Welcome to this crazy adventure I call Erika's Lifestyle Lab!
You're probably wondering who I am and why I created this website. Well, then, let me tell you a little bit about myself.
I'm a Washington state native. I live over in the southeastern corner of the state where, unlike the western side (aka Seattle), we average three-hundred days of sunshine each year. The temperatures get over 100°F in the summer, and we usually get snow in the winter. Surrounded by rolling hills of sagebrush and springtime wildflowers, this beautiful desert region will always be my home.
I stayed close to my family when I went to school, attending the local community college before transferring to Washington State University, Tri-Cities where I received a B.S. in Biology then an M.S. in Chemistry. In 2006, I was fortunate to get an internship at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory while still in school before becoming a staff scientist in 2009.
Between 2016 and 2018 I did some intense soul-searching and took the time to get to know the person I had become. For years, I had been struggling with depression and anxiety and had been dealing with several chronic symptoms that I learned were linked to chronic inflammation, poor stress management, and working against my personality. I also realized that if I didn't start to make changes now, I might not be able to benefit from making the changes later in life.
Recognizing I was no longer passionate about research, I soon learned that my interests leaned toward personality types, habit formation and manipulation, the concepts around functional medicine, and an overall simplification of life. These interests are what ultimately lead me to make a transition from research into health coaching.
In late 2018, I applied to the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy and became a member of the March 2019 class. I also started this website to share my journey to a healthier, simpler lifestyle. I hope that by sharing my experiences, I can help or encourage others to do the same. Experience has taught me that taking the time to understand our personality strengths and weaknesses can vastly improve our overall sense of purpose and happiness. Add to that making small life-long changes, and you can profoundly transform your health.
Other fun facts about me: I am without a doubt an introvert, a Highly Sensitive Person, and a proud member of the Ravenclaw House. I'm shamelessly addicted to urban fantasy novels and read as many as I can. I prefer to exercise outside taking walks or riding my bike down by the river or renting a kayak for a couple of hours. I love spending time with my family and friends, but also enjoy my quiet time alone to recharge. I'm still actively working on that balance between being social and being true to my introverted self.
I hope you enjoy this website and that we can all learn from each other. If you have any questions or comments about my story, health, simplification or pegan cooking, send me an e-mail. I'd love to hear from you.