Erin Foushee is a Nutrition Therapy Practitioner & Corporate Wellness Program Developer based in Louisville, KY.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME AN NTP?
I was not your average teen. At the age of 14, I knew that someday I wanted kids with wide pallets. Polyface meat on the table, local raw milk in my cup, and a “fragrant” scoby morphing in the cabinet were the norm for me growing up.
From a young age, I enjoyed delving into the science of nutrition. Furthermore, I loved the edge in athletics and academics that eating nutrient dense food provided me. I learned it was a simple equation. If I ate well and slept enough, I was on top of my game in all arenas. However, those post-game chicken nuggets with the team noticeably took my energy and health down a notch. As a competitive athlete and high achieving student, this information was golden to me. I felt that I had cracked the code.
My next thought was, “People needed to know this secret to success!”
Growing up in the greater DC area, it was natural for me to have an activist spirit. I earned my bachelor’s degree in politics, planning to create change from the top down through my work in nutrition public policy. After a short but illuminating job in health policy, I changed my tune. I would rather work face to face with people rather than with the computers, red tape, and 10 year policy goals that surrounded me in the political world.
I switched gears and got hands on experience with the people I wanted to help. While working as the wellness director at a health center for overweight youth, I completed my certification from NTA. A month after graduating, I became the nutritionist for a wellness club in Alexandria, VA where I worked with individual clients and taught targeted group workshops for moms, athletes, teens, businesses, and overweight individuals. I loved the group dynamic and soon found my niche coaching employees. I developed and implemented preventative based nutrition and fitness corporate wellness programs. Two years later, I started my company, Fortis Wellness, which is focused on strengthening employees and the companies they work for from the inside out.
My original career plan did not pan out exactly as I envisioned, and I am so grateful for that. I have been able to fulfill my dream of influencing hundreds of individuals each year, and I get to do it on the ground level while building lasting relationships with the people I coach.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT WHY YOU CHOSE NTA FOR YOUR HOLISTIC NUTRITION EDUCATION?
I had planned to earn my master’s degree in nutrition after college. However, none of the programs I reviewed provided the holistic, bio-individual approach that NTA offered through its certification. I made the right choice in selecting NTA for my schooling! Despite the common misconception, you do not need that master’s degree to gain respect in the field. Pair the foundational nutrition knowledge that NTA provides with a strong work ethic, and you have a recipe for success.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART ABOUT THE PROGRAM AND WHY?
I love that NTA dismisses the common “one-size fits all” approach. NTA provided me with so many evaluative tools, which help me analyze the unique strengths and weakness of my clients. This enables me to give tailored recommendations to clients.
HOW ARE YOU CURRENTLY USING THE EDUCATION YOU RECEIVED THROUGH THE NTA?
I support employees’ overall health, productivity, and energy through the corporate wellness programs that I provide. These programs include nutrition workshop series, fitness programs, and individual consultations for employees.
Also, I help other NTPs and NTCs who want to change the health of employees in their communities. I took the corporate wellness workshop series that I use and added supportive materials to it. My program enables nutritional therapists interested in the corporate market to hit the ground running rather than spending time and money on program development.
Lastly, I write a monthly newsletter for health care practitioners interested in teaching workshops. (Sign up at www.FortisNTP.com
!) I think workshops are such an effective way to promulgate our message of health, healing, and hope to large numbers of people. I have had a lot of success in this field, but I have also fallen on my face a number of times in that process. Although I learned so much from failures along the way, my goal in sharing my business insights is to help health practitioners to avoid some of those (business) bruises that I received. I love the NTA community and this is my way of paying it forward.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE ANY OBJECTIONS YOU HAD TO OVERCOME BEFORE STARTING THE PROGRAM OR YOUR BIGGEST FEAR BEFORE TAKING THE LEAP?
The biggest obstacle was getting over the pride of replacing my dream of getting a master’s degree in nutrition with the NTA certification. However, that was an easy barrier to overcome once I realized that NTA would provide me with better tools for reaching my professional goals as compared to the other schools I was considering.
IS THERE ANY ADVICE YOU CAN SHARE WITH NEW GRADUATES?
You have enough right now. You do not need to listen to another Chris Kresser podcast, attend a seminar on reading blood panels, or learn an additional modality in order to be successful.
You need to start working in the field. That is the best training ground.
If you love learning, turn your attention to material focused on marketing, selling, improving your writing, or enhancing your public speaking skills.
WHAT HAS BEEN ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE CLIENT SUCCESSES THUS FAR?
Several years ago, a middle-aged mom approached me wanting to enhance her nutrition to better support her newly found passion for triathlon racing. After our first consultation, we determined that her lifelong struggle with depression and other serious neurological imbalances also needed to be addressed with a targeted nutritional protocol.
Fast forward to a few years later. Through nutritional therapy, this client is now able to manage her depression, free from the huge list of medications that sent her to the hospital on more than one occasion. Furthermore, I have had the joy of supporting her nutritional needs as she competed in dozens of races, including the 2014 World Triathlon in Edmonton. I am so proud of all that she has accomplished! I love working with high achievers and this client definitely fit that bill.
WHAT ARE A FEW OF YOUR GO-TO SNACKS?
I love a hearty bone broth soup topped with butter or cream.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE TREAT OR INDULGENCE?
Raw whipped cream with fruit is my go-to treat.
WHAT’S THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?
I’m reading Boys Adrift
and Girls on the Edge
. The author of this pair of books dives into the negative effects of various cultural, health, and educational trends on teens’ development. It is fascinating!
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL SOMEONE WHO IS THINKING ABOUT BECOMING AN NTP?
This program will change your life (in a positive way). Be prepared!
You can find out more about Erin and her company, Fortis Wellness, by visiting www.fortiswellness.com or www.FortisNTP.com.