Even chronic health problems can be significantly alleviated through diet and lifestyle change. When trying to reverse long-standing health problems, however, improvements can be slow to manifest, which is why I recommend a gradual approach and a time commitment of at least three months. (Research has found that it takes people anywhere from 18 to 254 days to form a new habit; the average length is 66 days, or 9 1/2 weeks. Yes, change takes time.)
The six-session Mediterranean Makeover is suited to anyone wanting to address --
- Excess weight / waist: Fatty tissue -- especially around the waist -- raises your risk of cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes, several types of cancer, Alzheimer's disease and osteoporosis. (More on this here.)
- Metabolic syndrome: (Pre)diabetes, fatty liver disease, hypertension, insulin resistance, high triglycerides & LDL, low HDL, etc.
- Digestive complaints: Irritable bowel syndrome, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, acid reflux, food allergies, constipation/diarrhea, etc.
- Immune problems: Frequent respiratory tract infections, thrush/candida overgrowth, sinusitis, allergies, autoimmune disease, etc.
- Hormonal or reproductive problems: PCOS, endometriosis, ovarian cysts, fibroids, fertility problems, erectile dysfunction, etc.
- Neurological conditions: Seizure disorders, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, MS, etc.
After the Nutritional Evaluation, we meet every other week for one hour to tackle your health issues in small, "do-able" steps. We begin each session with a 10-minute check-in and review of your food journal. Then we discuss the "theme of the week." The last five minutes are spent setting your homework assignment for the coming week. This is where the real learning takes place: when you integrate the new information you have learned into your day-to-day life.
I don't take a cookie-cutter approach to nutrition coaching and tailor each program to my client's specific needs. A "typical" program, however, would cover these topics:
Session 1 - Carbohydrates & insulin: “Good” vs. “bad” carbs and their effect on mood, weight, inflammation, digestion and cardio-metabolic health.
Session 2 - Fats & Protein: "Good” vs. “bad” fats. cholesterol and heart disease. Animal vs. plant protein. How much do you need?
Session 3 - Meal planning: Looking at easy, tasty ways to get healthy carbohydrates, fats and proteins into your daily diet.
Session 4 - Mighty microbiome: How to optimize your gut microbes (which are involved in almost every aspect of health).
Session 5 - Inflammation & microbiome: Inflammation is a major driver of disease, but diet, lifestyle and healthy gut microbes can help to cool it.
Session 6 - Sleep, stress management, movement and mindfulness: Supplement your healthy Mediterranean diet with these these four key pillars of health.
The program includes:
- A copy of my book Zest for Life: The Mediterranean Anticancer Diet
- A binder for your course material, including articles, handouts, meal planning templates and recipes
- Weekly homework assignments to help you apply what you have learned
- Feedback on your online food journal between sessions
Meetings last 60 minutes and are held in person at my Boulder or Denver offices or via video conference. Additional sessions or half-sessions to provide ongoing support can be scheduled after the program.