“Click here to listen to Health Coaching to Find Balance

 

Hello, everyone! It’s Dr. Trish Murray from Discover Health Functional Medicine Center, and my podcast entitled Discover Health Podcast. Today, we’re going to be discussing with Health Coach Trish Chaput, the title of this podcast is, Health Coaching to Find Balance. As you know I had a few recent podcasts with the instructors from our Discover Health Movement Membership. We’ve all been talking about balance in the last month or so. So, we invited Trish Chaput, our health coach, onto the show. Welcome, Trish!

Thanks! Good to be here.

Yeah, it’s great to have you. At Discover Health Functional Medicine Center there is Dr. Trish (myself of course) and then there is Health Coach Trish. It’s not really hard to have to remember multiple names. What we’re going to do is I’m going to start right out with reading Trish Chaput, the health coach’s, bio. Then we’re going to get into a discussion all about how health coaches can help you to find balance. Here’s the bio. Here you go.

Trish Chaput has spent her career teaching, learning, and collaborating. She started as a teacher of young children before pursuing a master’s degree in architecture. While working in project management, Trish was responsible for gathering lessons learned and feeding them forward to inform decisions for building and sustainability projects in the United States, the U.K., and all throughout Europe.

Over the years, Trish found herself being drawn more and more to the topic of health and wellness. Programs she was working on were large and very long-term. She longed to have a more direct and immediate positive impact on people’s well-being. Trish completed her Level 1 and 2 training with Precision Nutrition and began helping clients change their habits and live healthier lives. Coach Trish is passionate about bringing out the best in others to help them improve their lives. She founded Simply Better Coaching with her husband, Jim Chaput, to help people take simple steps to better their life.

In 2018, she joined our team at Discover Health Functional Medicine Center as our health coach. She runs our D.E.N.T. Program which comes from my first book, Make a D.E.N.T. in Chronic Disease. It’s an entire program and curriculum. She teaches classes, delivers neurofeedback, and works with patients one-on-one to reach their goals. We are so ecstatic to have Coach Trish with us because she is absolutely amazing.

Trish, first question I always like to ask folks that I either haven’t had on the show for quite some time or never been on the show is – how have you come to be of service the way you are now? We read a little and touched on a few things, but what’s so interesting to people I think is what’s drawn us into this functional medicine world and how we found our way here. So, how did you get here?

 

Yeah, I think my story is probably similar to many people who, like yourself, found functional medicine through our own health journey or lack of health journey. I started having all kinds of health issues as early as when I was in high school. Mainly gut issues, terrible joint pain. A lot of it was probably stress, who knows what. In my twenties, I developed acid reflux; I had brain fog; I started getting symptoms of ADD which I had never had as a kid. Back in my twenties, Jim and I used to play beach volleyball. Every weekend we’d stop and get ice cream on the way home. That was something I always had. I always had dairy. Over time I started getting massive stomach pains every time I had dairy, like an hour later. I couldn’t possibly make the connection. I thought, well, I’ve always eaten this. How could it possibly be dairy? Then I thought, okay, maybe I’m lactose intolerant because that happens to people. So, I took the Lactaid pill and I just kept eating the way I was eating and doing what I was doing, getting sicker, still not feeling right. I went to doctors, got all kinds of tests, and nobody could figure out what was going on. So, my dad used to tease me when I was in my twenties like, “You’re old before your time. What are you going to do when you’re my age?” I used to kind of joke back, “Oh, Dad. I’m getting it all over with when I’m young. I’m just going to get better with age.” Right? I didn’t even know what was going on or why, but I thought, I’ve got to get better because I can’t get worse.

Fast forward about fifteen years. I was living in London. I had never gotten to the bottom of my health issues, but I had started cleaning up my diet. I started feeling better, and then grains and dairy and gluten and stuff started creeping back in. Every time I went on vacation, I was eating out a lot. I would get sick. I still couldn’t figure it out and didn’t know why. There was a delayed response, not always a one-to-one. I just couldn’t figure out what was going on.

I sought out a nutritionist after reading and listening to Dr. Perlmutter’s Grain Brain book. All of the sudden a lightbulb went off. I looked at all of these symptoms and I went, oh my God! I think gluten is my issue! Maybe gluten and dairy, I don’t know. I’ve got to figure this out. I found this nutritionist. She took my comprehensive history kind of like what we do with patients. She was like, “Yeah, I can tell you right now you can’t eat gluten.” And I was like, “What? What are you talking about?” From all my symptoms, all the inflammation, leaky gut, all these things that were going on she told me I couldn’t eat gluten or dairy. I was not necessarily accepting of this right away! I bought some food antibody testing and sure enough, gluten and dairy off the charts. Can’t have it. What was interesting is I had gotten biopsy for celiac years before that and they told me it wasn’t gluten. Gluten was fine. I didn’t have celiac, so I kept eating it doing more and more damage.

