Inger Pols: About my journey through corporate America to health and wellness
I spent a dozen years as a successful Marketing Executive in corporate America watching friends and colleagues get sick. At younger and younger ages, I heard about diabetes, cholesterol and statin drugs, auto-immune disorders, high blood pressure and stress.
Then in 2001, I embarked on a life-changing journey; I adopted a four-year-old boy from Kazakhstan. Seeing the run-down orphanage where he lived—with no toilets, just holes dug in the concrete floor for a latrine, eating gruel for dinner, drinking and bathing in brown water—was an unforgettable experience. My son was the size of an 18-month-old when he came home: malnourished, weak, and often sick.
A year later, I traveled to Siberia to bring home a three-year-old girl. While her living conditions were much better than her brother’s, her nutrition was still limited. Admiring beautiful strawberry plants in the orphanage garden, I asked if my daughter liked strawberries, as we had a pick-your-own strawberry field in our town. I was shocked to hear that the strawberries were grown for the workers and that the children’s diet was kept simple to avoid allergic reactions.
Introducing my kids to new foods was an amazing experience. Neither had ever had hot or a cold food before, so they needed to acquire a taste for ice cream and food had to cool down to room temperature before they would eat it. My daughter found comfort in the blandness and continues to prefer a carb-heavy diet without spice or exotic flavors.
My son is exactly the opposite: he seeks flavor stimulation and enjoys spices and hot sauce—his favorite food is Caesar salad with anchovies. Sharing this experience with them changed my relationship with food. I realized good food is more than just nutrition; it’s nourishment on every level. It’s environment AND genetics. It’s healing. It’s nurturing. It’s coping. It’s love.
At first, I accepted the poor nutrition my children had received in utero and for the first few years of their lives as something I could not change. But as they began to eat and grow, I became more and more curious about how I might help them overcome their challenging start.
I began to research nutrition and dietary theory and found extensive information indicating that it was not too late to change his development, that new neural pathways could be created, and good nutrition could not only prevent health challenges in the future, but also reverse conditions already present. I knew at that moment that I would devote myself to learning all that I could to help my kids thrive going forward.
I already had a solid educational foundation, with an undergraduate degree from Yale University and a Masters in Business Administration from the Columbia Business School. The time I had spent in the corporate world honed my writing, research and problem solving skills. But I needed to learn more about wellness.
So I went back to school. I attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC — in conjunction with Columbia University’s Teachers College – to study nutrition and dietary theory and received certification as a Holistic Health Counselor. I studied to become a Holistic Stress Management Instructor, a Certified Personal Trainer, an Indoor Rowing Coach, in addition to already being an Indoor Cycling Coach for more than twelve years, and I worked with energy medicine and healing systems.
I also read everything I could get my hands on, talked to physicians, naturopaths, healers, and researchers to learn all that I could. I invested in classroom training, but my voracious quest for knowledge was not contained by formal classroom educational initiatives. I researched and investigated independently and continue to do so today.
And I integrated my work experience with my new passion. I led the marketing initiatives at a women’s wellness company focused on natural healing and I learned first-hand from the pioneers of alternative women’s health that originally included Dr. Christiane Northrup.
As I started applying what I learned, my kids, who suffered from allergies, migraines and regular bouts of pneumonia and bronchitis, became healthy. Suddenly people were asking me why my kids never got sore throats or missed school. I began coaching wellness programs and sharing what I had learned.
Then my life took another turn. My son was struggling with reading and writing and had been for years. The school kept telling me that it was because English was not his first language and that he could catch up eventually. Because no one ever spoke to the kids in the orphanage, he never spoke Russian, and I knew it wasn’t a second language issue. By the time he was going into 6th grade, unable to read or write, the school told me their goal was that he learn to read and write by the time he graduated high school. Knowing he was a smart, engaged, curious kid who loved math and science, this was unacceptable to me. He deserved more.
So being the researcher I am, I set out to figure out what was wrong. Ultimately, I determined he had severe dyslexia and after taking him to a neuropsychologist, testing confirmed my conclusion. Our school in Maine, the same great academic institution that enabled me to receive early acceptance to Yale, got my older sister into the seven year medical program at Brown guaranteeing her admission into medical school upon entrance to college, and my younger sister into Stanford, had no resources to teach him to read.
I traveled to Massachusetts to visit the leading school for dyslexic children in the area and they confirmed what he would require for instruction and support and that there were no programs like that in Maine. But because he also had some working memory challenges, their program would move too quickly for him and they recommended two schools that would be able to help him. One was in New Hampshire and one was in Massachusetts and interviews for acceptance for each would need to be conducted before he could enroll.
Within the week, I listed my house in Maine and bought a house in Massachusetts, half way between the two so that we could be settled in and ready to start the new school year when it began six weeks later. Leaving my job, family and friends and the home and community I love was extremely difficult.
But enrolling my son in the school we selected proved to be the key that turned the lock for him. Now several years later, both of my children have changed schools since arriving here but they are thriving in their new settings. They agree that it would not have been possible to reach where they are today had we not made the move.
One additional positive that came out of my move was that I was asked to serve as the founding Editor of New England Health Advisory, new international health start up launching here in Massachusettes.
As Editor at New England Health Advisory, I have written dozens and dozens of articles about health and wellness. Upon initial launch, our subscriber list grew to about 30,000 in the first three months and in addition to 3-4 articles a week, (now bi-monthly), I answered the questions of loyal readers one on one. This led to the publication of my first book, an e-book entitled, “What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You – Change Your Life One Bite, One Breath, One Step At A Time,” which hit #8 on the amazon.com healthy living e-book best seller list.
Working with so many people seeking to make changes to their health and wellness, I began to see firsthand that most people were not able to successfully make lasting change, even if they really wanted to. I read the studies that showed that 9 out of 10 people who had suffered a life-threatening heart attack and were at risk of a second, told that if they did not make change to their diet or lifestyle they could die, were unable to do so. I observed that the static that 98% of people who go on a diet gain the weight back and more, often within six months, was painfully true. And I wondered what was happening for the 2% that the rest of us needed to know.
So being a researcher, I set out to uncover the secrets to making lasting change and to overcoming the reasons that most people fail. Now I have brought that all powerful information together into a new book and audio course to give you all the tools you need to prevent procrastination, overcome overwhelm, and banish temptation forever. If you have ever struggled to get started, keep going or get it done, I can show you how to Finally Make It Happen. I’ve done it, and so can you!
Over the years, I have invested thousands of hours into breaking through the misinformation and the conflicting research that exists in order to get to the truth, and I am thrilled to be able to share what I have learned with you now. I have analyzed the research, consulted the experts, uncovered the truth and made it accessible to everyone.
Sir Francis Bacon said that knowledge is power. It is my mission to share my knowledge to empower you to live a better life: a longer, happier and healthier life. You deserve the best life possible. Isn’t it time you took control, lived life on your own terms, and Finally Made It Happen? Today is the day; your time is now! Don’t wait; join me now!