This is part of a series of interviews I am conducting with practitioners of holistic medicine with the aim of answering the question: "How can we increase our quality of life?" I also find folks drawn to help others in an integrative way tend to be ignited with a deep passion and purpose. These interviews were created to delve into that drive and to discover their tips and insight into living life to its fullest.
Ellen Freudberg is a wellness coach with a practice at Village Wellness on the Main Line, Philadelphia. She was kind enough to answer my questions about her passions and her work.
Enjoy the interview!
Q: Ellen, thanks so much for taking the time to answer these questions. Where are you from originally?
ELLEN: I grew up in Cheltenham, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia. Then I moved to Hartford, CT for school and then back to Philadelphia and then to Mullica Hill NJ and finally to the Main Line.
Q: What are you most passionate about right now?
ELLEN: Health and Wellness for me and those in my life! If you ask my friends, they will tell you that i am obsessed (in a good way) with feeling well, being healthy, aging gracefully, and staying fit!
Recently I have turned my passion into a wellness coaching practice where I help others feel even better than they already do.
Q: Ooh, Can you tell us more about your work as a Wellness Coach? What is Wellness Coaching?
ELLEN: Sure, as you know, I am passionate about helping people learn how to heal themselves and get in sync with the natural processes that improve health from within. Through my coaching practice I focus on helping my clients develop a “wellness state-of-mind,” learn about the importance of moving their bodies, increase their focus on good nutrition and learning how to breathe and meditate.
Wellness coaching is the process of guiding clients toward a healthy lifestyle, while providing valuable support along their journey. Wellness coaches help others achieve their health and wellness goals by providing trusted, science-based information, positive encouragement and continuous motivation.
I assist my clients by aligning their own insights, personal strengths, and goals with practical steps and personal accountability. The coaching system I use makes it easy to create healthy lifestyle changes that really endure.
When you get good advice about how to make health your hobby, there’s only one possible result: you will improve your health, happiness and sense of fulfillment. You’ll increase your life span and live a happier, healthy life.
Q: What do you mean, when you say "make health your hobby?"
ELLEN: Wellness is the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal. Wellness means that you are beginning to consciously explore the concept of living more healthfully. Focusing on wellness can easily become your hobby – a practice that is fun and fully integrated into your life. And best of all, this hobby will improve your life exponentially. It means that you are constantly taking care of yourself, and that you are developing an awareness about how your choices impact your life.
Ill give you a super simple example. Want to effortlessly incorporate more movement into your life? Make it a habit to leave your car at the far end of the parking lot when you go shopping. This can potentially make a huge impact on your total daily steps. Do this for 30 days and it will become habitual, automatic, and effortless.
Q: Ellen, great advice! What initially inspired you to study and offer this type of coaching?
ELLEN: I became a wellness coach, because, after years of living unhealthily, I transformed myself. The transformation came through hard work, education, curiosity and a powerful desire to get better. After this transformation I couldn't wait to share my learnings with my friends and loved ones.
I then saw how others in my community would benefit from what I learned and I wanted to share with a greater audience. I enrolled in the rigorous Wellness Coaching program at the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, where I gained even more knowledge about how to effectively guide others to a healthier, happier, more fulfilling life.
Watching my clients grow, improve and get healthier is incredibly rewarding for me.
Q: Can you tell us what a typical session with you is like?
ELLEN: Here's what's going to happen. At our initial meeting, I carefully interview you to learn as much as possible about your goals and the problems that are blocking you from them. I then develop an individualized coaching strategy for you.
Now, everyone is different, so depending on your needs, our followup sessions will look different. If you are trying to lose weight for example. Some fun exercises may include, doing a “pantry makeover,” or going grocery shopping together to learn about foods that work with our bodies (not against it) to make their own internal medicine. We might also learn about new foods or different ways to eat, for example, how to graze throughout the day without gaining weight. And we would discover new ways in which to move our bodies that we actually enjoy and will do everyday. It all really boils down to ENJOYING the path you take to fulfill your goals!
Q: What is your end goal when working with your clients?
ELLEN: My goal is to motivate and inspire clients to make actionable, achievable objectives that can be reached through consistent application of wellness principles and practices. I want to guide my clients to live as simply and healthfully as possible. I want to motivate and support them personally.
Q: What are the benefits of having a wellness coach in your life?
ELLEN: The greatest benefit of having a wellness coach is that you have a trained professional to guide and inspire you on your journey. The end result: dramatic improvement in your health and wellness.
Q: What is some advice that you offer your clients, that you think would benefit everyone?
ELLEN: The single most important advice I offer your readers is the urgency to develop a wellness state-of-mind. Without that, people flounder, try things, give up and fail to change. I talk to clients about the LEAN concept. “L” is for lifestyle (how we live); “E” is for exercise, (how we move); “A” is for attitude, (how we think); and “N” is for nutrition, (or how we eat).
Step 1: Pick one of these right now and try to think about how you can make one little change.
Step 2: make that little a change a habit, by doing it consistently for 30 days.
Q: Ellen, what does your morning routine look like?
ELLEN: Before I get out of bed, I do about 20 minutes of transcendental meditation, then I drink a tall glass of warm water mixed with the juice of ½ lemon. And then I am on my mat, practicing ashtanga yoga. Also, if my schedule and the weather permits, I might take a brisk walk.
Q: Do you have a favorite book you are reading right now?
ELLEN: Prime-Time Health by William Sears, M.D. It’s a scientifically proven plan for feeling young and living longer.
Q: Ellen, thank you so much for your time and sharing your passions and advice. Any final thoughts? And where can folks find out more about you or set up an appointment?
ELLEN: I think people really want to be the best possible version of themselves. But we all come up against obstacles that overwhelm us. An experienced knowledgeable, certified wellness coach can help. When you get your lifestyle choices under control, you will feel better. And when you feel better, you will look better, think more clearly, and accomplish much more.
If you decide to meet with me (the first half-hour meeting is free), I will listen to you with empathy and curiosity, I will be non-judgmental and try my best to motivate you toward a healthy lifestyle that will work and be successful.
To schedule an appointment click here.
For more motivation and healthy eating and living tips that really work, please read my daily blog at EllieWellness.com.
About Ellen Fruedberg
Ellie Freudberg lives in Wayne on Philadelphia’s Main Line. She is a certified Wellness Coach trained by the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute of Englewood, Colorado. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting and art history from the Philadelphia College of Art and she studied art therapy at the University of Hartford. She then spent 30 years as an interior designer, often using feng shui to help clients create beautiful and inspiring living spaces. She's been practicing Transcendental Meditation, Ashtanga yoga and Pilates for decades. In her Wellness practice, Ellie helps clients focus on an array of ways to improve health and gain a greater sense of well-being.