Nutrition has been an interest and passion of mine for most of my adult life. I have seen the power of food in my own life and have experienced the benefits of cleaning up my own diet - healthy immune system, weight loss, increased energy, reduction of cravings, and improved self-esteem. And I have seen the ripple effect around me. Women are the gatekeepers of the family, and because I am eating better, my husband and 2 teen-age sons are also eating better!
My Turning Point
The catalyst for deciding to do this work has come in the past few years. I am a clinical social worker by profession, and I have been working in hospice since October 2010. I have watched with helpless frustration as people die of diseases that have a strong link to nutrition and lifestyle. I have decided I want to help people PREVENT devastating illness and discover the vibrant health they are meant to enjoy.
Women - putting everyone else first
I believe that health and wellness emerge naturally when we clear away the things in our lives that are not working. Our amazing bodies are capable of remarkable healing and recovery if given the proper support and nurturing. But our busy, hectic lives cause us to take short-cuts with our health. As women, we tend to take care of everyone else first. By the time we reach our "prime", we are burned out, stressed out, overweight and sick. I want to work with women who are ready to make a serious commitment to themselves and reclaim their natural state of wellness.
"What if I don't do it right?"
This isn't about perfection. Haven't we all been striving for that most of our lives? And look where that has gotten us! It's about becoming more authentic. It's about making different choices. It's about noticing how we feel when we make them and trusting our bodies to show us what works best.
Other things that matter
We will definitely address healthy food choices and how to make them taste delicious, but what we put on our plates is actually secondary. We will also address "primary foods" - relationships, meaningful work, movement and spirituality. If we are out of balance in any of those four areas, all the vegetables in the world won't fix it!
"But I switched to diet sodas. That's good, right?"
There is so much misinformation out there, and I have found that people often think they have a healthy diet and lifestyle when they are actually making choices that make themselves sick. My mission is to provide clarity and direction to people who sincerely want to make a change, to be a cheerleader and confidant for my clients, and to use my counseling skills to help people deal with the self-sabotage that will inevitably come up along the way.
Let's get started!
I live in Missouri City, Texas just outside of Houston. I can work in-person with local clients, or by phone or Skype with people across the nation. I look forward to taking this journey with you!
I received my training as a Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition's cutting-edge Health Coach Training Program.
During my training, I studied over 100 dietary theories, practical lifestyle management techniques, and innovative coaching methods with some of the world's top health and wellness experts.
My teachers included Dr. Andrew Weil, Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine; Dr. Deepak Chopra, leader in the field of mind-body medicine; Dr. David Katz, Director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center; Dr. Walter Willett, Chair of Nutrition at Harvard University; Geneen Roth, bestselling author and expert on emotional eating; and many other leading researchers and nutrition authorities.
My education has equipped me with extensive knowledge in holistic nutrition, health coaching, and preventive health.
Drawing on these skills and my knowledge of different dietary theories, I work with clients to help them make lifestyle changes that produce real and lasting results.
In addition to my training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, I am also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with 20+ years of experience in the field.
I have worked extensively with seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and their family caregivers. I have also worked with families who have children diagnosed with serious conditions. Currently, I work with hospice patients. I have seen first-hand the toll that caregiving can take on a person's health.
In my 55+ years on this planet, I have also gained knowledge and experience through my own personal exploration for meaning.
I have participated in extensive training through programs like More to Life (www.moretolife.org) and Radical Forgiveness (www.radicalforgiveness.com), which were both life-altering for me. I incorporate many of the techniques taught in these programs into my coaching sessions with clients. I also have a passion for spiritual exploration and use meditation as a profound and effective tool for stress management, sleep improvement, and deep connection with the Divine.
My life experiences, coupled with my formal training, form the foundation of my work with clients.
It is my honor and joy to be able to share what I have learned with others on the path.
Have you ever received good advice that you were unable to follow?
Has your doctor ever recommended a lifestyle change that you found to be unsustainable? Have you ever wanted something in your life, but found you couldn't achieve it alone?
Health Coaches are knowledgeable advisors who provide ongoing support and guidance as you set goals and make sustainable changes that improve your health and happiness.
As your Health Coach, I will listen carefully and help you to navigate the world of contradictory nutrition advice to determine what changes are necessary for you.
Your personalized program will radically improve your health and happiness.
Together, we will explore concerns specific to you and your body and discover the tools you need for a lifetime of balance.
