The Natural HEALing Coach Blog

 Join Us For Our Next Roundtable!

february 23, 2023 at 2:oopm CST | Online

Join Certified AIP Coaches for a monthly discussion on how to raise AWARENESS, promote ADVOCACY and take ACTION to ELIMINATE  inequities that are barriers to success on AIP for the BIPOC community.

Jamie Nicole AIP BIPOC

About AIP BIPOC Roundtables

Centuries of racism in this country has had a profound and negative impact on communities of color. The impact is pervasive and deeply embedded in our society—affecting where one lives, learns, works, worships and plays and creating inequities in access to a range of social and economic benefits—such as housing, education, wealth, and employment.

These conditions—often referred to as social determinants of health —are key drivers of health inequities within communities of color, placing those within these populations at greater risk for poor health outcomes.

In relation to autoimmune disease, the root causes are complex and genetics  can play a role, but we KNOW that environment (including food, toxins, stress, etc.) can all be triggers for autoimmunity.

As a person with autoimmune disease and as a certified autoimmune coach have begun to do the work of educating my community about the WHAT and the WHY of getting an autoimmune diagnoses and implementing AIP lifestyle changes, but that does no good if I make no effort to help them with the HOW.

We can shout to the mountains the importance of getting to the root cause and ELIMINATING harmful (trigger/inflammatory) foods from our diet, but if we sit idly by without recognizing the need to ELIMINATE food deserts, to

expand opportunities and access to health education, to educate doctors about how to better diagnose and treat the BIPOC community, to advocate to require safe & toxin free neighborhoods that aren’t used as dumping grounds in lower income communities and address the centuries worth of trauma, on-going stress and mental health issues that are specific to the BIPOC community, then how can we actually make an impact in the lives with those with autoimmune disease in the communities who need us the most.

The roundtable is just the start of a conversation.  AWARENESS, ADVOCACY and ACTION is the goal. Be sure you don’t miss this conversation and opportunity to both learn and share your insights on this important topic.

Check the Schedule & Save the Dates for Our Upcoming AIP BIPOC Roundtables


Meet Our Panelists for February 21st

Jamie Nicole

Jamie Nicole

CHC, CLC - The Natural HEALing Coach

Orleatha Smith

Orleatha Smith

Co-Founder - Sip Herbals

Ebony Williams

Ebony Williams

Thyroid Coach and Advocate - Joyful Ebony


Thanks to Our Sponsors 


Frequently Asked Questions

Questions about the AIP BIPOC Monthly Roundtables
Q: What is a Health Coach?

A: A Health Coach is a supportive mentor and wellness authority who works with clients to help them feel their best through food and lifestyle changes. Instead of prescribing one diet or way of exercising, Health Coaches educate and support clients to achieve their health goals and tailor individualized wellness programs to meet their clients’ needs.

Health Coaches also focus on disease prevention, stress reduction and creating balance in all areas of life. Health Coaches take a whole-­‐body, holistic approach to wellness. This means that they go beyond food and diet to explore the many ways that a client can improve their quality of life and find lasting health and happiness. It also means that they consider things like career satisfaction and fulfilling relationships as being influential to client success.

Q: What Makes a Health Coach Unique?

A: Health Coaches look at how all areas of your life are connected and show you how they affect your health as a whole.  They guide clients through a deeper understanding of the food and lifestyle choices that work best for them and help them implement lasting changes.

People know they need to eat healthy and workout.  But tailoring it for their symptoms/health conditions or staying the course when life happens is the major barrier to their success.   Health coaches help remove those barriers.

Health coaches help fill the gap between modern medicine – pills and surgical intervention – with a preventative, holistic approach that teaches and empowers the client to understand the link between a healthy lifestyle and a healthy mind and body. 

Q: What is the Difference between Coaching and Therapy?

