What is a health coach?
Dana Dinnawi is an Integrative Nutrition health coach specializing in empowering women to improve their health and family life. She received her training from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where she studied more than one hundred dietary theories and a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods. She can be reached through her facebook page Empowered Wellness and her website.
What is a health coach?
Dear Health Enthusiasts!
As excited as I am about becoming a health coach, I get a lot of raised eyebrows when people hear this or very polite “ohhh”s.
So I explain:
I work with people who are generally healthy but have mild health concerns such as weight management, headaches, fatigue or sugar cravings. I help these clients discover and pinpoint what their health concerns and goals are and then I support them in reaching those goals. My tools are Primary Food, Secondary Food and Bio-individuality.
Primary Food is anything that nourishes your SOUL. Are you happy in your career? Are you doing something you love or loving what you do? I give clients time to talk about their important relationships and I advise them to engage in self-reflection about their feelings and expectations of the signifiant others in their lives. Are you moving enough? What kind of exercise do you do most days? Movement has been proven to be as effective as medication in treating mild depression. How spiritual are you? Do you find a way to connect to a higher being whatever your beliefs are?
Secondary Foods are what you nourish your BODY. A simple enough concept except it is so much more than that because “you are what you eat”. Literally. Food can change your mood. It can give you energy or it can drain you. It can make you the best version of yourself or the worst. That’s bio-individuality. “One person’s food is another person’s poison.” How do you feel after you eat a steak? A salad? Does dairy or wheat bloat you? What foods give you indigestion or a headache? We look at what a typical day of eating looks like for you. I suggest ways to “crowd out” caffeine, sugar, alcohol, tobacco, junk food and dairy. I recommend greens and more greens, fruits, lean protein, nuts, whole grains, super foods, and lots of water.
What happens when we get all of those elements synched up is amazing. People feel energized and rebooted. They uncover hidden food sensitivities that have been making them feel “blah”. They learn what foods fuel them. Their metabolism is revved up and stubborn weight is finally released. They lose the “diet” mentality, reduce sugar cravings and improve their digestion. They have mental clarity instead of brain fog. They feel confident and stimulated again. They redirect their focus back onto Primary Foods so that the fun and excitement and love of daily life takes over again and food really does become Secondary. They simply start LIVING.
And THAT’S what I do!
I DON’T do the following:
- cure disease or work with clients with complex, advanced diseases such as cancer or kidney failure
- suggest clients stop or change prescription medication or stop seeing their doctor
- recommend controversial supplements
- call myself a Registered Dietician or Nutritionist
- crash diets