>> Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Do you aspire to eat better, lose weight, or push yourself to the next fitness level? Have you ever considered seeing a dietitian or personal trainer? Are you afraid that they will make recommendations that are too hard to follow or don’t agree with your lifestyle?

The secret to good health is easy, right? Just eat right and exercise. That’s all!

Just kidding -- kind of. Food and exercise are definitely important aspects of health, but it’s not that simple, is it? Ashley wrote that skinny is not the same as healthy, being healthy is about making choices, and those choices are different for everyone. A lot of people have questions about diet, exercise, and how they can be healthier. It can be hard to navigate those areas in life sometimes, especially if you don’t have a lot of support to do so.

That’s why I want to tell you about health coaches. I’m currently studying to become a certified holistic health coach, but not long before I enrolled in my program I had never heard of health coaches myself! I was already a subscriber here, so when I read through comments on health-related posts I emailed Ashley to see if I could share my excitement about health coaching with all of you.

Briefly, what brought me to health coaching was a big transition in my own life: my husband of almost four years and I moved halfway across the country less than a year ago. I’m a long-time vegetarian; he’s an unrepentant omnivore. We’re making some lifestyle adjustments ourselves. We joined a CSA, I got him to watch Food, Inc., we’re eating better and he’s lost 30 pounds since we moved. Through my own blog I have become really passionate about encouraging people to prepare delicious, healthy, meatless meals. When I learned about health coaching, I discovered a path to formalize the education I was seeking on my own and wanted to forge my hobby into a new and rewarding career.

A health coach supports you in achieving your health and wellness goals using a holistic approach to health to help find the path that best suits you and your life. Unlike doctors, dietitians, or personal trainers, this holistic method addresses all the areas affecting your well-being, not just food or exercise, and helps you make sustainable lifestyle changes to improve your health and happiness. Most coaches focus on helping specific groups like vegetarians, athletes, new moms, kids, or people with food allergies so they can better tailor their expertise to those clients’ needs.

After an initial consultation session to discuss your current health concerns your health coach will help you set attainable goals and then offer the support needed to ensure your success. Some of the services available to clients are individual and group health counseling sessions, cooking classes, food samples, recipes, nutrition workshops, and natural food store tours. Most clients see results like reduced food cravings, improved personal relationships, weight loss, improved sleep, increased energy, reduced stress, and clearer skin.

It’s not about a specific diet, it’s not about a workout plan, it’s not about guilt or deprivation. It’s about setting clear intentions and taking the steps to achieve the healthiest, happiest you. A health coach can help you find that path and wants to see you through that journey.

About the author: Stacy is currently enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition to become a certified holistic health coach. She can also be found in her kitchen searching for creative ways to feed her husband vegetables. Stacy is excited that she can begin taking clients in August and will be able to offer discounts while in school. She is offering FREE health history consultations to readers who are interested! Please visit her health coaching site for more information or email her --

Thanks, Stacy! And be sure to check out her blog -- Little Blue Hen. If YOU'd like to be featured in our reader spotlight, just check out our info post with all the gooey details.

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