Now, as I know now from working with you now that I’m much more informed about this stuff is, I could have gotten to the bottom of things a lot earlier with a comprehensive elimination diet. As I started delving into this stuff, I quit gluten and dairy cold turkey. I felt amazing. Within three or four months of having gut healing protocol, healed my leaky gut. All my joint pain went away. All my brain fog went away. My ADD went away. Everything I had been dealing with for like twenty years! I was like, this is crazy. So, I started chasing down the rabbit hole of health, getting more and more interested. The more I realized my proclamation to my dad had come true. I felt better in my forties than I did in my twenties. I was like, oh my gosh! Everybody has to know about this. How do I help people like me? I was getting a little disenfranchised working on these giant projects. I wasn’t having immediate impact on people. I started coaching folks and then pursued my health coaching training because I was like, I really want to help other people who are feeling so bad feel as good as I do.

That’s where I am!

That’s awesome. You know, we each have our story in the essence of how we ended up getting well after not being well. The path is so amazing that you can feel this good and age this well and move as well as we do. It’s always been time for me to take the things I’ve learned and to pass it on to others. That’s what led me too, of course, down this path and into the functional medicine world.

So, Trish, I’ve been recently having conversations with the different instructors from our Discover Health Movement Membership. Folks may notice over my head is of course the logo for Discover Health Functional Medicine Center and also the logo for our Discover Health Movement Membership as well as how to go to our website and how to get to our website for our Discover Health Movement Membership program. But, you know, we’ve been talking about the theme or the concept of balance. Obviously, it’d be great to hear from you that health coaches…what does the concept of balance mean to you as a health coach?

Sure. I love, by the way, what you’ve done pulling together the instructors that we have for the Discover Health Movement Membership. I get so much out of that program myself. I get to facilitate a lot of those classes. I’m there participating and it’s just an amazing combination. Yeah, I love it. I think that touches on one area for me of balance. Balance is definitely physical. Moving and our fascia and connective tissue and all those things that you talk about. Physical is a part of it, but also emotional and social.

For me, as a health coach, if your nutrition is amazing but your stress is through the roof, your sleep is poor, and you’ve got no social connections, you’re not going to be in balance. Your health isn’t going to be optimal. If you’ve got a great support system and you sleep really well but you eat terribly and never exercise, then you’re not going to be in balance, right? Nutrition, sleep, stress, exercise, and social connections are all part of it. I think sometimes people think they can only come to me for nutrition. They have an idea of what maybe a health coach is, or they’ve never worked with a coach. They may have worked with a dietician or someone specifically on food. Sometimes I’ll be working with people and they’re surprised to realize that I can also help with sleep and stress and these other things that sort of round out their health. I love doing that whole picture.

Yeah, you know, some people get so focused. At times, that’s important too, to break it down and deal with the parts and focus on, let’s say, your body. Or then another time, okay, my body’s doing pretty good, but now I want to focus on my mind. The concept of body, mind, spirit. Sometimes I want to focus on my diet and not necessarily focus on supplements. Other times it’s like, well wait a minute. Diet alone isn’t doing it for me, so I do need to supplement, and I need to figure out which ones work best for me. Yeah, I get it. At many times we do want to work on one thing at a time so we can focus, but the idea as you’re saying is balance overall is what’s going to really optimize someone’s health and be able to help them transform their life completely. So, it’s a journey it’s not a destination. You need to start somewhere and take one step at a time. Before you know it, you’re jogging. Before you know it, you can handle multiple things at the same time. Or one is doing quite well and it’s time to focus on another aspect so that again you have better balance in all of the different aspects and categories.

So, what does it look like? How do you work with people to help them achieve balance in their own lives? Where do you start? What does it look?

So, I work with people individually as a coach or for small group classes like you talked about the D.E.N.T. curriculum. We do group classes. The starting point for folks really depends on what each person needs from a coach and where they are in their journey, right? It’s really personal just like any of your recommendations for folks as so personalized. People come to us at different starting points. Some of the clients I work with are really knowledgeable. They’ve done tons of research; they’ve been doing this for years, or they know what they need to do but they just need some accountability. Maybe they want a bit of a sounding board like, “Hey, I did this research and that research. What do you guys think I should focus on? How do I make this able to be implemented in my life?” Sometimes I help people with a stumbling block. Other times you get people who are like, “I don’t even know where to start.” We get people in all ranges of their journey and all ranges of how much they know about where they want to go and how to get there.

