Finding your Healthiest Self with a Health Coach Julie February 25, 2015 Featured, Fitness, Health, NYC Services As someone who is constantly trying to figure out what it takes to be my healthiest self, I am always open to learning about new studies, research, advice, and tips that may help. All the information out there can be overwhelming and it’s hard to know who to trust. I recently met someone who has made a career of coaching people on how to find their healthiest self and I’m excited to share her story and advice with you. From Social Work to Health Coach Samantha Elkrief wasn’t always a health coach, and actually began her career studying social work. Being committed to helping others since childhood, social work seemed like an obvious career path. But in 2008, when she started to get sick in mysterious ways, she found ways to heal herself holistically and knew she wanted to help others do the same. She now believes that getting sick happened for a reason. Looking back, Samantha says, “I see how getting sick was a gift that has allowed me to find what I am most passionate about in life. Now I get to provide love and support to people who are struggling with their health, and most importantly, to help them find compassion for themselves in the middle of it.” About a year and a half ago Samantha got enrolled in a health coach certification program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. About halfway through the program she took a big leap and left her full-time job. She was able to find an awesome part-time job teaching cooking classes at farmers’ markets in low-income areas. Though it was super scary taking the plunge, she owes her success to the support from family, friends and her own coach. “They all were a huge blessing that helped me make health coaching a reality.” Work for Samantha is the opposite of a typical 9-5 job. You could even call being a Health Coach a 24/7 job for how much time and passion goes into it. “I love my work week because it’s different all the time. One day I’ll be making jars of natural deodorant, and the next day I’ll be coaching high schoolers in an afterschool program who are taking their first steps towards living healthier. Other days I’m teaching cooking classes, and in between all of that I have my beautiful clients that I support one on one.” Sounds like quite a handful, but what I find remarkable is how Samantha describes it, “Work and life have kinda merged into one, which I find really beautiful.” Sounds beautiful to me too. Even a Health Coach Needs to Take Care of Herself For someone who takes care of others on a regular basis, Samantha still finds time to make herself a priority. Overtime she’s found what foods work for her and sticks to the same breakfast almost every day; Gluten-free oats with lots of healthy mix-ins, such as almond butter, walnuts, chia seeds, cinnamon and sometimes wild organic blueberries. Her lunches vary depending on what’s in season, and dinner is usually a combination of what she’s cooked in bulk for week with the addition of leftovers in her fridge. This week she roasted fennel and broccoli with quiona, avocado and stewed zucchini. Want to stay healthy like Samantha? Here are her top 3 tips, from the Health Coach, for our Eat Up New York followers: My number one piece of advice is to be gentle with yourself. So many times we try to make changes by making ourselves wrong, depriving ourselves or condemning ourselves. Over the long run, this causes more harm than good. It takes time to make changes, and that’s totally ok. I like to remind my clients to take it one step at a time and to remember to acknowledge their progress, not just focus on the setbacks. Eat those veggies! Fill half your plate with vegetables at lunch and dinner and I guarantee you fill start to feel lighter and have more energy. Up those greens. Green vegetables are the universes gift to mankind. You don’t need to go on a juice cleanse to detoxify (you can if you want to!), just add greens to your everyday diet. They are natural detoxifiers that will improve your energy, skin, immune system and overall health. And for when you can’t cook for yourself, Samantha has nicely provided us with her top New York healthy spots she likes to dine out at. Hu Kitchen and Westville are favorites, but her top pick is dining at the Natural Gourmet Institute on Friday nights. They are a culinary school that specializes in preparing health supportive and plant-based foods. On Friday nights their graduating students prepare a delicious 3 course meal. It’s so special she even goes for her birthday every year! If you’re interested in a health coach consultation with Samantha and others services she provides, please contact her for more information. Click Here to check out here website.