Allyn Raifstanger as an Integrated Nutrition Health Coach

Q: What is an Integrated Nutrition Health Coach?

An Integrated Nutrition Health coach is a guide and supportive mentor who empowers clients to take responsibility for their health and achieve wellness.

Q: How did Allyn become an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach?

          After several years of studying health and diets, he embarked on a yearlong course at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition out of New York State.  The New York State Board of Education accredits this course.

Q         What are some of the theories of Integrative Nutrition?

  1. It involves the study and integration of all diet theories.
  2. Primary food (career, relationships, exercise, and spirituality) overrides secondary food (what’s on your plate)
  3. Health is based on the individual, not a diet theory.
  4. Bad food choices are “crowded out” with good food choices.
  5. Given half a chance, the body will heal itself.
  6. Anyone can achieve deconstructing cravings.
  7. The same diet and lifestyle recommendations will help everyone get well regardless of the disease.

Q         What are Integrative Nutrition’s core concepts?

A          1. Bio-individuality: No one diet or lifestyle works for everyone. What’s one person’s food may be another person’s poison.

  1. Primary food: Your primary food, which includes career, relationships, exercise, spirituality, and other lifestyle factors, plays an equal or more significant role in achieving your overall health and wellness.
  2. Heal yourself by yourself. Your body is designed to heal and protect you from harm, and given half the chance, the body will heal itself.
  3. Fitting out: We all have heard about fitting in. At IIN, we want you to fit out. Fitting out is being yourself and what is unique about you.
  4. Food changes everything; Food affects your whole being, from your blood to your DNA; you are what you eat.
  5. Health is not a destination; it’s a journey.

Q: Where does a Health Coach fit in with our current Health Care System?

          Our country and the world are undergoing a health crisis of immense proportions. One in two people gets cancer; heart disease kills millions of people a year; more people are affected by the dreaded Alzheimer’s; type 2 diabetes is affecting children as well as adults in increasing numbers; and obesity affects almost 60% of our population as compared with 16% forty years ago. Our health care system is fantastic at fixing broken legs, arms, and backs, as well as replacing joints, hearts, and kidneys, and doing intricate brain surgeries, to name a few. But our Health Care System can only prolong the major diseases and illnesses that are far more apt to kill us. The diseases mentioned are primarily preventable. An Integrated Nutrition Health Coach fills in where the doctors, nurses, nutritionists, and dieticians leave off. Hospitals are too busy to mentor patients on nutrition and lifestyle, the most important ways to stay healthy. The advice doctors gave years ago, “Take two aspirins and call me in the morning,” is long gone.

Q: I don’t want to be one of the statistics falling to the top ten killers; what should I do?

          First and foremost, don’t rely on the Government for answers. They subsidize most of the foods that we are eating today, like GMO corn and soy products. Remember, the government had information back in the late 50s that cigarettes were hazardous to our health, and it took them twenty-five years to make their first move in the industry to label cigarettes and tobacco products with the Surgeon General’s warning. Not a good track record. Also, don’t look to the food companies. (most of the big companies are owned by the tobacco industry) They promote convenience to the public through processed foods high in refined sugars, refined flour, bad fats, sodium, and many chemicals. Every time a food fad is low-fat, gluten-free, fortified, or natural, they put it on their labels for more sales. Generally, it’s all hype. Here’s where the role of an Integrated Nutrition Health Coach comes in. Allyn has the background and knowledge of what’s good for a person’s health and can tailor a program based on the individual’s needs. Everyone is different.  

Q: I want to improve my health and well-being; what is the next step?

An          Allyn will conduct health and wellness history screenings for those interested. A short form needs to be filled out, and he can run the session via phone, skype, or in person. There is a limit to clients he can take.

Q: Is it expensive to have an Integrated Nutrition Health Coach?

A          No, and several programs are available, ranging in price. The cost is minimal if you consider the alternative of having a poor diet and an unfulfilling lifestyle. You could pay for a six-month session by eliminating sugary beverages and junk food from your diet.