Taking the First Step on My Health Journey

This is a guest post by our team member, Liz, who is a graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and a certified health coach. She is a wife, mother, daughter, wellness advocate, and she helps to keep things running smoothly behind the scenes here at UK.  

In high school I got sick. Really sick… with a terrible case of mono which was so bad that I had to be homeschooled for a while because I couldn’t physically get out of bed to go to school. As hard as it was to watch my friends head to the home game, get ready for prom, and have study groups for their AP exams (okay, I didn’t really miss that part!) while I was unable to get out of bed, I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything because it was actually the first step and catalyst for a lifelong journey to seek health and wellness.

My mono was brought on by the Epstein Barre Virus (EBV), and it is something that has never left my body.  It reactivates anytime I get super stressed, forget to take care of myself, or don’t get enough sleep – hello motherhood! Lots of visits to doctors, specialists, naturopaths, etc later… I learned that I have an immunodeficiency called an IGG deficiency, which basically means that my immune system doesn’t work properly.

During the next ten years that followed… I gained and lost 60 pounds (but that’s a whole different post!), and my EBV reactivated a few more times. I wanted to figure out how to optimize my health so I could keep everything in check and feel better overall.  

When I started my health journey I was working in a grey cubicle at a job I didn’t want to get out of bed to go to every morning. I was stressed out, unhappy, anxious, my health was suffering, my EBV kept reactivating, and I felt like I had no direction sign showing me the way out.

I wanted answers.

My turning point came when I decided to attend the the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). It turned out to be my yellow brick road…

In my quest over the years to support my immune system, I soaked up anything and everything I could get my hands on related to health and wellness. I signed up for every telesummit, every webinar, and read every article I could find.

Throughout my years of research, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN)  would often come across my screen. I also started to hear about it from friends who were in the program – they were radiant and vibrating with positive energy and they were no longer working in grey cubicles. I wanted what they had!

I did tons of research and came to find that IIN is basically the Holy Grail of information related to health and wellness! Plus they teach you to become a certified health coach and create a career by sharing your passion with others. (A career I now enjoy myself as a stay at home Mom!)

I didn’t know I would also use what I learned as a Mom…

I am so incredibly grateful that I went to IIN. It gave me the tools and resources I needed to take control of my health and wellness… and not only for me, but also for my growing family. Each and every day, I apply so much of what I learned through the program to build the healthiest lifestyle possible for myself and my family.

I studied over 100 dietary theories, which helped me find the right food path for my family. (I also attribute maintaining my 60 pound weight loss to this program!!!)  And I gained the tools and confidence I needed as a Mom to be my daughter’s health advocate as well as my own.

I only wish I had known IIN existed earlier in my journey! Instead of feverishly trying to figure out what to learn on my own, I could have just followed their program, all packaged together in a perfectly organized curriculum that ultimately leads to a health coach certification.

And now with my IIN certification, I built a business consulting clients that run their own health and wellness businesses. I work from home as a stay at home Mom on my own time. No more grey cubicle! I am fulfilled, balanced, and most importantly, happy!

In a nutshell, IIN is a flexible, year-long online school that provides holistic nutrition education and business training. The first half of the program consists of nutrition education, and the second half is focused on business training.  There are no prerequisites required for admission and you end up with a national certification and college credits.

The curriculum is broken down into week-long modules (lectures, videos, and powerpoints) which cover everything from:

  • 100+ Dietary Theories
  • Holistic Wellness
  • Bio-Individuality
  • Primary Foods (So much more than what is on your plate!)
  • Food Politics
  • Cooking Basics
  • Coaching Skills
  • Marketing
  • Social Media
  • And All Aspects Of Setting Up A Business (Finance 101, etc)

Classes are taught by amazing world renowned teachers like Deepak Chopra, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Frank Lipman, David Wolfe, Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Amen, Maria Forleo… the best of the best out there! If you know these names, you are ready for this program.

In summary, IIN is awesome if you just want to know everything A-Z about health and wellness, or if you are thinking about a career change and want to become a health coach (which can be a great Work From Home Mom career option since the health and wellness industry is exploding right now!).  It is also perfect if you are already on the health and wellness bandwagon, but don’t have direction on where/how to focus that energy yet.

I am so thankful for the knowledge I gained from IIN.  I attribute my success with maintaining my 60 pound weight loss, as well as my overall health today to the knowledge I obtained through IIN.

Whether you have an interest in a career in holistic health and wellness, or you just want to gain some knowledge and wisdom for your family and loved ones, I couldn’t recommend IIN more highly.

Since I’m an IIN graduate, I have the opportunity to extend an offer from the school directly to you. I’m so excited to tell you that through our connection via Unconventional Kitchen (How awesome is it that Desi has built this amazing community of Moms, btw?!), you can get a free sample class through this link. (And if you ultimately choose to enroll in IIN, you’ll get $1,000 off the cost of tuition.)


Enjoy the class no strings attached! And thanks for listening to my story and being a part of my journey. It means so much to me to be a part of this amazing community of Moms.


For more information on healthy eating, sign up for my Free Real Food Mini Course or check out the full Real Foods Made Easy Program.

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I’m Liz. Mom, wife, daughter, friend, foodie, and wellness advocate. After dealing with health issues for ten years, I decided to make a change in my lifestyle. I lost nearly fifty pounds and began a journey to seek wellness. In 2014, I became a certified health coach after completing my education at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. I am passionate about all things related to health, food, and family. Now, as a new mom to my baby girl, I am even more passionate about creating the healthiest life possible for my family. I believe that Moms hold the key to create healthier generations.


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One Response to Taking the First Step on My Health Journey

  1. Alli Gardner says:

    I also loved my experience at IIN!! It changed my life. I love teaching my kids through example what it means to be healthy. IIN also helped me realize that each of my 4 kids are different and have different tastes and nutritional profiles. It’s a constant experiment. 🙂
    Alli Gardner recently posted…Minestrone Soup RecipeMy Profile

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