Monday, August 31, 2009

Go Ahead Honey It's Gluten Free: CHILL OUT!

Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten Free was started in 2008 by Naomi Devlin at Straight Into Bed Cakefree and Dried. There have been a bunch of amazing recipes submitted by incredible bloggers. Check out all the previous editions at Naomi's blog (scroll down and look to the right) for great ideas! If you missed last month, the theme was "Make Me a Happy Camper" hosted by Shirley at Gluten Free Easily. Being fairly new to this particular round up, I decided to take my cues from the creative Shirley and create a story around all the recipes. I hope you are as entertained as I was writing it!

So, today is the big day! All the contributors to this month’s Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free recipe round up came by to spend the day at the beach! I was so excited…I cleaned all morning – well, as much as you can clean a total construction zone. They all promised that they would use their imaginations as they look around the 100 year old home we bought less than 2 years ago. It’s been neglected, so we’ve been putting our blood, sweat, and tears into it, and we have a TON more to do. The best part is – we are about 1.5 miles from the beach!

You didn’t know that New Hampshire has a coastline? Most people don’t because it’s small. We’ve got about 18 miles of beautiful beaches. On the south end, there’s the famed Hampton Beach with its old Shell Stage, the Casino of shops, fried dough stands, ice cream, arcades, and more. It's gotten a bit run down over the years, but there are big plans to give it a much-needed facelift! Keep heading north on route 1A and there are huge mansions home to former governors, foreign dignitaries, and possibly Farrah Fawcett during the 70’s – that’s the rumor anyway.

For our soiree today, we will land somewhere in the middle. It’s going to be low tide by the time we head down, so North Beach will be the perfect setting for some summer fun. It’s going to be fairly warm and muggy today, so our “Chill Out” theme will be just perfect! The guys and gals all know that we’ve got a strict no oven rule when the temp reaches over 80 and the humidity is just as high...

The only bummer is that August is a popular vacation time – lots of folks that wanted to join in on the fun [including the GAH creator, Naomi Devlin] were headed out of town for some much deserved R&R. They will be with us in spirit, though!

Just after I got my bathing suit on, I heard a knock at the door! The first to arrive was Shirley from Gluten Free Easily. I could hardly believe my eyes! She was carrying a beautiful fruit arrangement she calls “Glorious Fruit Easily.” It’s incredibly creative! She got the idea when she saw that the secret ingredient is cantaloupe at Diane’s Friday Foodie Fix over at her blog, The Whole Gang, coupled with wanting to find a fun way to help her parents celebrate their anniversary. It is reminiscent of the wonderful creations that Edible Arrangements are famous for…all the brightly colored fruits that could pass for flowers…some dipped in luscious chocolate. Oh man! We decided to put it out on the counter so we could all nibble at it before heading to the ocean.

As I was stuffing my face with strawberries and grapes from Shirley’s bouquet, in walked Linda from Kitchen Therapy. She was all ready for the beach – sun screen, towel, chair, hat! She saw Shirley’s creation and politely asked if she could try some. “No need to be polite here!” we replied, “Dive in!” Linda said she had something fun for us to try – Monkey Tails! Shirley and I exchanged sideways glances, then Linda explained that they are frozen bananas and peanut butter dipped in chocolate. Her clients’ kids gave them the fun name, and we could see why! She graciously made some with alternative butters (almond, sunflower, cashew…) in case any beach partiers could not do peanuts. (Picture courtesy of chimothy72 at Flickr).

As more folks began to arrive, I started scooping out my Curry Crab and Mango Salad. I love to serve it up in martini glasses lined with lettuce from our garden – it just looks so elegant! …and we don’t get a lot of use out of our pretty martini glasses. I told everyone that this is an appetizer we had on our mini-honeymoon to Bar Harbor last June. We loved it and had to make our own version as soon as we returned.

Nicely full and ready for some fun, we jumped in a few cars and headed down to the beach at the end of our street. It was quite busy as always, but we found parking (and we didn’t even have to pay the ridiculous $1.75/hour at the meters!). We set up our towels and chairs, while Linda and Stephanie tackled the umbrellas. The smell of the ocean was intoxicating! Amy and Ginger decided to take a walk over to the rocks to see if they could find crabs and interesting shells, while the rest of us people-watched. Thankfully, there was a little breeze, so it was a bit cooler than inland had been. What a relief!