Sometimes I’m helping people individually like on a weekly basis for maybe up to a year. Sometimes I’m touching base with people, a very light touch, like I just need a meeting every once in a while. Sometimes I just meet with somebody once because they’ve gotten your recommendations and they’re like, “Okay, what do I do with this? How do I make this real, and where do I start? I’m a little bit like, oh no! I’ve got to do a bunch of different things, and I’m not sure what to do.” I help get them on their way, and they may or may not want further support.

There’s no one size fits all. I meet everybody where they’re at. I figure out what they’re looking for, what they need, and collaborate with them to go from there. With our group classes, that’s really fun because we can focus on certain topics that are of interest to people, but then I can tailor the class to the group each time. It does change. We bring new things in, and they get to learn not just from me but from each other. I always learn from them too which is really fun.

You’re doing a class right now.

We are.

Tell me about that.

Yeah! So, we’re doing Sugar Busters right now for the second time. The second annual, holiday season Sugar Busters class, I guess! This one was something we did last year, and folks wanted to focus particularly on combatting cravings and dealing with the kind of sugar-laden junk food season of Halloween through Christmas. So, we’re doing this year eight weeks online and just tackling whatever folks are doing for cravings.

One of the participants from last year is doing it again this year. She made it last year all the way from when we started in, I think, November until August without having sugar! Yeah! That was amazing. And she really enjoyed the support of the group. She’s actually the one who requested that we do the class again. She said, “Okay. I was doing really, really well and then COVID came. I also went away for a weekend or something and things got a little off track. I had such good results from the support of the group. Can we do it again?” So, we’ve got her rejoining and we’ve got three other people who have never done it before. Yeah, it’s great!

That’s awesome. And that class is online, correct?

Yeah. So, anybody can join from anywhere which is great. Last time we had people from three totally different places. This year, same thing. We have some people local and some people from further away. They can just join, and we do it on Zoom. It’s a great way to connect.

You started this week on Monday evening. Can people join even though the group has gotten started?

Yeah, absolutely. Definitely. Last week was our getting started week, our kick-off. Anyone who wants to join who sees this podcast, we’re happy to get you up to speed. It’s a really friendly and fun, welcoming group. So, sure!

How do people learn about the different classes, like when they’re available? What’s going on? How do they find that out?

The best way if you just want to get a sense of what’s going on all the time is to always check our website www.discoverhealthfmc.com which is right above Dr. Trish’s head there on the screen. We have right on the top of the website there’s events and there’s always a calendar there. You can read all about what’s going on. [Dr. Trish] does a free webinar that’s great every month. I think our classes will be on there. The other way is you can just email me at [email protected]. I’m happy to answer any questions or let you know what we’ve got coming up. Or give us a call. Our number is on the website as well. Yeah, any of those ways will get you up to speed.

Folks, functional medicine, one of the major things it’s known for, is getting to the root cause of your chronic problems medically or health wise, but also, it’s personalized medicine as Trish was mentioning. We do a timeline of your entire life. I want to know your whole life history. What’s happened to you in your life whether it be medical issues, physical traumas, or emotional traumas has brought you to where you are today. That’s how we’re able to understand you and what’s brought you to where you are. Then we can personalize the approach. Which systems of your body are out of function or dysfunctional? How do we help you bring balance to it? Then, as Trish said, if I meet with you as a physician and we come up with a plan, well, a lot of people need help implementing that plan. We could call it handholding, but that’s really too extreme a term. It’s more just helping you walk the walk and understand, where am I going to get this? Where do I buy that? What am I going to substitute for this or that? Coach Trish has already done all of this and can help you enormously.

Another thing is our D.E.N.T. curriculum is again from my first book Make a D.E.N.T. in Chronic Disease. The D.E.N.T. in an acronym that stands for detox, exercise, nutrition, and transformation of stress. If you really want an introduction to functional medicine, if you want an introduction and understand why you develop immune system dysfunction in particular and autoimmunity, and you want to get started on fixing it and healing your life and transforming your life then take a look at that book. Then, we also have an entire curriculum on detox, an entire curriculum on exercise to help you learn and to personalize it for you, a whole curriculum on nutrition, and a whole curriculum on transforming your stress. Again, there is so much information that if you engross yourself in it and you step in and get involved, you’d be amazing at where you’ll be in six months, eight months, ten months, three months. You’re going to feel so much better.

