If you have an interest in wellness as a business, I am going to detail the steps of how I became a sought after women’s health coach and DUTCH hormone test expert as I get questions like this quite frequently:
- How do you have your practice set up?
- You’ve done so many DUTCH tests. Where did you learn to do this?
- Which other educational paths have you pursued?
Like many in the wellness field, my path to becoming a women’s health coach that specializes in hormone imbalance came from my own experience with hormone imbalances.
Here’s a brief summary of my journey so you understand how this process unfolded for me: In my early 40s, I experienced worsening PMS, massive mood swings, weight gain and low mood. By age 42, I was firmly planted in perimenopause and my most troubling symptom was insomnia.
I sought out the help of a well known doctor in NYC to help me get back on track. I knew my body was off, and although I’d been holistically minded for decades, I knew I needed outside eyes and professional guidance to get me through this phase of life.
To say my experience with this Manhattan-based integrative doctor was a disappointment would be putting it kindly. After 3 months of care, minimal symptom improvement and thousands of out of pocket dollars later, I knew there had to be a better way.
Thus my journey began….
- In 2013, I enrolled in the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. It was a good experience at the time and I made several dear friends that still enrich my life to this day, but I no longer recommend that school for various reasons, the main reasons being that there is no support after you graduate and the curriculum is weak.
- Right after graduating from IIN, I enrolled in The Hormone Cure Program for Practitioners offered by Dr. Sara Gottfried. Dr. Sara was influential in taking me from a regular health coach to one with a deeper understanding of women’s delicate hormone systems. I do not think she offers the program any longer.
- The ink was barely dried on my certificate from Dr. Gottfried, when I decided that I wanted an even deeper dive into endocrine physiology and functional medicine lab work, so in 2014, I enrolled in The Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Program. This program was a major game changer for me in terms of knowledge, confidence and the ability to run crucial lab tests. One of the things that makes this program unique is that you work on YOUR OWN health first. You run labs on yourself as part of the course. It brings the learning to a very personal level. I have already referred 16 people into the program. I recommend it highly.
- After going through FDN, I enrolled in the UK based program 3rd Age Woman Peri to Post Menopause Wellness Certification with Burrell Education. I loved how the focus of this program was on women going through hormone transitions. It was a good adjunct to what I had already learned up until this point.
- In 2017, I completed the Redefining Hormones Course by Dr. Lindsey Berkson. I LOVED this course as its focus goes much deeper than basic hormone balance knowledge. It’s primary focus is on how the environment and toxins are upsetting hormone balance on a worldwide scale. This is definitely not a beginner course but if you’ve got hormone physiology knowledge already and a desire to learn from a true scholar, this course may interest you.
- In 2016, I enrolled in the Institute for Functional Health Coaching. I wanted to brush up on my coaching and business skills and there is no better way to do that than go through the 4 month comprehensive program offered by IFHC. School director Carmen Hunter is a real world, in-the-trenches health coach who built her practice from the ground up, minus the ridiculous ‘make 6 figures in 3 months’ type advice. Do you remember I said that I no longer recommend IIN? If you are even *thinking* of enrolling in IIN, please check out this webinar from The Institute for Functional Health Coaching instead.
- And most recently, in 2018, I completed The Menopause Method Certification course for physicians by Daved Rosensweet, MD. I was not able to do the certification process (it is for licensed doctors who want to be able to prescribe hormones to their patients), but I was able to learn the methods that Dr. Rosensweet uses to guide menopausal women in the use of hormone therapies.
Lastly, I want to give credit to several amazing mentors that I’ve had along the way. One of them is Dr. Carrie Jones, the medical director of Precision Analytical Lab, who is a ‘living-breathing-walking women’s hormones encyclopedia”.
Dr. Jones is a powerhouse women’s health expert who continues to receive my emails around challenging cases and always responds with that rare combination of knowledge and kindness. If you are not following her on Instagram, I highly recommend it. She shares a wealth of useable information there and she’s funny, to boot!
My other mentor is the equally amazing Dr. Lindsey Berkson, who has been in the clinical trenches of functional medicine for over 40 years and has written over 20 books. I am so lucky to call her both friend and official mentor. We get together 2x a month to discuss challenging clinical cases.
She is also a healthy foodie and really walks her talk in so many ways. If you haven’t read her book Sexy Brain or Safe Hormones, Smart Women, well, I just have to ask, why not?