After a rousing game of beach paddle ball (Ali and Christine have quite an arm!), we had worked up an appetite! Stephanie from Gluten Free By Nature said she had the perfect snack – Raw Zucchini Salad with Creamy Lemon Chive Dressing. This is a great idea for those of us whose gardens are full of zucchini…when it’s that fresh, all it needs is a simple preparation. This was a perfect way to cool down!

Katrina, the Gluten Free Gidget, served up her favorite raw meal, Spicy Kale Salad. This was heaven on such a warm, sticky day! The kick of the cayenne mixed with the acidity of the lemon juice was perfectly mellowed by the agave nectar. We all enjoyed the flavorful crunch of her creation.

Next, we took a dip in the ocean. I’m not usually one to swim, but it was so darn hot out – I just had to! The tide was coming in, so we had some waves to ride. Cheryl and Christina both had fun on the boogie boards. We enjoyed floating in the refreshingly cool water, letting the waves take us as they wished.

Soon, we got hungry for more cool treats. Ginger from Gluten Free in Georgia (and Florida) brought out her Fresh Pear Salad made from the pears that she grows right in her own yard! She said that it’s something she often whips up for dinner especially on those nights when she is just getting into the swing of being back to school. The flavor of the pears melded perfectly with the crunch of the almonds and creaminess of the cheese. A real summer winner! Unfortunately, we ate it all so quickly that there was no time to get a picture…very selfish of us. Sorry readers!

Penny from The Elysium Eatery had us cracking up as she passed around her Coronation Chicken! She was telling us how it got its name because it was created for the Queen on Coronation Day. Penny is not a fan of the royals – and she had a few funny tales as to why – but she loves this recipe…perfect for followers of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. I was a little worried about her with the heat – she said that in Scotland, 75 degrees with 50% cloud cover is considered a heat wave! We kept her well-hydrated and full of yummy cool stuff, so she was a-ok!

Christina brought out her Mostly Raw Veggie Wraps. She is known for her delicious gluten free and vegetarian creations. Some of us had not yet tried Food For Life Brown Rice Tortillas, and fell in love with them! The hummus worked really well with the crispy crunch of all the fresh veggies. Delicious, light, and healthy!

After laying around a bit more, we decided to join a beach volleyball game. Our team rocked! We all seemed to have our talents – some are good at serving, others at blocking and spiking. It was so much fun! After the game, we decided that we had had enough of the sun and sand, and headed back to the house.

We cleaned up – got all the sand and salt off of us - and gathered around the kitchen for what we knew was coming next – ICE CREAM! For what is a summer time beach gathering without ice cream I ask you????

Some of us were salivating (I’m not going to name names, but you know who you are!), so Friedl from Kitchen Fun started scooping up her White Chocolate Ice Cream…so creamy and tasty! We all loved the flavor of the white chocolate with a hint of almond. Mmmm – perfect after a day in the sun!

Next, we sampled Ali’s Strawberry Coconut Ice Cream from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen. She didn’t reveal that it is free of dairy and refined sugar until after we raved about it – you couldn’t even tell! Most of us went back for seconds of both flavors, since they mixed so well in the same bowl. Hey! Don’t judge… ; )

Cheryl from My Realistic Life in Derby Kansas had a great idea – she said, “Let’s ditch our spoons and use my Oatmeal Banana Nut Cookies as scoopers instead!” So, we did! We shed our spoons (some people even threw them…ahem…) in favor of her hearty, healthy, flavorful cookies. She makes them dairy and refined sugar free for her daughter, which many of us appreciated!

We needed to walk off the first round of dessert (yep, I did say first round) and give Amy time to “sit out” her ice cream – she explained that it’s a ritual that she and her husband, Joe, have every night after dinner so that

the ice cream reaches the right softness. I decided to show everyone the garden we put in this year. It was a labor of love, seeing as how the land was overgrown with probably 50 years worth of brush. The roots we pulled out were like ropes! Totally worth it, though, as we now have tomatoes, zucchini, hot peppers, eggplant, lettuce, potatoes, and onions! Oh, and lots of pretty flowers. We sat in the patio furniture for a while (there’s no patio yet, but soon!).

Hints of evening were starting to show – the sun always sets noticeably earlier in August. Knowing that some folks had to get on the road, we decided to move on to the next dessert course. Amy from Simply Gluten & Sugar Free ran in to get her Lemon Meringue Frozen (Greek) Yogurt. We all loved her presentation – she scooped it out into little white nut and candy cups. So cute! She told us that her flavor inspiration was from her 95 year-old Grandma Ruth’s Lemon Meringue Pie. We also learned a lot about using Greek yogurt to make frozen treats. Amy is always full of great info!

