About Charissa

About Charissa

There was a time in my life when I was scared of every disease out there.

My mom, my grandmother and my great-grandmother all developed ovarian cancer in their fifties; my dad suffered his first heart attack at age 49 and prostate cancer soon afterwards; and my brother developed Addison’s Disease in his early 20s. My other grandmother had breast cancer and Myastenia Gravis, an autoimmune, neurodegenerative disease.  I wondered when it was my turn.

Although I was super athletic as a kid–elected to my high school’s Athletic Hall of Fame–I often felt ill with migraine headaches, digestive distress, sinus issues and a heart murmur since childhood.  By the time I was pregnant with my third child, tests revealed I already had heart disease despite my active lifestyle. My heart valves were clogged and regurgitating. I worried that my gene pool destined me to a short lifespan.

Caring for y three children inspired me to pursue Health Coaching.  We struggled since their birth to heal their asthma, allergies, eczema, digestive issues, ADHD, and my own health issues. Endless trips to specialists and numerous prescriptions just made our conditions worse.  None of the practitioners diagnosed Celiac or gluten sensitivity, although it seems obvious in hindsight.  And in the midst of caring for our sick children,  my husband developed prostate cancer at age 41!

When my asthmatic son asked, “Mom, why am I so sick all the time?” it broke my heart. With each season and every cold, he seemed to get worse. When I asked, doctors told us the cause of asthma is unknown–just “manage the symptoms.” Then, when my he was 10 years old, he broke out in a MRSA (a flesh eating bacteria resistant to most antibiotics) infection on his face. The infection developed because his immune system was very depleted from years of steroids (immune suppressing drugs) and countless rounds of antibiotics.

It was a scary time and a turning point. I embarked on a mission to learn about the root cause of disease.

I enrolled at the institute for Integrative Nutrition and became crazy about nutrition. Ten years of sleepless nights watching my asthmatic son as he slept struggling to breathe, and endless trips to specialists who offered no real solutions, inspired me to consider natural healing methods for my own family.  I learned that asthma (and other inflammatory conditions) can be reversed with dietary changes that heal the gut and calm the immune system.

I fear no more! Although our genes may be a loaded gun, scientists now know that the environment–everything we eat, put on our bodies, think, and do–pulls the trigger.  In fact, our genes account for only about ten to 25 percent of our experience of disease; environmental factors account for the rest.  We have much more control over our destiny than we have been led to believe!

I am passionate about spreading the word about the power of real food to reverse supposedly “chronic” conditions.  As Hippocrates once said, “Let food be thy medicine.”

Are you curious about how health coaching can help you? Let’s talk.  CLICK HERE to schedule your Initial Consultation.


  • B.A. in economics from the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, with coursework in genetics and environmental science.
  • Integrative Nutrition Health Coach training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, New York, NY.
  • Health Coaching Certification from the State University of New York, Albany, NY and the Association of Drugless Practitioners.
  • Currently pursuing AFMC Certification (Applied Functional Medicine for Coaches) at the School of Applied Functional Medicine.

Functional Medicine Coursework:

  • DisEase 101
  • Labwork 101
  • Supplements/Nutrients 101
  • Heavy Metal Toxicity
  • Understanding Allergy and Asthma
  • Disease Begins in the Gut 101
  • Disease Begins in the Gut 202
  • Reversing Diabetes
  • Adrenal and Thyroid Myths and Truths


p.s.   After 20 years of marriage and three kids, most people know me as Charissa Cronin, but legally, I’m still Charissa Murray–LOL!   I answer to both.