The Emergence and Importance of Health Coach


I am happy to report that wellness and health is a hot topic. People are talking and more importantly, people are listening. People are becoming more conscious of what they eat, how much they move, and realize that there are some really crappy things out there detrimental to our health and longevity.

But still, 1 in 2 Americans has a chronic disease. 30% of our kids have a chronic disease as well. And what we have found is the primary causes of these diseases is not genetic- but behavioral.

That being said, changing our behavior is the most important step we can take to prevent and reverse chronic disease.

But how do we do that?

Its great to think we can educate people enough and get them to change their behavior, but such knowledge is not enough. Most people know they should stop smoking, exercise and sleep more, maintain a healthy body weight, etc. but they continue the behaviors or chase quick fixes.

As excited as I am that the conversations surrounded around health are happening, unfortunately, with any rise of a trend comes a million “solutions” or “quick fixes” to speed up the process. In regards to health and nutrition, I am sometimes just as overwhelmed as you may be trying to sift through all of the stuff out there to find the answer or the science to back up a claim.

Here’s the long story short:

There is no diet or one size fits all approach to health that’s going to work for everyone. As a health professional, we have to take into consideration lifestyle factors, environment, preferences, schedules, body types, genetics, and more when formulating a plan for someone. It must be both individualized and comprehensive. Now it also sounds more complicated, am I right?

A recent statistic suggests there will be a shortage of 52,000 primary care physicians by 2025. This means there wont be enough doctors to even address, let alone manage, people with these diseases or help those with the preventable measures I just mentioned. Even if we had enough doctors, most were not educated in supporting people in making lasting behavior change.

With the average doctors visit lasting 10-12 minutes, some even as short as 8, there is barely enough time to assess current medication dosage and prescribe new ones, let alone dive into lifestyle behavior, stressors, and things standing in between the patient’s potential behavior changes needed to get healthy.

There may be some positive here, though.

We know the healthcare industry needs some work. And I say that lightly. But for you, the person looking to get healthy, it may actually be as easy as ever. I introduce to you, a health coach.

In functional medicine, we utilize health coaches to be that bridge between our “prescription” for a person’s health journey, be it proper foods, supplements, lifestyle practices, comprehensive testing, etc. and the patient’s day-to-day compliance and accountability. How great would it be to be checked in on regularly, to have someone to walk with you every step of the way, to have a go-to source of credible information? For some, this form of accountability is not only beneficial, but essential to their journey.

A health coach is one

  • trained in positive psychology, leveraging people’s strengths, instead of focusing on their weaknesses to lead them to behavior change
  • who utilizes motivational interviewing, which moves them towards setting realistic, achievable goals of their own, not ones a doctor may choose for them
  • who focuses on habit formation and reversal, working to develop new, healthy habits as well as address things that may be working against them in their daily lives.

A health coach works with patients in a more collaborative way. A health coach meets people where they are and supports them in the development of the skills they need to make change. The patient is then empowered to sit in the driver’s seats of their lives.

I was a health coach for years as I was working towards my RD license and continue to embody their practices of partnership, accountability, and being a source of valuable information. When working with me and HealThy Self Nutrition, you will receive that individualized, personal program and we will get down and dirty into many aspects of your life that you may not have made the connection with your health.

But my most recent podcast is not about me- this is about a health coach I’ve met through our community of functional medicine practitioners. Hannah Campbell is a holistic health coach and a military wife, which is super cool because she gets to take her practice virtually and help people all over the country.

health coach, health coaching, nutrition, wellness, functional medicine

Hannah believes in a functional approach to wellness. In her practice, she seeks to uncover and consider the cause of a person’s disease and how it relates to their symptoms and eventually, their treatment plan going forward. Sound familiar?

Hannah also posts AMAZING blogs.  Not only are her images and writing beautiful, but they are actually helpful and insightful into popular topics. You’ll enjoy things like tips on saving money on health foods, breakfast recipes, holiday menus, stocking stuffers, opinions on specific brands of foods and skincare. I know I do.

health coach

In today’s podcast, you’ll hear the word “functional” said again and again, as you also may have noticed in the title of this podcast. The word “functional” relates to the way in which something operates, of or having a special purpose. As Hannah and I divulge into our conversation, you’ll understand more of what exactly is “functional nutrition” or “functional medicine” and what it means to take a “functional approach to wellness”.

You’ll also hear:

  • the type of person Hannah believes would benefit from a health coach
  • who Hannah’s ideal client is to work with
  • tips that can get you feeling better tomorrow
  • Hannah’s cant-live-withouts
  • her definition of “health”, which speaks to my soul

Keep up with Hannah on social media and download her ** free ** Fresh Start Challenge!
Instagram: @wholefoodwholeyou

health coaching

Podcast Show Notes:

Meet Hannah – 12:30
How we got here- “A Pill for Every Ill” – 13:15
How can a health coach help you “cut through the overwhelm”? – 20:13
Who needs a health coach? – 24:50
Hannah’s ideal client – 28:20
Things you can start doing tomorrow to feel better – 30:55
Hannah cannot live without…. 36:06
What does health mean to you? 38:35
Free Fresh Start Challenge for you – 40:20

Hannah’s Ginger Tea

Chop off 1” of ginger and peel.
Garlic press into tea cup
Add warm water, raw honey, lemon juice & enjoy!