Christine from Without Adornment whipped up her beautiful gluten and dairy free Fruity Parfaits. Using fresh berries, raw cashews, ice cream, and sorbet, she made us a fancy-looking cool treat! It’s a great way to dress up store bought ice cream or sorbet for a quick, no fuss dessert. We took our pretty parfaits out to the newly built porch and sat in rocking chairs, happily in bliss!

We could hear Shirley yelling from inside, “Save room!” Out she came with her Snickerdoodle Ice Cream for us all to try. It’s a dairy free version of Cathy's recipe at Noble Pig. The thought of those wonderful cinnamon cookies in a cool, creamy ice cream was almost too much for us to bear, so we practically pounced on Shirley to get a taste! Don’t worry – we didn’t hurt her. We did not miss the dairy at all! Coconut milk makes such a perfectly smooth base for ice cream.

Successfully cooled off from the heat of the day and with a very full tummy, I sadly bit farewell to my guests. I told them they could come back anytime – it was so fun to enjoy the sand and surf with them (and their delicious “chill out” contributions to our party)!

There is plenty of hot summer days left to try these wonderful recipes! Next month, we are all headed out to Katrina Morales’ place to celebrate Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free with the theme “Dinner with Disney.” Can’t wait, but for now, I am wiped out from all the fun, food, and sun! Nap time!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Product Review: Giovanni Hair Care

I have started experiencing itchy red bumps along my hairline, particularly a few days after I go to my salon. Not sure what I'm reacting to, but figured I should switch to something that is all natural hair (no chemicals) and gluten free. Is it possible that I was reacting to gluten in my hair care products? I don't know - most of the health care professionals that I have spoken to believe that gluten is not absorbed through the skin. Even dermatitis herpetiformis is believed to be a result of ingested gluten only. Since the ingredient lists on the products are a mile long with lots of words I can't pronounce, it could be anything!

A key component to my search for organic hair care products was not breaking the bank! I happened upon products from the Giovanni Cosmetics line. From their website: "Giovanni Cosmetics uses formulas that incorporate vitamins, herbs, minerals, proteins, nutrients and the purest of essential oils. The patented Giovanni PureOrganic Technology™ represents an exquisite blend of exotic organic oils, ripe-harvested from renewable plants at the peak of their freshness. The oils are cold pressed and refrigerated immediately to ensure maximum purity."

I was skeptical, since they are cheaper than other products they are next to on the far actually. But, I gave them a try:

1. Tea Tree Triple Threat Shampoo ($5.99 at Whole Foods, about $4 on Amazon*): I'm loving it! It's light and invigorating without weighing my hair down - I tend to have normal to dry hair. So far, so good!

2. Tea Tree Triple Threat Conditioner ($5.99 at Whole Foods, about $4 on Amazon*): Loving this one as well! I don't need conditioner every day, but when I do, it does the trick without being too heavy. A definite winner!

3. Natural Mousse Air-Turbo Charged Hair Styling Foam($7.99 at Whole Foods, about $6 at Amazon*): Fantastic! It looks like water in the clear bottle, but it dispenses as foam. I need about 4 or 5 pumps for my hair, but that's's cheap enough! It provides hold, though perhaps not as well as it's chemical counterparts. It's doing the trick during this humidity! Has a nice smell, too. I brought it to my last hair appointment for my stylist to check out and use on me (my salon doesn't carry GF products). She was amazed at how it did for the price! She said she will be recommending it to other gluten free clients.

4. LA Hold Hair Styling Spritz ($7.99 at Whole Foods, about $6 at Amazon*): Pretty darn good! Again, I need to use a few more squirts than I'm used to, but I'm ok with that. I also brought this to my last hair appointment and my stylist like it as well.

No itchy red bumps since I've made the switch! YAY!

* There are a few different sellers of these products on Amazon. Check around for the best deal on the cost of the product plus shipping.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Curry Mango Crab Salad

This month, I have the honor of hosting Go Ahead Honey, It's Gluten Free - a round up of gluten free recipes. The theme is "Chill Out" - treats that are not cooked and/or served cold. Join us on Monday, August 31st as we eat well and beat the summer heat at the beach!

