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Functional Medicine Coaching Academy’s Elyse Wagner – Pain to Purpose

Podcast 210

Today’s guest was overweight and bullied as a teen and later diagnosed with Celiac disease in her twenties. Elyse Wagner decided to heal herself with whole foods, positive attitude, and functional medicine. She is now a nutritionist, mental health counselor and the co-founder of the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy. 

In this episode, we talk about:

  • Elyse’s health problems she dealt with growing up 
  • The future of health coaching and how it is becoming more sophisticated
  • The collaboration between the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy (FMCA) and The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM)
  • Legitimizing the field of health coaching with a current research initiative
  • What makes FMCA unique from other health coach certifications
  • Key traits of a good health coach
  • Opportunities offered to graduates of FMCA
  • Things to consider when it comes to studying nutrition
  • Setting the gold standard for the health coach industry

Elyse Wagner has always been a questioner, motivated to discover what’s possible when you’re really, truly in your soul purpose. For her, that purpose is to help others take ownership of their health. She first embraced this calling while in graduate school at Bastyr University, when she was diagnosed with celiac disease. In struggling with her diagnosis, she realized that she had always known, intuitively, that certain foods were creating “brain fog,” bloating, and mood swings. So she made the empowering decision to become the CEO of her health and tapped into the motivation to change her lifestyle. 

Elyse healed her mind and body by applying the knowledge she was learning in her master’s program: that food and a positive mindset are the most powerful medicine. It became clear to her that she was called to empower others to choose health and educate them on how to achieve wellness. 

After earning a dual master’s degree in holistic nutrition and clinical psychology, Elyse began practicing as a certified nutritionist and licensed mental health counselor. In 2013, she founded My Kitchen Shrink, Inc. and joined Dr. Scheinbaum at Feed Your Mind Wellness, LLC as a Health Coach, where they connected over their shared belief in the transformative power of Functional Medicine coaching. 

Elyse always hoped to make a powerful impact on the world through health education. Founding FMCA and serving thousands of students as part of the Functional Medicine movement is the manifestation of a lifelong dream. 

“Sandi and I share a passion for teaching, inspiring, and empowering like-minded professionals to become effective coaches. FMCA provides an educational framework that embodies the perfect blend of mind, body, and spirit. It’s not just a program, it’s a movement, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to guide your personal and professional growth. This is what I’m here to do, what I need to do. This is my purpose.” 

Elyse is the author of Smoothie Secrets Revealed: A Guide to Enhance Your Health and co-author of Functional Medicine Coaching: How to Be Part of the Movement That’s Transforming Healthcare.

Memorable Quotes

  • “More and more people are realizing they can own their health.”
  • “We believe that when our coaches stay within their scope of practice, and stay within their lane if you will, that’s when you can really shine and serve.”
  • “A lot of people come for the content but then they stay for the community.”
  •  “We’re going to continue to elevate this field. One coach at a time, one graduate at a time…and one program at a time.”


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