Health Coach or Fitness App?

Posted by on Apr 3, 2013 in On My Soapbox, Questions Clients Ask, Wellness Ideas | 0 comments

Someone recently asked me, “Why would I hire a health coach when I can download a free fitness app to keep me on track?” And, you guessed it, I have an answer to share with all of you!

Don’t get me wrong—I love fitness apps like LoseIt and MyFitnessPal. In fact I think that these apps are the food diary of the twenty-first century. I remember my first venture into Weight Watchers back in 1990. We received a small paper booklet every week and were told to write everything we ate in the booklet. Then a few years later a calculator-type tracker was available—for about $75 I think.How things have changed! Now these FREE apps have millions of entries in a database that users can continually add to. The apps can tell you all kinds of different nutrition information about that snack or restaurant meal. They approximate your home-cooked meal’s nutrition value with ease. Lots of advantages … including all the things an app will tell you about calories burned during your day. You can even count the calories involved in cooking your dinner!

App or Coach

So what does a health coach offer that’s different? I can only speak for my approach, but one thing a health coach does is consider each client as a wholly individual being. The health coach does so much more than focus on calories in and calories out. Even the prevailing health wisdom is calling that an outdated approach.

While every health coach has an area of expertise or specialization, they know how to incorporate that knowledge into the reality of a client’s day. For example, I work primarily with people who are interested in addressing chronic pain and inflammation through holistic and nutritional means. There are some very specific steps towards this goal, but based on my experience I can determine whether or not those steps apply to you.

A few days ago, I was working with a young woman who contacted me because food shopping and knowing healthy from unhealthy was very difficult for her. After four sessions, including a grocery store tour together, we reached a really important moment. It started innocently enough with a conversation about how great the grocery store tour was for her confidence. And all of a sudden, my client was making connections about her food-related childhood experiences and the fear she feels today. It was a tissue and tears moment, and it cleared away a lot of her tension about food.

This story is a perfect example of what health coaching offers that ISN’T available in a free app. Health coaching offers recognition that each client’s needs are individual. It offers a place to discuss not just what to eat but why to make adjustments. Together clients and health coaches create sacred space where big emotional connections happen. The coach shares practical tips like recipes and lessons in label reading—in a way that’s easy to absorb.

Most importantly the health coaching relationship offers trust, hugs and love—invaluable encouragement!


Ready to get started feeling less pain and more energy? The best way to determine what program is right for you is scheduling a FREE 45-minute get acquainted call. Simply call or email me today to get started!

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Is Your Food Making You Sad?

Posted by on Feb 15, 2011 in Wellness Ideas | 0 comments

It probably doesn’t come as a big surprise that diets higher in unhealthy fats have once again been linked to depression. A Chicago Tribune article entitled, “Eating bad may make you sad,” discusses how researchers in Spain followed the diets, lifestyles and medical problems of over 12,000 people across the span of six years.

Findings: People that ate higher amounts of trans-fats (most often found in pastries, heavily processed items and fast food), showed a 48% increased risk for depression compared to those who did not eat trans fats!

Even though the study was done on a population that doesn’t traditionally eat diets known to be high in trans-fats, the connection between higher trans-fat intake and depression was noteworthy. It’s predicted that in countries where the average consumption of trans-fats is high—like the United States—the link to depression may be even greater.On the flip side of this, they found that people who consumed a lot of poly-unsaturated fats (“healthy fat” found in things like olive oil) had a lower risk of depression.

No matter which way you look at it, trans-fats get a bad mark in terms of both mental and physical health. Bad fat increases overall inflammation in the body, which the adds to the buildup of plaque that can eventually cause heart disease. It was also observed that often people with heart disease had accompanying depression as well.

Tip: Sneaky trans-fats are the same as the ingredient labeled “partially hydrogenated soybean oil.”

While these findings are no surprise, it also seems to make sense that people who eat nutritious, whole foods may feel more balanced and able to regulate emotions. What do you think?

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