Marie Ingrisano Isner

Marie Ingrisano Isner – Certified Health Coach

Contact Marie – marie@thefamilyplate.com

Marie Ingrisano Isner is a Certified Health Coach and a member of the AADP.  After nearly a decade working in retail and the corporate world, Marie changed courses to health as she worked to regain her own personal health after giving birth to her son.  Marie’s programs empower her clients to attain their optimal health and happiness through holistic practices that are easily incorporated into their busy lives.  Clients feel happy, in control of cravings and lighter after coaching with Marie.  Marie’s signature program, the 30 Day Nutritional Cleanse, has helped dozens of clients release unwanted weight and reach their health goals.

Since 2009, Marie has been chronicling her journey to health in an original blog called My Love Affair With Cheese (www.affairwithcheese.com). With offices in Brooklyn, Marie leads workshops on nutrition and offers individual health and nutrition coaching to men and women across the USA.

Testimonial: “Working with Marie was life changing. I had tried many a time to alter my food dialogue on my own to no avail. Marie helped me do it and succeed. Now I am more conscious about what I eat and eating balanced nutrition. Thanks, Marie.” – Mali Mayer, Brooklyn, NY

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It is with great excitement that I celebrate my graduation from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition on December 2nd. It’s a virtual graduation, because it is a virtual course, so I don’t actually get a cap and gown like in the past.  What I have received is my certification from the AADP as a Health Coach, and this is the basis for my new business The Family Plate.

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Marie graduates HS, 1999

These are iPhone pictures of my graduation pictures that hang in my mother’s house.  I lovingly call this one, “The Giant Marie Head”.  It’s the largest picture of myself I’ve ever seen and since I am the oldest in my family, it hung alone on the wall for 3 years before being accompanied by the “giant Vincent head”. Graduations stick with us because they are natural milestones in one’s life.  After graduating college I didn’t think there would be more cap and gown photos in my future.  But in this past year of my self imposed “sabbatical” I’ve been given a great opportunity to go back to school and take a new direction in life.

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Marie graduates College, 2003

This time last year, I knew I wanted to do something health related, but had no idea what.  I thought about becoming a yoga teacher but couldn’t find the right fit. Luckily, the universe sent an old friend to me with a wonderful idea – become a Certified Health Coach.  I began school in January of 2013 and have spent this year learning over 100 dietary theories.  It’s been exciting to be back in school and placing a focus on learning and expanding one’s mind. I’ve have a few weeks off since our lectures ended and I actually miss them!  (I always was a teacher’s pet!)
With my certification under my belt, I can now shift my focus entirely to serving my clients and working towards the optimal health of myself and those around me.  In fact today I made my mother vegan chocolate pudding, just to show her how it’s done.  We’re not vegan, but it’s fun to learn new recipes and try new methods for preparing food.  For me it’s all about moving forward and gathering up new bits and pieces of information as we go along.  What’s great about being a health coach is that I get to interact with my clients and learn from them as well.  
Many thanks to my husband Ran and my family for being so supportive.  Without their love and encouragement I’m not sure I would have been able to take this leap!
So here’s to 2014, a new year, a new career and many new people to meet!  

 

 

One of the biggest motivators to lose weight is a wedding or a class reunion. It just so happened that I had both coming my way this past September. My brother was getting married and I had a 10 year college reunion. This coupled with some indulgence in Las Vegas back in August really got me motivated to get back on the weight loss train. I came back from Vegas and immediately got serious about watching and tracking my food. I detoxed, I cleansed, I ate a lot less. I didn’t have time for exercise, but I still managed to take off 10lbs. The first 3 were Las Vegas weight and the next 7 were pounds I really needed to lose. I’d been at a weight loss plateau for 17 months.

The good news was that I got to pull out some old clothes that haven’t fit since the pre-baby years. On my birthday I got to wear a dress that I bought on my honeymoon 4 years ago! That was quite a thrill. I really felt good, those 7 lbs were the difference between me being OK with my weight and being happy with it.

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Marie and her husband Ran at the wedding, Sept 2013

When the wedding came around, I was feeling good and was happy that my dress was even a little big.  I got many compliments from my family that I looked great!  It was a triumph over food!  I lost weight and felt great.  Good for me.

Then, I went to the reunion a week later.  Now the at the last reunion, I was also in the midst of losing weight in preparation for my wedding.  I wasn’t at the lowest weight I’d ever been, but I was also in weight loss mode, so I felt good.  From then till now I was probably only 7 or 8 lbs heavier.  Plus, I had a baby and aged 5 years, so I didn’t think it would be subject to condemnation by my friends.

