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Episode 265:  From Struggle to Success: How FDN Emerged as the Ultimate Coaching Program w/ Kurt Stradtman, FDNP and Detective Ev

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Introduction

[00:00:00] Detective Ev: Hello everyone. Welcome to today’s podcast on the ultimate coaching program and the first ever Live streaming Health Detective Podcast. We are super excited to be doing this. It is actually going to be a normal and regular thing from here on out.

I think technically speaking, we did a pseudo–Live Health Detective Podcast with Ryan Monahan, but you had to be part of the Summer Open House. This is something that people can be a part of now just by being on our YouTube or our Facebook page. And in the future, we will be doing LinkedIn as well. I know while you’re scrolling for jobs on LinkedIn, you’re going to be wanting to watch our hour-long podcast. But Facebook and YouTube, I definitely think we’ll get a lot of people listening and downloading there.

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How this will work from now on is, let’s say you’re catching this in the middle, or maybe you just watch the first bit of this and you’re like, I don’t want to watch an hour podcast on YouTube, but I’d love to listen to this. What you’re able to do is just subscribe to us on the Health Detective Podcast on Apple, Spotify, anywhere you prefer to listen to podcasts. These episodes that go Live will generally be released a week later. Today it’s just actually coincidental that it’s perfect. We’re recording on a Monday, and it will be released next Monday.

Our guest today is Kurt Stradtman. And if anyone out there has been listening for an embarrassingly long amount of time and you’ve really been that loyal to this podcast, Kurt was actually on episode number 17. He is now on episode 265 today of the Health Detective Podcast.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Doing It for Myself

Just so it’s not confusing then, if you do follow us on the audio version, obviously, the one that got released today is technically a couple behind what will be released next week. That’s just how that’s going to go. We’re saying 265, because it’s 265 in the future.

But he was on episode number 17. It wasn’t even called the Health Detective Podcast back then, it was the FDN Thrive Podcast. So, I’m glad to get you back on when we have more than 10 downloads per episode, I’ll put it that way. Thank you, Kurt, for being here with us.

Kurt Stradtman: Thank you for having me.

Detective Ev: I think one of the first things we need to do today is reintroduce you. I’m not expecting anyone to go back 200 something episodes and listen to that. What’s interesting now is, I think at the time, both of us had different roles at FDN. And you’ve really moved into a lot of different things here.

So, let’s start with the health side. No one gets into the world of FDN or all these other programs, which is a little hint – something we’re going to talk about today are all the other programs Kurt went through as well. Let’s start with the health side. How did you even get into this? Because it’s not something we set out to do at five years old, generally speaking.

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[00:02:25] Kurt Stradtman: Well, I have a past life in marketing, and that’s what I’ve always done. I reached a point where I did a great job at helping other people’s livelihood, helping their dreams and their businesses come to fruition; I really wanted to do it for myself.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Wanting More

It was just a happenstance that I got introduced to the functional health world. I was in my twenties at the time, but I couldn’t figure out what it was I needed to do to get into that industry. I had already gone to school for anthropology because I wanted to be Indiana Jones. And then that never happened. So, I was like, what could I do? And somebody had talked to me about becoming a health coach.

I was like, this is a great idea. This is what I need to do. It’s too late to go back to school. I think if I could do it over again, I wanted to be a naturopathic doctor, but I was too late in life at the time or so I thought. So, I had moved to Seattle and had become a health coach, just a basic run-of-the-mill health coach.

And I was like, this is great. There are so many like-minded people in the northwest. They’re all eating Cliff bars and driving Subarus. It’s like natural and healthy. There are naturopaths on every corner. But then when I got there, I realized that there are so many natural people there. People are already aware of how to live life more holistic.

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So, I ended up being a little fish in a big pond. Becoming a health coach there, I realized that wasn’t the direction I was going in. I didn’t want to take people on a grocery store tour, tell people how much protein to eat, or eat your vegetables and exercise. I wanted to figure out how to do more.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Medical Gaslighting

I had FDN introduced to me by seeing signs for it. You know, I would be on their email newsletter list, or I would see ads for it and things like that. It just wasn’t the right time for it, at the time. I had gone through so many health coaching programs trying to get a little bit more, trying to find what it was that I was looking for.

And at the time I didn’t really have any health issues. There’s a lot of FDN practitioners out there, they became FDNs because they were trying to help their own health issue, to be their own doctor, to help friends and family. At the time, I didn’t really have too many health issues; I was pretty healthy.

My sister, who is a nurse, she had gotten diagnosed with thyroid cancer. It took so many times for her going to her doctor to finally get them to test her thyroid properly. Something that’s inexpensive and should be done annually, if not twice a year, she had to pull teeth to get her thyroid checked. And the Hashimoto’s diagnosis came secondary. Had they done these screenings before, they would’ve found the Hashimoto’s potentially before the cancer.