Trish, what kind of challenges do you typically see people face in trying to reach their goals and trying to find balance in their health?

Everybody’s challenges are unique, but I think there are some common problems that I see that people face when they come to me and are looking for some help. The first one, and this is in no particular order, information overload and its closely related cousin – not knowing where or how to start. So, we have access to so much information now on the internet, but it gets a little bit like, oh my gosh. I don’t even know what to do. There are so many conflicting things out there. How do I even get my head around it?

The next one is allowing overwhelm such as in that instance, inertia, or past habits to keep people from moving forward, right? It’s like, I’ve always done X. I could never do this. Getting kind of in your own way in terms of not being able to move forward, right? Being their own worst enemy – that’s another one I see a lot. Either setting yourself up for failure by taking on something that’s so enormous like, I’ve got to overhaul my entire diet and that’s so overwhelming I don’t even know what to do. Then I beat myself up for not doing it. Or not giving themselves credit for success.

I love to focus on what people are doing right and what’s working well and what they can have rather than the foods they need to cut out or the things that aren’t going well. It’s good to know those things for context, but there are plenty of things people are doing well and they don’t give themselves any credit.

The last one, I think, is I can’t count how many times I’ve heard from people, “I know what I need to do, but I just don’t do it.” It’s interesting because that one you might think you know what you need to do, and maybe you kind of do, but if you consistently don’t do it maybe it’s not the right thing. Maybe it’s the wrong approach for you or maybe you’re resisting it for a certain reason, and we should look at something else. I think those would be the biggest challenges that I see in common.

And I must admit that I hear that last one a lot. “I know what I need to do, but I’m just not doing it.” I think to myself many times when I hear that it’s like, you do, do you? I’ve been studying this stuff for the last twelve years and I sometimes still am struggling to figure it out for myself or for others.

Yeah.

It’s complex and it does need to be individualized. It’s problematic, I think, when people start to think, I know what to do. In some regards, we all know the ABCs, but the EFGHIJ and to personalize it and to find out exactly what’s right for you based on your story and your history and what you’re dealing with every day. It’s not that simple, it just isn’t.

Yeah. I think that’s a really good point. The other thing that comes to mind to me with that phrase is, “I know what I need to do, but I don’t do it” is a little bit of a translation for, “I’m pretty sure I think I know what I’m supposed to be doing, but I don’t want to do it.” Right? So, the internet or other people or what I think society wants me to do…I know I think I’m supposed to… People assume because I’m a health coach, “Oh, are you a vegan? Or are you a vegetarian?” And I’m not, but for whatever reason a lot of people have a preconceived notion that I must be X because I’m a health coach or I’ve always eaten this way. Let’s not get started on how I used to eat. There was a journey. I think people think, oh, I’m supposed to do whatever and it’s an impossible thing and I really don’t want to do it. They’re like, I know what I need to do, but they’re resisting it. Maybe you think you know what you need to do, but maybe that’s not what you need to do! There’s something else that will work just as well. Yeah.

The other thing is again it’s a journey. We’re all sometimes right on that path and we’re living it and we’re loving it and we’re doing really well. Then something happens or we just have a bad day or a bad week or a bad month or stress or the responsibilities in our lives drive off the wagon, off the road. That’s life and that happens, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t get back on.

Right.

Just like getting back on the horse.

Absolutely.

What kind of challenges do you typically see people face in trying to reach their goals?

Yeah, I think like you were saying knowing what they need to do, being their own worst enemy, not knowing where to start, and the information overload. I think those would be the top ones.

What strategies or tools can people use to achieve better balance in their daily lives? What are the strategies and tools you help people with?

So, I’ve got a lot of different strategies and tools. What I thought I would do, because I knew we were maybe going to talk about this, is highlight I’ve got two strategies for identifying opportunities for improvement. If somebody’s life and their health is out of balance, how they might figure out what they need to work on. I’ve got two strategies for actually taking action. Once you know what you need to work and you do know what to do, how do you do it? These are just a couple of examples, right? Basically, what I do is I help people find the things that work for them. You might try something and be like, no that doesn’t work for me. Okay, let’s try something else. Two opportunities for improvement or identifying them.