A: A common misconception is that coaching is the same as therapy, when in fact they are quite different. Therapy is intended to help people recover from emotional or other psychological disorders. People who choose therapy generally feel that they are not functioning well, and are seeking greater self-understanding by exploring the reasons why they feel this way. Often, the therapeutic conversation is exploring old issues, past emotional pain and discomfort with a desire to find resolution and healing from the past.

Coaching recommendations are not intended to replace the advice of medical professionals.  It is intended to help individuals achieve their personal goals. Individuals come to coaching when they are eager to make changes in their lives that they believe will lead to higher functioning, health and/or happiness. They are asking how to learn new skills and behaviors that they can incorporate into their routines to better their lives.

Coaches never diagnosis a client, and the coaching conversation is present and future-oriented. As a coach, I believe the only reason to spend time looking back is to learn from the experience and to take that knowledge to help you move forward. It is imperative that the coach knows when to refer a potential or current client to a therapist.  Occasionally, clients might be working with a therapist and coach at the same time.

Q: What is the Difference Between a Health Coach and a Life Coach?

 A: Coaches come from all kinds of backgrounds and careers. The common thread amongst them all is a deep and burning desire to help people live lives of meaning and purpose so they can reach their greatest potential.

There is a core difference between a life coach and a health coach. Life coaches may come from any field of education or experience, and they often help people make broader changes in their lives (relationships, parenting, organization, careers, etc.) rather than zoning in on health-related goals.
Q: What is the difference between a Health Coach, a Registered Dietician and Nutritionist?

Health Coach

A Health Coach is a supportive mentor and wellness authority who works with clients to help them feel their best through food and lifestyle changes. Instead of prescribing one diet or way of exercising, Health Coaches educate and support clients to achieve their health goals and tailor individualized wellness programs to meet their clients’ needs.

Health Coaches also focus on disease prevention, stress reduction and creating balance in all areas of life. Health Coaches take a whole-­‐body, holistic approach to wellness. This means that they go beyond food and diet to explore the many ways that a client can improve their quality of life and find lasting health and happiness. It also means that they consider things like career satisfaction and fulfilling relationships as being influential to client success.

Health Coaches can work independently in their own business, alongside medical professionals, or in other wellness settings such as yoga studios or wellness centers. The ultimate benefit for someone who works with a Health Coach is the ongoing support and guidance that doctors are rarely able to provide.

Registered Dietitian

Registered Dietitians are overseen by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,and must therefore follow a certain set of guidelines in terms of the recommendations they can make to patients. While this ensures a certain level of standard practice, it leaves less room for individualized support and does not take into account the non-­‐dietary aspects of life that facilitate or prevent healing (such as anxiety about work, lack of sleep or adequate hydration, or time for relaxation).

Being in more conventional settings, RD’s are generally less able to provide ongoing support to patients, and their focus is more on disease-­‐management and the elimination of symptoms rather than achieving a higher level of thriving in life. The advantage of being a Registered Dietitian is the generally wider acceptance and recognition within the medical field.

There are no specific requirements for this term, with the result being that many different types of professionals who have a wide range of experience in wellness and nutrition calling themselves nutritionists. It is more common for Registered Dietitians to use the title, however many Health Coaches do as well.
Q: Why would someone choose to work with a Health Coach rather than a Personal Trainer or Dietitian?

A: Many people who have worked with trainers or dietitians, both of whom are qualified to help people within their subject-matter expertise, but may not always have the knowledge or skills to help people make changes they can sustain for the long-term (once their prescribed plan ends).

The flaw in these approaches is that most people know exactly what they need to do to develop healthy lifestyle habits. It’s taking action on this knowledge that is the challenge. Coaches are trained to ask the tough questions that will have you exploring your deepest motivations for change, finally connecting your heart and head so that acting on what you know you need to do becomes second nature.

Q: Why would I work with a Health Coach and not my Primary Care Physician?

A: The main reason to see a Health Coach instead of, or in addition to, your primary care physician is to uncover the root cause of your health issues vs. simply treating the symptoms as modern Western medicine typically does. Most MD’s receive little to no training in nutrition and functional medicine (i.e. how all aspects of our bodies work together to create a state of ease or disease) and cannot offer patients insight into how basic things like diet and lifestyle affect their health. They are trained to diagnose and treat symptoms of disease vs. looking at the whole being to uncover the root cause of disease.

