Saturday, January 13, 2018


The Health Coach Revolution - Doctors Aren't Enough by Chris Kresser

We don't need more information... Most people know that eating poorly, not exercising, not getting enough sleep and engaging in other unhealthy lifestyle habits is not good for them. Yet they continue these behaviors anyway, or they chase quick fixes that don’t last for more than a few weeks.

The average visit with a primary care provider in the Unites States is ten to twelve minutes, with newer doctors spending as little as eight minutes per visit with patients. That’s barely enough time to say hello, review the patient’s current medications, and possibly prescribe a new one. It’s not even remotely enough time to assess what behavior and lifestyle changes would be most effective for the patient and provide the support necessary for sustaining them for a lifetime.

People want to feel good, avoid chronic disease and live a long life. They want to see their children and grandchildren grow up and have the energy to play with them. They want to perform better at work, enjoy their relationships, and be well enough to get the most out of life. But there’s a big difference between wanting the benefits of being healthy and consistently engaging in the behaviors that lead to health. That’s where health coaches come in. Coaches are trained in a number of disciplines that support people in making lasting change.

I’m not arguing that health coaches will replace doctors. Doctors and other licensed clinicians will always be required to order lab tests, analyze those results, diagnose disease, prescribe treatment and coordinate care. Health coaches aren’t trained to do those things, just as doctors aren’t trained to support behavior change.

I’m advocating for an approach that utilizes the professional that is best trained and suited for each particular need: health coaches to support diet, lifestyle, and behavior change, and doctors to practice medicine.

The writing is on the wall: chronic disease is destroying our quality of life, shortening our lifespan, bankrupting our country and threatening the health of future generations. It’s clearer than ever that our “disease management” system, which was designed to address medical emergencies and other acute conditions, is not prepared for the challenge of chronic disease. We desperately need a new solution – one that is affordable, timely and suitable for the task at hand. In short, we need a health coach revolution!


Some key take-aways from Why You Need a Health Coach Now More than Ever by Chris Kresser

You may have noticed that doctors lack the time and training to help us make lasting changes in areas such as diet, physical activity, sleep, and stress management, which are crucial for addressing chronic disease.

If we want to stem the rising tide of chronic disease, we need a new model of health care that is better equipped to support patients in changing their behavior. And that's where health coaches come in. I believe they will play an important role in a new, more holistic approach to wellness.

Health coaches are ideally positioned and trained to support you in changing your diet, lifestyle, and behavior—which is the single most important step you can take to address chronic disease.

A well-trained health coach acts as a guide and ally, helping you create new, healthy habits, let go of unhealthy behaviors, transform your health goals into realities, and ultimately become their own most powerful advocate. Health coaches also help you identify potential stumbling blocks and hold you accountable for your health behaviors so that you have the best chance of reaching your goals. By teaching you the skills you need to live a healthy life, health coaching can significantly lower long-term health care expenditures, making this a cost-effective approach for various socioeconomic backgrounds.

The medical community has begun to catch on to the benefits of health coaching, and a growing body of research indicates that health coaching can significantly improve outcomes for patients with chronic diseases.

The urgency of our health care situation means that healing needs to become a team effort, and I believe that the unique skills of health coaches are going to play a pivotal role in stopping the epidemic of chronic disease and empowering all of us to take responsibility for our own health.


Josh LaJaunie and his Missing Chins Running Club on Today
Q: Wasn't giving up meat hard?
A: Not as hard as walking around with 400 pounds.

I came across this article on fiber and even though it's 12 years old it's still relevant - probably even more so now.

From Is a Plant-Based Diet Actually Legitimate?
"The positive environmental effects are clear: it is more energy efficient to eat plants than to feed plants to animals and then eat the animals." - Jessica Green, asst. professor of environmental studies at NY university

"In 30 years or so, we will no longer need to kill any animals and that all meat will either be lab- or plant-based, taste the same, and also be much healthier for everyone." - entrepreneur Richard Branson

Friday, December 29, 2017


Below is a great 14 minute video from the folks at Plant Based News. Here are a few of my favorite quotes from it;

“Distorting the truth to the public has become a science, become an art form. You can hire professional organizations to plant doubt in the public’s mind and through the media.” – Dr. Michael Klaper

Regarding milk consumption, Dr. Neal Barnard says, “One of the rules that nature laid down for every mammalian species is that you have to get weened at some point.”

“We’re literally on the cusp of what could be a seismic revolution in health and this seismic revolution is never going to come about through the invention of another pill or a drug or a procedure.” – Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn

“I’m getting a little bit tired of my colleagues using their laziness as an excuse for not moving forward with something. Because if you take the time to look into this… you’ll find an enormous amount of data to support the use of diet for almost every chronic degenerative condition.” - Pamela Popper, PhD

Thursday, December 28, 2017


Here are some cool sites and articles I came across lately;

I signed up for Veganuary and set my start date to January 1st.

I just discovered The Green Plate which has a vegetarian starter guide, community, meal planner.

Here are 11 reasons why 2017 WAS THE TIPPING POINT for veganism and 12 TIPS FOR NEW VEGANS.

