“As a busy mom and wife with a demanding, high-stress job, I often found “eating healthy” challenging. But a decade of fast-food lunches, restaurant meals and frozen, processed dinners had done a number on our wallets and our waistlines. I was tired, burned out. Something had to change.” – Stephanie Leach
That change included making over her eating habits, moving her family to Colorado, and leaving behind a stressful career that no longer served her in order to become a Certified Health Coach. Stephanie enjoys working with busy women with families that are ready to stop dieting, get healthy and find balance and energy for their busy lives.
She received her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. This education includes training in over 100 dietary theories, lifestyle management techniques and coaching methods.
Through her Health Coaching programs, tools and resources, Stephanie helps women get clear on what it means to eat better, get their kitchens and pantries organized to support healthy eating every day, and stay motivated to finally achieve their health goals and gain abundant energy to thrive in their busy lives.
And Interview with Stephanie
Where are you personally on the journey to health and wellness?
I began cooking more at home as a way to de-stress and put the cares of the workday aside. I love food and find nutrition interesting. As I explored new recipes and ingredients, my confidence in the kitchen grew. I discovered that cooking healthy meals at home was the best way for me to take control of my family’s health and our food costs. I also learned that cooking healthy meals can fit into a busy lifestyle, and they taste better and give my body the fuel it needs to keep up with a hectic schedule.
My awareness of the power of our food choices – both the impact on our bodies and on the environment – has continued to increase over the years. It is definitely a journey. I have made lifestyle changes that include a kitchen garden in our suburban backyard, buying organic, humanely raised meat and eggs, and eating more vegetables and less meat. And I got rid of that high stress job!
How long have you been a helping families eat better?
I started sharing cooking and nutrition information on FamiliesEatingBetter.com back in November 2010. Initially I offered a weekly dinner menu and recipes membership, but I wanted to offer something more. Chronic disease is epidemic. And for many, the condition is entirely preventable or reversible with food and lifestyle changes. I wanted to help other busy women with families take control of their health so they can lead healthy, purposeful lives with joy and satisfaction.
How did you become a Certified Health Coach?
I enrolled in the Health Coach Training Program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. The training is holistic and it broadened my understanding of how the “primary foods” in our lives, such as our relationships, career, physical activity and spirituality, affect our health. I learned from the leaders in holistic nutrition, including Dr. Andrew Weil, Dr. Walter Willet, Dr. Mark Hyman, and John Douillard, to name a few. I am now an AADP Certified Health Coach, trained in more than 100 dietary theories, lifestyle management techniques and coaching methods.
How does a Health Coach differ from a Registered Dietician?
A dietician prescribes meal plans and works with the USDA MyPlate. The focus is on counting calories, protein, carbs and fat grams as a way to lose weight and improve a patient’s health.
As a holistically trained Certified Health Coach, I am your personal advocate for living an energized and passionate life. I work with you to help you create a happy, healthy life in a way that is flexible, fun and free of denial. I have studied a wide range of dietary theories, from Ayurveda to The Zone, and have found value in many of them. I work with the Integrative Nutrition Plate, which acknowledges that our health is impacted by more than just the food that we eat. My programs are built around the concept of Bioindividuality, and recognize that no one diet works for everyone. I will work with you to help you find the right way to eat for you.
Who is your ideal client?
My ideal client is a busy woman in her 30s or early 40s, usually with a family, that is ready to make her own health a priority. She is tired of being uncomfortable in her clothes and diets that don’t work. She is also aware that her food choices impact the health of her children, and wants to lead her family to better health by setting the right example. She desires abundant health and energy, and is willing to make step by step changes in her eating habits and lifestyle to achieve a happy, healthy life.
Do you provide medical advice?
I work primarily with women that need support and guidance to make better food choices a daily habit, so that they can lose weight, improve their energy, or avoid worrisome chronic disease. I can work with individuals that have been diagnosed with a range of medical conditions, including obesity, high blood pressure, pre-diabetes, diabetes, thyroid disease and food allergies and intolerances.
That said, I do not provide medical advice. Health Coaching is not intended as substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
My Health Coaching programs are intended for people who want to comply with the recommendations or advice of their doctor, nutritionist, naturopath, or other licensed medical health professional. My coaching helps my clients see how they can incorporate healthier eating and activities to bring about the results they want in their lives.
What kind of person enjoys the most success in your Health Coaching programs?
