What the Heck is a Health Coach Anyway?


Integrative Nutrition/ Holistic Health Coaches have what seems to currently be a unique view on what constitutes healthy living. Many people think that being healthy is a combination of eating well and exercising, having regular check-ups and getting enough sleep. While I agree with this, I believe there is much more to it that is often overlooked. The best example I can give is one I was told when I was studying at The Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Imagine a small child playing in the yard. Mom calls out for dinner and starts dishing up a delicious meal. The child is still playing. Mom yells out again and eventually has to drag her little one to the table and monitor each mouthful of cheesy pasta. After the final promised bite the child runs back out to play. Cut to the apartment of a 30-something year old woman who's working at a successful financial planning office. This woman has a full life with good friends and a great career. She comes home and is noticeably exhausted from work. No one greets her at the door. She heads to the fridge and decides she'll eat one or two of the healthy bliss balls she made yesterday for dinner tonight. Thirty minutes later she's eaten 10 of them. The difference I'm wanting to highlight between these two scenarios isn't the age or the circumstances. The difference is that one of these people is being fully fed and another isn't. The child is. You might be reading over that and wondering if it's a typo. It's not. When studying to become a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, I was taught that health isn't just about what is on our plate. We are also (and almost more importantly) fed by our relationships, our career, how we move our bodies, and our belief in something bigger than us. The small child in the above story is being fed by her activities and play, so much so that food is a secondary afterthought. She is so fulfilled in her play that she doesn't realize it's time to eat. The successful woman who has what appears on the outside to have a good view of what healthy food is, is missing things that make a healthy life. Maybe her career isn't enjoyable or she's craving touch. Do you think that she would eat 10 bliss balls if she had someone giving her love and affection when she walked through the door after a hard days work? Neither do I. So what does a Health Coach do? The job of a coach is to guide you in making small + sustainable changes to improve your health both on and off your plate. A good coach will give you the tools to navigate through your life and health without the need to resort to crazy diets, punishing workout routines or drastic lifestyle changes. She will support you through the period of growth where you stop being a person who knows what to do, but doesn't take action, to someone who walks their talk. She will nurture your emotional well-being and help you handle stress in ways that work for you. She will work with you to come up with a way of eating that is nutritious, easy, and enjoyable. There will be no restrictions or eating foods that you don't enjoy the taste of. What doesn't she do? A Health Coach isn't a dietician or doctor (unless they have completed further study in these fields.) They cannot prescribe you medication or deal with terminal disease. In times of ill health, a doctor will use health intervention to stop disease, remove the offending infection or stop whatever is causing pain. A Health Coach is there for the prevention, not the intervention, to help lessen the likely hood of preventable disease in the future. Not everyone needs a Health Coach, but let me ask you... Football teams have coaches, tennis stars have coaches, your local pilates studio has an instructor guiding you and many people hire Personal Trainers, like me, to help them achieve their goals. None of these guides do the actual work, they do just what they're trained to do - Guide. Sometimes we get lost and confused with all of the conflicting information out there. Juice is good for you/ juice has too much much sugar. Meat is full of nutrients/ meat is difficult to digest and rots in your gut. Kale is the healthiest leaf on the planet/ kale causes thyroid issues. Dairy is a good source of calcium/ dairy is mucous forming and intended only for calves. A Health Coach will guide you through the maze. She will take your hand and support you in figuring out what is right for you. Not only the food you eat, but the mindset you employ while you navigate through life. If you're feeling like you need some support and someone to hold you accountable for your own health, read more about my programs here or shoot me an email and we can book in a free Health Goals session to see if I'm the right coach for you.

Cody Jean xx

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