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Fortunately, it’s nearly seven years cancer free for her. She did a combination of Mayo Clinic and a natural cancer clinic in Tijuana that I became involved with. But I realized in her situation there was so much medical gaslighting, especially for females, especially for females that I was coming in contact with, that, you’re fine, here’s an antidepressant. You’re a new mom; this is why you have anxiety. Lay off the cookies and you won’t have the weight issue.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Getting Both Sides

It’s just, we’re our own best doctor. We know what’s going on in our bodies or can at least have an inkling that something isn’t right much better than our doctors can. So, I became an FDN because I wanted to be that voice. I wanted to be that listening ear for these people coming to me saying they have a problem, and then me acknowledging it and believing them, rather than just gaslighting them and saying, maybe you need an antidepressant or a diet change.

But then what happens, and I think this happens with a lot of healers and people in the functional health world, is we can give great advice, but we fail to take our own. We can tell people the right things to do, but then we don’t really take our own advice.

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That being said, I started developing my own health issues especially during when Covid had started, and everything was locked down. We were all at home and I wasn’t doing everything I needed to improve my health. So, then I started having the health issues. But then I was having the resources that I needed to fix myself. So, I got both sides of this journey where I’ve been working on my own health, but then I came into this not because of my health, but because of something that’s affecting a huge other demographic.

[00:06:59] Detective Ev: I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, but I’m glad that you got to experience both sides, because I think that makes you that much more of an effective person both in the company but as a practitioner as well.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Delayed Diagnoses

It’s one thing to just empathize because you’re a half decent person, right? You were already doing that. But that genuine empathy that comes from, dang, I’ve been through this in one way or another, directly and indirectly, is powerful.

I also wanted to go back to something that you said with your sister. I’m very glad that everything worked out with the cancer. But not only anecdotally have I heard this a bunch with the issues that happen especially with females when they go in for these conditions and then get told it’s in their head.

I don’t want to misspeak here, so I will try to find the study if I can, and I’ll put the link in the show notes and the comments. But I think there’s actually been studies done showing that women are more likely to be told that something’s in their head for the exact same diagnosis as a guy.

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Yes, it does happen to a lot of people, I experienced it myself. But I also watched my mom, for example, for seven years, Kurt, they didn’t diagnose her with an autoimmune disease even though she had the same exact symptoms the entire time. And finally, go figure; it was a thyroid condition.

It was Graves’ disease, which for those who don’t know, is an autoimmune that’s associated with hyperthyroidism. I don’t want to say it’s the opposite because that is totally incorrect clinically, but it’s kind of the opposite of Hashimoto’s or hypothyroidism.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Various Programs

It’s amazing to hear the similarity in these stories with your sister and my mom where, all these years, something that is so basic like a thyroid panel, not even expensive to run even if you didn’t do the insurance, and you can find these things that are going on. Sometimes we just don’t think to do that.

What’s nice about the rest of the story, I realized when I don’t get to talk to someone for 200 plus episodes, this feels like the first time I’m interviewing you. This is great! Because all of this is really genuine where I’m actually relearning all this stuff.

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You had been through several other programs. I’m sure you took something from all of them. But I’m curious, we don’t have to list off everything, but what are some of the other programs that you have went through?

And I want to be very careful about how we answer this because I’m asking for this reason. There are people that look at FDN and compare us to other programs. There is never a day where I am on a call or a webinar or whatever, that I say another program is bad. I have never done that; I can’t picture you doing that. But there are certainly programs that are better suited for others than maybe this person over here.

And considering most of these programs out there nowadays are $5,000 to $15,000. If you do five of these, you have a college degree basically in America, at this point. So, you don’t want to do five of them if you don’t have to. What were some of the other ones you went through and what did you like or maybe want to improve about some of those?

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Foundations of Nutrition

[00:09:41] Kurt Stradtman: Yeah. I get this question often talking about other programs out there. And I always like to start by saying it’s just my opinion, right? I went through this program; this is my opinion. I’m not ever speaking bad about these other programs because sometimes it’s the best option for other people.

I’ve done various basic health coach certifications; I can’t even remember all of them. But the other big ones that I did was IIN – the Institute of Integrative Nutrition – and Precision Nutrition. I did Precision Nutrition first, and then IIN after.

What I had found in the Precision Nutrition Program, very thorough, right? They send you a textbook, it’s this thick; it’s very thorough. There wasn’t a lot of mentorship to it. You enroll in the program, get accepted into it, and then it’s self-paced. And you have to have that dedication to get through the program.

I needed that little bit of guidance, those resources to reach out to. And I found that with Precision Nutrition, and again, this is just my opinion, but I feel like it’s more for athletes helping athletes, more of people that are trying to build health to become a better athlete, to build more muscle, to increase endurance, things like that, not so much on the coaching perspective, right?

