Featured Guest: Laurie Bittel
Laurie and I went to high school together and recently reconnected. It turns out, we have a lot in common. We are both passionate about nutrition and wellness. We live in the same area, and our families even attend the same church. It's been a pleasure to get to know Laurie all over again. She's such a sweet person, and it's evident that her life's mission and calling is to help others in their journey towards healthy living. Laurie is a health coach certified through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a fabulous and renowned program. I hope you enjoy reading her interview. Be sure to keep her in mind if you're looking for support in weight loss or healthy eating and living. Her contact information is at the end.
TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
I am a wife and a mother of two girls, ages 10 and 12. I live in Cranberry Township and grew up in the Wexford area. I spent 20 years working in Corporate America as a financial analyst. Though my degree is in accounting, I have always had very diverse interests. During high school, I completed a trade school program and got my cosmetology license. In college, I did hair/nails and instructed aerobics while studying business. I also enjoyed the psychology classes I experienced, and I took so many of those credits that I declared a minor. When I graduated from college, I was honored to land a great job at a public accounting firm and started my path in that career. It served me well for many years, especially as we were building a financial foundation for our family. However, it was never my passion.
Tell us about your role in the health and wellness arena. Why is this such a passion for you?
After many years of trying to be SUPERMOM, I experienced complete burnout. That lifestyle is not sustainable. I tried to be everything to everyone and said "yes" way too much. In my search for more balance, I came across the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I got on their mailing list, and the emails I received really resonated. I signed up for their health coaching certification program. A health coach is a supportive mentor to help you achieve WHOLE wellness by the accumulation of small lifestyle and behavioral changes. Whole wellness combines many areas of life (food, exercise, sleep, stress, career and relationships as some examples). This brought together all my diverse interests so beautifully. Cosmetology to help people find good non-toxic beauty products and make my own with essential oils, psychology to help people push past what’s holding them back from achieving their personal goals, business/accounting to start my own company, and getting to help others with the topic of health which I have always been passionate about in my own life. Going through the IIN program, I implemented many changes, some of them just in perspective!! Now I get the opportunity to pass on that experience, be part of the global movement, and create the ripple effect to improve the health and happiness of the world…one mom at a time.
What is one thing or event that has transformed your life in the biggest way?
Marrying my husband and having children. He has supported me every step of the way, and my kids have brought me so much joy. At the end of the day, it is all about JOY!! That’s what everyone needs, but it doesn’t look the same for all people. I help others find their personal balance and create space for true joy.
HOW DO YOU SERVE YOUR COMMUNITY?
I am an active member of my church where I taught Sunday school for five years. I now help out with the youth group ... growing with my kids! I’m also in the process of finding ways to bring my wellness teachings to the moms at our church which funnels down to the children. Again, the ripple effect!
Who is your biggest inspiration and why?
My biggest inspiration right now is other health coaches that are out there doing this work authentically and making a difference! At 42, I am very focused on learning and growing. I left a job I was very comfortable with to pursue this passion. One of my friends termed it “Laurie 2.0”. I love that!
What do you like to do for fun? Any guilty pleasures?
I love hanging out with my family. As we are approaching the teenage years, I realize this is not something that is always going to be an option. I’m soaking it in. I love to get outside in nature as often as possible. We have a place in the middle of nowhere that doesn’t even have cell reception. It is one of my favorite places to spend time with my family. There, I enjoy hiking, reading, and cooking. My husband has hunted there all his life, and it is his happy place. I’m glad our children get to experience it, too. Guilty pleasures … I’m always down for a good Netflix binge!
What is one thing you do each day that makes the most impact on your health or in your life?
SELF-CARE ... I listen to my body and mind to know what I need that particular day, and I make sure I build in some time for it.
WHAT ARE SOME TIPS YOU WOULD GIVE SOMEONE TRYING TO OPTIMIZE THEIR HEALTH?
Start small with diet and exercise.
Say "no" more often.
Implement more self-care.
Make sleep a priority. (This is one of my favorite things to do!)
Hire a health coach ;)
GIVE US YOUR CONTACT INFO!
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