Individuals ready to commit to a long-term lifestyle change enjoy the most success. Achieving radiant health is a personal development process. Clients that take responsibility for their actions, and are willing to try new things also do well. For most, trying to make diet and lifestyle changes on their own has not worked, and they are ready to invest in themselves and a process that yields real, lasting results.
Who are your Health Coaching programs NOT for?
My programs are not for individuals that want a “quick-fix” for their health problems. While I do share recipes and provide nutrition information and guidance around meals, my programs are not for women that want someone to prescribe them a diet plan and tell them exactly what to eat at every meal. It is also not for individuals with serious eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia, that require the support of a professional licensed to help with those specific disorders.
What is it like to work with you?
I truly care about my clients. During our sessions you will get my undivided attention and feel supported on your journey. I tailor my program to your specific needs and interests, and provide recommendations so that you can make step-by-step improvements in your health.
In addition to food, to the extent that you are comfortable, we will also delve into the other areas of your life that ‘feed’ you – your relationships, physical activity, career and spirituality. Why? Because no amount of broccoli will make you healthy and happy if you are stuck in a high-stress job that you no longer enjoy. We go deep. You will get a lot of value.
I offer a free Families Eating Better Strategy Session so that we can discuss your health concerns and goals, and you can find out if I am the right coach for you. Click here to schedule your free Strategy Session.
Can I just sign up for one session with you?
I don’t offer single sessions, because real change takes time. A healthy body full of energy is achieved one small step at a time, with each new food choice and mind shift, integrated into a new lifestyle that supports healthy living. It took a while to get to the point you are at, and it will take time to change it. I am ready to support you to achieve your goals, but I only work with clients who are ready to commit to making changes. That’s why I start everyone out with a free Families Eating Better Strategy Session, to make sure we are on the same page.
What results can I expect?
Your results are ultimately up to you. I can listen and provide guidance, cheer you on when you experience success and kindly hold you accountable when you falter. But ultimately your results are determined by the amount of effort you put into achieving your health goals, and your willingness to try new things.
Why do I need your support? Can’t I just do this on my own?
You have probably been doing it on your own for a while now. How has that worked for you? If you have had only temporary or limited success, you are not alone. Most of the “diets” out there do not work because they do not take into account your individuality. And you need support to achieve your goals. Coaches are critical to achieving hard-won goals. Athletes, sports teams, business professionals, writers – you name it – all have coaches. When we have knowledgeable people supporting us and holding us accountable to our goals, we thrive. Who is supporting you?
I’m really busy. How much time is involved as a client of one of your programs?
My programs are set up to support busy women. Coaching calls are done over the phone, at a time convenient to you. I will not overwhelm you with a lot of reading or recommendations. At the end of each session, I will give you 2 or 3 recommendations to implement between each session. The amount of time you devote to meal preparation or exercise to achieve your health goals is up to you, but it does not require hours at the gym or slaving in the kitchen.
I have tried other diets and always give up. What if this doesn’t work either?
First off, it’s not your fault. Most diets don’t work because they do not fit with your personality, lifestyle, individual tastes or time constraints. Depriving yourself of foods you love is not fun, and tediously counting calories or points gets old. My programs are not about being on a ‘diet.’ There is no calorie counting and there is no self-deprivation.
Is Health Coaching affordable?
For most people, the answer is yes. It may mean shifting some of the money spent on clothes, magazines, coffee drinks and eating out to coaching in order to make it affordable. For some, investing in a health coach might actually save them money, as they will be preparing affordable meals made from whole foods rather than eating out so much.
I’ve never invested in myself like this before. How can I justify this expense?
I remember the first time I hired a coach. Money was tight, and it was difficult to find the funds in our budget to pay for it. But I knew I needed help, so I found a way to make it happen. It turned out to be a life changing decision – the best money I ever spent. Having a kind and caring neutral third-party to discuss my goals and challenges with was invaluable. My coach was able to help me remove those hurdles and change my mindset so that I could pursue a life that I had only previously dreamed about. Very quickly, my life started to change for the better, and I found a new peace of mind and happiness. How much is your health and happiness worth? It’s priceless.
If I’m not quite ready to get started, is there a way to sample your work?
Absolutely. You can sign up to receive any of my free offers, such as the Busy Woman’s Guide to Quick and Painless Healthy Meal Planning, Healthy Smoothie Recipes, or my monthly Families Eating Better E-Zine where you’ll get helpful articles, nutrition information and recipes for busy women.
I have a few questions for you. Can I talk with you on the phone?
Of course! Please schedule a call by requesting your free Families Eating Better Strategy Session. I’d love to talk with you and answer your questions.