What is health coaching?

Health coaching is above all about being a guide, mentor and cheer-leader to support and empower people to reach their personal health goals.

While clinical nutrition helps people to identify and correct underlying imbalances that might be compromising their health, it is not always enough to hand a patient a personalised plan of action. For many people, actually making changes and building new habits will take time and effort. This is where coaching can be useful. The coach brings support and accountability during this process.

As a health coach and a clinical nutritionist, I ensure you are never on your own with your diet and lifestyle plan.

In addition to supporting clients through their individualised nutritional therapy plan, I also offer coaching to people who are looking for general health improvements through primal, paleo or ketogenic diets.

Twice a year I offer a six-week group program that takes you through the process of making the changes in nutrition and lifestyle that best suit your preferences and requirements. Combining evidence-based information where needed and support for your own particular challenges, the program is based on the evolutionary or ‘ancestral’ concepts of diet and lifestyle.  This means that I can support you as you explore which aspects of ‘primal’, ‘paleo’, ‘low-carb’ and ‘keto’ might fit your health and fitness goals and your particular situation.

We will look together at your patterns of exercise and movement to see where your fitness can be optimized.

We will also cover the other important lifestyle aspects that profoundly impact health, including stress management, rest and relaxation, sleep optimization and your exposure to the sun, daylight, the outdoors and nature.

The program starts with a 90-minute initial session and then continues with a one-hour session every two weeks, with a catch-up half-hour session in-between. Phone, text and email support is provided throughout. Sessions of one hour or more can be in person if preferred. In-between sessions (1/2 hour) are by telephone or video conferencing (Skype/Zoom).

Contact Me me if you’d like to chat about how health coaching could work for you.

The Primal Health Coach brochure explains the coaching process in more detail:

“What benefits can health coaches offer? 

A health coach guides the overarching process—from clarifying the client’s vision to defining strategies for maintaining success once they have attained their goals. Armed with holistic knowledge of how fitness, nutrition and lifestyle influence well-being, a health coach works with clients to design an inclusive, flexible and responsive plan to move daily practices toward healthy choices.

Over the last 50 years we have seen a significant rise in autoimmune disease, food and environmental allergies, diabetes and obesity. Health coaches step in and help where other healthcare practitioners are unable to, providing patients with specific goals to work toward, recipes and diet guidelines, exercises and lifestyle management tools to help reduce the stress that could be contributing to disease or illness. Health coaches are able to follow up with patients on a regular, periodic basis to help them stay on track and answer any questions or concerns. These types of coaches are a huge benefit to doctors who are looking outside the box to increase the number of patients who succeed in treatment and improve their quality of life through education and support.

Doctors and their patients aren’t the only ones recognising the assets of a health coach. Gyms, insurance companies, corporate wellness programs, schools, university athletic departments and even professional sports teams and Olympic trainers are seeking out peer health coaches to supplement their client and athlete programs. Health coaches are sought out as mentors to help guide, empower, support and motivate individuals to implement and sustain lifestyle and behavioural changes in order to achieve health, fitness and athletic goals.

How do health coaches fit into your health team?

More than ever, medicine is embracing the benefits of a team model for treatment and prevention. The health coach can manage the overarching wellness picture for a client as the client progresses in fitness—as well as nutrition, sleep, stress and other lifestyle factors.

Health coaches offer services through health clubs, workplace wellness programs and private practices. Health coaching also complements regular medical care by offering ongoing, personal support over time.

A health coach can help clients better understand their diagnosis and assist with following through on the doctor’s treatment plan. Coaching can also incorporate powerful lifestyle changes to augment that plan.

  • Health coaches dramatically increase adherence to medical and lifestyle recommendations.
  • Health coaches encourage patient ownership of health care and personal wellness.
  • Health coaches help patients integrate lifestyle efforts with treatment proposals and can help clients optimize physician contacts.

Like personal trainers, health coaches can assess a client’s current fitness condition and work with them to create a dynamic, sustainable workout plan that fits that client’s current needs and shifts with ongoing advancement. Like therapists and life coaches, health coaches emphasise future aspirations but specialise in supporting the journey to health and wellness by offering both concrete strategies and personal encouragement throughout a client’s journey.

Why the Primal Health model?

Primal Health Coaching is the singular coaching certification founded in scientifically validated ancestral health principles. The context for this model, the acclaimed Primal Blueprint, supports maximum vitality and well-being through the timeless integration of strategies across a broad spectrum of lifestyle dimensions, including nutrition, fitness, sleep, stress management, sun, play and enrichment. The goal is straightforward even while the biological mechanisms are complex: normalise hormonal responses by adapting evolutionary patterns for modern day lifestyles and effecting desirable change in gene expression patterns toward optimum functioning. The result is a reasonable plan that leaves plenty of room for individual design and preference.

When people are looking to make major health changes—from losing weight to addressing chronic conditions, transforming their fitness to recharging their vitality—it’s easy to become overwhelmed. This is where a health coach can make all the difference. Leveraging the expert guidance and personal support of a coach can be the most powerful investment a person can make in their health.”