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Health-Based Coaching: The Many Dimensions

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Each of us has many choices to make about what we can import from our external environment (plants, animals) and transform into part of our internal environment (converting food to bodily energy and restoration). If we are moderately well off economically, we have sufficient funds to select what we consume. Then the choices are many and the consequences of the choices being made are significant in terms of our health. In the role of health-based coach, we can facilitate the reflection of our clients about nutrition and enter into a dialogue about the food choices being made:  This dialogue should take into account the nutrients in food, how the body uses nutrients, and the relationship between diet, health, and disease.

At the heart of the matter is our inclination to purchase, prepare and consume food that might be delicious (pumped up with sugar and fat), but does not play very nice with our body or mind (inducing inflammation). Here is the bottom line: we need to purchase whole foods and organically raised foods   Following are examples of inflammatory foods (this is not an exhaustive list): Dairy, Margarine, Processed/cured meats, Vegetable oils, Refined carbohydrates, Sugar, Tropical Fruits. Most of us are familiar with the deleterious impact of most items on this list. It is often a matter of finding acceptable substitutes for these seductive entities.

We just provided a list of what we should not consume. Fortunately, there are other lists that contain appetizing options. These lists can be found in many places on the Internet—but should be reviewed and downloaded with care. Is there credible evidence to support the assertions being made? Is this list simply a promotion financed by a specific industry that extolls one food group while disparaging another food group (such as the condemnation of fats by the sugar industry and complimentary condemnation of sugar by industries relying on fats for enhancing flavor and texture). The simplest pieces of advice to be given are: (1) try enhancing the flavor of food with natural spices and herbs, and (2) consider consuming vitamins that are contained in food (rather than in supplements).  Another piece of advice: wisdom is to be found in the sage insights offered by many of the older schools of health care in the West (e.g. homeopathy) and the perspectives and practices embedded in many Eastern health care traditions.

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