Erin Clifford, Wellness Coach
Erin Clifford J.D., M.A. is deeply passionate about supporting professionals develop healthy lifestyles to create a more fulfilling, happier existence. She has trained with some of the world’s foremost experts in diet theories, nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyle management. She brings her knowledge and expertise to her work so that her clients have the education and tools to lead a healthier and happier life.
Erin’s journey in wellness began when she was a teenager growing up in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago. Although she did not necessarily maintain the healthiest diet — mac and cheese and pizza were her staples — her parents were extreme proponents of physical fitness, and from a young age, encouraged her to participate in many extracurricular activities that kept her active and fit. She also worked out regularly with her father and immediately fell in love with both the physical and mental wellbeing that regular exercise provided. It became a life-long commitment.
During her college years at Northwestern University, she was introduced to her first Whole Foods just blocks from her apartment, a turning point in realizing that another key component to wellness is eating healthy. Everything you put into your body is critical. Erin began to integrate healthier foods and eating habits into her daily life. She realized that not only did eating more nutritious food help her maintain an ideal physique, but it provided her with energy and a glow that made her hunger to learn more. Nutrition and healthy living became a passion and a way of life. Throughout the years, Erin has continued to educate herself in cutting-edge information on health and has evolved her lifestyle toward optimal health and wellness.
She first became inspired to pursue a practice as a wellness coach during her tenure as a Chicago Public School teacher. She created lesson plans every night to share with her students, but what she did not anticipate were the lessons she would learn from her students about their challenges in health and wellness and how it impacted their daily lives, including their ability to learn. Many of these bright, young minds were fighting obesity and were well on their way to developing severe health conditions, such as Type II diabetes. Some of her students would come to school having eaten Pop Tarts or Cheetos for breakfast. Others came to school without having eaten anything at all.
This reality served as a “call to action,” and she promised herself that one day she would utilize her skills and her commitment to help impact people’s lives through educating and counseling families about healthy living and the prevention of disease. Erin also earned a law degree, and as part of the legal community, saw how important a healthy lifestyle is for over stressed professionals. Every day she encounters friends and colleagues who neglect their heath and develop preventable diseases, many at an early age. Wellness education is critical in today’s society where fast-food can no longer be king, yet people do not take the time to learn what they need – even some simple steps – that can help them for a lifetime.
Health Coach Training
All of this inspired Erin to attend the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and complete its rigorous Health Coach Training Program. She studied more than 100 dietary theories, practical lifestyle management techniques and innovative life coaching methods with some of the world’s top health and wellness experts. But this learning never ends as she continues her studies under the tutelage of renowned health professionals. In 2020, she earned a new nutrition certification from Precision Training and became a certified meditation instructor. Her vast educational background has equipped her with extensive knowledge in holistic nutrition, wellness coaching, and preventative health. Drawing on her skills and knowledge, Erin is passionate about personally working with clients to help them make lifestyle changes that are not only appropriate for their age, gender, work-life, and pocketbook, but produce real and lasting results. In these busy times, Erin is the eyes and ears on the latest of what is going on in the health world today and how it impacts each individual client. She firmly believes that superior health is the cornerstone to ensuring a long, vibrant life. Her life’s journey thus far demonstrates that this is what she was meant to do.
Erin has a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Northwestern.
Erin is an advocate of giving back and helping the Chicago community. She serves as a board member on the Friends of Prentice Board, an organization committed to superior healthcare spanning the full spectrum of a woman’s life. In addition, Erin serves as a board member for the Chicago High School for the Arts. ChiArts is a Chicago Public School dedicated to fostering scholar-artists through its intensive pre-professional training program in the arts, combined with a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum.
Erin is also one of the Board of Trustees for WTTW and WFMT. The Board is comprised of a broad spectrum of Chicago’s corporate, civic, and philanthropic leaders. With the Board’s assistance, WTTW and WFMT are one of the most-watched public television in the country and have been regularly recognized as the premier classical music radio station in the United States.