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They did an excellent job talking about the foundations of nutrition. We all have to have that. Every health coach needs to have a strong foundation in nutrition. But I needed something else. I came out of that program, and it took a lot of work.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Diet Theory

And I think I took longer than I needed to get through it because I lacked that accountability. I need somebody, I need a deadline. Yeah, I need somebody to tell me we have to get this done by this certain date.

And I had heard a lot of good things about IIN. So many friends had gone to that program that are in this industry. Then I finally took the plunge. Meanwhile, I guess I need to preface this a little bit, I’d been seeing all these ads for FDN. I was like, I need do FDN. But I didn’t have the finances at the time, the right time for that type of investment, because it is a big investment. All of our education is a big investment for whatever we do, and we want to make sure we’re using our money wisely.

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I went through these programs that were a lot less expensive, thinking I was going to get the same outcome and that’s not really what had happened. So, then I went to the IIN program, which has a nice price tag on it. During that program, I really liked the way everything was structured because it dove into health concepts more than just nutrition. It went into it more than just the Precision Nutrition program because it went into diet theory.

That was the big one that I felt like I needed in this field. I would have so many clients come and say, I’m following Mediterranean diet, I’m following Atkins, I’m following Paleo. What does that mean? We need to know what all of these different diet theories are, even though I never recommend one specific diet. I take pieces of each one to match the person that’s in front of me.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: A Little Fish in a Big Pond

But it was a great program, and it had that mentorship that I was looking for, but not until the last three days of the program. Right before graduation, you would get on these coaching calls with a group, and sometimes a group call like that can be intimidating.

Maybe you don’t want to ask a question because you think somebody might think it’s a silly question, right? Or maybe you’re asking a question that just might not be appropriate. So, there was that intimidation factor to those calls where I didn’t feel comfortable really opening up and asking all of these questions. And I needed some of that mentorship earlier into the program.

So, I came out of IIN with great health coaching skills, right? I knew how to talk to clients, to talk to them about diet theories, talk to them about a wide variety of healing modalities that were available to all of us. But I still needed more.

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Then I was left with this, like I said earlier, I was a little fish in a big pond. Health coaching is becoming a very oversaturated market, so you have to figure out what sets you apart from the other person. That’s a basic marketing question that you always have to ask yourself in any endeavor you go on. What makes this different than the guy down the street? Also, what makes it different than any other modality out there?

So, I had invested all of this money in these multiple programs and probably four or five years of time into these programs.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Ending Up at FDN

And I kept seeing these ads for FDN. I would see that they were talking about lab testing. That’s what was intriguing me, but I had this epiphany where I was like, that’s it. It’s the lab testing. That’s what I’m missing that all of these other health coaching programs are not offering.

We can tell you how to eat healthy, tell you how to live a healthy life but healthy for me and you are two different concepts, right? What’s going on under the hood? Or what’s going on with this blood work?

Obviously, these labs that the traditional medical community is running isn’t that thorough at explaining everything that’s going on. My sister’s a prime example. Your mom’s a prime example. You’ve gone through all of these tests, but you’ve gotten nowhere. So, the functional lab testing was really that part that I knew was going to set me apart.

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Not only are we taught in health coaching to look at the full body, the whole body, that’s the holistic concept, but it was the first time that we’re actually able to look inside the body and see what’s going on. That’s really how I got through all of those programs and ended up here with FDN.

[00:15:16] Detective Ev: I appreciate the thoroughness of those descriptions.

You know, I can’t speak much on Precision Nutrition, but many people know the other health coaching program that I did was Institute for Integrative Nutrition. That’s how I actually started in the industry, and that’s what preceded FDN for me. And I don’t think you could have nailed the description anymore.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Massive FDN Support

It has a decent price tag, especially for what you’re getting. I would assume this is still the same to this day or something similar. So, I went through seven years ago now at this point, but exact same thing as you. The only mentorship, if you’d call it that, was the group calls at the end.

And I like how real you are. I appreciate it because you say something that everyone goes through, but most aren’t going to say. Yes, even as adults, even if you’re a podcast host, it can be intimidating to be on a group call, and you don’t want to sound stupid. You have questions where you’re not sure are these people above me in the knowledge? Do they already know this stuff and I don’t? It is a little intimidating and then you end up not getting what you should have gotten out of that call.

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Obviously, you also want to be respectful to everyone and you don’t want to hog up the time. So, there’s many things that go into that and you shouldn’t feel that way if you’re getting the mentorship. That’s why FDN is really cool with the best of both worlds because you have that unlimited group mentorship aspect from day one, but you also have this very personalized one-on-one that is quite in depth. We have over 12 hours of one-on-one mentorship at this point, and it’s going to feel like a lot more than 12 hours with the depth of some of that.

But the bottom line is, I think you highlighted a lot of the strengths of IIN and I’m assuming Precision Nutrition too, because these aren’t bad things.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Know What You Want

You need to decide what it is you want and what you desire to do. You may be someone who wants to focus on dietary theory, just that coaching side and helping people shift their mindset, which by the way, some people only ever want to do that stuff.