My entry is Curry Mango Crab Salad, which my husband and I ate for the first time in Bar Harbor, Maine on our mini honeymoon:

Ingredients (serves 4):
  • 3 T mayo
  • 1 T curry powder
  • 12 oz of fresh crab meat (I mix lump and claw meat together to save some $$$)
  • 1 mango, peeled and cubed
  • salt & pepper to taste

  1. Mix together mayo and curry powder.
  2. Add crab and mix gently - you don't want to break it up too much
  3. Gently fold in cubed mango.
  4. Add salt & pepper to taste.
My favorite way to serve this is in a martini glass with lettuce on the bottom and 2 or 3 corn tortilla triangles sticking up out of the glass. A great presentation!


Monday, August 24, 2009

Flourless Pancakes!

I've been feeling uninspired in the kitchen lately. Perhaps it's been due to 95 degree weather with high humidity and no AC in our kitchen? Yep, bet that's it! Last Thursday, we got a break from the heatwave. For a late breakfast, I wanted my coconut berry pancakes. While reaching for the ingredients in my fridge, I spotted my sunflower seed butter and wanted some of that. I got the idea to try to adapt the tried and true flourless peanut butter cookie recipe (1 C peanut butter + 1 C sugar + 1 egg. Mix all together. Drop onto cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 8 minutes) into a pancake recipe. After a few tries, I think I got it right!

Flourless Pancakes (makes about 5-6 pancakes)

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 C sunflower seed butter (unsalted, unsweetened)
  • 2 t agave
  • 1 T milk (whichever milk you can tolerate)
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t baking powder
  1. Whisk the egg.
  2. Add the seed butter (room temp works best), agave, and milk and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the salt and baking powder and whisk until smooth.
  4. If the consistency is too thick for pancakes, add a bit more milk - a little goes a long way. If it's too runny, add a little more seed butter.
  5. Make them as you would any other pancakes.
Please note that if you are using a seed or nut butter that contains salt, you will probably want to omit the salt. Same goes if it's sweetened - you'll likely want to decrease or omit the agave. Honey would also work well.
Light, fluffy, and so tasty! I find that sunflower seed butter, when cooked/heated tastes very peanuty...


This post is linked to What Can I Eat That's Gluten Free posted at The Gluten Free Homemaker.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ask the Coach: Teleconference Workshops?

I've started to let people know about the four-part series, "Going Gluten Free," that I am putting on along with my colleagues, Susan Engle and Dr. Amanda Tracy. The question that I've been getting asked subsequently is...

Q: What about coming to my area? We need workshops about food allergies, celiac disease, etc. in ___________ [fill in the blank with name of town, state]!

A: I would love to travel to all corners of the world, but something tells me this isn't going to happen in the immediate future, so something that has been on my mind is to offer workshops on a variety of topics via teleconference. This means that, where ever you are, you would be provided with a phone number to call in to and an access code. We could all chat live! I have many colleagues in the medical field in addition to parents and other folks who have lived with dietary restrictions for a long time. The teleconferences would bring formal and informal experts on the topic together with people who need information. Perhaps your specific questions can be submitted beforehand upon registering?

I could see doing these both as individual workshops and as a part of an ongoing "coaching" group that meets regularly.

So, what do you think? Interested? What kinds of topics?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Food Allergy Blog Carnival & Amazon August Specials

Don't forget to head over to see Rational Jenn today for the latest edition of the Living with Food Allergies Blog Carnival for lots of helpful recipes, tips, information, and stories about life with food allergies.

Also, for those of you that are fans of Nature's Path Products, Amazon is offering an extra 20% of most Nature's Path Products during the month of August. If you use subscribe and save, then you save an additional 15% on top of that.

Don't know about subscribe and save yet? Check out my post about it. Buying local is always best, but sometimes you just gotta save a little cash on some items...know what I mean?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

"Going Gluten Free" Workshop!

Food Sensitivity Resources is pleased to announce a 4-part workshop series for individuals and families adjusting to being wheat and/or gluten free. Guest speakers will include registered dietitian, Susan Engle, of Nutrition Matters and Dr. Amanda Tracy of Advanced Health & Wellness.

Sponsored by our friends at CK Cookies, bakers of delicious gluten free cookies delivered right to your door!

In partnership with the Partridge House and Genesis Healthcare.

Click on the flier to see a larger picture for all the details!
Join us at the first session for FREE!
Registration is required, as space is limited.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Interview with Dr. Amanda Tracy, of Advanced Health & Wellness

Recently, I had the pleasure of talking with Dr. Amanda Tracy of Advanced Health & Wellness in Andover, MA. Dr. Tracy has had a tremendous amount of experience helping patients with food allergies, intolerance, and sensitivities.

