There are three main themes to this topic. The first theme is entirely devoted to the science behind holistic nutrition. Our goal is to start simple with learning basic anatomy and physiology, major systems of the body, and how they relate to one another. You’ll learn new ways to view health and disease, both traditional and holistic, and discover which whole foods, herbs, and spices that are scientifically proven to promote holistic nutrition intake goals for your client.
In the opening section of the Holistic Nutrition Coach Certification, we dive into the science and physiology that are inherent to being human. As a coaching course, we are aware of the reality – that everyone wants to be an expert. But in coaching dynamics, we refrain from simply reciting expert facts and focus more on moving people through changes – in this case, to be more holistic. The problem with the expert approach is that it assumes the coach automatically knows more than the client, that the client is not aware of health information needed to be “whole” and then makes the coaching-client relationship lopsided. “I know more than you on this, so listen to me” is not coaching. It’s directing. This does not mean, however, that we do not want and need to be informed on topics we are entrusted to address; we also use this knowledge to anchor our confidence – so we believe we know what is needed to coach a client and we can then focus more on our coaching service and not simply provide education to a client. Science informs coaches on what to look for, what to expect and of course, how to assess a client. Intuition is a great skill and can take a coach far in a guided, helping co-active coaching relationship, but we simply cannot ignore the need to know the body and its systems if we are going to call ourselves Holistic Nutrition Coaches.
For most of us, a life best-lived means finding that delicate balance in all areas. Maybe, in its most simple terms, this means just doing good and avoiding harm. But even the most primal, simple, single-cell organisms have to achieve balance searching for food, avoiding toxic poisons, and staying out of harm’s way. Evolved lifestyles mean that we have a heightened sense of what to eat – or what to avoid –to maintain balance. We almost instinctively know how to change our food intake when we are ill, undernourished, and of course, within different seasons of the year.
At times, a certified nutrition coach might see a lot of this same type of goal for their clients – to find balance. The same could be said of a holistic coach. This training is about how the two areas of emphasis come together to serve clients holistically more completely.
Some clients come to us with an inner knowledge of this balance already working in their lifestyles. Others have not even considered why we need to achieve balance, much less work toward it. Of all client profiles and types, this client is not the ideal type for us to coach. Maybe their interest in health and wellness is lacking; it may even be fair to say that it just seems like less of a priority for them.
Our evolution as humans has included a history of changes related to our food intakes. Our human ancestors possessed this inner knowledge on a very organic, simple scale as they ate local root vegetables and greens to supplement their seasonal hunting successes. It almost sounds Paleo now, and that is because …. it is.
Human evolution also represents the forward motion of progress toward something better or improved. In this forward motion, life has become a lot more complex. We have learned to process and transport food beyond any measure of comparison to anything previously experienced in human culture. So, we can fill a supermarket with more than 45,000 items and provide a lot of options to an overfed public. The problem may be clear to you by now. We are also referring to the glut of processed, packaged items that are wrapped in slick, bright packaging, and vivid colors. But it may also be loaded with sugar, saturated fat, or additives. Is it possible that all this abundance is what causes us to be so disconnected from what our inner knowledge knows to be true and right? Or is it that bioengineered food has distracted our vision of what it means to eat with optimal health in mind and not as much as for our taste buds.
Adding to our distraction is the glut of information about nutrition. A deluge of new diets for consumers, each claiming to be the best, the fastest, and the easiest to follow. Several of these plans have even developed their cult status, ranging from Facebook groups to being featured in countless blogs.
There are some common themes in many “diets”. High protein, low carbohydrate, complex carbohydrate, low protein, and all raw foods. Or the vegan-based plant-based diets…the list is endless. Where each of these approaches misses the mark is due to our differences. Our biological individuality allows one person to thrive on a diet that could easily be terrible for someone else. Following a nutrition plan designed by someone else may fall short of addressing one’s genetic makeup; even though nutritional needs are different for each of us, it still seems that most of us look to food as an expression of our inner-knowing and intuitions. We know we should eat well; we know when we are not. Only the client knows how they feel when eating behaviors change or activity levels change. For genuine answers about who we are and how we function optimally, we must look deeper.
This is where we shine our light on the issue of holism. Furthermore, when we add the “nutrition” descriptor, we must accept that many of the topics covered in this course are taught in other forms, such as physiology or nutrition courses, but for us, we will explore these topics from a holistic perspective.
Because you have an interest in this topic, you will want to click over to learn about career training as a Spencer Institute Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach.