Integrative Nutrition Blog

Health Coach with a Heart for College Students

August 18, 2012

College is a period of radical independence, as students transition from their teens into adulthood. Taking on new responsibilities and an unfamiliar schedule (often in an unfamiliar city) can be overwhelming if you aren’t prepared or guided.

Lisa Bok, 2012 IIN graduate from Hamden, Connecticut, learned firsthand about the challenges that college students face on a daily basis. Her experience and her passion for education led to the development of a holistic health seminar for incoming college freshman – in short, the tips she wishes she had known at their age!

What were you doing prior to enrolling at Integrative Nutrition?

Prior to IIN, I was teaching elementary students at an inner city school. I was also offering health advice to my friends and family. From helping friends with day-to-day dietary suggestions, to supporting my family through major health transitions, I realized my true calling was to educate people.

What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?

I’ve always been passionate about health and wellness, and after reading Kevin Trudeau's, Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You To Know, I wanted to learn more about a natural approach to healthcare. When my grandmother was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and my mom was dealing with various health issues, I realized I could use what I learned to turn their health concerns around. I wanted to take my education to a deeper level, so I enrolled at IIN!

What have you been up to since enrolling at IIN?

I am planning an educational health seminar for incoming freshman at the University of Connecticut, focusing on making healthy decisions regarding sleep, stress management, and finding a balance between academics and a social life.

I think all college freshman would benefit from a seminar like that! Where did the idea come from?

During college, my friends and I were unaware of the holistic approach to health. We ate unhealthy foods, did not get enough sleep, took Tylenol for headaches, and generally didn’t care for our bodies. I gained weight and suffered from acne, stress, and low energy levels.

We took a "Freshman 101" course and learned the basic information about the campus, what to expect, and resources, but they never taught us important life lessons. I want to teach incoming freshman how to make healthy decisions, to have healthy relationships, and to prepare for a successful future. College is a crucial time to learn how to manage stress, social pressures, and even depression and anxiety. My seminar sets students up with a solid foundation so they can be successful, happy & healthy, inside & out!  

What are the main issues you see with college students, and how do you plan on tackling these tough challenges?

  1. Time management – balancing time between attending classes, studying, social life, extracurricular activities, job, etc. I plan to tackle this by discussing priorities and teaching students how to schedule fulfilling, productive days without the overwhelming stress that can lead to anxiety
  2. Nutrition – choosing healthy food and drink, addressing the subject of alcohol and moderation. I can help students learn about healthy options in the cafeteria or the grocery stores and what foods or ingredients to avoid.
  3. Stress – academic pressure, social pressure, and pressure from parents. I hope to teach how stress can negatively affect the body, how students can manage stress in a healthy manner, and how to boost their immune systems with specific foods, supplements and lifestyle choices.

If you could give one piece of health advice to college students, what would it be?

You are in control of your destiny for your physical and mental health, and once you know that, anything is possible.  Healing will occur once your primary foods are in balance because health is wealth – mind, body & soul.

How do you help your clients be successful?

I help them by listening as if they were my family and loved ones. I try to get to know them so I can help them achieve their goals without feeling overwhelmed. From there, I follow up and provide support, making adjustments along the way, if necessary.

What do you love about your work?

There is nothing more gratifying than seeing someone grow and transform their life by taking the initiative to make healthy decisions. I always tell people that it's a lifestyle, not a quick fix!

Is there a need for Health Coaches where you live?

I believe there is a need for Health Coaches in every part of this country, and around the world. Most people rely on medical doctors, prescription drugs, and surgeries, instead of addressing nutrition. If we were exposed to TV commercials about the healing effects of coconut oil, green tea, and natural supplements, this would be a different world!

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