Friday Five is a way for me to share with you some of the most asked about topics I get as a health coach or those I feel can help you all bring a little extra wellness to your everyday. Each Friday I will be sharing tips, thoughts and overall information on a specific topic related to wellness, cooking and well, life! Have a topic you would like to see covered? Head on over here and shoot me a message!
It has been almost 6 months since I completed the Institute for Integrative Nutrition's Health Coach Training Program and received my certification as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. The program, which takes place online and at your own pace over the course of a year, represented a significant period in my life. While there were so many things I took away from this program both in my personal life and my new life as a coach, I wanted to share with you five of the key takeaways and topics I enjoyed most from the program.
So here we go...
1. Food Energetics
There are so many topics that are covered under the concept of the energy of food including the actual energy it provides to us (via nutrient density), however, I gravitated heavily towards the spiritual aspects the foods we eat have an impact on our health. At the time I enrolled in IIN, I was actually just beginning to read The Yoga of Eating by Charles Eisenstein which discusses this topics as well so it was no wonder that I felt drawn to this topic.
So often, it is not so much the actual foods we eat that make us sick but rather the energy that is put into that food which have an impact on us in some way. A chicken raised humanely on truly pastured land and without antibiotics will not only taste better than a factory raised chicken but will pass onto us better energy and therefore, better health.
This is also why I believe in real food made with love, even if it isn't always the "healthiest" option. When we make food with an open heart and love, we are passing that love onto others and continuing this important energetic chain. Even if there is no kale in sight, a home-cooked meal can nourish you in ways a salad never will.
2. Active Listening
As a health coach, it is often more important to truly listen to our Clients than to have the right thing to say. In my previous corporate life we had been taught to "listen" to our Clients but so often this only meant to hear what they wanted us to hear and repeat it back to them, being sure to say the right things so that they felt confident in the work you would deliver.
Learning to be an active listener meant I had to undo all that I had previously learned in order to help my Clients succeed. In fact, so much of my job as an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach is to support my Clients in a way that allows them to create many of their own answers to their biggest health questions. Allowing this lets them to feel empowered to go create the change they need in order to be the healthiest versions of themselves.
3. Go Beyond the Food
Long before staring the IIN Health Coach Training Program, I had started to recognize the impact that non-food elements had on my own health and wellness. From the impact that stress had on my stomach issues to recognizing that I would never truly be happy and healthy in a career I didn't enjoy, I thought I had a pretty decent handle on going beyond food when it comes to wellness.
I quickly learned, however, how much more there was to this point. In fact, while the training program covers over 100 dietary theories, so many of the modules actually dive deeper into how our lifestyle factors beyond food (referred to as Primary Food by IIN) impact our health.
Not only did I learn how to help my Clients navigate these factors, which include Relationships, Finances and Spirituality among others, but I also learned how many of these elements were impacting my own life. Even today, I continually look back on these lessons on a regular basis to see where I may need to focus more of my attention in my own life. Remember, these elements are fluid and change as you go through different stages of your life!
4. Time Management!
One of the very first lessons covered in the course is time management. In fact, it appears as a topic so early that there is information on it in the Fundamentals section even before you start any of your weekly modules.
At the time I enrolled in IIN, I was working a full-time job that often required me to travel, I was trying to keep my passion for cooking alive in my spare time by running a small catering company and still trying to live a happy, somewhat balanced life. As so many other potential students have commented to me before, I wasn't sure how I was going to fit it all in. Needless to say, this little lesson went a long way for me.
It taught me how to look at all of the activities going on in my life, everything from grocery shopping to spending time with friends, and see how each of these either contributed to my goals or my happiness. Along with this, it also taught me that NO is a very powerful word that is okay to use! I didn't need to do it all and it was A-OKAY to turn down things that didn't serve me in a meaningful way.
5. JUST DO IT!
This last one isn't so much a definitive topic but more so a saying, statement, way of thinking I heard over and over again: get out there and do it! As a perfectionist myself and after working in an industry where even the smallest details are sometimes scrutinized, it was at first unsettling to be told that mistakes happen and that it's better to at least be out there than wait on the sidelines.
Overtime, however, I began to understand the message and really connect with it. As I moved through the program, I noticed that my confidence AND my excitement to share it with others was growing and I was ready to get out there, even if not everything was perfect. This allowed me to launch my business even prior to completing the program and start making a positive impact by seeing Clients immediately!
Are you interested in learning more about the Institute for Integrative Nutrition's Health Coach Training Program? Go here to download the Curriculum Guide and receive more information from me about the program. Rather talk to me directly? Send me an email to chat!
Not ready to become an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach but want to see how we can work together to apply these topics to your own life? I'm currently seeing new Clients! Click here to receive a complimentary Initial Health Consultation.