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Ever since our first cohort of coaches graduated from our AIP Certified Coach Practitioner Training Program, we’ve been watching with pride and excitement as they bring the AIP to the traditional healthcare landscape. Our AIP Certified Coach Spotlight features give you a look at what it means to be an AIP coach, and what you can expect when working with one as part of your healthcare team.
After discovering how to heal her own body from decades of gut health problems, Erin knew she wanted to work in the health field. She began her career as a trained therapist and quickly saw a gap in the conventional approach to health: whole-body wellness. Since earning her AIP Coaching Certification, Erin helps folks with autoimmune disease learn to heal their bodies from the inside out.
How did you become involved in the healthcare field in the beginning?
I became involved in the healthcare field through my own health struggles. I suffered from gastrointestinal problems for over a decade, which manifested as classic gut symptoms but also brain fog, anxiety/depression, weight fluctuations, chronic fatigue, skin issues, and severe food sensitivities. It was an incredibly challenging experience because the field of functional medicine had not yet gained its current momentum, and I saw countless conventionally trained doctors with little relief.
Despite being told that I was “fine,” I knew there had to be a way to feel better in my body. I was in my 20s and there were days where I was so tired I could barely get out of bed. I finally found a functional medicine provider who changed my life and introduced me to the power of food as medicine, taking an in-depth approach and working on healing the root cause of my gut imbalances.
After discovering how to heal my own body and years of research and self-study, I knew I wanted to work in the field. At this time I was a trained therapist but felt like my practice was missing a key component: the whole-body approach to wellness. Within the mental health field, we have a long way to go in terms of providing education about the gut-brain connection and how foods and inflammation affect our mood. I knew I wanted to help bridge this gap by providing greater awareness of holistic health, particularly gut health. I went back to school to become a certified health coach and soon after discovered the AIP Certified Coach program.
What prompted you to use your skill set and training to specifically focus on serving the autoimmune disease population?
After suffering from my own issues stemming from leaky gut and autoimmunity, I became more cognizant of how prevalent autoimmune disease is, especially among women. This motivated me to learn as much as I could and I became connected with the AIP community thanks to a friend who was an active member. I was blown away by the strength and support of the group and it further motivated me to work with others in this population.
You recently became an AIP Certified Coach. Were there aspects of the program that you feel were particularly beneficial?
I absolutely loved the AIP Certified Coaching Program! What I found most beneficial is the focus on evidence-based research when it comes to underlying causes of autoimmune disease and ways to improve quality of life via diet and lifestyle factors. Understanding why our immune system reacts the way it does is fundamental to helping others in the field, as well as empowering them to take their health back into their own hands. I enjoyed the deep-dive into gut health education and how the AIP lifestyle can improve outcomes for so many people. The coaching program did a great job of providing the necessary research while also covering how to best support those with autoimmune disease, wherever they are on their path.
What kinds of plans do you currently have for your practice? Anything exciting coming up?
Yes – I am always working on new projects (I love creating!) and the one I am most excited about is my upcoming gut health program that launches in the spring, called the Wild & Rooted Gut Health Coaching Program. I designed this program with a NTP colleague of mine who also specializes in gut health. We created it for those with gut health concerns and autoimmune disease who are looking for a supportive, collaborative group coaching environment where they can learn more about gut health and share their experiences. We are covering everything from the fundamentals of how the gut works, to supportive gut-healthy foods (and how it is highly individualized), stress management, and much more.
Can you share an autoimmune client success story?
My favorite autoimmune client success story is from a client of mine who was very skeptical in the beginning when it came to the power of modifying her diet to help manage her Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. I took a slow, supportive approach with her because I know the importance or meeting clients where they are at, especially if they are ambivalent about trying something new for their health. After providing education and encouragement, my client decided she was ready to alter her diet because she was tired of feeling so poorly. Within a week of changing her food choices (like eliminating gluten and processed foods while incorporating more nutrient-dense and home-cooked meals), she was already feeling better and this continued over the next few months. Her chronic fatigue has lifted, she no longer suffers from painful gut issues, and she has noticed a huge difference in her mood as well. Her biggest complaint was her low energy levels and she is happy to have energy again!
Where can our readers find you or learn about working with you?
I love connecting with others in this space and talking about health. You can find more about me and my current services over on my website, Ginger Roots Health. I am also over on Instagram @gingerrootshealth where I share daily wellness and travel inspiration – my two passions!