As a client of my health coaching program, you will
Set and accomplish goals in a way that is empowering and exciting
Work to achieve and maintain your ideal weight
Understand and reduce your cravings
Increase your energy levels
Feel great in your body
Learn about new foods and how you can easily incorporate them
Improve your personal relationships
Discover the confidence to create the life you want
To decide if health coaching is right for you, I invite you to schedule a free initial consultation with me. During this session, we will discuss your health and lifestyle to determine how I can best support you in achieving your goals. Your program includes:
Two 50-minute sessions per month
E-mail support between sessions
Recipes that are healthy and simple to prepare
Coaching and support to help you make the dietary and lifestyle changes you want
Simple but informative handouts that will increase your nutrition knowledge
Access to my monthly newsletter with the latest health tips and recipes
My personal commitment to your health and success
I practice a holistic approach to health and wellness, which means that I look at how all areas of your life are connected.
Does stress at your job or in your relationship cause you to overeat? Does lack of sleep or low energy prevent you from exercising? As we work together, we will look at how all parts of your life affect your health as a whole.
My approach is not to dwell on calories, carbs, fats, and proteins.
It is not to create lists of restrictions or good and bad foods. Instead, I work with my clients to create a happy, healthy life in a way that is flexible, fun and rewarding.
Together we'll work to reach your health goals in areas such as achieving optimal weight, reducing food cravings, increasing sleep, and maximizing energy.
As we work together, you'll develop a deeper understanding of the food and lifestyle choices that work best for you and implement lasting changes that will improve your energy, balance and health.
There's no one-size-fits-all diet each person is a unique individual with highly individualized nutritional requirements. Personal differences in anatomy, metabolism, body composition and cell structure all influence your overall health and the foods that make you feel your best. That's why no single way of eating works for everyone. The food that is perfect for your unique body, age, and lifestyle may make another person gain weight and feel lethargic. Men eat differently than women, children eat differently than adults, and we all have very different preferences. Our personal tastes and inclinations, natural shapes and sizes, blood types, metabolic rates and genetic backgrounds influence what foods will and won't nourish us.
What did your ancestors eat?
One of the major factors shaping bio-individuality is ancestry. If many generations of your ancestors from Scandinavia were accustomed to eating dairy on a daily basis, it's natural that your body will be able to assimilate dairy foods. Most traditional African communities did not regularly consume milk products, by contrast, so it makes sense that a lot of people of African descent today are lactose intolerant.
How fast is your metabolism?
Another aspect of bio-individuality is metabolism, or the rate at which you convert food into energy. You may recall that as a teenager you could wolf down a burgers, fries, milkshake, and ice cream all in one meal, without any indigestion or tightening of your jeans. That's because young people have fast metabolic rates and burn calories more quickly than adults. Even adults have different types of metabolic activity that all require varying proportions of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Knowing what you metabolize best will help you choose foods that support your individual body. These are just a few of the factors that influence what foods will and won't nourish you. Ultimately, one person's food may be another person's poison, and that is why fad diets don't work in the long run. You need to find the diet that works for you and your needs. People are different, and getting to know your own body is an essential step in staying healthy! Interested to learn more? In addition to the theory of bio-individuality, at Integrative Nutrition we teach more than 100 different dietary theories.
IIN Primary Food
Food is more than what you find on your plate.
Healthy relationships, regular physical activity, a fulfilling career and a spiritual practice can fill your soul and satisfy your hunger for life. When primary food is balanced and satiated, your life feeds you, making what you eat secondary.
Remember when, as a child, you were playing outside, having fun?
Suddenly your mother announced dinner was ready, but you were not hungry at all. The passion of play took all your attention. Or think back to a time when you were passionately in love. Everything was exciting. Colors were vibrant. Intimacy was magical. Your feelings of exhilaration sustained you. You forgot about food and were high on life.
Sometimes we are fed not by food but by the energy in our lives.
Modern nutrition carbs, proteins, fruits, and vegetables is really just one source of nourishment, which Integrative Nutrition considers secondary food. Secondary foods nourish our bodies, but are not able to give us the joy, meaning, or fulfillment that primary food provides. We hunger for play, fun, touch, romance, intimacy, love, achievement, success, art, music, self-expression, leadership, excitement, adventure, and spirituality. All these elements are essential forms of nourishment, and the extent to which we are able to incorporate them determines how enjoyable and worthwhile our lives feel.
