I went from chiropractic assistant to Holistic Nutrition Consultant. Seven years later, I am back where my coaching aspirations took form. A full-circle journey! Why the career shift? I believe this is my calling.
While serving in the chiropractic office, I learned a lot about our people; our practice members. People told me about their daily lives, sleep patterns, relationships, and how they ate, thought, and moved. Of course, I loved listening to and supporting them and the chiropractors, but I started to see that I was meant to do something else with my life.
After my shifts, I would go home and examine my daily choices. Were they leading me toward health and well-being, or were those choices leading me toward dis-ease, reduced function and early death? The eye-opening conversations combined with many books, podcasts and documentaries shifted my values. I wanted to take a closer look at how I influenced my health, impacted the planet, and taught my littles to nourish themselves.
There was much to learn, so I enrolled at Bauman College - I studied Holistic Nutrition and entered flow state. Sounds cliche, right? But I was in heaven! I loved the immersive experience, and more so, I loved connecting the dots on what I intuitively knew all along. Our lifestyle choices matter - the food we eat matters - breath matters - sleep matters - relationship...to ourselves and to others matters.
I wanted to learn how to articulate a living-for-health model.
In February 2018, I did a midterm assignment - the topic? Eating for Health created by Dr Ed Bauman. The perfect place to start!
What does it mean to eat for health?
The Eating for Health Diet is an approach or a philosophy that embraces all ages, all sensitivities, cultures, budgets and preferences. With it, I teach healthful eating to help people understand that their past dietary choices may have directly affected their current health condition. While educating my clients on how to use a more sustainable approach to living, I am keenly aware that change takes time and is a process, but I am crystal clear in the knowledge that our daily conscious or unconscious choices impact the world as we know it.
How I work with clients is different from linear, and it is a wholehearted approach to dissecting and discerning the habits that have brought them to me in the first place. Do they seek stress-management skills, weight loss, and improved sleep quality or are there longer-standing health concerns that rob them of their energy and vibrancy?
Some work is mechanistic. I might ask them to journal out a recap of the foods they ingested last week and how they slept, moved and rested.
I often calculate B.M.I. and find an optimal daily caloric intake, to use as a guideline. I might also have clients fill in lifestyle questionnaires. The individual's current age, preferences, lifestyle, stress level, illness, condition and motivation would guide me to create the best plan possible to help them move from a place of discontent to a place of well-being.
Listening and supplying powerful actionables is a part of coaching. Some action steps are mechanical, like reducing sugar intake, while some are more spirited such as introspection, journaling, breathwork and time in nature.
There are four levels of Eating For Health, as outlined by my teacher and mentor, Dr Ed Bauman. I highlight the benefits of the top level, Eating For Health, while keeping true to my client's desire for change—small unsexy steps toward a more deeply meaningful nourishment practice.
Do I sound a little woo-woo now?
I get it! But food is sacred; think of it this way: when we take something foreign to our bodies from nature, prepare it and ingest it, it becomes us: every organ, eyelash and cell. We feed our emotional bodies with food, and at every meal we have an opportunity to provide nourishment to our brain, muscles and the trillions of gut bugs that call our GI tract home. What we put on our plate matters to our health; it REALLY matters.
Diet Direction offers us macronutrient guidelines.
People have different nutritional needs. But everyone needs good quality food, well-thought-out portions and adequate hydration. Nutrients are the building blocks that help you to thrive! The vitamins and minerals we get from food assists in adaption to physical, mental and chemical stress. And just like with chiropractic, you shouldn't only make an appointment when you're in pain - just like you shouldn't only eat healthy to alleviate dis-ease; instead, make healthy eating a lifestyle practice.
Diet Direction offers guidelines for the ratios of macronutrients we can ingest at any given phase as we age. These guidelines highlight the importance of proteins, carbohydrates and fats and their optimal ratios when pursuing health goals.
Food is beautiful and delicious! It brings us together and accompanies our growth. Food is cultural and emotional, traditional and spiritual and has energy. Food is life!
I hope that you will go on a journey with me. I want you to learn how to fuel your body in the most sustainable way possible - a way you define through your values. Who you are is determined by many choices, some small and some great. Contribute to a healthy high vibrational planet by exploring what YOU need to live well.
Kristen Moss NC
Buteyko Instructor & Lifestyle Coach
Mother of two