One – a great tool is a daily journal. I use this a lot. People do a food journal. It’s not just that, it’s not just logging your food. It’s not just all about calories or anything like that. Food, symptoms, sleep, stress, hydration – all those things that we talked about with balance. Using a daily journal is a great tool for many reasons. It allows you to see patterns. It raises your awareness. I don’t know how many times I’ve done this type of thing for myself and I was like, I don’t want to put that down. I’m not going to eat that. I make healthier choices just because all of the sudden it’s like, Oh, that’s right. I’m going to have to write this down. Also, creating accountability. You start writing things down and you can start seeing, I couldn’t figure out what was bothering me, but every time I eat this three days in a row I start to feel X. Now, I can start to see it. That’s a great diagnostic tool as well as an accountability tool. It can identify a lot of things for you. That’s a good one.

The other one for identifying areas for improvement is a healthy habits inventory. I just started using this recently in one of our classes and I really liked it. I’ve used it a few times. Taking a piece of paper, creating two columns “healthy” and “unhealthy.” Thinking about your habits in each of the different categories: nutrition, hydration, sleep, stress, exercise, social connections, whatever you want to look at. Add others if you want. Now, make a list. Do a little brain dump of all your healthy habits and all your unhealthy habits. Then look at often do you do those things. For instance, I might say drink 70 ounces of water daily, but I only do that once in a while. I want that to be a daily habit. You’re identifying what are the things you want to do more frequently and what are the things you’re doing. Maybe eating sweets – I do that daily, but I only want to do that weekly. You’re starting to kind of get a sense of, what am I really doing and is it consistent with my goals? That helps give you starting points. Those are a couple of tools for identifying where you might need balance.

I’ve got a couple strategies for taking action I can share if that’s useful.

Yeah, go for it! Absolutely!

Okay. Two quick ones. This kind of goes along with the healthy habits. A two-week healthy habit trial. Pick something to try out for two weeks. Challenge yourself to do it every day. If you need more sleep, go to bed fifteen minutes early or shut the alarm fifteen minutes later. Make it small, manageable. Want to eat better? Add an extra vegetable at dinner. Whatever it is that you want to do. Go for a short walk before you get in your car each day. Make it something little. Do it every day for two weeks, and then evaluate at the end of the two weeks. Is that something you want to keep? Is it working well for you? If not, try a different one. Give it two weeks and just test it out. That’s one of them.

The second one is set a timer on your smartphone. Many of us have smartphones with us almost all the time. Put a little reminder on there for a quick action. Drink some water, take a quick walk, stretch for a minute, close your eyes and focus on your breath for two minutes, write something positive in your gratitude journal. Whatever action you want to take put a little reminder on your phone twice a day or however many times you want and use that as a tool to go, hey, I need to do my whatever. Those are two of my action strategies that I share.

Those are awesome tips, Trish. They’re so straightforward and things that people can be doing to literally take action today! That’s awesome and very manageable and not asking too much of oneself. Trish, this has been awesome, and I hope people have enjoyed these tips. Again, if you are interested in learning more about Discover Health Functional Medicine Center above my head is our website www.discoverhealthfmc.com and there is a ton of educational material that is free as well as in our shop there are things like our Detox Plus Program, my book for the D.E.N.T. curriculum, and so on.

Trish, the last question I love to ask all the guests that I have on is – what is your number one secret to living a healthy life?

My number one secret for living a healthy life is get the right people on your team. To me, life is a collaborative sport, right? I’m all about collaboration. I love helping other people and having other people kind of do things together with me to achieve more. We all need support. Whether it’s your spouse, your partner, your friends, colleagues, a coach, a therapist, your doctors, whatever it is. These are the people who are going to help you through the tough times in life. I’ve had a lot of tough times in life and those are the people who are there. Surround yourself with people who are going to encourage you to be the best version of yourself. That’s been a massive help in my life, to live my most healthy life I can. You are part of that team, so I appreciate having you on my team, Dr. Trish. Yeah, that’s my secret, I guess.

Well thank you, Health Coach Trish. You’re on my team as well. I couldn’t agree more. Especially during COVID-19 right now many of us are feeling isolated, but there are still people in your world that are your support system whether you can, right now, only talk with them on the phone or Zoom or whether you actually get to see them in person. Reach out to those that you care about most and that care about you and support each other. We need each other. To be able to get where we want to go, you can’t do it by yourself.

That was awesome, Coach Trish. Thank you all for listening. This has been Discover Health Podcast, and this show has been Health Coaching to Find Balance. Thanks, Trish, and take care everyone!

Thank you!

 

Watch this full podcast interview streamed live through Zoom on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/CBCiixKSQ5Y

Contact Health Coach Trish Chaput at [email protected]

For more information on the Discover Health Movement Membership

References

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