Q: Should I continue to see my primary care physician while working with a Health Coach?

A: Yes, if you are under the care of a primary care medical or naturopathic doctor it is highly recommend that you continue to see him or her. A Health Coach is not a doctor trained to diagnose or treat disease or chronic illness. However, they are highly trained in nutrition and dietary theories that allow them to help clients determine which foods work best for their bodies so they can use food as medicine. Health Coaches are also highly trained in coaching clients to look beyond food to assess where targeted lifestyle shifts are needed to reduce stress and risks for chronic disease.

Q: Will I be able to stop taking my medication after working with a Health Coach?

A: If you are currently taking medication while working with a Health Coach, you should continue to work with your primary care physician to monitor if and when you can reduce or completely stop taking your prescribed medication. The majority of chronic diseases are preventable given the proper diet and lifestyle choices, so it is very possible that you will no longer need medication and can begin to transition off of them while working with a Health Coach.

Q: Why has Health Coaching become increasingly more important over the years?

 The average time with a doctor is 7 minutes per visit in the US.  That is not a lot of time for individual recommendations on how to live healthier and prevent disease.

 Medical quotas require that a certain number of patients are seen per day.  In addition, your insurance dictates the level of care you get.  This leaves you underserved.

 Health coaches are an affordable layer between you and the medical system. Health coaches are able to work hand in hand with you to create a better patient experience to produce a superior health outcome than just working with your doctor alone.

Q: How long should I work with a Health Coach?

A: The amount of time you should work with a Health Coach is dependent on your goals and what you want to achieve. The average time it takes to form new habits is 3 months, so the majority of people will work with a Health Coach for a minimum of 3 months to kick start progress to living a healthier life. After that initial 3 months, you can choose to continue working with your Health Coach to help you take your health to the next level and achieve more long-­‐term goals. 

Q: What can I expect while working with you as my Health Coach?

A: Together, we will explore concerns specific to you and your body and discover the tools you need for a lifetime of balance. As we work together, you will develop a deeper understanding of the food and lifestyle choices that work best for you. I will work with you to create your unique lifestyle plan that targets the strategies to overcome your obstacles. I’ll assist you in implementing lasting changes that will empower you to live a more balanced, fulfilled life. Your plan will be personalized for your needs and will address concerns that are specific to you and your body.  I am committed to teaching you a set of skills you will be able to use for the rest of your life!

In essence, you can expect a powerful relationship between you and me as your health coach! Together, we will explore your greatest health concerns and goals and examine the barriers to achieving those goals.
Q: Will my Health Coaching session be confidential?

A: YES! Everything discussed between you and your Health Coach is completely private and confidential.

Q: How much time will I need to commit to while working with a Health Coach?

A: The amount of time and effort you put in is ultimately determined by your motivation and drive to take action and make a change in your life. While each coaching session is approximately 1 hour, every hour afterwards is time you can use to make choices and take steps to becoming a healthier, happier YOU!

Clients who are committed to making changes and taking action are the ones who see the best results throughout the coaching process and for the rest of their lives. What you get is determined by what you give and the ACTION STEPS you commit to taking. You are the only one who can change your health and your life.

Change is not always easy, change does not happen overnight and healthy habits take months and/or years to cultivate and become routine. Every second of everyday should be spent taking baby steps and making progress towards what you want to achieve for your health, your personal wellness and ultimately for your life.

Q: Is Health Coaching right for me?

A: Maybe. If you are thinking about working with a Health Coach because you think you should, or because someone in your life is asking you to, then you might not be ready yet to embark on the journey to self-­‐improvement and taking ownership of your health and well-being.

