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Did you know that before I started sharing my stories and journey about eating a gluten-free dairy-free diet here on the blog that I trained to become a health coach? While this journey didn’t lead me to coach people in a one-on-one setting for very long, I did learn some HUGE things about myself and my body while training to become a health coach.
It seems silly to say, but working through the training at Integrative Nutrition was just as – if not – more profound in where my health and life has unfolded since I took the course in 2012.
Last fall, I had the pleasure of doing a Q&A session with the lovely folks over at Integrative Nutrition, and I thought it would be great to share this here on my site as well – as a little bit of a “getting to know you” session. I realize I don’t share a lot about this part of my health journey, so I thought it would be fun to republish this content here with you.
From the original blog post…
Rachael Roehmholdt is a Holistic Health coach, gluten-free and dairy-free blogger, and stay-at-home mom. She teaches women with food intolerances and other health issues to go gluten- and dairy-free with ease. She has been managing her food intolerances to gluten, dairy, and eggs for five years and has helped thousands of women make this transition, too. Through her experience at Integrative Nutrition, she learned of her own food intolerances and now shares her passion for helping other women along this transition through her website, online course, and weekly recipe and menu planning service.
Q: What were you doing prior to enrolling at Integrative Nutrition?
A: Prior to enrolling at IIN, I was working as a market research analyst with tech companies writing surveys, crunching numbers, and living in Excel spreadsheets. I learned quickly in this first job out of college that the corporate world wasn’t at all where I wanted to be, and I started looking for something else. On my path of discovering what else I might like to do, I learned about my passion for food, health, nutrition, and helping others on their health and wellness journeys.
Q: What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
A: I was seeking a career change when I discovered IIN. I had always been interested in nutrition and health as a teen, and as I was looking for what path to take, I found myself scouring the health and nutrition section at the used bookstore. It was there that I came across two books that shaped my journey: a book from the American Dietetic Association and Joshua Rosenthal’s Integrative Nutrition. I bought both books and dove in straightaway. I never read more than two pages of the American Dietetic Association book, but when I picked up Integrative Nutrition, I knew I had found my place. I read the entire book in two days, then reread it twice to go back over the concepts and tell family and friends about it. I fell in love with the book first, then a few months later, I enrolled in the program.
Q: How has your life changed after becoming a Health Coach?
A: My life is completely different after training with IIN to become a Health Coach. In my own health journey, I learned to embrace the process of self-discovery, maintaining a beginner’s mind and trying to stay open to discovering new things about myself. I learned what foods made me feel good and those that I was intolerant to, which ultimately has made such a difference in how I feel every day in my body.
The program also allowed me to create a career that feels fun every day. I feel like Ive hit the jackpot by being able to create a business that helps others transition to a diet that honors their food intolerances. I’ve met so many inspiring women with powerful stories, and I feel beyond lucky to be a part of their health journeys.
Before my time at IIN, I hadn’t met many people who believed in the same things as I did when it came to nutrition, health, and spirituality. But after meeting so many of my people from all over with the community that IIN provides, I now see that they’re everywhere, and it has given me more confidence to talk to people and open myself up more in new situations.
Q: Which topics and modules were most beneficial for you?
A: I learned the most about myself when I was introduced to the concepts of the elimination diet, food intolerances, and leaky gut. These topics launched me into a full exploration of what was going on in my body, gave me the curiosity to start looking for the signs and symptoms that were already there, and finally listen to what I had been ignoring for years.
After doing my own elimination diets, I determined I was definitely intolerant to both gluten and dairy, then later learned I have an egg allergy as well. It’s also the basis for what I teach other women now in my business.
Q: What does a typical day look like for you now?
A: I’m a full-time stay-at-home mom these days, so I spend most of my day hanging out with my 4-year-old. When were together, I’m trying my best to set a good example for how to take care of yourself with healthy food, lots of outdoor time, exercise, and exploring things that pique your curiosity and make you feel good.
I get my real work time in when my son is at preschool or in the evenings when my husband gets his one-on-one time with our son. I spend that time developing recipes, writing blog posts and emails to connect with my community, and doing a lot of the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes with running your own business. Ive really learned how to focus on doing only the tasks that move me forward during my work time.
