. I'd love to hear what your frustrations and challenges are so that I can best serve you.
HI I'M NAOMI!
I’m a Certified Holistic Health Coach who helps people who suffer from fatigue and digestive distress learn how to eat real food and adopt clean living practices for better health energy, and endurance. Why feel tired when you can feel fired up and ready to go every single day?
I love running outdoors, connecting with like-minded people, and exploring the San Francisco Bay Area with my pup, Coco Pop.