1. How did you become interested in the field of naturopathic medicine?

Growing up as a dancer, I was always interested in nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. I first became interested in science as a career path in 9th grade while researching a project on Genetics, I enjoyed the investigation work and problem-solving that science involves. As a Biochemistry major at BC and preparing for a career in medicine, I became more intrigued by the process of health rather than disease. Conventional medical thought has such an emphasis on disease that I was temporarily disinterested in medicine until I found Naturopathic Medicine: a field that combines scientific medical diagnosis with natural treatments to achieve optimal health.

2. What has been your experience treating patients with food allergies, intolerance, and sensitivities?

In my experience, there is a strong connection between adverse food reactions and the development of many chronic illnesses such as MSG with migraines, synthetic food dyes with ADHD, cow’s dairy with sinus infections, sulfites with asthma and gluten with depression and anxiety. My naturopathic approach for many chronic illnesses includes identifying and treating adverse food reactions.

I have also found that many individuals have been tested for adverse food reactions in the past and even though they have been avoiding those foods, are still experiencing some digestive symptoms. Often, to really heal the damage done by these foods in the digestive tract and elsewhere in the body, a treatment regimen including nutritional supplements and herbal medicines is needed in addition to avoiding the offending foods. Avoiding food allergens does prevent new damage from being done but in most cases does not repair the damage done in the past. This is why it is important to approach your food allergies with a qualified medical professional.

3. What special training do you have regarding the role of nutrition and our health?

All licensed Naturopathic Doctors have an undergraduate degree in pre-med and graduated from a four -year naturopathic medical school which includes over 3,000 hours of coursework and 1,000 hours clinical training and passed national licensing exams called the NPLEX. As part of the naturopathic medical school curriculum, we have over 180 hours of training specifically in nutrition versus conventional medical school where nutrition training may be only one course or an elective.

Our food is our medicine and nature has provided for us well. The farther we stray from nature, the more likely we are to develop a chronic health issue. Naturopathic Doctors learn not only what vitamins are essential for life, but how to optimize the function of the body and prevent disease with non-toxic foods, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals.

4. I notice that you have a page on your website dedicated to educating people about candida. What is important for people to know about candida? Who should be concerned with this? Do you use tests to make the candida diagnosis?

With the increasing presence of refined flour and sugars in our food supply, chronic stress depleting our immune systems and the over-prescription of antibiotics and oral contraceptives (birth control pills), more and more people are susceptible to developing chronic Candidiasis. Candida is often implicated in many common health conditions such as Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, food allergies, constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Autism. Candida can also contribute to the development of acne, skin rashes, PMS, memory problems, and frequent urinary tract infections.

If I suspect Candida may be a problem for a patient, I often start with a “Candida Questionnaire” to discuss their symptoms and other health conditions. The presence of the yeast Candida albicans and others can be cultured for in stool and in a throat or vaginal swab. Anti-bodies to Candida can also be tested for in blood to identify and past or current overgrowth. While testing for Candida is not absolutely necessary, it is extremely helpful for me to track a patient’s progress and helping me decide on a treatment regimen.

5.How do you keep up with the latest research?

To keep up on the latest research I subscribe to medical journals such as Alternative Medicine Review, complete continuing medical education exercises in the New England Journal of Medicine, and attend conferences such as the Integrative Medicine Conference. I am an avid reader and I try to read at least six scholarly books in the alternative medicine field per year in addition to any research I may do for workshops or classes that I teach.

6. What are your thoughts on some of the most recent studies being conducted concerning food allergies, intolerance, and sensitivities?

I am particularly interested in the field of Psycho-neuro-endocrine-immunology (PNEI) which looks at the communications between our brains, hormones, gut and immune system and how our bodies perceive the outside world (i.e. food). Dairy and wheat in particular create compounds called caseomorphins and gliadomorphins that can later brain function. I am interested to learn further how these compounds are implicated in conditions like anxiety, depression, Alzheimer’s, dementia, Autism and ADHD to help me approach my patients with these health issues.

7. What is the most useful advice you have for people new to dietary restrictions due to food allergy, intolerance, and/or sensitivities?

