Monday, October 31, 2011

The Next Year

About 2 months ago I started classes at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition which is an 11 month program that trains people to become health coaches. Classes are all online and at the end you are a Certified Holistic Health Coach (if you pass all of the tests). I decided to go the semi-formal education route because for the past year and a half I have been going in circles. I would find a book, read it, cut something out of my diet, find another book, read it, and cut something else out of my diet. I felt as if I was focusing on needles in a haystack and wanted a broad perspective view on all of this. At IIN they are teaching us the pros and cons of 100 different dietary theories (like Atkins, RAW, Macrobiotics, etc).

Another great aspect of this is that they also put a lot of importance on the rest of your life: relationships, career, stress levels. This is such an important point, because your health is not just about the food that you eat. It is about how you think about things from day to day, how happy you are with your relationships with your family, friends, and significant others. It is about whether you wake up having an anxiety attack or you can think about things rationally. It's about whether the people in your life support you or drain you. It's about the quality of life that you want to have vs. the quality of life that you do have.

When I first started this I really had no idea of what I wanted to do with this certification other than to give me some letters after my name so it looked like I was somewhat credible when I go to try to publish the book I am writing. As some of you know, I am not a doctor, nurse, or PhD. Although I do have a masters degree, it has nothing to do with health and wellness; my formal education is in architecture.

While I have been working on putting together a guide for people to use to transform the way they eat from the typical American diet of a lot of processed foods loaded with bad fats and simple sugars (like me a year and a half ago) to making healthy informed decisions that will impact their health, I have decided what I would like to accomplish with this certification. When my Nani was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer last year, I scrambled around to find information quick about what I could cook that would be healthy for her and also give her energy to get through chemo. I didn't have all of the pieces to the puzzle. I only wish that I had the information back then that I do now. I want to help people recently diagnosed with cancer and their families cope with making the transition from not caring what they eat to eating foods that can help their body heal itself (with or without the use of traditional chemotherapy and/or radiation). I want to help people who know they need to make changes but do not know what to do or where to start.

Over the last week I listened to 5 nights of integrative cancer therapy doctor's, researchers, and cancer survivors. What I heard was absolutely amazing and sealed the deal for me in terms of my belief that what we do to our body has an impact on our health. I REPEAT, THE CHEMICALIZED PROCESSED FOOD THAT WE EAT, THE ALCOHOL THAT WE DRINK, THE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES THAT WE SKIP OVER DEFINITELY HAS AN IMPACT ON OUR BODY'S ABILITY TO FIGHT OFF CANCER. It was roughly 10 hours worth of lecture that I will be summarizing and posting sometime this week.

Anyway, as part of this certification, I need to conduct health histories. A health history is basically an informal interview to talk about your health, your family history, what is going on right now in your life that may be effecting your health, and what you would like to improve. If you are interested in meeting with me for a health history consultation please email me at It is completely confidential, and free. I cannot actually sign clients for another 4 months, but I need the practice. If, at the point I can take clients on, you would like to become my client I would be thrilled. No pressure! So please, email me or call me if you have my phone number (sorry not giving that out over the internet).

Thank you to everyone who reads my stories!!!

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