Urban Soul Food | A Little About Me & My Journey
blog, health coach, cedar rapids, tammy lynn, iowa, nurse, nutrition, mind body soul
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A Little About Me & My Journey

Hello friends! I thought I would share with you about my journey to becoming a Holistic Health Coach. I first became a nurse at age 19!! Kind of crazy right?? To be clear, still am a nurse;). I went to a 2 year intensive RN program, was the youngest in my class and boom! I started out working in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) and LOVED it! I actually, worked in some sort of critical care unit most of my nursing career thus far. I loved the fast pace, all the lines, tubes, IV medicines to take care of and the autonomy it gave me. My favorite machine was the ballon pump. It’s a small catheter with a balloon that goes in the aorta to reduce the workload of the heart so the heart can pump more efficiently and rest. You time the balloon pump according to their pulse and I LOVED it. Reflecting on it all, I think I loved critical care nursing because I felt like I was really making a difference. I love helping people. Patients would come in super sick and ideally leave much better then when they came…..there were those whom didn’t have the most ideal outcome…hard stuff to see at times and see families heartbroken. The biggest thing I learned working in the ICU was that my problems were nothing compared to others, it gave me a huge awareness of gratitude at a young age.


After working in critical care for 15 years, an awesome husband and 2 boys later, I worked at an Occupational Health clinic. This was great for my busier schedule with our boys so I could be home in the evenings and have a more consistant schedule. That wasn’t quite feeding my soul, so I then took at job as the Mental Health Nurse Case Manager at our local VA Clinic. After going through some of my own heartaches/emotional trauma, I had gained a new set of tools that empowered me to hlep others in another capacity. And I LOVED working with the Veterans. It was not easy, their stories would break my heart and I just wanted to wave a magic wand to make them feel better. War is ugly and they see things happen and done to a fellow human that will make you have nightmares for the rest of your life. Shifting gears and coming back to civilian life is not an easy task for them…they are on guard, jumpy, might have anxiety, depression, not eat well, medicate themselves with food or alcohol….tough stuff! Mind you, this is not the story of EVERY veteran, just most the ones that I saw as I was working in Mental Health. AND, the fact that they chose to serve and protect us all – I just LOVED that and was so appreciative!! I’m not against or pro War per say – leaving that opinion out of this equation. The fact is, we have some amazing veterans and it was awesome serving them! I did that gig for about 2 years and then my husband got a promotion. That should be a good thing?! Right??? Well, that meant moving and leaving a job I loved (for the most part), to be honest, I was getting a bit burnt out. My brain was exhausted at the end of the day towards the end. Funny how life takes care of you like that….it was time for a break even though I wouldn’t have chose to leave. The other (major) bummer of it all is we were leaving some of the most amazing friends behind in our little town and at work!! I REALLY struggled with that, I loved our friends – still do! I’m a people person, I love having deep relationships where I can talk and bare my soul if needed. Of course it’s easy to keep touch with technology and all that…..it’s just not the same as being in there presence….maybe that’s just me though.


Moving was really hard initally…..My boys had some amazing friendships they were leaving behind as well. I was more worried about them, they overall did pretty good with the move – kids are awesome like that. Me….I was super lonely in the beginning…..missed having meaningful talks with friends and just being able to go for walk with them. Grateflly, after some time, we meant some AMAZING friends through our boys soccer club – Godsend!!
Are you wondering what I chose to do as a job??? I became a school nurse! It was PERFECT (still is since I’m still working the gig)!! It’s part time, I’m on the same schedule as my boys, didn’t have to stress about daycare since I didn’t know anyone – GREAT gig! Now, one word of advice I have when moving. Don’t start a new job and move into your house the same week. Give yourself some time if you can. We moved in, the next day my boys started school and I started working a few days later. It was a sh@#show for me for a bit! LOL! Everything was new and required thinking, things weren’t automatice….from running new appliances, still moving in, finding stuff that you unpacked (not sure what drawer you put in); learning a new job and people at work. My brain hurt those first few months….maybe I’m just a whimp – lol!


