is your summer off to a great start? we’ve been loving it – i wanted to introduce you to someone, staci cravens…her business facebook page is full of great healthy ideas! the shot that illustrates this post is of her three boys :)
staci, will you describe the journey that brought you to becoming certified as a health coach? we hear so often that the food we eat outweighs the impact our exercise routine has so it’s amazing that you’re addressing this huge facet in all of our lives!
As you know, every journey has its challenges. When I started, I was overwhelmed by who and what to believe. There is so much information out there – and it is often contradictory. Personally, I wanted to get my family on track. I am a wife and a mother to three boys, and I really wanted to instill some healthier habits into our lifestyle. We never ate too unhealthy, but it is hard not to give into convenience, and items marketed to kids – you know the ones.
I became a certified health coach because I wanted to be a resource for people who want to take ownership of their health and eating habits, and I took the Institute of Integrative Nutrition’s program because it was in line with my beliefs. Once I started making a few nutrition changes, I saw almost instantly how much nutrition was impacting moods, behavior, attention and our general health.
what does a health coach do & what are some of the goals that clients come with?
I get that a lot, but it’s not as complicated as some may think!
As a health coach, I help clients set goals and guide them through the process of accomplishing those goals in order to make permanent lifestyle changes. My mission is to help my clients find their happy and healthy way – realistically with recipes and convenience, not inhibiting ways. I provide accountability, knowledge and support throughout the entire process.
First, I meet with clients for a health history evaluation. Then, we decide if they would benefit from individual health coaching. With individual health coaching, we meet three times per month – including a grocery store tour, pantry detox and meal planning.
Overall, I take a holistic approach to health. Every client has different goals and needs, so I tailor my approach based on their lifestyle needs. I look at all facets of a client’s life – not just nutrition – that may have led them to where they are now with their nutritional choices. Some of my clients have had emotional or behavioral issues, high blood pressure, headaches, suspected food intolerances, allergies, weight, energy, or just want to improve their overall health.
with three young boys, the food you create also has to be yummy, what are some recipes that have won them over?
The best thing to do with kids is have them help you prepare their meals – if they make, they will eat it … or at least try it. Kids will never starve, but they will load up on junk food. In our house, we only have healthy options. I replaced my kids’ snacks with safe foods, and I make my own sauces and salad dressings. I also re-mixed all of their favorite meals by removing the processed items and other foods I’ve chosen to limit (wheat and dairy) and added in more vegetables. My kids loved a certain name brand ranch dressing – which is a chemical storm in a bottle. I make a herb ranch dressing that has replaced it, and they love it (recipe is posted on my Facebook page on may 8th).
do you have any favorite local healthy meals?
Absolutely! My favorite restaurant is Athenian Grill. They offer a range of vegetables, salads and whole, clean foods. I always ask my clients to let me know what their favorite restaurants are so that I can tell them what the healthy options are. I usually recommend ethnic restaurants, because it’s tends to be cleaner eating. It’s important to remember that you can always ask how your meal is being prepared – and don’t be afraid to ask your server if it can be altered.
this one is totally personal since we have a big family trip coming up over the summer, but how do you keep food healthy when you’re traveling? i’m already planning to hit the grocery a few times for produce! organic baby carrots are sturdy and crunchy so they’re great chilled in the cooler!
Plan ahead! Plan your travel snacks, pack a juicer or blender and map out where the nearest grocery or health food stores are. Skip vacation breakfasts and juice or make a smoothie in your room. Here are some snack recommendations:
Travel Snack Examples:
Moms in the Raw bars
Pre-popped Popcorn – non-microwave
Dried dates w/almond butter jar in tow
Walnut, pecans, cacao chips, and dried banana or apricots mix
Sliced berries rolled up with almond butter & banana in a sprouted grain tortilla (great frozen too)
Raw Coconut cookies
Baked Chickpeas seasoned in any way – cinnamon/ honey – or go spicy with a soy sauce, wasabi, ginger sauce
Jicama, celery, carrot, zucchini sticks with salsa
Favorite Breakfast Smoothie:
1 tbsp. protein powder (plant based – I prefer, hemp protein)
dash of cinnamon
¼ cup oatmeal or granola
1 cup of non-dairy milk (almond)
1 cup of ice
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staci, thank you x 10000 – i feel so encouraged! doing all we can to preserve health is one way to enjoy life as much as we can :)
staci on facebook, twitter, her website (updates are happening this week), instagram
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p.s. we’re headed to the northeast for our family vacation – soooooo excited :) my instagram feed might get a wee bit crowded from the loveliness in nantucket, acadia national park, nyc :)