Hi everyone. I hope that you are having a great day, wherever you are and whatever it is you are doing.
As some of you may know, I have been developing my own unique approach to coaching my clients through nutrition.
Much of what I put together is based on my own real life experience with my own personal success and struggles as well as the success and struggles in my years coaching.
I am often ask questions like, “Sirena, what do you think of this?” or “What should I eat/drink/do in order to do _________.”
And my answers usually start with, “Well, that all depends….”
It’s difficult to give such a clear cut, black and white response, because, well, we do not live in a clear cut, black and white world.
Drawing from this notion, I have developed a similar view when it comes to my nutrition practice.
To help give you a better explanation of my philosophy and approach to food, I’ve put together a little list for you to help you understand where I’m coming from as a nutrition coach:
1. I strongly believe that there is no “perfect” diet.
Each person is a unique organism.
And each person has a very individual chemical, hormonal, emotional, mental and physical reaction to stimulus. Since we are on the topic of nutrition, I will use food as an example.
Food is going to affect each person very differently. What may work for your friends may or may not work for you.
With this in mind, I then prepare my coaching clients to become investigators into his or her own health.
Your role as a smart and responsibile human being is to figure out what is going to work best for you – what is going to make you feel good, what is going to help alleviate your symptoms, and what is going to promote the best health for you as possible.
What this basically means is that each person has a unique biochemical make-up, much like there are no 2 identical fingerprints, there are no 2 identical reactions to food.
This means that our reactions to food (and other stimulus like stress, weather, toxins, etc) will be completely unique to you, and to you only.
Our job as client and coach is to uncover what those foods are for you, and to create your own unique diet.
2. Anything that you put in or onto your body is going to create some sort of change chemically and hormonally.
If you remember chemistry class in high school, you may be able to remember what happened when we mixed various chemicals together.
Each chemical, when mixed with a different substance, had various reactions.
The same goes true for your body.
Some foods are going to make you feel good, while others, may make you feel like crap.
Undertanding and accepting this concept is extremely important, and one that I emphasize in every coaching session.
By understanding this, you will begin to develop a deeper and more intimate relationship with your body which will help you discover your unique diet.
3. Detailed journalling of your food intake, reactions to food, sleep patterns, and bowel movements is vital to figuring out what is best for you.
It can be a chore to do, but in order to truly figure out what foods are going to be best for you, it is absolutely imperative for you to track your dietary intake and the responses you have.
This way, you have a detailed record of what makes you feel good, and what doesn’t.
With all my coaching clients, I provide a detailed food and lifestyle journal to keep track of all these things.
As a coach, I review the journals with my clients to help figure out what foods worked well and which ones didn’t.
Meaning, I literally go through every meal with my clients and ask how they felt about their choices and how they felt physically, mentally and emotionally afterwards.
This detailed approach helps my clients realize just how much food affects every aspect of our lives.
4. Most of the symptoms that make us feel like crappy (fatigue, low energy, lack of clarity, digestive complaints, PMS cramps, depression and cravings) in one way or another can be directly related to food.
Yes, there could be other underlying issues and since I am not a medical professional, I cannot diagnose any sort of ailment.
I do not take on this responsibility, and I encourage my nutrition clients to share their program with their physicians.
However, what I do try to explain to my clients is that the foods we eat can cause various symptoms.
By addressing food and making better nutrition choices, we may be able to reduce the need of medical intervention.
5. I help my clients understand why they must take responsibility for their own health and give them the resources and tools (to the best of my ability) to help them do so.
At the end of the day, each and every one of us is solely responsible for our own health.
Meaning, no matter what a doctor, nutritiontist, chiropractor, or myself, says, it is ultimately up to you to make a decision and to take action to improve your health.
Do the research.
Read the books.
Talk to experts in the field.
Listen to your body.
And draw your own conclusions.
By arming yourself with a better understanding of how your body works, you will be able to make your own informed decisions, which is a very self-empowering act.
7. How quickly change will occur is case specific.
The healing process can be long and slow.
Or it can be quick.
I’ve seen it happen both ways.
And it all depends on the various factors in the client’s life, like:
- how much damage has been done
- how willing the client is to adhering to to the healing process
- how much environmental factors play in the overall toxic load of the client
- the emotional and psychological readiness of the client
Understand that just as food affects us all very differntly, so is our body’s response to healing.
I like to play it safe and prepare my clients for a slower healing time, and if it happens faster, then, even better.
8. Eliminate the major food sensitivities (specifically gluten, dairy and grains).
Although difficult to do at first, this is a great way to reduce symptoms, and where I will typically start most of my clients.
Since 90% of my clients come to me with digestive complaints such as gas, bloating, and constipation, I will more than likely recommend that my clients eliminate food sensitivities in the initial phases of our coaching.
I do this for a couple of reasons: 1) To reduce inflammation in the gut 2) To see results quickly which will help motivate the client.
The first reason is my main concern, and the second is just an added bonus.
Although I do not like to make weight the primary focus of my coaching program, tracking weight can help in the initial stages.
When food allergens are removed from the diet, there is typically an initial surge in weight loss that is primarily due to the reduction of inflammation and subsequent loss of water.
This little change in weight is sometimes just enough to keep the client motivated to work harder.
9. I will always assess my clients symptoms and state of health first with detailed assesment questionnaires and a food journal, then, I formulate a unique approach.
In order to make the necessary adjustments, we must first figure out where you are at health-wise.
Through various assessments and questionnaires, I can get an overall picture of a client’s health and dietary intake.
By tracking this information, I can develop a plan of action as well as use the information as a baseline to compare to when it is time to re-assess.
Working with a client without doing an initial assessment is just guesswork.
In order to figure out where to go, you need to know where you start.
10. I will pick and choose my battles with nutrition clients by meeting them where they are mentally, emotionally, physically and psychologically.
After reviewing the initial assessment paper work, I will use my best judgement as a coach to tackle and address the highest priority in the body.
Depending on the client, that may mean food, sleep, stress, digestion or exercise.
Although I may want to tackle them all at once, it is sometimes not possible for the client to do.
Undoing years of unhealthy behavior and replacing it with more positive behavior, can be a long-process.
When working with a nutrition client, we will pick and choose (through open dialogue and conversation) the areas of health that we will focus on first.
Sometimes it’s reducing coffee to 4 cups a week instead of 5.
Other times, it’s a matter of going to bed 30 minutes earlier, or reducing the amount of exercise.
Regardless of the case, I approach each client very uniquely, and trust my instincts about what is best for my client.
Keeping all of this in mind, I can sum it all together through the following:
My role as a nutrition coach is to help you discover the foods and lifestyle habits that are going to make you feel good and promote the best health for you as possible.
My role is not to tell you what to do.
My role is to help you gain a clearer understanding of your body.
My role is to provide tools and resources for you to make better food choices.
My role is to support, motivate, and encourage you to keep uncovering the key to your own health.
You have all the information built inside you already.
I’m just here to help you discover it.
And as your coach, I am dedicated to helping you improve your body, your health and your life.
So, please use this opportunity to help yourself.
Please let me know in the comment section, what can I do to help you feel and look better?
I am here to help.