A vegan fast-casual chain you've never heard of is expanding nationwide — and that should scare legacy brands. I hope they come to Minnesota.

Finally, I'll share the best medicine doctors don’t tell you about. 


I'm sure I have lots of problems. One of them is that once I get into something, I try to gather as much data as possible through books, documentaries, email newsletters, websites, apps, etc. As you can imagine in this information age, this can be overwhelming. One of my goals for 2018 is to go deeper into a few good sources, rather than trying to scratch the surface of every resource possible. This includes developing a better method for absorbing information, especially from books. Ideally, I'd buy all the books I read and simply highlight all the info that I find helpful. However, that'd get expensive, so I try to utilize the library as much as possible. But that means taking notes - which can be great for helping me to retain the info, however, it slows down the  process. And, again, this can be hard for someone who wants to learn as much as possible. 

Typically, the websites I follow also send out weekly email newsletters. This is great, but typically I follow so many that I end up not reading any - or just skimming the data. I've been trying to do a better job of this lately too. At the start of every year I like to spend time purging social media that I no longer find useful. This can mean anything from unfollowing "friends", deleting apps, unsubscribing from emails, to clearing out my favorites/bookmarks.

One newsletter that I still read each week is from Brad Stulburg and Steve Magness at Peak Performance. I haven't read their book yet, but it's on my list of "must reads". Their writings are directly linked to nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, but they are about getting the most out of yourself, which is another thing I'm interested in. One of their recent newsletters, under the section Coaching Corner: Choose Reflections not Goals, they talk about their approach to reviewing the notes that took throughout the year.

My objective is simple, filter all of [my notes] down into ideas or concepts that I need to look into further or could potentially apply in the future... the task is to continually narrow all of the thoughts that sparked interest throughout the year into usable and actionable sound bites that lead to functional change in behaviors or, at the least, further exploration. I filter the notes by asking a simple question: Does this cover material I fundamentally need to know when coaching/writing, or is it something I could use elsewhere in my life? If it’s fundamental to coaching, for example, then I take the idea and put it into my “cheat sheet guide to coaching.”  If it’s something that I can use elsewhere, then I sort it into an evernote file based on a number of topics (e.g., Training, Psychology, Writing, Motivation, etc.). After going through all of my notes, I write down the key takeaways from the year. This is supposed to be a concise list that I can glance back at, reminding me of what I learned in the previous year and what seemed important to take forward. In this way, my reflections turn into actionable behaviors.
I'm definitely going to try an incorporate something like this in 2018.

One of my other problems is getting into too many things at once. Here's a list of a few things on my mind lately;

1) Expanding my cooking knowledge. As mentioned above this includes way too many websites, books and apps, which is a topic of it's own blog post. Most recently, I just finished up and online cooking course called Rouxbe (i.e. Ruby). It's a 60-day course that outlines both the "why" and the "how" when it comes to a WFPB approach to eating. If you already eat like this and enjoy cooking, then you probably won't get a lot out of the course. However, if this is new to you and you'd like to learn some cooking skills, it's well worth the $200.

2) Sharing my knowledge. I think part of the reason that we're in a healthcare crisis is that people simply don't realize the impact the foods we eat can have on our health. One of my biggest goals for 2018 is to take all this knowledge I'm acquiring and turn it into a community education class. Ideally, it'd be 2 classes, the first is the "why" and a second is the "how". So basically a discussion class, followed by a cooking class.

3) Trying to listen to every episode of The Rich Roll Podcast. I can't recommend this podcast highly enough. It's not just about nutrition. It's about being your most authentic self. I never listened to podcast until last winter. I was doing a lot of running in the cold, dark mornings and I spent a lot of time with Rich in my earbuds. I've since replaced listening to the radio during my commute with podcasts. I figure why listen to something that I have no control over (music, conversations, commercials, etc.), when I could listen to the topics I want? I think radio stations should be very worried. Anyway, if you go to the Apple store, you'll get access to Rich's last 50 episodes. But, if you download Rich's app, you'll have access to all of his 300+ episodes.

4) I'm trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up that will allow me to be the best version of myself. This includes figuring out what's important to me, rather than what society thinks is important for me. Things I'm trying include watching less sports - especially football, not "having" to drink IPAs, meditating more (check out the headspace app), not eating animal products, etc.

5) Thinking about my health coaching course, which starts in mid-January, and trying to figure out a business model that will help make my efforts a success.

Okay, that seems like a lot to chew on, so I'll leave it there for now.

Sunday, December 17, 2017


Here are a few articles I came across recently. As someone who has 2 rescue dogs, I found this story really touching.

We shouldn't have to defend a vegan or WFPB diet to our doctors, but if you do, this article includes 5 key benefits and 5 concerns to discuss with your doctor 

An article from the official journal of the College of Family Physicians of Canada stating "The general public and popular media are becoming increasingly aware of the health benefits of a plant-based diet. As physicians, we should not lag behind them. We should acknowledge the health benefits of a plant-based diet, but we should go further, too, and actually recommend its use to our patients."


The Health Coach Revolution - Doctors Aren't Enough  by Chris Kresser We don't need more information... Most people know that eati...