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What is a Health Coach?
A Health Coach is a guide and mentor who empowers you, and provides ongoing support and guidance as you set goals and make sustainable changes that improve your health and happiness.
EcoMotion's Health Coaching service emphasizes holistic health & wellness, and offers a support system that is unique to your needs. As your health coach, I will guide you to define and achieve your health goals, and offer solutions through nutrition and lifestyle changes.
Melanie Johnson is a holistic health & wellness coach who helps women overcome stress/emotional eating by phasing in plant-based foods, prioritizing whole foods, deconstructing cravings, harnessing self-care, & healing their relationship with their body.
Melanie also works with clients around general health goals, stress management, & balanced living.
Wondering if health coaching is a good fit for you?
My Story & Why I Coach
My relationship to food has not always been harmonious. I remember feeling very confused in high school as I tried to navigate what I was supposed to eat... All the different fad diets and food pyramids... messages about daily caloric intake, "low fat" foods, "diet" foods.... Somehow I always set myself up for failure as I tried to follow any guideline that I learned about. This confusion and constant failed mission to "eat right" stayed with me well into adulthood.
I spent years struggling with emotional overeating and stress-management, and often found myself in a vicious cycle that occurred as these two issues literally fed into each other. I fell into weight fluctuations, and intense body image issues.
These issues were intensified as I was dancer. In the competitive dance world, where one spends the majority of their time in class for hours in front of a mirror, dressed to expose every curve, dancers are often susceptible to comparing themselves to classmates and to the ideal image of what their body “should” look like. As I was also experiencing emotional eating at this time, I often felt either lost in my body, or disconnected from it.
It wasn’t until I learned the value of self-care that I began to feel shifts in my eating and my well-being. Through yoga, breath work, meditation, and other holistic modalities, I began the journey of re-learning my relationship to food, stress management, and overall emotional health... I also found new strategies to take care of myself along the way. This was a slow moving-process that occurred over several years.
Seven years into this, I had transformed significantly. However, there was still a bit of emotional overeating that was lingering in my life. I decided to devote myself to a 100% plant-based, whole-food ingredient diet. Now, I had been passionate about healthy eating for most of my life, and followed a primarily vegetarian/pescatarian diet for twelve years. But I still allowed bits of processed food into my diet.
When I made that final change, not once did I think about calories, portion-size, the “right” or “wrong” time of day to eat, or the “right” or “wrong” type of food to have. The only dietary guidelines I followed were: 100% pure whole-food & plant-based ingredients, zero processed or artificial ingredients, and following my cravings & instincts.
(Note: I am not suggesting that everyone thrives best on a diet that is meat and/or dairy-free).
When I made this change, something just clicked. I could feel my body resetting and healing. I learned to listen to what my cravings were asking for. I experienced total satisfaction and pure nourishment as I instinctively ate the types and portions of food that were appropriate and healthy for me.
This is what led me to become a health coach, and to guide clients to find these types of life-changing skills for themselves. At the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, I learned a great deal more about the science of why this occurred for me when I switched to 100% whole and pure ingredients…And I want to share this with YOU!
No One Diet Works For Everyone
Most approaches to healthy eating dwell on calories, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. This one-size-fits-all approach rarely leads to lasting change. Instead of creating lists of restrictions and good and bad foods, I coach my clients to explore basic improvements and implement gradual changes during our work together. As these pieces accumulate, my clients find these changes collectively create a much larger impact than they originally anticipated. We work on what they want to improve within the circumstances of their unique situation. Together, we will find the food and lifestyle choices that best support you.
The concept of bio-individuality is the idea that each of us has unique food and lifestyle needs. One person’s food is another person’s poison, and that’s why fad diets tend to fail in the long run. Working on the principle of bio-individuality, Melanie will support you to make positive changes that are based on your unique needs, lifestyle, preferences, and ancestral background.
Cravings play a critical role in understanding what your body needs and shouldn’t be ignored. When you learn how to deconstruct your cravings and understand what they’re really telling you, you will be able to reclaim a sense of balance and harmony.
Many nutrition experts give their clients a list of foods to avoid and foods to eat, which explains why so many people are turned off by nutrition. My approach is different – by eating and drinking foods that are good for you, you will naturally have less room and desire for unhealthy foods. Simply put, you will crowd out the unhealthy food in your diet. This takes a little practice to make happen, but I will support you along the way.
It’s easy to overlook all of the things that contribute to our sense of nourishment and fulfillment. It’s not just the food we eat that affects our health, but all of the other factors present in our daily lives. Healthy relationships, a fulfilling career, regular physical activity, and a spiritual awareness are essential forms of nourishment. When these primary foods are balanced, what you eat becomes secondary. I will support you in achieving all of your goals, from eating the right foods for your body to living an inspired, fulfilling life.
I graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where I learned innovative coaching methods, practical lifestyle management techniques, and over 100 dietary theories – Ayurveda, gluten-free, Paleo, raw, vegan, macrobiotics, and everything in between.
I studied with the world's top health and wellness experts including:
· Joshua Rosenthal, founder and director of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition
· Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, chair of nutrition at Harvard University
· Andrew Weil, MD, director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine
· Gabrielle Bernstein, bestselling author and life coach
· Susan Blum, MD, MPH, assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine
· Mark Hyman, MD, founder of The UltraWellness Center
· Geneen Roth, bestselling author and expert on emotional eating
· David Wolfe, raw food leader and nutrition expert
· Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, professor at New York University’s Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health
· Mark Bittman, food writer for The New York Times and bestselling author
· Joel Fuhrman, MD, family physician and leading expert on nutritional healing
My education has equipped me with extensive, cutting-edge knowledge in holistic nutrition, health coaching, and prevention. Drawing on my expertise, I work with my clients to help make lifestyle changes and choose health-promoting ways that produce real and lasting results. You will develop a deeper understanding of food and lifestyle choices that work best for you, improving your energy, balance, health, and happiness.
Each session will leave you feeling inspired and motivated. We will talk about things beyond food, seeking to bring balance to important elements of your life such as love and relationships as well as career and money. I will personally and carefully guide you to make simple, small changes that transform your life.