We are pleased to present a new blog series featuring Women Entrepreneurs. We meet so many women who are hard- working, tenacious, creative and generous and we want you to meet them too. We ask about life, inspiration and curiosity and they answer as we would expect. With honesty and amazing spirit!

Our first fabulous guest blogger in this series is Elyse Wagner MS, CN, LMHCA, Founder of My Kitchen Shrink and co-founder of Functional Medicine Coaching Academy, Inc.  

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Tell us about your business and its history or a story of inception.

My Kitchen Shrink, Inc. was born out of my passion and belief that food is medicine, that you can heal yourself and I love to help people realize their own innate gifts and talents. I started this practice out of graduate school in Seattle, WA and quickly realized I wanted to move out of a clinical setting into more positive psychology coaching.  I moved back to Chicago and met my colleague and now business partner, Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum, Phd.  I worked with some of her clients practicing health coaching as I was continuing to build up My Kitchen Shrink Inc.  We both saw a growing need for health coaches and as Sandi was finishing up becoming certified as Functional Medicine Practitioner, we put our heads together and blended functional medicine, positive psychology, mind-body techniques and nutrition together to create the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy, a 12- month program in collaboration with the world-renowned Institute for Functional Medicine. The all online program’s first class will begin in January 2016.  As of today, My Kitchen Shrink Inc, has various services, programs and products and I am still continuing to do  private concierge coaching while balancing the admissions’ coordinator and practicum director positions.

 

Name a recent challenge that you faced as a woman in business or as an entrepreneur and tell me how you over-came.

Recently, I was challenged with giving up one company for the other to make sure my time, energy, resources were in the right place.  I couldn’t imagine doing that and I knew that I would not be the same if I left what I started unfinished.  After months of contemplating, a solution appeared and I’m so happy I stood my ground and in my truth.

 

What recently sparked your curiosity and how did you satisfy it? (ie. you wondered why guacamole tastes soooo good and so you signed up for a cooking class)

Can I say dating?!  For the past couple of years, I’ve been so involved in building up my businesses that I’ve left dating to the backburner, so I’m dabbling and enjoying a date or two here and there. It’s fun to meet new people and hear their story!

Tell me about a moment in life that made you proud, either of yourself or someone you know.

A key moment in my life was when I received my acceptance letter into Bastyr University.  I knew this was a pivot point in my life and everything was going to be OK.   I realized that when you really believe in yourself and you know something will happen, and it is in alignment with your core values, you will get it!

What advice do you have for women who are just entering the workforce?

Ground yourself in your passion, what truly drives you and why.  It is this (not co-workers, friends, family, spouse, etc…) that will get you through the rough times (and there will be rough times). : )

How does your business support/enable work-life balance? What do you do to make sure you have “you time”?

Great question!  I believe that from a young girl, I thought to myself, this HAS to be part of my life and I’m going to make a business out of it – I am going to help people become their healthiest, happiest self! I make sure to practice what I preach on a daily basis by incorporating being present in my sessions, meetings etc…

I always make sure I have ‘me’ time.  I call it my ‘self-preservation’ time.  Some may consider it selfish.  However, I believe that each individual has a gift to give to the world, and if you’re not at your best, how can you give to others?

Everyday I make sure to incorporate these ‘ingredients’ into my recipe for health and happiness:

:: Meditation/relaxation exercise

:: intention for the day

:: green smoothie

:: re-cap of day via journal

:: get outside and move my body for at least 15-20 minutes

 

Thanks Elyse for all the great insight! Stay tuned for our next guest Women Entrepreneur blog!