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.
what is a health coach?
A health coach does not diagnose conditions, prescribe supplements or medications, or treat disease, nor is she a guru or sage on the stage; instead, she acts as a guide on the side, helping you to achieve your health goals by providing information, inspiration, support, and accountability as you make your way toward health.
For more about what a health coach does and how to find one that’s a fit for you, read my interview with Jen Mueller of SparkPeople.com.
why would i work with you in particular?
Here’s what makes me unique:
I’ve been where you are—overscheduled, overtired, overwhelmed. Trying to take care of everyone and forgetting to take care of me. Feeling like everyone commented on my wonderful life … and like I was living a lie. Thinking that I might just be going crazy. I understand.
I wore a lot of hats in the nonprofit sector over 20 years and continue to be in what I call mission-driven work. I’ve been to burnout and back … and have moved beyond feeling like I was barely surviving each day to thriving in a life that I love. And along the way, I have accumulated a few decades worth of knowledge and resources that can help you get there, too. I can help.
I love seeing my clients experience their own Aha! moments, see their lives in a new light, reach their rediscovered dreams or create new ones, and reclaim their health and themselves in the process. I’m your biggest cheerleader … until you step into that role yourself.
what style of health coaching do you practice?
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.
who are your programs for?
my coaching programs are NOT for you if…
- you think health and happiness are found in extreme diets and detoxes, pills and painful workouts, smoothies and silver bullets.
- you are looking for a quick, temporary fix for your health issues.
- you are not completely committed to making lasting changes that will help you thrive.
- you’d rather keep living in a way that focuses only on others and puts aside your own needs and dreams.
my coaching programs ARE for you if…
- you are ready to give your health and happiness the attention they deserve.
- you are fully committed to making changes but just can’t seem to do it on your own.
- you are sick of barely surviving and want to really thrive.
- you are tired of living a lie and want to live the dream—your dream.
do you offer a guarantee?
I guarantee results if you do the work: as part of our work together, we will regularly assess whether you are receiving full value for your program.
do you only work with women 40+ in mission-driven fields?
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.
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.
do you promote a specific diet?
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….
do you provide meal plans?
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.
do you use any diagnostic testing?
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.
do you prescribe any supplements / herbs / essential oils in your work?
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).
on the organizational side, do you only work with nonprofits?
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.
what’s your favorite food?
Chocolate. Um, I mean kale.
what’s your favorite beverage?
Red wine. Um, I mean water.
Not finding the answer to another question? Reach out through my connect page.
Photo Laura McCaffery, 2020