Indira Pulliadath is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (NTP) and an AIP Certified Coach. She has a Masters in Pharmaceutical Outcomes and Policy and a Masters in Business Administration. Before working as a Nutritionist, she worked as a researcher in the healthcare industry for 15 years in the field of pharmacoeconomics. She started exploring healing diets five years ago when she was first diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. AIP helped Indira tremendously to reduce her pain and inflammation, which then motivated her to switch careers and become a nutritional therapist.
When Indira is not coaching or researching, she is experimenting in her kitchen! She loves to develop Paleo and AIP versions of her family’s favorite recipes. You can find her recipes on her blog ‘Cook2Nourish.com‘. Indira lives in Connecticut with her husband and two children. As a family they enjoy going hiking on the beautiful trails in and around Connecticut.
I caught up with Indira and asked her a few questions that I thought you’d love to read!
Thinking about joining the next session of the AIP Certified Coach practitioner training program? Classes fill up quickly so make sure to click here and sign up for my Healthcare Professionals e-mail list to get first dibs at enrollment for the next session!
Please share a little about your personal health journey and the role that the autoimmune protocol has played.
I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2015 at age 42. Until then I had no serious health issues. I used to lead a super active life balancing a full time professional career along with managing the home and my two children. I was doing great when RA struck suddenly and within a matter of a few months I went from super active to super debilitated. One by one all my joints were impacted and I had trouble doing even the simplest of chores like chopping vegetables or even folding laundry! I was in a lot of pain and in those two years I had no choice but to pop painkillers everyday as the pain was intense. My pain flares would come randomly and they would knock me down completely for a couple days at a time. My rheumatologist put me on medications which did not help much and on the contrary, I ended up with some severe side effects from those medications. Because of that, I became determined to look at alternative therapies. I tried a lot of different things like ayurvedic medicine, homeopathy, veganism etc but nothing helped to reduce my pain. I also tried a lot of different diets that are out there …because I was so desperate to get better. Towards the end of 2016 I started feeling very depressed. Fortunately, a friend of mine introduced me to prayer, which helped tremendously to pull me out of depression. It also gave me a positivity that I never had before. And slowly things started changing. In early 2017 I worked with a naturopathic doctor who put me on the autoimmune protocol diet.
Within a month of following AIP strictly, I started seeing a reduction in my pain and even my blood work for inflammation levels (ESR and CRP) began to drop significantly. That surprised my rheumatologist too as he had told me that I would need to go to biological drugs soon considering the severity of my disease. And instead, I continued to improve and in three months time, my blood work showed no signs of inflammation. That was pretty dramatic and having tried so many different things before without any success, I knew that the AIP had played a major role in my recovery.
What made you want to be a health coach?
As I started to get better on the AIP diet, I continued to also focus on lifestyle factors like stress and sleep as they are known triggers for autoimmune disease. I was on disability leave for a few months and as I began to heal, I resumed work. But then I started noticing that my pains started to return and I was convinced that the stress at my workplace was causing my autoimmune flare up. So I took a major life changing decision – to quit my job and focus fully on healing my body. After I quit my job and focused on stress relief and meditation, my healing grew by leaps and bounds. I felt amazing and more energetic than I had in years! People started commenting on how I had began to look healthier and years younger than my age! All this showed me the power of natural healing and how food can be medicine. That’s when I decided to change careers and become a health coach so I could help other people who were suffering and in pain.
What certifications do you have and why did you choose that program?
I decided to study nutritional therapy by enrolling in the Nutrition Therapy Association’s NTP program. That program really gave me a strong foundation for understanding the basics of functional medicine and how to use foods to heal our body. Having also worked as a researcher for several years (I have a Master’s in Pharmacoeconomics), I was adept at doing literature search and reviewing evidence. So I used those skills to research on the internet and understand more about the causes of autoimmunity. Finally I decided to do the AIP Certified Coach training since I felt that I really needed to understand the science behind AIP better in order to help myself and my clients better. That was one of the best decisions I have taken in my life thus far and I am so glad that I did that program. The program curriculum and materials are top notch and are deeply embedded in science. Understanding the science better made it easier for me to troubleshoot issues as well as explore root causes further with my clients. It also made it easy for me to explain the importance of doing AIP elimination phase to clients.
Share a little more about your practice. How can my readers contact you to work with you?
I offer nutritional coaching and offer both 1:1 as well as group coaching programs. I have worked with clients suffering from different kinds of autoimmune diseases like RA, Ulcerative Colitis, Psoriasis, and Psoriatic arthritis. I work with clients from a variety of ethnic backgrounds including people of Indian origin. Because of my extensive experience cooking different international foods as well as my personal experience with AIP, I am able to help them implement AIP while still managing to cook their favorite comfort foods.
To work with me, they can send an email to [email protected].
What is your #1 tip that you give all of your clients?
My #1 tip for health and wellness is to reduce stress in your life by making lifestyle changes and by using stress reduction techniques. Stress can have a negative impact in your healing and can aggravate leaky gut. Some of the things I encourage my clients to practice are meditation, prayer, positivity and mindfulness.
Anything new for 2021 that you would like to share with our followers?
Yes! I am so excited about my first cookbook, which is about to be launched in March of this year! Writing a cookbook has been my dream for so long now! About 15 years ago I wanted to write a cookbook showcasing all authentic southern Indian recipes that I learned from my mom as a tribute to her after her passing. Unfortunately I was too busy at that time and so that did not happen. I ended up eventually starting a blog to document those recipes. But slowly over time my blog evolved and I started blogging Indian and Indian fusion recipes. After I started on AIP in 2017, I started blogging more of Indian inspired AIP recipes. And that’s what my first cookbook is going to be about – AIP recipes with Indian flavors and I am calling it ‘AIP Indian Fusion’!
If you are a healthcare professional interested in this high-value certification, join my Healthcare Professionals e-mail list by clicking here (I send a monthly newsletter with content relevant to health & wellness providers). I will e-mail you with more information on how to become an AIP Certified Coach.