When we use secondary food as a way to alleviate or suppress our hunger for primary food, the body and mind suffer.
Weight gain is just one of the consequences. Diet-related disorders such as heart disease, cancer, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes are national epidemics, and one of the main reasons is because we are stuffing ourselves with secondary foods when we are really starving for primary food. If you're not getting the primary food you need, eating all the food in the world won't satisfy your hunger.
Integrative Nutrition Plate
The Integrative Nutrition Plate is adapted from the USDA's MyPlate nutrition guidelines and emphasizes the importance of local and organic produce, whole grains, high-quality proteins, plant-based fats, and water. It replaces the Integrative Nutrition Food Pyramid with an intuitive representation of how people eat and emphasizes the importance of proportions and portion size. The Integrative Nutrition Plate serves as a general guideline for healthy eating but should be adapted and customized according to what works best for you. Just as there's no one-size-fits-all diet, there are no strict instructions on how everyone has to eat all the time.
Eat in season, choose local and organic when possible, and eat a variety of colors. Enjoy fruit when craving sweets and snacks.
Vegetables are nutritionally rich so fill your plate! Go for many colors, choosing dark leafy greens as much as possible. Go for local and organic when possible, especially of those vegetables on the Dirty DozenTM list.
Whole grains provide many nutrients and fiber. Avoid refined grains like white bread, white rice, and white flour products. If you cannot digest grains or choose not to eat them, perhaps you'd do better with more veggies instead!
Choose healthy varieties such as beans, nuts, eggs, fish, and poultry. If you eat meat, choose grass-fed, organic for best quality. Avoid processed meats like bacon and cold cuts.
Fats and Oils
Use plant-based oils like olive oil for cooking and as dressing on salad. Choose wild fish, avocados, nuts, and seeds. Balance your intake of saturated fats like coconut, butter, cream, and cheese. Avoid trans fats.
Opt for water as your drink of choice. Limit caffeinated drinks and avoid sugary drinks. If you drink dairy, quality is key choose milk free of added hormones and buy local, organic when possible.
To complete the picture, the plate is surrounded with lifestyle factors that create optimal health relationships, career, physical activity, and spirituality. We call these elements primary food because they're often more important than the food that's on your plate:
Being well connected with others is an essential part of life, and the quality of our relationships explains a lot about the quality of our health.
Work is a huge part of our daily routine, yet how many of us really enjoy it? Finding work you love is essential to living a healthy, balanced life.
Our bodies thrive on movement, and quickly degenerate without it. Find a routine that can nourish you on a regular basis.
Spirituality can feed us on a very deep level and dramatically diminish our cravings for superficial rewards of life.
6 Month Program
Make a committment to yourself! We will meet twice a month for 1 hour (in person or via phone or skype) and dig deep into your health goals, aspirations and dreams. You will receive a wealth of information on healthy eating and lifestyle, as well as tips on how to incorporate changes into your busy life. We will also explore the "Primary Foods" in your life - relationships, meaningful work, exercise, and spirituality. Each session will have a theme, but your needs will drive the direction of our conversation. This is a fluid process, just like life. Together, we will discover your deepest desires and what is standing in your way of manifesting them (usually that's you!), and we'll clear those blocks away, one-by-one. You will be deeply listened to and supported every step of the way. (save $100 off the total of $900 when you pay in full!)
Cost for 6 Month Program(per month)$150.00
90 Minute Tune-up
I understand you're busy and that making a long-term commitment to yourself could be a foreign concept! I also offer single 90-minute coaching sessions to address a few burning issues. You will email me your questions and topics you want to cover before we talk, so we can make the best use of our time. I will send a follow up email after our talk with suggestions, insights, links, etc. for you to use on your own. This is a good way to stick your toe into the pool of in-depth coaching before you decide to dive into the 6-month program!
Cost for Single 90 Minute Session$150.00
3 Month Program
Don't want to commit to the full 6 month program? I get it. I also offer a 3 month, condensed program. We will brainstorm about your specific goals at the first session and come up with a plan to work toward those goals during our 3 months together. (save $50 off the total price of $450 when you pay in full!)
Cost for 3 month program(per month)$150.00
Do you like the idea of doing this with friends or co-workers? Contact me today to discuss the option of a group program. This is a great, economical way to get the support you need with the added synergy that only a group dynamic can provide.
Cost per person for Group Program(per month (half off regular price))$75.00