I’ve had people get on these sales calls and say they don’t really like the idea of labs – I’m not a science person, that intimidates me. FDN’s not going to be a good fit, man. You’re going to hate this because we’re all about diving into labs and the science and stuff.

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So, it really starts with the individual knowing what they want, and then we can help filter all these programs out there to make an informed decision, so again, you don’t end up spending a bunch of money for something that maybe had a part of what you wanted but wasn’t the full thing. You could also argue, did you need to spend five, six grand to get that little part, or could you have gotten it somewhere else for cheaper?

So, when you went through the FDN course, one of the things that we include in the cost of tuition are lab tests for someone to be able to run on themselves. With the lab tests that you were able to run on yourself and all the other things that you were learning, I gotta ask, what was your experience like?

What were you feeling as you went through it? Did you find unique healing opportunities for your body? And did you realize this part here was a huge gap in my health knowledge? I’m curious what your opinion was. Obviously, you enjoyed it, you’re here, but it’d still be nice to hear specifics.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Health Trajectory

[00:18:08] Kurt Stradtman: I learned that I had some broken parts. That’s what I like to joke to people about because I’m an FDN mentor. I work with trainees as they’re going through the program. And one of the things that I do are their own personal R&R sessions. It’s a big thing in life in general. Don’t ask somebody to do what you’re not willing to do yourself.

But having those lab tests is a big key component to that because you get to be the client; you get to listen to what’s going on. And I have this theory that it’s a lot easier for you to understand those concepts when it’s your own health because it’s related to you. You can listen to Reed talk about case studies all day long, but when it’s personal to you, it’s a lot easier to bank that information and absorb it.

I see this with a lot of trainees going through the program, they come to that R&R session to see their lab results, and they think everything is going to be great, because they’re already eating well, they’re following a diet that works for them. They’re exercising, they’re sleeping well, and then they see these little hidden things that show up on there, that shows something’s broken. Something’s not right, and it’s a healing opportunity to be fixed.

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I also learned that. I came into it thinking that I was going to have pretty decent labs. And then I saw how my body was responding to stress, or in my case, it was not responding to stress at all. Not only does it show you where you’re at, but it was showing me the trajectory – if you don’t intercept it right now, this is where you’re going to end up.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Anticipatory Learning

That was the big thing for me was realizing, and I’m talking about like cortisol dysregulation and adrenal issues, if I didn’t intercept it, I was going to be in a bad place further down the road. If I was having a few symptoms then, how was it going to be five years down the road if I didn’t fix anything?

[00:20:06] Detective Ev: Yeah. I think it’s interesting because of all the people I’ve interviewed, not that there’s not smart FDNs out there, we’re all pretty decently intelligent, I’d like to believe. But the retention in their ability to remember their own lab results, I think proves what you just said. And I don’t know if the course is this advanced that it’s structured like this.

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But I love studying learning and why we memorize things and how we do it. Dopamine’s a huge part of that. It’s one of the reasons that many kids unfortunately are taking like Adderalls and Vyvanse to study better, right? These things flood the brain with dopamine. But dopamine’s also anticipatory. And so, I think as lab nerds and health nerds, what is more exciting to us, as sad as this is, than getting lab results back for ourselves? That’s exciting.

I think there’s this perfect combination of, you’ve gone through a lot of the course material, you have been excited to get your lab results back from the first few weeks into the course, I think that’s why the retention’s so high. Many people do describe those, they’re called R&R sessions, for those watching or listening, that means Results and Recommendation sessions. So, you’re getting your results and then we give you some recommendations.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Healing Opportunities

I think that’s why so many people describe that and clients that are the same way, as oh, this is when this clicked for me. This is when I really started to understand some of these concepts, is when I saw this stuff. Because now, in theory, you got to see lab results in the course, but you’re taking theoretical stuff to very practical, very real – it’s you, you’re the person.

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And this is also the beauty of FDN. Unfortunately, most people don’t come to us until they already feel like crap, especially the clients. But FDN is good at finding things that are going wrong in the body or those healing opportunities, as you said, that even if someone that feels really good, runs the foundational FDN labs, you are going to find something if you’re trending in the wrong way.

I had a gentleman recently. He’s a stud of an athlete, 23 years old, been boxing since he was five. His dad is a professional boxing trainer. And so, the kid looks fantastic, super high energy, but he liked what we were talking about. He’s local to me and he wanted to run some of the labs.

So, we started super basic. We actually just did the hormone thing just to get it rolling. Because again, he wasn’t a normal client by any means. And guess what? His hormones looked, overall, pretty good. But we could just start to see that he was trending almost into that compensatory phase just a bit. So, we caught something before it happened.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: A Life-Changer

I’m glad to know that there’s people like you that actually end up going through the course before they’re a total train wreck. They can find things to work on. It’s a lot easier to recover from that than it is when you go through the course banged up like some of us. But hey, don’t worry. We have those people too and we are able to help them out.