The biggest change was not my weight, or the baby, but the new career.  Now, I have a business card that says I am a health coach.  Now, my weight is up for discussion.  Well, not to me, but to other people what I weigh is up for discussion because I call myself a “health coach”.  The majority of people I’d be chatting with at the reunion don’t know the intimate details of my life and my weight.  They’d just know that I was parading around as a health coach and was a certain weight and pants size.

I mentioned my new career to a former teacher, and his reaction was to look me up and down like a piece of meat.  What I saw in his eyes was, “YOU’RE a health coach?”  Disbelief that someone who looked like me could have credibility to help people lose weight?  It was like he looked through me.  He also confirmed one of my biggest fears.  “Who the hell am I to coach people on health?”

Good question.  But I didn’t have an answer.

The next day a friend/advisor also mentioned to me that I “need to lose 10 more pounds” for health reasons.  She said, “you look beautiful, but you need that weight off your feet.”  Ouch.  I thought I was really doing well and then this double whammy.

Marie and family at Muhlenberg College reunion 2013

Marie and family at Muhlenberg College reunion 2013

The truth was, that I WAS doing well, and I DID lose 10 lbs, and yes, I do need to lose another 10.  But man, I wasn’t expecting to here it from other people in such a blatant manner.  I remember thinking, “Well you don’t know where I started.”  This is also something I often think in yoga practice when a teacher I don’t know very well starts giving me a hard time on a pose.  They don’t know where I started, so they don’t know that what I’m doing might be the furthest I can go.  It’s not their fault, they just don’t know – but I do.

I also know that losing 10lbs was a big accomplishment for me after my 17 month plateau. Since then I’ve lost another 5, so I’m really gaining (lol) momentum here.  My weight, my cup size, and my pants size are really no one’s business but my own.  But maybe purposefully I have chosen a career where my health is front and center.  I am my own walking billboard.  No doubt, THIS will force me to stay the course and keep my health a priority in good times and in bad.

I actually think the answer to the fear based question, “Who the hell am I to coach people on health?” is simple.  I can do it, because I have been there and I have walked in those shoes.  I have struggled with my weight, I have tried many different types of diets.  I have worked with a health coach.  I have avoided myself in the mirror, I have felt dread when someone tags me in a picture on Facebook.  I have felt all of the emotions associated with my weight being up and down and somewhere in between.  Simply put, I have been there.

I am always reminding my clients that no one is perfect, not me, not them, not even Oprah (who has famously also battled with her weight).  We strive for 90% perfection, not 100%.  We allow ourselves 10% for fun.  Wine, chocolate, birthday cake, pasta, whatever that is for you.  Because not me (Marie the “health coach”) and not you are ever going to be perfect.  But, we are in this together.  We can support each other, we can share delicious recipes, we can encourage each other to fit in exercise, we can commiserate when things don’t go well. This is what the hell makes me a health coach, not my weight and not my pants size.

Having said that, I’d really like my pants size to be one size smaller.  So, hey, I’m working on it.

Let’s get started together to fill YOUR plate with something GREAT! Schedule a free initial consultation with me today!

I can’t say that I’ve always been able to listen to my body.  This is a skill I am only just learning after 31 years on the planet. For a while, I didn’t know if my body was talking to me, so how did I know to listen?  I didn’t!

Last night after a long day of driving, swimming and running around with kids at the family BBQ I decided a half cup of coffee would help me get through the drive home.  A half cup! So I had it, didn’t really love the taste of it (coffee and I have a love-hate relationship), and then we left for our hour long drive home.

I got home, unpacked the bags, put the baby to bed, took a shower, and then I realized, its 12:45 and I’m still wide awake.  Not in a good way though – like in a bad, “I’m gonna have to watch Downton Abbey” to fall asleep kinda way.  Then I realized, “oh, maybe I shouldn’t have had that half of a cup of coffee at 10pm. Oops”.

At that point, I remembered a few days ago when I had trouble falling asleep that I had drank  some iced green tea before bed.  I realized then, I can’t drink iced green tea before bed without suffering from a caffeine high.

My body was telling me then, “Marie, you can’t handle caffeine before bed.”  I took a note about the green tea, but only when I was lying awake last night did I realize my body was talking to me again. “No caffeine before bed!”

I have to say that I fall asleep with no problem regularly, so this was a real eye opener for me.  I also don’t drink caffeinated drinks every day.  I’ve never been much of a coffee drinker, craving more the heat of a hot cup of coffee or the cool of an iced one over the actual taste and caffeine buzz.

Mad Men's Bob Benson with his constant cup of coffee

Mad Men’s Bob Benson with his constant cup of coffee

 

 

Having this quick moment of conversation with my body was so important for me.  I have always struggled to know what was going on with my body, not because my body wasn’t telling me, but simply because I wasn’t listening.

