For those of you who may not know, my name is Katie Barr, and I am the Integrative Nutrition Health Coach here at Mahan Health.
It is an absolute honor and privilege to work with such a fantastic group of women who care so deeply about people’s health and well-being, and I am very much looking forward to getting to know as many of you as I can.
If you’ve already heard from me, or seen me, you’ll have a better sense of just what a health coach is, and what we can do. For those who haven’t, here’s a simple description:
Health coaches aid individuals in finding beneficial and sustainable behavior changes through goal setting, alongside a healthy dose of nutritional and wellness education.
In short, I’m here to help you find what works best for your body.
This means that while health coaching places a significant emphasis on diet and nutrition, I’m not going to simply hand you a meal plan, or tell you what foods you should or shouldn’t eat. “Should” in my book, is a dirty word that often leads to feelings of guilt, shame, or regret.
What I will do instead, is help you think more critically about the elements of your life that may be imbalanced, and may be contributing to your relationship with food, your body, or your mind. I will help you come to your own conclusions on how to address these imbalances.
Our health, and how good we feel, is determined by every facet of our lives, from how we prioritize our relationships, to how safe and comfortable we feel in our homes, to how much joy, creativity, and spirituality we invest in, or allow ourselves to pursue.
Life, and especially healing in all its forms, is complicated! And if we don’t address the most meaningful elements of how we move through our daily lives, it doesn’t matter how healthy our diet is – we will still feel imbalanced, and our physical and mental health will still suffer.
At the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, where I received my certification as a Health Coach, we call this Primary Food – the aspects of our lives that impact our overall health and wellness outside of what’s on our plates.
And believe it or not, Primary Food is arguably a far more powerful tool to help us achieve and sustain Mahan health than our diet alone ever will be. Don’t get me wrong, we need a well-balanced and supportive diet as well. But all this is to say that diet is only one piece of the health puzzle.
Perhaps this resonates with you: you’ve been experiencing difficulty with your digestion for a while. You’ve seen plenty of specialists, have altered your diet, started taking a probiotic, and feel you’re eating and doing all the things that, in theory, “should” improve your digestion.
Yet, despite all your efforts, nothing has truly changed. Sound familiar? If this resonates, I encourage you to take a closer look at what else might be happening in your life. Ask yourself the following:
• Is my job increasingly stressful?
• Am I stressed by my financial situation?
• How supported do I feel in my relationships, both platonic and romantic?
• Do I feel isolated and without community?
• Do I feel safe and comfortable in my home environment?
• Am I moving my body regularly in a way that feels good?
• Do I enjoy cooking at home, or am I overwhelmed not knowing where to start?
• When was the last time I did something creative, just for me?
• When did I last explore a spiritual practice to connect with myself on a deeper level?
• When was the last time I expanded my knowledge of a passion or interest?
Each of these questions correspond to a nifty tool called The Circle of Life. This simple chart is a fantastically easy way to check in and assess where you may feel imbalanced, and to reflect on which areas of your life could use a little more TLC.
How Does it Work?
All you have to do is place a dot in each segment of the circle. Placing a dot towards the edge of the circle corresponds to feeling balanced; placing a dot in the center of the circle corresponds to feeling imbalanced. Once you have placed your dots in each segment, connect them to create a full picture you can reflect on. Your chart may end up looking a bit like this:
Now, take a minute to decide which area(s) you would like to focus on improving, and whether you feel you could use additional guidance to meet your goals.
Everyone’s circle will look different. And know that you don’t have to do everything all at once! If you find you have multiple areas in which you feel imbalanced, that’s okay.
There is no right or wrong, this is simply a tool for reflection. Take things one step at a time, and don’t feel like you have to do everything alone. We at Mahan Health are here to support you no matter where you are on your health journey.
For the series of blog posts, we will take a deep dive into each segment of The Circle of Life to discuss their importance for our health, and to provide tangible tips and tricks that will help you to reflect on, and rebalance these areas.
Take some time today to reflect on your own Circle of Life! Discover what areas you feel proud of, or where you feel you need additional support.
Schedule an Initial Health Coaching Consultation today so you can begin feeling supported and confident tackling your own health journey.