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I learned so much from participating in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition health coach certification program. And not just about how to help other people.
I learned some valuable lessons about self-care and loving myself. And that health is a lot more than just food!
Below you'll find 5 powerful lessons I learned while attending the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
Interested in learning more about how to become a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach? Click this button below to start your health coaching journey!
1. a morning routine is important
How you start your day sets the tone for the rest of the day, and there is power in creating a morning routine.
Back in college, I used to be the BIGGEST morning person ever: up at 5am, hit the gym, whip up a hearty breakfast, and then off to 8 hours of classes and work. By the time I had decided to jump into health coaching, I had gone through a number of life shifts (career and health-related) and had slipped out of those habits.
I wasn't in a terrible place, but my lifestyle changes had taken away the structure my day desperately needed. I had lost a lot of motivation, had become pretty unorganized, and my life felt more chaotic than I wanted it to.
While attending the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, setting new morning routines allowed me to reclaim my time, focus, and boost my productivity.
Not only did I feel better about myself, but I became more capable of helping people make better choices as a certified health coach.
Some of my favorite morning routine rituals now include:
- Morning stretches and basic yoga poses
- Applying or diffusing uplifting/grounding essential oils, such as vetiver, Bergamot, and dōTERRA Balance Grounding Blend
- Listing things I'm thankful for in a gratitude journal
- Before using my phone or turning on my computer, writing my priorities and intentions for the day in a planner
2. A Bedtime routine is just as important
A morning routine sets the intention for the day, and a nighttime routine is important to revisit those intentions and wrap up loose ends.
Having a bedtime routine allows you to end your day in day in a good place, no matter how crazy that day may have been!
For me, becoming more mindful about my bedtime routine helped me to take more control of my emotions, let go of unwanted energy and anxiety, and move forward.
Oh, and have more restful sleep. 😴
My pre-bedtime rituals now consist of:
- Brewing some herbal tea
- Washing my face (this self-care practice really helps set the tone for my mind and body)
- Applying and diffusing calming essential oils, such as Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Frankincense, or dōTERRA Serenity Restful Blend
- Follow a short guided meditation (the Headspace app is great for this)
- Revisiting my gratitude journey, and writing down the positive experiences from the day
If I still feel overly stimulated or the day has left me with anxious feels or a lot of mental noise (all of which a really struggle with), I supplement my bedtime routine with dōTERRA Serenity softgels. This all-natural herbal complex is infused with lavender, chamomile, lemon balm, and L-Theanine, and offers great sleep support and calms the nervous system.
3. Self-care is sexy
The Institute for Integrative Nutrition introduced me to all sorts of self-care methods and Ayurvedic practices that I didn't have much experience with prior to the program.
And there's nothing more attractive than someone who cares for themselves! 😉
Some things I incorporate into my self-care routine include:
- Tongue scraping
- Oil pulling
- Dry brushing
- Hot towel scrubbing
- Weekly epsom salt baths
- Deep-breathing exercises
- Affirmations and vision boarding
Finding self-care practices that work for you takes some experimenting and listening to your body. Have fun with it!
4. Self-love is crucial
Prior to working toward my health coach certification through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I had a big personal problem that was holding me back from reaching my goals and feeling good about my health journey: negative self-talk.
It's still something I work on, but identifying something you struggle with is the first step to overcoming it.
Have you ever said anything like the following to yourself?
"I need to lose weight. I hate how fat I am."
"I need to gain muscle. I don't like how skinny I am."
"My face looks so bad today. I need to do a cleanse."
"I don't like who I see in the mirror."
You don't have to raise your hand if you have. Chances are you've said at least one of these statements. I know I have.
When we're trying to make healthy lifestyle changes, it's really important to realize that change spurred by negative self-talk will carry that negativity with it. The power of intention has a lot to do with how we feel about ourselves - for better or for worse.
Let's rephrase those statements, this time driven with self-love and imbued with positivity:
"What can I do to be healthier?"
"I want to exercise more. It makes me feel good!"
"My gut is imbalanced and it is showing up on my face. What should I eliminate from my diet? And how can I add more fresh veggies, enzyme-rich foods, and probiotics?"
"I am not perfect, but when I look in the mirror I see my potential."
There is so much power in the words we say to ourselves!
Positive self-talk rewires our brains and how we perceive both ourselves and the world around us. Positive self-talk is actionable.
Learning to love ourselves and healthily expressing that self-love is transformative and empowers us to make lasting chances.
5. Creating balance is a lifelong journey
I think the most important lesson I learned is that being happy and healthy is a lifelong journey. I used to find myself telling myself "I'll be happy when [such and such] happens." That's no way to live a life!
Life is a constant flux and flow, and striving for balance is a constant practice. I've found that I am happier when I recognize this and try to enjoy life in the moment, whatever that moment may look like.
This quote from Jason Wachob (Mindbodygreen CEO and founder) from his book "Wellth: How I Learned to Build A Life, Not A Resume" really resonates with me. Wellth is a word Wachob uses to describe living life to its fullest and healthiest potential.
To be truly wellthy is to find your personal prescription — to discover what works for you, what feels good, what you love. That process of discovery never ends.
There are certain diets and types of exercise that are right for you in certain periods of your life but not others.
Not only do we have to find the approach that works for us; we need to learn how to adapt that approach, or change it entirely, throughout our lives.
My year at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition was so valuable. Not only did I learn nutritional theory, ethical coaching practices, and some important science behind wellness and healthy living, but I learned a lot about myself and picked up behaviors and beliefs that have helped me transform more into who I want to be.
I hope the lessons I've learned benefit you, as well as the other people I serve!
If you're interested in learning more about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition program, click here.
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MEET HAPPY HEALTHY JOE
Joseph Struhs (LA-based certified health coach) is an essential oil educator and wellness passionisto by day, marketing consultant for health pros by night! When he's not working, you can catch him fitting in a workout at the gym or getting crazy in the kitchen.