My Personal Journey to Wellness

Like many health coaches, my personal journey to wellness led me not only to better health but a new career. My journey began in November of 2003 at the age of 26. My mother, then only 50 years of age, was rushed to the hospital with chest pains and within 24 hours had emergency open-heart surgery. My grandmother passed away at the age of 59 of a heart attack and suffered from angina for years leading up to her death. These events led me to schedule a check-up with my family doctor. The results were disheartening to say the very least — high blood pressure, high cholesterol, elevated glucose levels, and low thyroid function.

At that point, I had to decide if I was willing to take the road less traveled or just follow the conventional route. I could continue to eat “fake” processed foods, sporadically exercise, and take a cocktail of prescription drugs for the rest of my life or follow my heart and commit to true lifestyle change and explore natural alternatives. Luckily, I learned that genetics only accounts for 30% of future health and well-being. The other 70% is determined by our lifestyle choices.

In January 2005, I was blessed to have moved to Asheville, North Carolina, which is considered a Mecca for alternative health. I began working with an amazing team of alternative practitioners: an integrative endocrinologist, a holistic family doctor, a personal fitness trainer, and an acupuncturist/Chinese herbalist. The results were amazing. Within a year, I was happier and healthier than I had ever been in my life. That year, I learned lifestyle choices, education, support, and accountability were the keys to wellness and overcoming preventable chronic illnesses, not prescription drugs, fad diets and following the crowd.

Now I am even healthier than ever — May 2009 gave me the gift of complete wellness. My lab work returned the best results of my life. My blood pressure was normal, 118/73 at my last doctor’s visit. I had a waist circumference of 29 ½”, which is well below the recommended 35″ for women (found on WebMD). My current total cholesterol was 189 down from 245 (my highest in August 2004). My HA1C test, which gives a 3-month average of blood glucose levels, was within normal range for non-diabetic patients. According to the American Diabetes Association, “For a person who doesn’t have diabetes, about 5% of the hemoglobin A1C molecules have blood sugar molecules attached to them. That would correlate to an A1C test result of 5%.” My wellness plan for maintaining optimal health is daily physical activity, eating a whole-food diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and regular health screenings.

Before becoming a certified health coach, I was an interior designer creating beautiful designs for my clients’ homes, including lush draperies, designer carpet, grand furnishings and exquisite kitchen and bath designs – and that was fulfilling, but at the age of 30, I felt pulled in a different direction. I was a little unsure of making a career change but now I see that God had a different purpose for my life. Instead of helping others with the design of their homes, the road less traveled has led me to help people with their most precious abode — their bodies — by helping them rearrange their lifestyles, which results in balanced, happy, and healthier individuals.

Once I made my decision to change careers, I enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a partner of the State University of New York at Purchase College where I completed my health coaching certification. During my training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City, I studied over 100 dietary theories. As we all know, no one diet works for everyone. I learned to integrate all the different dietary theories – combining the knowledge of eastern and western philosophies with modern concepts like the USDA food pyramid, the glycemic index, the Zone, and raw foods. My teachers included great minds like Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Walter Willette, Deepak Chopra, and Dr. Barry Sears, among other leading specialist in the field of integrative and holistic medicine.

As a certified health coach, I help wanna-be-moms and dads naturally improve their fertility so they can easily conceive, healthfully grow, and birth the healthy little baby they have always wanted. Enabling them to grow healthier and happier as a family by providing the lifelong tools to live a fulfilled life free of reversible and preventive chronic illness and disease. I do this by offering a listening ear and providing the education, support, and the accountability my clients need to make immediate and long lasting lifestyle changes.

Following my passion for holistic health and alternative therapies while completing my health counseling certification, I also became a student at the American College of Healthcare Sciences in March 2009. Continuing my formal education in the health and wellness field studying Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) with a major in Herbal Medicine. In an effort to keep my wealth of knowledge ever growing in 2012 after the home birth of my beautiful baby boy I began working toward my Childbirth Educator and Postpartum Doula certifications, once again, in order to better serve my clients.

When I am not working with clients or continuing my education, I enjoy spending time with my family. My husband, Brandon and I have been married for 13 years and are the proud parents of two amazing adopted pups, Mario (7) and Roxy (9) BUT our proudest moment as parents was when Jett Lee Tran entered our world in December 2011 through a gentle, natural home-birth. We can wholeheartedly say, hands-down he is the best thing that has ever happened to us.