Need some help making better food choices that’ll actually stick? Here are five health coaches who can help you keep those good habits going. By Erica Fong.
Mia Rappoport, The RASA Life
California native Mia Rappaport is the founder of The RASA Life, an online community that encourages healthy lifestyles through holistic wellness coaching and cleanses. Mia’s own dissatisfation with extreme juicing, raw food and carb-free diets drove her to seek out and create a more balanced lifestyle. She now helps others as a licensed holistic health coach from the Institute of Integrated Nutrition.
The RASA Life offers three- or six-month wellness coaching programs. For a total reboot, its signature cleanse comes with a guide to cleansing, daily emails with recipes and tips, personal email support, detailed shopping lists and cleanse-approved recipes. But rather than just juices, this cleanse allows you to eat proper food and clean proteins, while eliminating common allergens such as dairy, wheat and nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers.
Mia’s Health Tips
- Hydrate! Try to drink at least three litres of water per day and eat your share of hydrating foods like fruits, vegetables, soups and smoothies.
- Schedule time for yourself. Whether that’s indulging in a spa day, taking up yoga, running or simply finding a meditation practice, doing something that’s only for you will help you excel in the other areas of your life.
- Take advantage of local traditions. Chinese medicine has so many benefits. Treat yourself to regular foot massages, try acupuncture and cupping, and book appointments with expert local practitioners, which are available within a range of budgets.
Tired of yo-yo dieting? Founder of The Wellness Path, Tatiana Kuvardina is a certified transformational holistic health coach who specialises in mind-body nutrition and proper eating habits. While this may sound niche, a person’s relationship with food can actually reveal a lot about what’s going on inside.
A non-believer in “perfect eating systems” that fall to pieces in reality, Tatiana helps clients build sustainable, healthy habits when it comes to eating, and as a result, attain peace of mind, confidence around food and a more balanced eating approach that fits their lifestyle and goals.
Tatania’s Health Tips
- Always have a healthy snack with you. Don’t let yourself reach a point of being uncomfortably hungry or starving. Survival instinct kicks in and disables rational thinking and self-control.
- Cultivate mindful eating. This is one of the most powerful tools that can help you naturally eat less while getting more pleasure and satisfaction from your meals.
- Start paying attention to your eating behavior. The most effective way to improve your self-control around food is to understand what triggers your bad habits.
A Chinese Medicine Nutritionist who studied at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Judy Xu combines Chinese Medicine with integrative medicine from the West to help her clients achieve optimal health. Focusing on the long-term, her wellness coaching programs take a holistic approach to addressing imbalances, managing diets, improving energy levels and reducing stress.
Judy’s Health Tips
- Find your perfect food fit. One person’s food can be another person’s poison so it is essential to listen to your body’s individual needs and plan your diet accordingly.
- Create balance in an unbalanced city. To restore the balance of Yin and Yang, try some calming, yin-enhancing activities such as tai chi, yin yoga and jogging.
- Toxins take many forms: that person who makes you feel low, that pile of dirty laundry on your bedroom floor, that argument you never resolved with your parents. Identify these toxins then find ways to keep them at bay.
Self-proclaimed foodie and nature girl, Paloma Gerber studied art in Paris before moving back to her hometown of Hong Kong, where she now teaches the art of healthy living through her personal health coaching programs. Certified by the Institute for Integrated Nutrition, her one-on-one programs are typically four months long and often tackle the underlying issues and belief systems that result in poor health.
Paloma’s Health Tips
- Drink lots of water first thing in the morning to flush out your digestive system.
- Take advantage of Hong Kong’s nature! Pok Fu Lam has a lovely hike with lots of natural streams, and Quarry Bay is also convenient.
- Stop by one of Hong Kong’s many juice stands for a fresh juice: apple, carrot and ginger is loaded with anti-aging, beautifying and anti-inflammatory properties.
Founder of The Health Seed, Karen Holt is a writer, yoga teacher and holistic health and wellness coach who brings healthy living inspiration to all through her classes, programs… and dreamy Instagram smoothie posts.
Leaving behind a career in fashion retail, she now works with personal and corporate clients on improving their health, and is a big believer in getting in harmony with nature, living a simpler life and making the connection between ourselves, our food and the planet.
Karen’s Health Tips
- Bring out your inner Masterchef. Cooking your own food can be easy, fast and delicious. Plus, you know exactly what’s going in there and you can ensure your food is made with love.
- Add more plants into your diet. Rather than giving up the things you love, have them AND eat as many gorgeous veggies (especially those leafy greens!) as you like.
Cristina Rodenbeck, Ignition Coaching
A former advertising executive who managed multinational clients in Asia, Europe and Brazil for 11 years, Cristina Rodenbeck is now an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) and International Coach Federation (ICF) health professional accredited with Ignition, a career, executive and wellness coaching company with offices in Hong Kong and New York. Knowing firsthand the stresses that come with corporate life, she has been helping busy executives across the world achieve their business goals and greater work-life balance since 2008
Cristina’s Health Tips:
- Try Bach Flower Remedies to correct emotional imbalances. Meditation, mindfulness and yoga are also excellent tools.
- Avoid gadgets an hour before bedtime and switch to a good book instead.
- Incorporate superfoods such as maca powder, goji berries and raw cacao to help build physical resilience.
Health Coach, Nutritionist or Dietitian?
With so many titles out there, it can be hard to know what kind of dietary expert best suits your needs. We’ve got a handy cheat sheet to help you figure out the key differences between these roles.
A health coach takes a holistic view of a client’s health, and looks at all aspects of their life to help them make and keep healthy habits, and enhance overall wellbeing. They are best suited to addressing non-serious health concerns, like how to eat for increased energy, reduce bloating, or break unhealthy snack habits. Diplomas and qualifications are available.
A registered nutritionist will have a degree or qualification in nutrition and health sciences. They can help you work through digestive problems, allergies and intolerances. “Nutritionist” is not a protected title, so be sure to check credentials. In Hong Kong, nutritionists should be registered with the Hong Kong Nutrition Association (fmshk.org).
Most commonly found in a medical setting, dietitians are able to help patients suffering from serious diseases. They have to follow a rigid code of conduct and dispense only approved nutrition advice. In Hong Kong they must have an MSc in dietetics from HKUSpace (or equivalent) and be registered with the Hong Kong Dietitians Association (www.hkda.com.hk).