Health Coaching Is the Latest L.A. Wellness Craze…That Helps You Understand Other Wellness Crazes

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We don’t know about you, but we have as hard a time remembering what ashwagandha does as how to spell it. And as for all the other new supplements, diet theories and detox cleanses, we’d love to try them all, but we could use a little help sifting through the noise. Can’t someone just recommend some simple steps to help us with our issues of fatigue and weight maintenance and maybe give us glowier skin? 

Relax: A health coach is on the case. We discovered this new breed of counselor in the office of Dr. Frank Lipman, the best-selling author of How to Be Well and a leading proponent of vitality and happiness through lifestyle changes (including clean eating, meditation and movement). We chatted with Katie Ulrich, a coach at Be Well Health & Wellness Center, to find out more.    

How is health coaching different from life coaching? 
"A life coach is more geared toward career and relationships, whereas a health coach helps with diet and lifestyle to ensure optimal well-being. Anyone who struggles with the dilemma of what to eat (so much contradictory info out there) could benefit from a health coach. We help you identify which foods work for your unique constitution, and set you up with a guided plan to make better choices daily so you can eat properly and feel your best."

What can health coaches help with?
"So many things—confusion around food/nutrition, fatigue/stress, advice and guidance of how to "get on track" or "kick-start" a cleaner eating regime, supplement/food suggestions on how to fill deficiencies, how to purchase the best quality food and products, where to eat out and how to eat out properly. We take a patient’s health history, and then set a proper plan for the person’s unique condition, which includes diet, supplements, lifestyle, exercise. We help with recipe suggestions and great swaps for foods they may need to eliminate. Basically we give them the tools to make the changes accessible and sustainable so they can achieve a more balanced state of being."

What kind of training do health coaches need?
"There are a variety of trainings available to become a health coach. The most well-known program is IIN (Institute of Integrative Nutrition), which gives you a health coach certificate. Some coaches do more training beyond this in functional nutrition, body work, ayurveda, Chinese medicine and more."

How many people do this?
"At Dr. Lipman’s office, we have hundreds of clients who work with our staff coaches. Most people buy multiple sessions, but some people buy just one session ($150 for 50 minutes via telephone or Skype) to make sure they are on the right path. For repeat callers, we take very thorough notes and have an outlined program for patients, so our follow-ups and check-ins are well organized."

Before health coaches existed, who did people used to consult for this sort of advice? 
"This was an area that was overlooked. Medical practitioners just treated symptoms, not the root cause, and isolated ailments rather than trying to bring balance to the whole being to produce a state of well-being."

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dana dickey

Senior Editor

Dana Dickey is a PureWow Senior Editor, and during more than a decade in digital media, she has scoped out and tested top products and services across the lifestyle space...