An ideal client has gotten to a point in his/her life where they are ‘fed up’ with feeling unhealthy, over-­‐weight or stuck in a rut of symptom management vs. caring for their own health. Typically, people who seek out health coaching have encountered a personal health crisis (trigger event) of their own that has motivated them to gain knowledge and seek support to make long-­‐term, sustainable changes in the way they eat, live and deal with the outside world that will ultimately allow them to move towards thriving vs. surviving.

If you are ready to take ACTION and OWNERSHIP of your physical, mental and emotional health, then health coaching is certainly right for you!
Q: What is the Autoimmune Protocol?

AIP uses diet and lifestyle to help reduce symptoms of autoimmune disease by eliminating potentially inflammatory foods to give the body the opportunity to heal. AIP encourages nutrient-dense foods such as meat, vegetables, and fruit, and avoids the following foods during the strict elimination phase:

  • All Grains

  • Gluten

  • Dairy

  • Eggs

  • Soy

  • Legumes

  • Nuts

  • Seeds

  • Refined

  • Sugar

  • Chocolate

  • Alcohol

  • Food

  • Additives

  • Nightshades

The Autoimmune Protocol is also about self-care: getting plentiful sleep, restorative movement, managing stress, and fostering positive social connections are just as important as food in your healing journey. 

Q: Can you help me if I haven't been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease?

Absolutely!  It can take years and multiple doctors to officially be diagnosed with an autoimmune disease – you shouldn’t have to wait that long to feel better!  In fact, healing is an easier process for your body if you start making changes when symptoms are still mild.

The diet and lifestyle recommendations that I make are based on balancing your Foundations of Health, which are basic aspects of our physiology that all other functions rely on to be healthy.  That means that they will be beneficial to your health whether you have a diagnosed disease or not.

I believe in bioindividuality – your plan will be personalized to give you exactly what YOUR body needs to heal and be healthy.

Q: AIP sounds hard. What if I am not ready for that?

That’s ok!  Many of my clients aren’t following AIP – some because they have different needs, and some because they aren’t ready to make that commitment.  My goal is to work with you on a plan that both helps you heal AND that fits in your lifestyle.

Q: I think AIP may help me but it’s overwhelming. Can you help me?
Yes!  I’m an AIP Certified Coach who used AIP to reverse my own autoimmune symptoms.  I can help you prepare for AIP and walk you through implementing it every step of the way, including the Reintroduction Phase
Q: I’ve tried AIP before and it helped a ton! Now I’ve fallen off the wagon – can you help me get back on track?

I can help you get back on track!  We will troubleshoot what happened and where you are now, then come up with a plan together that will work for you. 

Q: What are the benefits of partnering with a certified Health Coach for my Practice?

Adding a Health Coach to your patient's wellness team will:

  • Increase patient compliance with recommended care plans, improving outcomes

  • Free your time, allowing you to do more of the investigative and diagnostic work you love

  • Improve the patient experience by providing more personalized support

  • Improve patient satisfaction through more focused visits and quality time with patients

  • Bring your practice to the cutting edge of healthcare today

Your patients will get the in-depth attention they need while becoming more actively engaged in their own health care.

Q: How much does this cost?

 A: Thanks to our generous sponsor, Autoimmune Wellness, there is absolutely no charge to attend the roundtable. Additionally, there is no obligation to purchase anything from us or any of our sponsors ever!

Q: What if I can't attend live?

 A: No problem! We will record this session and the link to view the recording will be sent to all who register and will also be posted here for 30 days.

Q: Who is this event for?

 This event, and all of our programming, is open to everyone! 

The AIP BIPOC Roundtable is a component of the AIP BIPOC Network and its purpose is to facilitate ongoing equity-centered health education for individuals living with autoimmune disease and the practitioners who serve them.

Q: Why do you need my email address?

 A: We ask for your email address so that we can remind you of the live session and communicate with you before and after the event in order to provide information of the highest value to you.

 We value your privacy and promise not to share your contact information with anyone for marketing or other purposes. We will add your email address to our monthly newsletter mailing list, which you will be able to "unsubscribe" from at any time.

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