An apple a day won’t keep the doctor away

School started this week!  If you missed it, I mentioned a few weeks ago that I decided to register with Integrative Nutrition to become a Health Coach.  I’m feeling a mixture of things: excited, overwhelmed, nervous, busy… I guess those are all to be expected.

Having watched and read the intro materials, I can tell that this is the right place for me. The school refers to itself as a movement, more than a nutrition school. Besides working with individuals as health coaches, there is a need to influence policy decisions and programs at a structural level (better school lunches or hospital food, anyone?)

One of the things I love most about this school is that it doesn’t have a particular nutrition philosophy that everyone must subscribe to.  They acknowledge that nutrition is an ever-changing body of knowledge.  We cannot say with certainty that everyone should give up meat, or sugar, or dairy, or eat raw, or whatever else might be considered the path to better health.

In addition, it’s important to remember that health is so much more than what we eat! Did anyone else see the article in NY Times this week, “The Island Where People Forget to Die”? The people of Ikaria have been known to live much longer than their American or European counterparts.

While they do have a mostly vegetarian diet and few processed foods, they still eat pork, grains and bread, and lots of olive oil.  Few of them exercise in the structured, calculated way that we do, but they were active as part of their day to day lifestyle.

What I found inspiring in the article was the reminder that good health is so much more that the sum of what we eat and how we move.

It’s connected to family relationships, career satisfaction, sense of community, spirituality, and a more simple, less stressful life.

Those are the things I am focusing on right now- clearing out the extra stress when I can.  Enjoying my family time more.  Choosing good food, but not striving for perfection.

Making healthier treats, like tofu pumpkin pie (recipe coming soon!)


And giving in to a craving to bake “real” chocolate chip cookies. Sometimes you just need a cookie with butter and sugar in it.

I’m choosing to relax and let go of the assumption that I have to be perfect to be healthy. And instead seeking more balance in all of life.

For excellent related reading, my friend Lindsay wrote a great post about letting go of perfection, and another friend and Lindsay inspired me with these simple, healthy “thou shalts” to be happier and healthier.

Do you get caught up in the assumption that health is determined by a particular diet and exercise equation?

Are any of these out of balance for you (relationships, work satisfaction, spirituality, or simplicity)?



55 thoughts on “An apple a day won’t keep the doctor away

  1. Great post and I cannot wait to hear more about this program. It really intrigues me and perhaps is along the path I wish to take at some point. I hate the labeling of diets and that people often just assume that it’s the healthiest, the only way, all others are evil. I’ve been seeing that so much more recently too and it’s really starting to get to me actually. I think, like you say, there are so many factors that play into our health and wellness.
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  2. I read that article, too! And want to move there, now. But anyhow–this sounds like you’ve really found the perfect place for yourself. I’m very happy for you and excited to see where it takes you.
    misszippy recently posted..Orange UpMy Profile

  3. Great post! This new journey seems PERFECT for you! I’m excited to hear all about it.

    As for anything being out of balance for me… 3 kids seems to remove “simplicity” from the life equation, especially when it comes to things like meal planning and balancing work responsibilities. I have to bring my A game constantly! 😉
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  4. I love this! Sometimes I feel guilt when I don’t eat so great. The added stress of the guilt is so much more unhealthy than a couple of cookies (or reeses PB cups). I love that you are becoming a health coach, you will be so great!
    hikermom recently posted..Workout WednesdayMy Profile

  5. My husband started his IIN course this week too – guess you’re both in the same class! I’m so fascintated by the topic but doing the course wasn’t right for me. He’s already a life coach so it seemed to complement that really well. I expect I’ll be quietly following along with some of your course as I’m too interested to ignore – plus it makes good dinner conversations for us!!
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  6. I try very hard to avoid the “particular diet” fads of the day and usually try to stick to a moderation approach to all things food. There are definitely weeks where I use that excuse to eat way too unhealthy though. I’m excited for your journey with this!
    Mandy recently posted..Do NOT take my cookies.My Profile

  7. One of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with when talking to my cardiac patients is nutrition. I really don’t believe in the AHA’s guidelines entirely. I wish the American “diet” would get rid of good and bad foods and just eat more natural. Are we really any better off with any of the sugar free, fat free, etc products out there? I’ve always been interested in nutrition and have heavily thought about going back to school for it. It’s nice to hear that Integrative Nutrition has a different approach. Happy that you found your niche!
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  8. I too find the IN topic fascinating. Can’t wait to hear more about it. I feel like I’m pretty balanced overall, however things swing off every so often.

  9. Wow – congrats on some exciting changes in your life! This seems very ‘you’ (you know, the blog bit of you that I know!), and I’m glad to hear you’re doing something that really matters to you. I also love the message here – sometimes you just have to let go a bit.
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  10. What an AWESOME post Laura!! It is so true that health is so much more than just what you eat and exercise, it’s all about balance :) I totally needed to be reminded of this since I have a tendency to hyper focus on food and/or workouts. Thanks for the excellent reminder that every area in our lives needs to have nurturing.
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  11. I think IIN has such a great program! I really like that they focus on individuality! Studying for my PT certification has instilled this crazy notion in my head that I need to have a rockin’ body to be a good personal trainer. It is 100% false but there are still times when I need a good reality check to make me realize that healthy comes in lots of different varieties!
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  12. I read that article too and was fascinated. You’re absolutely right – it’s about the relationships in our life, simplicity, community and less stress. I love that you’re focusing more on those things and I’m trying to do the same. I’m also really excited that you are starting your course and I can’t wait to hear more about it. I definitely fall into the trap of thinking that being healthy means adhering to a specific diet or set of rules. But all of that doesn’t matter much if the rest of your life is out of flux!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted..9 states plus DC. 1300+ miles. 23 hours. Home.My Profile

  13. I love the reminder of great health being much more than what we eat and how we move! I am guilty of being so focused on what I eat and how much I exercise, but as you mentioned, there is so much more to it! I definitely need to work on being less focused on getting everything done on my to-do list and focus more on enjoying each and every moment with my family.
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  14. Curious…what is your school schedule like? Is it online or in person? Maybe I am just nosy, but I was wondering what your days/weeks look like now that you have a big commitment added to them? Does L go to day care?
    Corey recently posted..A Change in PlansMy Profile

  15. It’s online, so it’s all done on your own schedule and time, which is really nice… other than a few call-in seminars, etc. L goes to “school” two mornings a week, 9:30-12:30ish and one of those mornings I used to volunteer- so I decided I can’t continue right now, and I’m trying to use good chunks of both mornings for the program, plus an occasional evening hour or two as needed. This is the first week, so I’m still figuring it all out. But it’s not f/t at all- they estimated that we’ll spend 5-7 hours a week on it, and it will keep my busy, but is also doable.
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  17. I agree that there are so many different sides to being healthy, and not just diet and exercise. All the sides of human nature have to be fulfilled, or at least you have to feel like you are making progress.

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