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Ian Lopez

Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach

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Little Ian

​I never thought much about my health until it really mattered.

Growing up as the middle child in a mixed-race family (Polish Mexican), I was lucky to have a pretty good childhood. I had a diverse group of neighborhood friends, worked hard in school, enjoyed summer hot dogs or ice cream, and got into my fair share of good trouble. But when I look back, I realize there were signs of future health issues – missing a month of school due to mono, constant  ear infections, strep throat, late-age bed wetting, and teeth grinding at night. These were all potential drivers of future physical ailments like weak gut health, poor oral health, and dysfunctional breathing.

As I grew older, my identity took a hit with the constant barrage of slurs and jokes about being 'less-than' as a 'Mexican.' I tried to shrug it off (kids will be kids, right?), but it damaged my path to finding my voice and authentic self. My yearning for validation led to perfectionism and battles with self-confidence – a common combination that drove me to work hard externally without taking care of myself internally. To outsiders, it seemed to work – I finished top of my class in high school, received a full ride to a prestigious university, and landed a well-paying corporate job after graduating. I made it! Right?

 

But reflecting on my youth, I learned that this drive to prove others wrong gave me intense focus on being productive through work. What I didn't realize was that I left no space for mental and emotional health because I never learned how to practice gratitude, mindfulness, or stress management.

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Hospital Ian

As an adult, I kept the same lifestyle habits from college – pizza, take-out, rarely any green veggies, and a beer (or three) at night with friends. Late nights and early mornings led to an erratic sleep schedule, and I felt too tired to work out. I often thought, "That's okay, I'll just double down on coffee and have a candy bar for an energy boost." In a few short years, I gained 30 pounds, experienced anxiety, brain fog, panic attacks, and heartburn. In 2011, at the ripe age of 25, my doctor diagnosed me with Stage 2 hypertension (high blood pressure) and high cholesterol. I was given a pill and sent on my way with directions to eat less salt, work out more, and reduce stress. Thanks, Doc... What he didn’t mention were the side effects of the medication – muscle cramps, fatigue, anxiety, depression, sleep issues, dry cough, headaches, and more.

​This persisted for years because I didn’t know I had the power to heal myself. I had no guidance on what I could do. My body was too burdened with chronic stress and disease. Finally, in 2013, I said enough.

I have to take control of my health because it matters. I matter!

Thus began my journey towards healing.

Despite my health challenges, 14 years of working in the health and food industries had taught me a lot about our unhealthy food systems, the importance of nutrition, the science of stress, and mind-body health. I strengthened my skills in empathic listening, storytelling, teamwork, and creative problem-solving. I learned to manage ambiguity and approach problems with curiosity and compassion. I took my business skills and extended them into my personal life.

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Bringing awareness to my health led me to make a fundamental shift in my life. I put attention on my habits – nutrition, movement, sleep, relationships, and stress. I evaluated my environments – home, work, social, genetics – to understand if they were helping or hurting my physical, mental, and emotional health. I took the smallest actionable steps towards living a more intentional life. Less sugar, more walking. Less scrolling, more sleeping. Less alcohol, more journaling. Less anxiety, more mindful breathing. Less stress, more energy. I felt happier days. I was hooked. I kept going with the support of others, like my girlfriend (who became my life partner). And, in 2015, my doctor was surprised when I showed him my blood pressure measurements. He said I was the first patient he’d ever had to naturally get off of blood pressure medication.

Happy Ian

That's when I knew I needed to change my life’s journey. I had to help others.

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Relaxed Ian

 I went back to study Nutrition Science at Tufts University to learn about the principles, biochemistry, physiology, and epidemiology of nutrition and disease prevention. Functional medicine was a rapidly growing, science-backed field focused on healing the root cause of disease, so I completed over 500 hours of health coach training and education at The Functional Medicine Coaching Academy, the premier partner of the Institute of Functional Medicine. I spent 18 months developing my coaching core competencies to qualify and pass the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaches exam – recognized as an industry-leading organization in ethical and practical health coaching. My insatiable curiosity also led me to be trained in other modalities, including Tai Chi, Qigong, Positive Psychology, HeartMath, and Functional Breathing.

I left corporate life to pursue my true purpose: to transform the lives of others who are sick and tired of being sick and tired. To help those who suffer from chronic stress and diseases like hypertension and who want to live the life they deserve. To empower them with the knowledge and skills to transform burnout, stress, and fatigue into balance, resilience, and energy.  My mission is to support your right to heal.


Today, I feel closer to my true self than I ever have, and it’s because I realized that health is the ONLY thing that matters - physical, mental, emotional, & spiritual. It’s taken hard work, perseverance, patience, and compassion. It’s allowed the next chapter of my life to be full of joy and giving to others.  Most importantly, my wife, Julia, and dog, Alfred, keep me grounded in a life of gratitude. 

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Authentic Ian

So, are you ready to start your journey towards better health? ​

I want to hear your goals, dreams, joys, and challenges. 

You have a transformational story of your own. Let's create it.

My Credentials & Education

I'm proud of the time, focus and effort I've put into honing my health coaching craft.  I'm dedicated to continued education in the fields of functional medicine, functional breathing, movement medicine, stress management, nervous system regulation, and more 

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National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach

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Tai Chi Foundation

Tai Chi & Qigong

Teacher

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Functional Medicine

Certified Health Coach

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Graduate Certificate in Nutrition Sciences for Health Professionals

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HeartMath®

Certified Practitioner in Stress, Anxiety & Self-Regulation 

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MBA

Marketing &

Brand Management

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Oxygen Advantage® Functional Breathing

Intructor

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BSBA

Marketing, Entrepreneurship, International Business

Additional Continuing Education

  • National Board of Health and Wellness Coaches CEs

  • DNA Company Functional Genomics 360

  • PQ Positive Intelligence 

  • Points of You Coaching Tools

  • Functional Medicine Coaching Academy Coaching Advancement Initiative

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