I’m normally not the answer lady, I’m the question lady … and I know you might want to know a bit more about what I do, so here are the answers to the most common questions I’m asked.
Q: What style of health coaching do you practice?
A: I am a certified Integrative Nutrition® health coach. Read more about what that means and check out my blog for a sample of the wide range of topics you might encounter on your health journey with me.
Q: How is coaching different from therapy?
A: As part of our work together, we do dive deep into your health history—including your mental and emotional and spiritual health—and we use it to illuminate how you can improve your health in the future; in other words, I view coaching as more forward-focused and therapy as more focused on the past. I know many therapists may disagree with that view, and I think that there’s room for both modalities at the table. If at any point in our work I sense that you would benefit from therapy, I will immediately recommend it and refer you to a licensed therapist.
Q: Do you only work with individual women over 40 who work in the mission-driven/nonprofit sector?
A: Nope—women 40+ just happen to be my tribe, and I have a soft spot for mission-driven work; my style of health coaching can help a wide variety of people of all shapes, sizes, ages, and genders: individually and in groups, in person or virtually.
Q: Do you promote a specific diet?
A: Not beyond recommending whole, SOLE foods, preferably cooked from scratch at home! I do have experience with elimination diets if you have concerns around food allergies and sensitivities. Together, we’ll explore what food choices are best for you—not for the celebrity of the year, the MD or layperson who wrote the latest fad diet book, your BFF, your neighbor….
Q: Do you provide meal plans?
A: Providing meal plans for specific conditions is beyond the scope of practice for most health coaches; however, as a professionally trained chef, I can support you in creating recipes and meal plans within the restrictions provided by an RD or your primary care provider. (And I can usually make your meals delicious irrespective of any food restrictions you may have!) In other words, I don’t provide meal plans—I help you learn how to meal plan.
Q: Do you use any diagnostic testing?
A: It is beyond my scope of practice to diagnose or treat illness, and I recommend that you avoid coaches who claim to unless they have advanced training in the diagnostic field; that said, I am happy to work with you and your primary care provider to improve your health outcomes if you have been diagnosed with a chronic disease and would like to include dietary and lifestyle changes in your recovery. If in our work together we uncover a need for testing, I am happy to refer you to a licensed healthcare practitioner.
Q: Do you prescribe any supplements or herbs or use essential oils in your work?
A: Absolutely not. Prescribing or even recommending supplements or herbs or essential oils falls outside my scope of practice and is best left to licensed practitioners, specifically those trained by an unbiased, credentialed, 3rd-party institution (read: not a sales rep who has received training only from the company that produces the product in question).
Q: On the organizational side, do you only work with nonprofits?
A: After 10+ years as grant writer and 15+ years in the nonprofit sector, I have a passion for social justice, and working with nonprofits allows me to utilize that area of my somewhat odd skill set along with coaching. I also work with mission-driven for-profit corporations looking for team-building events, lunch-and-learn style workshops, and health coaching as an employee benefit.
Q: What’s your favorite food?
A: Chocolate. Um, I mean kale.
Q: What’s your favorite beverage?
A: Red wine. Um, I mean water.
Not finding what you want? Reach out through my connect page.
Photo Laura McCaffery, 2020