The stomach aches, head aches, bad belly, and skin conditions are all symptoms my body is putting forth so I’ll do something about it.  How many times did I have to eat eggplant and then get a stomach ache to realize that I have to take digestive enzymes with eggplant otherwise I can’t enjoy it? (I’ll get back to you on how many servings of eggplant an Italian girl named Marie could eat in 30 years).  This was my body talking to me, all these years telling me secrets that I never heard.  I just couldn’t read the signals, couldn’t tap into my own body chemistry which is the most powerful thing we possess.

While I’m training to be a health coach, I am making every effort to listen to my body so I can get as healthy as possible.  You know I’ve tried every style of eating known to man to try and find my bliss.  It’s not so easy to listen to your body because we have so many distractions getting in the way on a daily basis.  The laundry that has to get done, dropping off your kid at daycare, work, cooking, walking the dog, listening to a co-worker complain – all of it was distracting me from listening, ear to the ground, to what my amazing body was telling me.

My body has served me very well these 31 years.  It is always there for me when I want to go dancing, run around the playground with Dylan, go to Bikram yoga, and eat too much.  Not to mention that it gave me my greatest gift – my son Dylan almost 2 years ago.  Is it really so hard for me to just LISTEN?

The answer is, yes, sometimes it is hard to listen.  So now I’m gonna clear a little extra space in the corners of my mind to leave room for my body to tell me what the heck is going on in there.  I’m also gonna take extra special care of my body because it always takes extra special care of me.

 

 

I’m Wide Awake

January 18, 2013

Well, well, well. 2013.  How the hell are ya?  Its unimaginable to me that I graduated college 10 years ago this coming May.  How did a decade fly by so fast?  I still haven’t even finished unpacking my boxes from my old dorm room.  Oops!

It forces me to look back (as we are often forced to on milestones like turning 30 or starting a new job).  Nearly 10 years since I entered the world as a college graduate and “bona fide” adult. I had a checking account at 16 years old so, I’ve been an adult for a while, albeit not a college educated one. When I graduated college, I planned to embark on a career as an actor. I thought I had the drive and the talent to make a go of it.  In the meantime, I was instructed to “get a job” so I asked around and was pointed to Lord and Taylor where a college educated person such as myself would be sure to find something to do.  Did I mention I have a degree in “The History of Theatre; The Theatre of History”? (self designed, of course)

My personality and limited experience with make-up pushed me to the cosmetics department where I could even make a little commission.  I started work and was filled with so many fears about not being pretty enough and not looking “the part”.  Sure, I knew how to be a character on stage, but selling make up to older women from 6-9PM on a Tuesday, was an entirely different story. These were “Garden City Women” (read: rich) so they were extra scary to me. So I faked it.  I faked it till I made it.  Some friends came by and let me do makeovers on them for practice and that taught me the most important piece of information I could impart on you in the field of cosmetics.  “If it doesn’t look good, don’t worry, there is make-up remover at EVERY cosmetics counter.”  Basically, you can’t mess this up.  Even an idiot with a degree in “The history of blah blah blah,” can figure this out.  Selling is another story, but thankfully I knew how to fake that too.  (I’m the daughter of a real salesman).

I had some mis-steps and some identity crisis about “What to do with my life?”  I decided after quitting cosmetics for acting, and then going back that I really did want a career in cosmetics.  It was so fun to meet new people.  There was always something new around the bend (Spring colors, Limited Edition lipsticks, etc).  Surely this was something I could make a living at.

Ten years later I am without a job – by choice mind you, but still.  I went for the brass ring, got a firm handle on it and then decided, “you know what? This isn’t me anymore.  I WANT more”, and threw that brass ring away.  In September I turned down a veritable dream job from a major cosmetics brand because my gut told me to.  I got the news that I’d been offered the job and immediately felt my stomach turn and then the tears came.  “I thought this is what I wanted for the last 10 years, but now that I’ve got it, I may have been terribly, terribly wrong.”  Shit. Now what?

It turns out 31 is not too old to change your “major” in life.  Having a baby and a mortgage doesn’t render you stuck to working at the same old thing.  Luckily for me, I had the ability to leave my job and grab for a different brass ring.  This week I started a nutrition course at the world’s largest nutrition school.  I am going to become a certified health coach.  I’m not sure exactly where this will take me 10 years from now (much like my younger self who took a chance on a cosmetics job for $9 an hour), but I’m excited.  I know I want to help others be healthy and find balance in life.  I do believe these are the 2 hardest goals we can strive for in this world of DVR and BOGO Big Mac’s and the highest obesity rates we’ve ever encountered.  I want to do this.  For me, for you and for the earth.

Please join me on this journey as we shift our thinking from “losing a few unwanted pounds” to being an “agent of change to make the world a healthier, happier place.”

Thanks all, Namaste.

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