Integrative Nutrition Blog
Dietitian Lauri Boone Takes a “Rule-Free” Approach to Health
As the healthcare system begins to shift towards preventive care, an increasing number of medical professionals are embracing a more holistic approach to nutrition and wellness. Lauri Boone, Class of 2013, is a registered dietitian who had already devoted her life’s work to helping people eat more healthily before she enrolled in the Health Coach Training Program. Seeking enrichment and inspiration, she enrolled and discovered there’s much more to complete wellness than simply eating the right foods.
Not only has Lauri expanded on her personal knowledge of holistic health; her career as a wellness professional has taken off. She recently released a new book about plant-based superfoods, with a second book in the works! Sometimes forgetting all the “rules” can lead to new discoveries when it comes to nutrition, and using a no-one-size-fits-all approach has empowered Lauri to improve her own health, as well as that of others.
What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
I was a self-employed dietitian. A colleague, who is also a dietitian, had completed the program and spoke highly of it. I am always seeking out quality continuing education that will inspire me in my work, and I knew this program would offer just that. My initial intentions were to connect with positive and forward-thinking professionals, build my business skills (the Fast Track business-building component interested me), and obtain continuing education credits. Little did I know just how life-changing this program would become.
How did your life change after enrolling?
I became healthier and happier myself, and more human in my work and life. I have always approached my work from the standpoint of science. My focus was always on providing science and evidence-based food and nutrition recommendations, and indeed, that remains an important part of what I do. But with an emphasis on primary food (relationships, exercise, spirituality, career), the Integrative Nutrition coursework taught me to go beyond the science and to begin to really listen to, connect with, and explore the needs of the whole person. It was a nice reminder that although food and nutrition are important pieces of the wellness puzzle, they are not the only ones.
Which topics and modules were most beneficial for you?
When I began the Health Coach Training Program, I mistakenly thought that I would most enjoy the classes that spoke to the science of food and nutrition. By contrast, there were three lectures that really stood out to me: Love As Medicine with Bernie Siegel, MD (this class brought me to tears), Food for Thought: Understanding Our Compulsive Nature with Geneen Roth, and Intuitive Coaching: Helping Your Clients Heal Themselves Authentically with Cora Poage, MA. These classes reminded me that life is a gift, that our clients, like ourselves, are human, and that it is an honor to help others and be part of their path to whole health and healing. These classes were for me, in a word, powerful.
What are you doing now?
Right now I am celebrating the release of my first book Powerful Plant-Based Superfoods and wrapping up my second book, which will be released in January 2014. I’m excited to share the information in these books, which I hope inspires others to explore the incredible benefits of whole, plant-based foods. In the coming months, my practice will continue to focus on writing, speaking, and may include my taking on private clients again as my schedule allows with, as always, a continued focus on whole foods. My work is constantly evolving and I love that. There are so many incredible opportunities in this field.
What makes you and your practice or product unique?
I've tried to develop a balanced, inclusive, and "rule-free" attitude toward food that I hope comes across positively in my work. I did once have a student walk out of a raw food talk when I mentioned that my heavily plant-based diet included an occasional egg or wild salmon; I heard gasps in a cooking class once when I broke out a jar of coconut oil; and some find it odd that a green juice lover also enjoys a cup (or two) of good coffee. But it's all good. There is no one diet (or food) that fits all. I simply try to inspire others on their own unique path to good eating – listening to their bodies and cultivating a way of eating that leaves them looking and feeling their best.
How do you help your clients be successful?
My clients right now are the students who come to my talks or readers who read one of my articles or book. And I have found that one of the best ways to inspire success in others is to be a living example of what you preach and teach. In one of the earlier lectures, Joshua mentions that there is something unique about Health Coaches, a certain energy and “glow” about them. And I agree – I’ve seen it! And when you glow and shine in your life, you inevitably inspire others to do the same in theirs. Of course, that doesn't mean being “perfect.” I’ve had to remind myself to "walk my talk," own up to my own struggles, and let go of perfection, and I think that helps empower and inspire others, too.
What do you love about your work?
I love to celebrate good food, and I love helping others realize the incredible power of what they put on their plate. Food is medicine and information for our cells, but it’s also an opportunity to connect with others over a meal, connect with our own bodies, connect with the farmers who grow our food, and connect with nature.
Is there a need for Health Coaches where you live?
I think there is a need for Health Coaches everywhere. I am in upstate New York and have several friends who are health coaches or enrolled in Integrative Nutrition, and the opportunities in the field are endless. Even within our small radius, we are all doing some pretty incredible and varied work, from establishing home-based health coaching practices and school-based wellness programs to writing and working in spas and everything in-between. I have even had the pleasure of collaborating with other health coaches on projects I’m working on. There are so many wonderful opportunities to make a positive impact on the lives of others.