Episode 08: Getting Help – Health and Nutrition Coaching

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Episode 8 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Getting Help - Health and Nutrition Coaching

We Don’t Have To Do This Alone

Reversing autoimmune disease through diet and lifestyle is hard work. The rewards are absolutely worth it, but sometimes a little extra help can make it a whole lot easier. When do we ask for that help? Most of us who choose this path are independent and self-motivated people. We’re often frustrated by the failures of conventional medicine, and have reached a point where we’re ready to take our health into our own hands. The internet is now full of information (like this blog) that points us in the right direction. Sometimes, that’s all we need.

But what if you have brain fog and can’t wrap your mind around what’s necessary to implement these changes? Or your family isn’t supportive, so you have daily obstacles and temptations making it much harder? Perhaps you’ve been on a healing diet for a while and aren’t seeing results; you need to troubleshoot and don’t know where to start. Or maybe you’ve tried to switch to paleo a few times now, but always gave up after the first week, because it’s too darn hard.

In today’s episode, I interview two people who are making autoimmune healing much easier. They both have autoimmune disease themselves, which they reversed through diet and lifestyle, and they now work professionally helping others do the same. Angie Alt is a health coach, and Katy Haldiman is a nutritional therapist. We talk about the different services they offer, and when is a good time to seek help.

Episode 8 of the Phoenix Helix Podcast: Getting Help - Health and Nutrition Coaching

Listen to the Show

There are three ways to listen:

  1. You can subscribe to my podcast through iTunes.
  2. You can listen through Stitcher.
  3. You can also listen to the episode right here through the play bar at the bottom of this post. If you subscribe to my blog by email, you’ll got notified of future episodes.

