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Upon completion of the intensive program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition I received a total of 29 college credits:  6 credits in Health and Nutrition, 3 in Wellness, 1 in Wellness Practicum, 3 in Contemporary Health Issues, 6 in Wellness Coaching, 4 in Coaching and Interviewing Practicum, 3 in Interpersonal Communication and the remainder in Small Business Management.
 
As a Certified Health Coach, I take a holistic approach to wellness and focus on an ongoing coaching plan in order for my clients to meet their goals while educating them on nutrition and lifestyle along the way.  I have learned and studied over 100 dietary theories and I look at the individual's nutritional needs to help them determine what works best for them all the while tailoring different dietary approaches to the specific needs of the client.  I focus on teaching my clients how to incorporate whole foods, teach them how to be self-sufficient by learning to observe the body's responses to various lifestyle and dietary modifications and teach them how to choose health promoting behaviors that work for them on their own.
 
I do not focus on calories, proteins, fats, carbohydrates because I believe that is the perfect way to set someone up for failure.  I educate my clients on the importance of eating whole foods, reducing their sugar intake and processed foods, increasing their greens and water intake which naturally promotes good health, weight loss, internal and external wellness.
 
Although what you eat is important, I also focus on what is referred to as "Primary Foods" which incorporates relationships, career, physical fitness and spirituality.  All of these play a huge role in health (or the lack there of) and are vitally important to an overall sense of well being.  I will discuss the client's challenges in any of these areas and work with them to reduce the amount of stress in order to create balance.
 
As a Health Coach, I do not diagnose or treat but rather assess my client's overall well-being and allow the clients to drive conversation and determine the areas of desired focus.
 
A nutritionist on the other hand is usually initiated by a doctor recommendation or prescription and their treatment plans are often regulated by insurance companies.  They focus more around the behaviors centered around food and they make recommendations often using food components such as calories, grams of protein, carbohydrates, fats, etc.  And, many of their diet plans are based on a government developed one-size-fits-all program.
 
I have found that the approach that I take with my clients is empowering and produces lasting results because the choices they make around their health are ones that are based on education, not the latest fad or theory.  My clients learn to listen to their body and experience an awareness that is innate but has somehow gotten lost in the busyness of life.