My advice for those facing new food restrictions is to view it as an opportunity to heal and experience a level of wellness you may have never felt before, as well as try new foods. For practicality, it’s best to have some “old standby” recipes for dishes you can bring to social events and holiday gatherings so that you can enjoy each occasion. Also become really familiar with your local restaurants that offer gluten-free, vegan, and other special menu items.

Dr. Tracy will be one of the guest speakers at the workshop series "Going Gluten Free" beginning on September 21, 2009 presented by Food Sensitivity Resources.

Monday, August 17, 2009


We had my parents, my sister, her husband, and their three adorable kids over for brunch yesterday. I love not being the only one with dietary restrictions - like me, my sister and nephew both have celiac disease, in addition to multiple food sensitivities. We had a lovely meal with two kinds of sausage, a beautiful bowl of fresh fruit, my coconut flour pancakes, waffles courtesy of The Cravings Place (they are unsweetened!), and this yummy frittata:

Ingredients (serves 8):
  • 5 strips of bacon
  • 2 C of veggies (in this one, we used onion, eggplant, zucchini, and yellow peppers)
  • 3/4 C diced cooked potato
  • Salt & pepper
  • 12 eggs, beaten
  • 1 C sharp cheddar cheese shredded or cubed (optional)
  1. In a large skillet, cook bacon over med-high heat. Remove bacon and drain off most of the fat.
  2. Saute veggies until somewhat soft (I always do onions first, then peppers, then softer veggies).
  3. Add cooked potato and add crumbled bacon back in.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Pour beaten eggs all over.
  6. Sprinkle cheese on top.
  7. When eggs begin to set around the edges, transfer to 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until eggs are set and cheese has melted.
As always, a few notes:
  • Frittatas are very versatile - you can substitute any veggies, take the bacon out, and/or omit the cheese. Spinach goes very well!
  • It was hot yesterday, so we did the whole thing on our grill and just covered the top with foil to get the eggs to set in step 7.
  • Add some fresh herbs on top in step 6.
  • This is a great, cheap dinner alternative! We have them a few times per month for dinner, and just do 4 or 5 eggs, less filling, and use a small omelet pan.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ask the Coach: What exactly is personal coaching?

Being that I am a personal coach, I get this one a emails, when I meet people, at speaking engagements:

Q: What exactly is a personal coach?

A: Coaching is a powerful, ongoing relationship which focuses on clients making important changes in their lives. Coaching uses a process of inquiry and personal discovery to build a client’s level of awareness and responsibility, and provides the client with structure, support, and feedback. The coaching process helps clients to both define and achieve personal and professional goals faster and with more ease than would be possible otherwise. In coaching, the focus is on designing the future, not getting over the past.

The field of coaching is booming and there are many coaching niche areas. Business coaching for executives and teams has become quite popular. Coaching children and teens to help them excel with academics is on the rise, as is parenting coaching. Many small business owners higher coaches to help them increase revenue.

Coaching usually occurs in the context of a long-term relationship, where the client’s goals, dreams, and vision drive the action. The belief is that there are multiple paths to reach a goal, and that the client knows the way (though they might not realize it at the time). The coach assists the client to become a “change master.” To this end, coaching and adjustment to dietary changes go hand-in-hand.

How does coaching work?

Generally, most coaches have a structure that includes three to four sessions each month, with quick check-ins by phone and email in between. Coaching sessions can be either one-on-one, in small groups, or a combination of both. They can be in-person, via phone, or a combination of both throughout the month, which allows for financial and logistical flexibility. In-person sessions can include shopping, practice with advocating, and cooking.

A coach will encourage clients to set goals that they truly want, ask them to do more than they have done on their own, help them focus in order to produce results more quickly, and provide the tools, information, support, and structure to help them accomplish more. It’s like having a personal trainer to assist you with making adjustments to improve your life.

Who should consider hiring a personal coach that specializes in dietary restrictions?

Since coaching is all about helping others to make big life changes, it marries well with the niche of food allergies, intolerance, and sensitivities. You may want to consider hiring a coach if:

  • If you are feeling unsure as to how to adjust your lifestyle around your food challenges
  • If you are feeling limited by food allergies/intolerance/sensitivities
  • If you are not sure where to go for information or are overwhelmed by all the information you are finding
  • If you are restricting yourself from enjoying going out to restaurants, parties, etc.
  • If you are having difficulty sticking to your intolerance- or sensitivity-specific diet
  • If you are having difficulty getting your child's school to "get it"

It’s important to find someone that you “click” with. Most coaches offer a free initial session to help get to know them, and to answer any questions you might have about the coaching process.