So, you already mentioned this. I’m just curious. I’d love for people to get to know what a day in the life of Kurt’s like. You’ve mentioned that you’re an FDN mentor. I know that you do some other things for FDN as well. What do those roles look like? Because you have a position where you really get to connect with the trainees.

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[00:23:00] Kurt Stradtman: My favorite part is that I have a lot of hats with FDN, and I love it. I love being involved with it because FDN changed my life, right? It changed my personal life, it changed my career, it changed my family’s life, and being able to be part of the new FDNs coming on the scene, it’s wonderful.

When I had graduated the FDN program, I think it was like four or five years ago now, there was just several hundred FDNs in the world and now there’s over 4,000. So, we’re just constantly growing and being part of that mission to help these practitioners become the next best FDN, it’s really awesome. And my client load, with my personal clients for my own health practice, has gone down because I love taking on these training sessions and working with trainees.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Audience Questions Welcomed

Really, I think I like teaching it so much. I love being an FDN practitioner and working with my clients, but I love teaching. So, I get on a soapbox often when it comes to these health concepts or FDN concepts. Being in a place of being on a soapbox with the audience that’s willing to listen, that’s the great part of doing everything that I do.

[00:24:19] Detective Ev: See. We gotta have you on the podcast more then, because we could just force people to listen to us here. It’s great.

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Speaking of which, one thing I should have mentioned in the beginning is that these podcasts, they’re not going to be fully interactive when they’re Live. I, obviously, want to keep the structure that has worked for us for three years now and be able to go through certain set questions. But this is about the time where if you guys are on Live today and you do have any questions for Kurt, this would be a great time to ask. I’d be happy to highlight some of the audience questions the last 10 to 20 minutes of each episode.

And while in the past, we’ve only really recorded for 50 minutes, that’s how long the typical shows are. Kurt, thanks for being our guinea pig with this today, because if we do see that people are hopping on consistently and do want to ask questions, we can make these even longer in the future to allow for that. And then maybe the audio version only has the main podcast. I don’t know. We’re willing to experiment. We always are trying to give you guys what you like. That’s something that’s just a whole part of FDN.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: The Evolving FDN Course

You know this firsthand. We both graduated, like you said, four or five years ago; I’m six. You could just see how much FDN has evolved since then. They’re constantly listening to the feedback of the community and then adding stuff on. So, there’s more lab tests included in the tuition now. There’s more one-on-one mentorship. Correct me if I’m wrong, four or five years ago, I don’t even think they had the Facebook trainee group yet. Was that there?

[00:25:39] Kurt Stradtman: It was fresh. There wasn’t this huge archive of stuff to search through. Because as a trainee you can just type in a keyword of what you’re looking for and find eight years of it. It was a fresh group, so there wasn’t that much to see, to sort through.

Trainees really are in a good place right now. Like you said, they’re getting the extra lab testing included. But they have the Facebook groups, they have so many Live calls that they get to hop on to learn course concepts, to even get a chance to talk to Reed himself once a week – it’s Study Hour. That’s a hugely popular one. They hear Reed talking in these lectures and on these slides in their course modules but then to actually get to talk to him and pick his brain and ask questions, it’s just a great opportunity.

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So, the course is evolving. And at the end of the course, you do get the opportunity to have a postgraduate interview where you actually have that one-on-one conversation with the powers that be and say, this is what I’ve loved in this program, and this is where I think it can improve. Then you get to build on that. So, this course is getting better.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: FDN First

[00:26:45] Detective Ev: For those that might not have just understood that, basically there’s these things called PGIs – post-graduate interviews. And it’s actually how the course is able to evolve in the way that it is. There have now been multiple thousands of hours of post-graduate interviews.

It’s funny because I think, as a trainee or a fresh graduate, I remember thinking that I was going to be able to ask them a bunch of questions on the call and they do allow for that. But they are 10 times more interested in asking you questions, the graduate, and figuring out, okay, where can we get better? What did we do wrong? It’s this obsession for greatness and excellence in the industry, which I really appreciate.

We do have a question here. This is great. I will see if I can share that on the screen. See, this is so much fun. I love this platform to be able to do these podcasts. The question is, “if you could do your health coaching journey differently, what would you change, if anything?”

[00:27:37] Kurt Stradtman: That’s easy for me to answer. The biggest thing that I would do differently, and again, this is not negating how great these other programs are and everything.

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If you’re interested in lab testing, if you’re interested in making these connections and being that health detective to help people uncover the root cause or close to the root cause of these conditions they’re going through, that they’ve been dealing with for years and been in the cycle of trial and error, as Reed says, FDN is the right program.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: What’s Right for You?

So, if I could do it differently, I would save or figure out the finances to go into FDN first. Then you’d get to come out of FDN a year later and have all of the resources you need to start your career as this health detective.

