The Body’s Systems Related to Holistic Nutrition Coaching

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definition of holisitc nutritionLesson Outcomes: After reading this lesson, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the structure of skeletal muscle and explain the process of muscle contraction
  • Describe the characteristics of the various muscle fiber types
  • Describe the metabolic pathways that supply energy for muscle contraction
  • Describe the nature and size of body fuel stores

To truly have a complete understanding of holistic nutrition, we must possess some knowledge of biochemistry. This equates to the study of events such as reactions, energy transfer, and transport processes at the subcellular and molecular levels within the body. As a Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach (CHNC) it is not likely that you will have long discussions with clients about parts of this knowledge, but you absolutely must know it.

  1. This lesson describes the sources of energy available for use and explains how energy metabolism is impacted through intracellular effects and the action of hormones. For active clients, food intake before physical activity (PA) and feeding during PA influence the hormonal and metabolic responses to PA. For less active clients, we need to understand the metabolic response to not only food intake, but the biochemical and the physiological responses as well. Later, we will look at forces that influence eating, regardless of activity level.

Life requires nutrition. Understanding this means that we may need to refocus our perspectives on food intake to allow our coaching approach to be more integrated.

The Holistic Nutrition Triad

  • Nutrition
  • Biology
  • Inner-Knowledge

It must include nutrition science, biology, and our inner knowledge. This is our holistic triad. Our goal is to highlight a holistic meta-view that helps coaches to see nutrition for its omnipotence, using a coaching model that acknowledges how nutrition offers an ideal path to living healthy and well, while sorting out some less-than-ideal behaviors that may require change.

At a time when so many of us are less enthused or inspired by eating food that does not truly nourish our bodies or support our health and wellness goals, the CHNC can provide guidance and leadership using sound coaching principles aimed at addressing client behaviors and strategies. With the proper training, the CHNC can effectively evaluate clients within the broad spectrum of nutrition. Only then can we support clients who want to ditch the dogmas of nutrition. This means we need to refocus on actual experiences as part of our meta-view, considering nutrition beyond food groups or calorie counting.

Even a trained, educated CHNC may not realize that at a very basic level, our clients are looking to us to be an expert with nutrition, vitamins, herbs, stress reduction, lifestyle modifications and exercise. Clients are hoping we can coach them to live in greater balance with themselves, others, and our environment.

But the CHNC is also an agent of change for a greater need beyond helping others to nourish their health. Our society and culture can benefit from a revolution of sorts, working to awaken and change society for the better by a coaching approach that is anchored in a fundamental belief that there should be interdependence of all life. This is another way of describing holism and is a great opportunity for addressing the missing layers of our society and our world.

We need a different approach and a new path. Coaches need simple tools to help clients with taking control of their lives with changes that facilitate looking inward to change our views on what healthy living means and what it takes to get there. We can all benefit from changing destructive habits and living life to its fullest potential. The CHNC knows and believes that clients can tap into their inner-knowledge and listen to what our bodies truly need – to fortify our lives with whole, natural foods that nourish us.

Holistic coaching practitioners focus efforts on reaching optimal holism. We live in an era of significant time constraints where we seem to be caught in a constant state of playing ‘catch up”. The result: we consume massive amounts of caffeine to bring us up, or we often eat fast foods to resolve time and convenience constraints. You probably know clients who work while eating to stay productive, but the reality is that we never catch up. We can shift these behaviors by simply slowing down. Holistic health and happiness begin with slowing down to enjoy a life best lived.

Defining Holistic Nutrition

Define your intentions

Marc David, a prominent food psychology coach, once said “So, what do you want from the food?” True, this was in response to what one might expect to get from eating healthy – but the point is – what do you want from this training? It is okay if it is to clarify your personal goals around health and well-being – but we are training to serve clients. That is a major distinction that must be understood. When considering clients, try thinking about what their main health concerns would be. But for yourself, what is it that you want to learn or accomplish by reading this Manual and completing this training? Sorting this out now will help you to better understand your optimal personal nutrition – but it will also transfer to providing coaching service to clients who want results – to be healthier. Since coaching cannot change anything from our client’s past, it should make sense that we do our best work to guide our client to a happier future life. This is where client vision becomes critical to understand.

Tested On Humans

In the Holistic Nutrition Coach Training Course, you will find a discussion of major dietary theories. But the food that is best for us is not going to be found in the pages of a diet or nutrition book. More importantly, it may not be what is best for a client. No single diet is perfect for everyone. To best determine what is appropriate for one’s unique body and lifestyle, this manual will guide you through experimenting with new foods and learning to listen and look for the body’s responses.

The Discovery Process

A permanent shift in health can be a big challenge requiring dedication and commitment, but one facet of our message is that our methods used, and our coaching strategies are not strictly about having more self-discipline or willpower. Why? This implies a void of these skills where none may be present. It’s about personally discovering what feeds our health, nourishes our body and soul, and ultimately makes life more whole.

Climb One Rung of the ladder at a Time

With this specialized training, our goal is to provide you with guidance to unlearn old habits by absorbing new information. While practicing strategies on yourself (required before coaching another human) allow yourself to go at a pace that is natural and easily incorporated into your lifestyle. Some of the changes need to address nutrition holistically can seem major, yet this does not always mean taking big leaps. We know that when a change in the body is concerned, lasting change is more easily sustained in a more gradual timeline and rarely as quick as what most diets proclaim.

Most importantly, be open and curious in the process of learning and growing. For what seems to be a lifetime, we have come to know the saying, “you are what you eat”. Yet somehow, there seem to be more people who either don’t get the same message or those who fail to receive the message at all. The confusion created by mixed messages in what we will call diet books does not help. One day we are told to drink red wine, only to have someone come along and crush that idea by proposing that eating more grapes would be preferred. Another example – eggs. While a good source of protein, we are told to monitor consumption if we are concerned about elevated levels of cholesterol. Even reports from “research” studies create confusion, like in the case of dairy foods; who can tell us with authority that dairy will cause weight gain or loss?

Nutrition is a truly unique science. It’s the only field where people can scientifically prove opposing theories and still be right. Of course, with science, we want to stick to facts.

We have yet to discover the absolute and definitive truths about nutrition, we are also in the exploratory stages of making a connection between our food intake and our health. Despite all the nutritional research done, it seems as if there is still a great amount of confusion over food. The truth is, there is probably no one right way of eating.

In some ways, this program can be viewed as a combined resource, using the knowledge and wisdom of traditional philosophies like Ayurveda with more modern approaches, like the USDA food guides, the Glycemic Index, Zone, the South Beach Diet and of course … raw foods.

We embark on our journey by learning about the body, its systems, and some basic anatomy and physiology; but to optimize our client’s holistic function, we also need to learn how these systems relate to one another. Our advice: Be open to learning new ways to view health and disease, both traditional and holistic. Extend your coaching knowledge beyond what is discussed in this Manual to expand what piques your interests – whether it be whole foods, herbs, and spices for promoting holistic nutrition intake goals, or how to manage behaviors that prevent your client from living holistically.

The CHNC must acknowledge the following:

We do not diagnose We do not treat

….unless we have an appropriate degree and license to do so. Leave the diagnosing and treating to a health or medical professional any time you know that the situation is more than you are qualified to address, manage, improve, or change with coaching.

Learn more about earning your professional credential as a Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach.


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