A year and half after moving, I was feeling fairly settled job wise. I enjoy working at the school, it’s alot of paper work to organzie and track – I like it though! The thing is, kids at school are healthy for the most part -which is GOOD!!! My nurse brain and soul were itching for a little something more on the side. That old ICU nurse in me needed more action:) My really good friend Dr Sherry Brewer was getting board certified in Fucntional and Integrative medicine. She was always sharing tid bits of what she was learning and I LOVED IT. Functional medcine gets to the ROOT cause of what is causing your disease and heals it from there as opposed to giving you pills to treat the symptoms. Integrative Medicine treats the person as a WHOLE and how all aspects of your life can affect your health. NOW, I am not dissing convential medicine what so ever! It has it’s place! How cool to help people holistically and maybe get them off their medicne (which can have bad side affects) and they feel better overall! Dr Brewer told me about IIN (Insitute of Integrative Nutrition) and their Holistic Health Coach program. I was excited! I had that immediate positive gut reaction as it completly resonated with me. Thus began my journey as a health coach in January 2014. The program is all online and a year long. There were so many amazing vidoes and lectures from experts all over the country. I learned a ton about nutrition including over 100 different diet theories and how everything in your life affects your health. This propelled my onto my own healing journey. When I was younger, things happened to me that made me super insecure and affected my self confidence. Working as a nurse all these years was somewhat selfish as I filled that void by helping others with their issues. My eyes were opened to different healing modalities and I worked through alot of emotional garbage. December 2014 I graduated from IIN and was ready to be a Health Coach….news alert – I wasn’t ready:(. I had my certificate and training – I was technically ready. Going through this program brought up all those insecurities and past hurts that I just stuffed away. See, being a Health Coach was all about ME. The business was ME. I was front and center and would be the face of my business. That scared the crap out of me, made me anxious. I did’t want to put myself in a position of being judged and feel all those insecurties that I had shoved away. Being a nurse I always worked with a team, I could quietly work in the background and didn’t have to be front and center – it was perfect! I started off working with friends, which was super easy. I had been sharing what I was learning all along and knew they loved me and wouldn’t judge me. I have an amazing husband who was always encouraging me and telling me how much I know and that I will be GREAAT! Except I didn’t believe it…..my heart was filled with doubt and fear. FEAR! Fear is a liar by the way. UGH! But I couldn’t talk my way out of the way I felt, I had to go deeper and get to the root of all my angst. I read alot of books, listened to my gut and did healing sessions that I was drawn too and had many pep talks with the hubs and friends. My husband is the BOMB! This man is the opposite of me – he doesn’t worry about what others think like I do and talks me off the edge when I let it consume me. AND! I have the MOST AMAZING FRIENDS! Forever grateful for them!! They see my heart and know what to say to build me up! I also unearthed that I’m highly sensitive, and an empath. I always knew I was sensitive, I always called it my “Sensitive Sally”. HOWEVER! I thought everyone was sensitive and they just dealt with it better. WRONG! I guess we are our own worst critics. Over the last few years when things would come into my path such as books, healing modalities and people…..if they resonated deeply with me and had the gut feeling “I need to do that!” I did it!!! And my gut instinct was right on EVERY time! One person that I worked with that helped me a TON with my sensitivty was Ashley Stamatinos. She is a highly successful business owner herself who empowers you to turn your emotional sensitivities into your STRENGTH. She is very intuitive and can get to the root issue holding you back and weighing you down. She’s AMAZING! Those core beliefs we tell ourselves sometimes are malarkey.


Here I am, present day. You know what? I’m ready! I’ve been sharing more about my passion for health and wellnes and it feels GOOD, actually GREAT! The passion has always been there….fear was holding me back. Do I still have a bit of insecurities bubble up every so often – sure! It isn’t slowing me down now, I’ve built my empowering tool box up and rewritten my core beliefs and use those to push through. The awesomely, inspiring quotes I added to this post are from some dear friends of mine. I just LOVE THEM TO PIECES! They are angels on earth to me! Final notes: any health issues you have – physically or mentally – follow that inner voice and it will never leave you astray. Lean on your family and friends – God (or your Higher Power) put them there to help you – he sees you and knows what’s best for you.


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