What happened to me is, I don’t want to say I wasted, but for lack of a better word, I spent five years going through various programs because, at the time, I couldn’t afford the tuition for the big FDN. So, I ended up spending double, maybe even close to triple the cost that the FDN program costs on all of these various programs.

I think to really answer that question, it’s to go to FDN if you are wanting to do these lab testings, if you’re wanting to learn how to be a health detective and how to be so much more than a health coach, this is where you need to go. And like you said earlier, if that’s not your interest, then maybe it’s not a good match. One of those other programs might be great for you.

[00:29:08] Detective Ev: One way to figure it out, you guys can go to fdntraining.com/call and talk to one of the course enrollment advisors. I’m actually on that team, so there’s a chance you might get to talk to myself. Whether or not you consider that a good thing is completely subjective, but you could get to talk to me.

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What we do on those calls is figure out whether the course is a good fit for you. Yes, by definition it’s a sales position, but at the same time, good and ethical selling is making sure that you’re giving someone a product that they can actually benefit from.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Booking a Call

Kurt, we don’t talk like this, you wouldn’t even know this. I refer out about 15 to 20% of the people that book calls with me for FDN because it’s just not a good fit. They’re looking for something so specific in such a certain way, which is great. You want to come into those calls knowing what you want. And if we can fill that need, we will do that. And if we can’t, we’ll be like, hey, we know a ton of other places and programs, you should go here.

Some people let’s be honest, some people need to work on their health first. Yes, you could do that while at the FDN course. But there is a level of chronic illness, in my opinion, that is not well suited for almost any course. I think you need to really work on yourself first and then get into it.

Many of us naturally work on our health before we start these courses, I think that’s par for the course. But there’s a small percentage that, they’re banged up man. And that’s okay. But work on that first. Get your brain fog down so that you could actually learn what you’re studying, right?

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Okay. With that said, let’s check our time here. Oh, we’re still very good on time. Yeah, we have fdntraining.com on the screen and that’s slash call as well. So, fdntraining.com/call to book a call with us.

I want to also ask this, because I’m trying to think. One of the things I do in every interview is I try to think, what would I ask if I was an audience member? And so based on the title of today, we talked about how we were going to compare different health coaching programs.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Learning Opportunities

If someone’s still listening at this point in the show, it would imply to me that they’re probably interested in FDN. So, one really useful thing that we can give them by having an FDN mentor on today is, I’d love to know, Kurt, what do you know are the attributes or characteristics of a person who has success with the FDN course and is able to go through it efficiently? And what are the habits of someone that maybe struggles a little bit? Because our course is a mix.

We do have a huge self-paced aspect. There are other things to help you keep accountable, but it’s mainly on you. And you self-proclaimed that’s something that maybe you struggled with. Yet not only did you get through it, you’re here mentoring. So, I’m curious what some of those characteristics might be for people who go through it effortlessly, and then those who maybe are dragging behind so that they can have more success.

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[00:31:49] Kurt Stradtman: What I’ve found, and I’ve been doing this close to two years now on the FDN side for mentoring. What I’ve noticed is trainees who are struggling a little bit, they’re not taking advantage of all the opportunities that they have. They’re not hopping on the Live calls that’s happening a couple times a week, they’re not actively using the Facebook group, right?

You can cultivate these friendships in this FDN group. I’ve been doing this long enough now; I’m seeing friendships blossom, becoming colleagues with each other, in the Facebook group for trainees. And then I’m seeing them on the AFDNP graduate side, and they’re still close and relying on each other and stuff like that. I think that’s the big one.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Willing to Pivot

Take advantage of those learning opportunities you get, the Live calls, the Facebook group. That’s a big one. There’s a lot of people out there that don’t like Facebook, don’t use Facebook; we get it. And we talk about this in the new trainee orientation.

But Facebook, in this case, is really useful for us because, it’s like we just said, there’s several years of discussion in there that you can sort through and search through. A lot of trainees that don’t use Facebook, create a Facebook account just to be part of the Facebook group. That’s a huge thing.

The other component, and this isn’t so much for being successful in the course but being successful as an FDN in general. You have to be okay with change, constantly willing to pivot. What I mean by that is every day, not every day, but labs are changing, right? Lab markers change; labs come into the industry, they come out of the industry. Supplements come into the industry and leave. You have to constantly be okay to pivoting and open to all kinds of feedback, changing the way you do something.

I’m on the Study Hour every Friday. Every Friday I learn something new. I learn something new as an FDN that I did not know before. And at least two out of the four, each month, I learn how to change my own results sessions with clients. Or I change how I go about talking to a client because of something I learned.

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So, you can’t be stuck in your way is the point I’m getting at. You have to be willing to change and evolve, and that’s really the key to success for being a great FDN.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Facebook Groups

[00:34:18] Detective Ev: I felt like you read my mind when you talked about some people don’t like using Facebook because some people don’t even like social media. But it’s one of the things I really emphasize when I’m on the calls with people, if I know that they’re going to do the FDN course and they’re signing up a hundred percent. I let them know that it is worth making that account just for that, if nothing else.

