Robby Lawrence is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and an IIN Certified Trained Health Coach. Prior to receiving his Trained Health Coach certification from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) and embarking on his career as a wellness counselor, Robby was a professional chef for over thirty years. He knows a thing or two about healthy — and delicious! — cooking and food preparation.
Health Coach and Nutritional Advisor
What is a health coach? Robby believes that his clients can feel their best and achieve their highest goals through lifestyle changes brought about through an individualized wellness program tailored to their own particular and special needs. He takes a holistic approach for supporting the whole person: career, exercise, relationship and spirituality guidance are all a part of building a healthier and happier lifestyle.
Father and Daily Meal Provider
Robby knows what it takes to put food on the table and support a healthy lifestyle for the whole family. Nutrition counseling and wellness coaching help fight obesity, help prevent and treat chronic illness and high blood pressure, and help prevent you and your family from developing diseases. Let Robby be your guide to a lifestyle transformation!
Robby Lawrence: My Wellness Journey
From some of my earliest memories of childhood, to many of my latest memories of adulthood, my thoughts have been about food and caring for others through food and lifestyle. My first experience with cooking for my family was at the tender age of seven when I helped my mother and father make Sunday breakfast, simply because I loved to eat and loved to eat well. Little did I know at the time that I had started what was to become my life’s calling.
Throughout the years after, I continued to utilize the given talent that I had for cooking to ignite my passion for professional cooking. I attended the Culinary Institute of America and graduated in December of 1996.
As a chef and CIA graduate, I have had the opportunity to experience food and the food service industry from an extremely up-close-and-personal view. Starting in fast food establishments as a teen, and on to everyday restaurant settings, I learned that although I loved people, it was clear to me that I wasn’t where I belonged. Soon after, I moved on to fine dining catering, as well as various Executive Chef positions and upper level management in higher education, supermarkets, and senior living establishments. Within all of this, I have gathered a rather unique and wide range of professional food knowledge and experience.
Along with my professional career, I have had the opportunity to share my love and talent for food with my own family as the “foodie expert” and general everyday “family chef”. Yet with all the professional and scholastic knowledge that I obtained throughout my 30-year career, I was unable to do one of the most important things in my life: take care of my own health, diet, and lifestyle.
Spanning the past two+ decades, I have spent a great deal of time practicing for my undiscovered life’s purpose. In November of 2013, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, and my life was forever changed. For the first time I realized that, although I had been trusted with, and personally and professionally responsible for the proper nourishment of thousands of people, I had no idea how to provide that for myself. I was given the most horrible news a chef, foodie, and Standard American Diet lover could possibly hear. “What in the world do I do now?” I screamed out loud and thought to myself for years, as I tried, seemingly as best as I could, to get my own health together.
In the years that closely ensued, I spent a great deal of time “experimenting” with my own diet and lifestyle to see how my body was really reacting to things. Since I was now required to visit the doctor and get frequent blood screenings at least every three months, I could really get a good indication of what foods I could “get away with” and what I couldn’t. I figured, “I’m a chef, right? I can cook whatever I want, and I can certainly make this diabetes thing work… right?”
I looked for recipes and searched my own creativity to find and figure out all the best ways to do everything a diabetic would need to do to thrive and eat well. It was a great success, until four months later. I could not keep up with the daily grind of providing myself with the creative and tasty foods that I was always used to, but which now took so much more effort since my diagnosis.
I thought that because I’d established some better habits, I could put the diet on cruise control for a while and not work so hard. I fell back into some older habits and my health struggled along with it. Given my lack of truly understanding my disease, I continued to live a roller coaster of diabetes maintenance with the aid of several prescribed medications.
As I was searching for what to do next, both personally and professionally, I found The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). I finally realized what my life’s calling was going to be. I discovered how I could utilize my tremendous personal and professional food knowledge to help myself and others with health and diet maintenance.
I began to take the classes and listen to the lectures. I was blown away at the approach and direction IIN took. I started to look at the things that weren’t physically on my plate, but how that food got there in the first place. “Why did I believe that I deserved to treat myself that way?” After months and months of learning, introspective thought and philosophy-built lifestyle changes, I have realized that I’m not perfect — and I haven’t done anything that deserves the amount of punishment I have subjected myself to.
I learned that I had the free will and the ability to change any time I wanted to.
Through research, study and mindfulness I see now, more clearly than ever, that we are all both perfect and imperfect at the same time. Our bodies are perfectly tuned structures of life that, for the most part, require no conscious thought to take care of.
If we cut ourselves, it heals. If we get too hot, we cool ourselves off. If we are chased by danger our hormones react and we get super human strength, speed and intuition.
Many people however, tend to have a harder time with the imperfect part. That’s the part that makes choices based on situations in our lives, and how we treat ourselves due to those choices we make. Ultimately, it is the struggle between our perfect selves vs. our imperfect selves.
The balance between our goals and our choices isn’t always clear, and the journey towards health and wellness often seems like a daunting task. Taking the time to make our wellness goals an essential part of our everyday lives is both transforming and life changing.
As your Integrative Nutrition Health and Wellness Advisor I promise to make your goals my goals, as we take this leap into life lasting health, wellness, and happiness together. Let’s Start Your Journey To Health and Wellness Today!