The Role Model In You – Susan E. Ingebretson, Solo-entrepreneur, Author
Posted Jan 16 2013 9:24am
Today’s Guest, Susan E. Ingebretson
1. Your name, title, and age? What do you do (or did you do) for a living?
My name is Susan E. Ingebretson, I’m a solo-entrepreneur, author of a best-selling chronic illness book, FibroWHYalgia, and a holistic health practitioner. I’m over 50 and am grateful for the health transformation I’ve experienced in this stage of my life! I feel better now than I did in my 30s. I not only overcame my own health challenges, I now help others to make lifestyle balance changes helping them to do the same.
2. Who was the person that inspired you as a child to eat healthy and stay fit? What was their relationship to you?
I really had NO health-focused role models as a child (which is why I wanted to answer this query – it’s good to see that it’s never too late to make change!). No one around me smoked or drank alcohol, but they also did not eat healthy foods. There was no fresh produce in the house (and if so, it was a rare occasion), and no one encouraged any sort of fitness activity. I grew up in the heartland of America in a tiny town of under 200 people. Right smack dab in the middle of a bunch of corn fields, yet we never had any sort of fresh food. I think at that time (the 70s) it was considered old-fashioned or part of the old ways and not modern (like TV dinners!). I drank Kool-Aid and ate canned tuna, peanut butter, and boxed crackers like saltines (not necessarily together). To this day, when my mom refers to bringing a green salad to the church potluck, I know she means green jello with either canned fruit cocktail in it or canned pineapple.Sometimes it has marshmallows on top.
3. What did they do to inspire you?
I mimicked what I saw and raised my children on “homemade” foods such as frozen chicken nuggets and fish sticks. That’s all that I knew, so that’s what I did, too.
4. How did their lesson change your life?
Their lessons changed my life! I became very, very sick. At one point, I could only walk with a cane and was certain that I’d very soon be disabled. I started to research on my own more information about nutrition. I wanted to know what was truly good for me. As I learned better nutrition and better ways to care for myself I was able to heal. I also learned that we’re all simply a reflection of our own belief systems. Much of that is developed in childhood. Learning to make change is not about finger-pointing or blame, but rather about looking at your past beliefs, reviewing them for validity, and then using what you’ve learned to make better choices today.
5. Do you convey their message to kids in your life presently?
I do! My parents taught me so many wonderful things such as how to do research and learn new things. I’m a life-long learner just as I was taught. I now facilitate school lectures and show students the value of reading food labels, etc. I let them know that I was raised to believe that the advertising on the front of a box is the truth (it is not). It let’s them know that I made changes and they can too. It’s good to show that challenging your beliefs can be a good — and healthy — thing.
6. What would be your main message to children today to lead healthy lifestyles?
My main focus when doing school lectures is to encourage students to think for themselves when it comes to building their own bodies. I explain that our bodies are built and strengthened from the great nutrition on our plates. The building blocks of healthy foods are a lot like Legos. If the nutrition is plentiful, the Legos are strong. If the nutrition is weak, the Legos are weak. I explain that poor nutrition leads to weak bones, teeth, or unhealthy hair or skin. It can also leave us vulnerable to frequent colds, flu, and chronic conditions. I love to encourage Kitchen Experimentation! Try new veggies. Try them with great-tasting herbs and spices. Try them raw and try them cooked. It’s always beneficial to add veggies to every meal. Students love this lecture and often bring their lunch contents to me so I can review the labels and carry on further discussion. Students soak up this information like a sponge. As a side note, I’m also the author of a book entitled The Fabulous Food Detective offered from a publisher of classroom educational materials. It comes with science experiments and other key activities that relate to classroom state standards.