Because listen, would we love to be on some private forum on our own website? Yes, we would. And we’ve tried that in the past. Here is the issue. People that do use Facebook and social media are addicted to these things. And so, when you’re going on Facebook and you’re just scrolling aimlessly, your question that you asked in the Facebook group comes up on my feed. It comes up on several hundred other people’s feeds. Versus if we’re on a private forum, you forget to log on. You’re on the major social media platforms, right?

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So, we will maintain that as long as we can because it’s a really cool thing in both the trainee group and the graduate group where you have so much engagement. And I can’t help but think some of that engagement is actually because you were really just scrolling on Facebook to begin with and then you happen to see something in FDN. You’re like, oh wait, I want to answer that. Or wait, I can help with this. That’s just what happens.

We do have another question here, also from Jo. Oh, good question, because so many people ask this. “Were you working full-time when you went through the course?”

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Working Full-Time

[00:35:40] Kurt Stradtman: Yes, a hundred percent. The way the course is created, that’s taken into consideration. A lot of us don’t have that luxury of being able to say, we’re devoting an entire year to our education and we’re not going to be working, because we have to pay the bills.

There’s a lot of trainees that are coming into the program just making a lateral shift. They’re already in this functional health world; they just want to add to their expertise or add to the repertoire of functional health tools so they can budget the time a lot easier.

But what happens when you’re working full-time? I was working at a UPS store during that time. It was a full-time job because I was in my mid-twenties at the time. Then I would come home and work on my FDN course.

But it’s structured in a way that most students complete it in about a year because it’s taking into consideration that we all have other jobs most of the time in a field that’s not related to it. That’s the beauty of the FDN program is you don’t have to have experience in that field to come out to have everything you need for a successful career in that field. That’s the big one.

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You get to print out all of the notes and slides from the course so you can, in your free time, be reading through those. And you can download the audio. So, if you’re driving down the road, you can have it playing as if it’s a podcast playing. There’re so many different ways for it to work while you’re working full-time to get through the program.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: The Ideal Student

[00:37:18] Detective Ev: That is something that we get all the time because someone might be making that lateral shift, that’s a really good way to describe it. They might be jumping careers completely. I’ve had many stay-at-home moms, which is more than a full-time job, especially if you’ve got a few kids. That’s going to be crazy trying to do any formal type of education. So, the FDN program is always made with a very specific type of person in mind.

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I would say the ideal person is the person that really wants to go do this as a career eventually, in some way. You might want to work 10 hours a week. That’s something that you can do and gain supplemental income from FDN. You might want to do it full-time. We have tons of FDNs doing that as well.

But the course was made for that person we know is going to have to transition in some way or another. I’m one of the rare ones where I was actually working at the time, but I was working at my family’s restaurant. And I got lucky, knock on something, because I don’t want to consider this luck all the time. I broke my foot to the point where even the boot that I had, they said you really shouldn’t stand on this at all. You should be using crutches for several weeks.

So, I ended up doing the FDN course in a couple of months. But I got to do it eight hours a day, seven days a week. I loved it man; I was obsessed. You know, I just wanted to go through it and keep studying it. Normally you burn out after studying after 30 minutes in my opinion.

Where to Find Kurt Stradtman

But I could study all day and feel like I still had decent retention because I was so excited about what we were learning. So, whether you can do one hour a day or eight hours a day, if you break your foot or something, we are able to set that up for you.

And the videos are very cool because most of them are only about 20 to 30 minutes each. Reed will actually say, go grab a drink of water, come back, and then we’ll get to the next section. So, you can break it down very easily in your day.

We have about seven minutes left here. What I want to do is just run this how we normally would run any Health Detective Podcast, especially since there’s no other questions. Kurt, where can people find you? I know that in addition to your work at FDN, you do have your own practice where people can work with you. Do you have a specific type of client that you like to work with? And then again, where can they find you?

[00:39:21] Kurt Stradtman: I love to work with clients that are dealing with hormone issues and gut issues. Really, I want any client with a chronic condition to come. Because, almost always, there’s going to be a root to that in hormones or gut issues, right? So, I like to educate them on how that connection really is.

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Nourish Integrative Health and Nutrition is my practice. It had been Stradtman Family Wellness for the longest time and then I just recently changed the name because I’ve been evolving and adding to it. I didn’t feel like the name served its purpose anymore. And so now it’s Nourish Integrative Health and Nutrition. Nourishintegrative.com is the website.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Proactive Health-Care

[00:40:05] Detective Ev: Excellent.

Yeah, you’re right. Even though there always ends up being so many “root causes”, quote/unquote, in the world of FDN, it’s a rare day when there’s not a client that comes back who’s chronically ill that something doesn’t show on the hormones and gut.

