Thursday, August 26, 2010

What the Hell is a Health Coach? 10 Ways One Can Help You

Suncear Scretchen

Ever since I started classes at Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I've been getting that question a lot. I don't mind people asking because it gives me an opportunity to explain but I do wish it were a more prevalent profession. More health coaches would mean more people living happier lives, less prescription drugs and hospital bills which means less tax dollars spent on healthcare.

Since graduating last week as a Certified Health Coach, now seems like the perfect time to include an entry on what I do. Health coaching is simply helping people lead healthier lifestyles. And there are many ways that signing up for my program can help you. Let us count the ways.

1) Managing stress: Sometimes what's going on in your life affects how you eat. We tend to reach for food and alcohol as a way to avoid dealing with unhappy situations. Through my program, you will be able to identify areas in your life that trigger those responses.

2) Lose weight: Not only do HCs help keep you on track nutritionally but physically as well. Exercise is a very important part of the program as it increases energy, moods and metabolism.

3) Improve Personal Relationships: When you feel good physically, you feel good emotionally and mentally. And when you feel good emotionally and mentally, you will become more positive, light-hearted and less irritable.

4) Gain more energy: Adding certain foods and eliminating others will increase your energy.

5) Help with specific medical issues: If you suffer from health issues such as diabetes, digestive disorders or thyroid conditions (my specialty), an HC can recommend a nutritional program that helps alleviate symptoms and may even reverse the condition- naturally.

6) Navigate through the myriad of nutritional advice such as the benefits in choosing organic, knowing the difference between cage-free vs free range poultry, vegan vs vegetarian, etc.

7) Deciding what diet is best for you: How you ate as a child, your blood type, your dohsa (Ayurveda) all can play a part in deciding what diet is most effective for you. You may benefit from eating meat or a Mediterranean meal plan could be your best bet. We will figure that out.

8) Curb cravings: sugar, salt, coffee - all of these items are okay in moderation but when we are craving them, it could mean that there is something nutritionally missing and your body is communication that. We will discover how to identify and eliminate cravings.

9) Integrating healthier foods into your diet: I will help you discover some new foods and show you ways to prepare them. You never know what you may end up enjoying!

10) Having a personal advocate for your health: I'm not bashing the healthcare system but sometimes it can feel like you are barely being heard. Taking control of your health and practicing preventive healthcare is really each individual's responsibility and it helps to have someone who is there for 50 minute one on one sessions twice a month. I keep you on track with the program and lead you to the road of having a happier healthier life.

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