Show Notes

  • Intro (0:00)
  • Meet Our Guests (0:51)
  • The Difference Between Reversing Autoimmune Disease and a Cure (12:00)
    • Katy got her third autoimmune diagnosis (myasthenia gravis) after following the AIP for a year.  At first, she was disappointed and questioned the effectiveness of the paleo approach. Then, she remembered two important things: (1) While diagnoses happen immediately, the autoimmune process takes years to develop and started long before she went paleo. (2) Her health improved dramatically over that year: eliminating severe diarrhea from Crohn’s, and resolving debilitating joint pain from inflammatory arthritis. Also, her myasthenia gravis symptoms are so minor, they require no medical intervention.
    • We all shared our own stories of coming to terms with the difference between reversing autoimmune disease and a cure. While a cure isn’t possible, the paleo diet and lifestyle can lead to major improvements, and it’s incredibly empowering that we are the ones making the difference in our own health. It’s easier to feel grateful for how far we’ve come, if we aren’t pursuing perfection.
  • Health Coaching vs. Nutritional Therapy (22:22)
    • Angie got her health coach training through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN). Her professional mission is to help people maintain a diet and lifestyle change for the long-term. She offers online group classes to transition people to the paleo autoimmune protocol over a 6-week period. She also works with people 1:1, helping them set up a support system, and identify any obstacles to a healthy lifestyle.
    • Katy’s background is nursing, and she became frustrated with the limits of conventional medicine in treating chronic health issues. She got her training through the Nutritional Therapy Association (NTA). Her professional mission is to help people get at the root of their health issues, through holistic nutrition counseling. She has a self-paced online course, designed to explain the science behind the paleo diet, and how to implement it in your life. She also works with people 1:1, identifying nutritional deficiencies and troubleshooting healing plateaus.
    • The difference: Both Angie and Katy are available via Skype and work with people around the world. While there is some overlap in services, health coaches generally give guidance on where to begin, and how to maintain a healing diet and lifestyle. Nutritional therapists help people troubleshoot, when diet and lifestyle isn’t enough to resolve their symptoms.
  • Case Studies: Examples of People Who Have Been Helped (31:52)
    • Angie helped transition a young family from a Standard American Diet to a regular paleo diet. The husband had developed fatty liver and pre-diabetes, which was concerning to both of them. Over a 4-week period, Angie helped them make the switch to paleo, finding new foods to replace old favorites. Then, she helped them refine their diet by focusing on nutrient-density for optimal healing. Lastly, she worked on stress management, because healing is about much more than just food. The result? He lost 25 pounds. His A1C went from 6.2 to 5.1, and his liver enzymes normalized, meaning he no longer has  fatty liver nor pre-diabetes.
    • Katy helped a client with ulcerative colitis, who was suffering from severe symptoms of frequent diarrhea and bloody stool, in spite of taking conventional medications and starting a paleo diet. After an assessment, she started him on a modified GAPS introduction diet to calm his digestive system. Then, she transitioned him to the AIP, which helped him identify which paleo foods were inflammation triggers for him. She also recommended some supplements and herbs to jump-start his healing. Results? His symptoms resolved, and he was eventually able to go off his medications, with his doctor’s support.
  • Katy’s Modified GAPS Introduction Diet (40:33)
    • The GAPS diet has 2 pieces: Introduction and Full Diet. The Introduction Diet is designed to soothe the digestive system by removing foods that are hard to digest, and it’s largely soup and broth-based. It’s meant to be a short-term measure to get critical symptoms under control. Unfortunately, it also includes foods that are common food intolerances for people with autoimmune disease, like eggs, nuts and dairy. Katy modifies the diet to remove these foods.
  • When to Seek Help (43:17)
    • Angie works with a lot of people who tried going AIP cold-turkey, but didn’t make it more than a week, because they found it too hard both physically and emotionally. Angie prefers a gentler approach. You don’t have to do it all at once. She provides the tools and supports for you to make the transition successfully.
    • Katy often works with people who have been “through the wringer.” They’ve worked with a number of practitioners, have tried diet and lifestyle approaches, but are still having symptoms. She’s an expert at paleo nutrition-based troubleshooting
  • What Is Beyond Their Scope of Practice? (46:45)
    • Angie and Katy are qualified professionals, but there are times when they refer people to specialists: (1) If people have SIBO symptoms, both Katy and Angie refer them for testing, diagnosis and treatment. (2) If people have autoimmune symptoms but no diagnosis, Katy also refers them for testing. (3) Any time someone has a condition that could benefit from conventional medical care, they will refer accordingly. Conventional medicine often excels at addressing acute problems; and then Katy and Angie can work with their clients on the root causes behind those problems. (4) While the gut-brain connection means that diet can powerfully improve mental health symptoms, sometimes people need help beyond diet, and Angie will refer to a psychiatrist in those cases. (5) Both Angie and Katy also refer people with eating disorders to a specialist.
  • Budget Options for Health and Nutrition Coaching (53:51)
    • Katy offers a self-paced online course called The Nurse’s Guide to Real Food., which she created with her colleague Chelsea Prather. There are 12 lessons covering everything from the science behind paleo to troubleshooting common issues. It contains audio lessons, written notes, and an online discussion forum, which is moderated by Chelsea and Katy. * Save 25% by entering the code DEC14 if you buy this class before 12/31/14.
    • Angie offers an online group coaching class called SAD to AIP in SIX. There are 20 people in each class, and she guides them from the Standard American Diet to the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol over a six-week period. She provides sample menus and recipes and a Facebook Group where the students can support each other. Angie offers daily encouragement through emails and participation in the Facebook group. She has a number of groups starting on January 5th, if you want to join as part of your New Years Resolution.
    • The Difference: Katy’s course helps people transition to a regular paleo diet. Angie’s course helps people transition to the AIP. Katy’s course is self-paced – you can join at any time. Angie’s course happens at specific times throughout the year; you join a group of 20 other people making the transition with you. Both courses are much less expensive than 1:1 coaching and a great place to started on a healing protocol.
  • Outro (59:13)

Spreading the Word

If you like the podcast, please leave a positive review in iTunes or Stitcher. It would mean the world to me, and also helps others find the podcast and learn about their potential for healing.

Listen to the Show

There are three ways to listen:

  1. You can subscribe to my podcast through iTunes.
  2. You can listen through Stitcher.
  3. You can also listen to the episode right here through the play bar at the bottom of this post. If you subscribe to my blog by email, you’ll got notified of future episodes.
  Have you checked out my books?   Books By Eileen Laird | Phoenix Helix

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