Q: What makes you and your practice unique?
A: My practice is unique in that I work less than 10 hours per week. I teach women how to take on a specific diet: gluten-free and dairy-free. While I don’t think this diet is right for everyone, I know that providing the information for that specific diet is needed. Another thing that makes my business unique is that I don’t offer any one-on-one coaching and I really never have. Straight after completing IIN, I learned pretty quickly that I work best by leading by example instead of working one-on-one with clients.
My sweet spot is in teaching online courses, and my signature program, GFDF Living for Beginners, has gone through multiple iterations based on the feedback from my community that has grown and evolved over time to be what they need. I also offer a recipe and menu planning service, GFDF Weekly, that was a natural progression from menu planning for my family into sharing it with my community. The best part is that Im making a difference just by sharing what I’m already doing for my own family!
Q: How do you help your clients be successful? Is there a recent example that stands out for you?
A: I fully believe that giving people the information they need to make informed decisions is the best way for them to be successful in moving forward on their health journey. The way I approach my business is to offer as many possible solutions to their questions as I can and leave the rest up to them to make the choices that feel right. That means sharing everything from product ideas, tips and strategies for sticking with this lifestyle, and recipes.
Being that I teach how to take on a gluten-free and dairy-free diet, its all about giving them the details on what it means to take those foods out of their diet and, most of all, providing motivation and inspiration to show that its possible to live with this diet and still enjoy food.
A recent example of this is starting up my new recipe and menu planning service. I had been asked over and over how to create meals that taste good and still fit with a gluten-free, dairy-free diet. Working with a few women in particular as I created this service showed me just how important it is to provide details and examples on how to make any diet be successful. One client shared with me just how great it is having recipes delivered to her inbox every week so that the transition in diet wasn’t so overwhelming. She’s been able to enjoy the meals and understand how easy it is to eat this way.
Q: What do you love about your work?
A: I love connecting with women who have discovered food intolerances and health issues that require them to go gluten-free and dairy-free. It’s been amazing to talk to women who have gone through the same things as I have and be able to share my journey with them and it inspires them to be able to take it on themselves.
I also love that being in the kitchen, making delicious meals and recipes, is part of my work and that it helps other women keep going on their journeys! I cant believe that my work is something I actually enjoy!
Q: How have you seen the need for Health Coaches change over the years?
A: When I first heard of Integrative Nutrition and health coaching, I had never heard the term Health Coach before. It felt like this big gaping hole that needed to be filled in our culture. Since then, the term Health Coach has changed a little bit, and it feels like there are more than ever. I think there are a lot more specialty Health Coaches than there were a few years ago. Instead of going to a Health Coach who can help you do anything, a lot more coaches are focusing on specific problems they can solve, diets they teach, or how to manage certain health issues.
I think that while there are more Health Coaches and everyone has different philosophies on what it means to do this work, anyone out there who is trying to inspire others to treat themselves well is a good thing.
Q: What’s your tip for balancing your family, work, and personal wellness?
A: To make the most of the little moments in your day and be present as much as possible. I don’t feel like I have much of a balance at all in my life, but I do try my best to make the most of the moments I have to make healthy choices. My family and work get most of my attention during the day, but Im always trying to make the most of the smaller moments that add up to a bigger benefit in both my work and overall wellness. Like choosing healthy snacks, getting out to hike with my friends and our kids, or carving out 20 minutes before cooking dinner to sneak some yoga time in. They feel like small moments in my day, but they add up!
Q: Tell us your favorite way to wake up each day!
A: My favorite way to wake up is by grabbing my Kindle and reading for 10 to 15 minutes and dive into something inspirational or something I’ve been working on learning or improving in my life. Then I get up and do a quick 10- or 15-minute workout, either yoga or some kettlebell exercises. Once I hear my son’s running feet coming from his room, I know my time is up and it’s time to switch focus. I get him ready for the day, make us a healthy breakfast, then settle in at the counter with a cup of decaf coffee and my favorite coconut creamer while he plays.
If you’re interested in learning more about Integrative Nutrition or my time as a health coach, be sure to check out this Holistic Health Coach Guide I’ve put together, send me an email, or leave a note in the comments.