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And that’s going back to what we were talking about before where even if you feel super good when you run the FDN foundational labs, we can catch stuff so much earlier than someone actually really getting sick. We could still help you then, but man if you’re smart, I would be doing some of this stuff proactively.

I’ve started doing that in my own life. I’m like, I feel good. It’s okay. Maybe now I should be occasionally doing these labs, so I don’t get back to a place that I was before. I can’t imagine getting back there. But still, why not do that?

Then, I’ll finish up with the signature question on the podcast because it has been 200-something episodes since you would’ve gotten to answer this. Especially someone like you who’s so involved with the course, obviously learning all the time, at least on Fridays, like you said, when you’re doing the Study Hour. I’m curious if the answer has changed at all. I wouldn’t remember, but who knows?

The question that we always finish with on this podcast is, if you, in this case, Kurt, could wave a magic wand and get every single person in this world to do one thing for their health, either get them to start doing one thing or get them to stop doing one thing, what would Kurt Stradtman, multiple course completer, FDN mentor and practitioner get everyone to do?

Signature Podcast Question – Invest in Your Health

[00:41:31] Kurt Stradtman: That’s such a tough question. I remember you asking that question all those episodes back. And I think I told people to go gluten-free because gluten can contribute to so many different things.

But I think the big thing that I would say now is invest in your health. And that’s going to, more than likely, involve a financial investment. Because, unfortunately, we live in a society where self-pay or cash pay for our health, can get expensive.

But we’re not running these tests and labs just for the sake of running them. We have these five foundational labs, or more if we have more to add on, for a purpose. As an FDN, we’re able to find these connections and interconnect all of these labs together.

I’ll have people come to me with hot flashes. They know they have a hormone issue. They’re like, why are you wanting a stool test? I told you I have a hormone problem. Or somebody will come in with stomach cramps and they’re like, why are you wanting to see my testosterone? Well, we’re able to make these connections and find these things, like you said, find these things before they happen. It’s important to invest in your health.

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So, if I could wave that magic wand, it’s to convince them that it’s not a waste of money to invest in these lab testings. Because you can eat well, exercise, and sleep great, but if you don’t know what’s going on under the hood, like I said earlier, you’re not going to have as much success as somebody who’s gone through the whole program or an FDN client to have all the proper testing done.

The Ultimate Coaching Program: Multiple ROIs

[00:43:11] Detective Ev: Excellent point. And I would say, by definition, it is an investment.

When we give an investment for anything, we expect a return. The return is on your health. I know firsthand and so many of our practitioners and clients have experienced this.

I mentioned that broken foot, and I was making a joke about it. But the truth of the matter is, I was never very good at one particular sport, but I had done sports my entire life. I’d always been very active, but I had never broken anything. And in one year I broke multiple things. It was also one of the years I felt the worst I ever had. I genuinely believe that’s because I was so sick.

The investment for me was not only just in my health, that’s a beautiful thing to get back, but when you feel healthy, it’s a lot easier to make money. I think you and I would both share the sentiment that we’d love to live in a world where we don’t have to invest in this stuff, just get what is considered basic forms of healthcare, basic rights to be healthy, and not have our food contaminated, insurance pays for labs. But they don’t really work or look for the right thing.

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Yes, I’d love to live in a world where we don’t do that, but that is the reality right now. And at the very least, we can feel good in knowing that if we do invest here, whether it’s from a client perspective or a course perspective, this is going to have an ROI that’s not just subjective in your health. It’s objective in your health and probably objective in your bank account.

Conclusion

Because if you’re not falling asleep halfway through the workday every day, chances are you might be a little bit more efficient at work. And you’re competing against a bunch of other people who unfortunately are very unhealthy. It’s easy to stand out when you have energy all day.

You’d think that’s like the baseline but that alone will give you a significant advantage of the workforce today if you could just stay awake for eight freaking hours straight. So, definitely an investment.

Kurt, I’d love to have you on more, especially for these Lives. If you love that teaching aspect, that would be great. But I wanted to thank you for being willing to be our guinea pig today and hop on for the first Live Health Detective Podcast. Thank you very much.

Kurt Stradtman: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Detective Ev: Cool. If you guys want to check the audio versions of our 265 episodes and counting on the Health Detective Podcast, just search for, you guessed it, the Health Detective Podcast on anywhere that you podcast. We release two episodes a week, Monday and Thursday at one in the morning EST, so that all of our time zones can hear it. I’m looking forward to seeing you guys again soon. Thanks.

You can always visit us at functionaldiagnosticnutrition.com, on YouTube @FDNtraining, or on Instagram @fdntraining.

For more informational and functional health-oriented podcasts like this one, go to functionaldiagnosticnutrition.com/health-detective-podcast/.

To learn more about us, go to functionaldiagnosticnutrition.com/about-fdn-functional-testing/.

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