Integrative Nutrition Blog

IIN Grad Amanda Carney on Working for a Doctor, Traveling the World, and Having Fun with Health

January 13, 2015

Happy National Health Coach Week! To celebrate, we’re featuring inspiring stories of Health Coaches who are doing amazing work in their homes, workplaces, schools, and communities. Next up, Amanda Carney, Class of 2012! She’s taking over our Instagram account today – follow along here to see what she’s up to! 

“There’s a need for Health Coaches along every block in every neighborhood and city. Let’s get to work!” 

This optimism and energy is characteristic of Amanda Carney, Class of 2012. Once a free spirit traveling around the world, Amanda now brings her sense of fun and adventure to her work as a Health Coach.  She’s employed as a Health Coach at visiting teacher Dr. Frank Lipman’s Eleven Eleven Wellness Center and also runs her own private health coaching practice. 

Read about her unique and inspiring approach to health coaching below. 

On discovering her passion: After college, I had a flexible bartending job that allowed me to travel multiple months out of the year to South America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. I became extremely interested in how so many cultures used food as medicine, and was amazed to find that most traditional foods helped to heal the body as well as nourish it. 

I fell in love with this idea and began my journey of researching and self-experimentation. After two years of travel and immersing myself in new foods, health books, and food documentaries, I knew that I needed to make a career out of sharing this information. My friend asked me if I had heard of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. The rest was history! 

On working in a doctor’s office: I was moving back to New York, and a Health Coach at Eleven Eleven Wellness Center reached out to let me know that one of the Health Coaches was getting ready for maternity leave and she was looking for someone to fill her spot while she was away. I was overcome with excitement at the idea of working for and learning from a functional medicine doctor! 

Working with Dr. Lipman, I have witnessed such value in offering continued support to a patient. Rarely is a patient given the time to sit down and discuss in detail everything that the doctor recommends for treatment.  With a Health Coach, they are able to get really clear about what is going on and what they need to do, allowing them to feel more confident in how they can implement change and heal themselves successfully. 

I have seen many amazing success stories while working at Eleven Eleven Wellness Center, and have seen Dr. Lipman help patients reverse auto-immune symptoms, get off strong medications, balance hormones, heal digestive issues, diminish debilitating body aches, get back to a healthy weight, and much more! 

I would encourage any Health Coach that is interested in working alongside a doctor to speak with them directly and share all of the amazing benefits a Health Coach has to offer. I don’t think that many doctors fully understand all of the support, encouragement and guidance that Health Coaches can provide their patients, and when a doctor is seeing many patients each day, it is nearly impossible to support them in the way a Health Coach can. 

On her favorite visiting teacher: Andrew Weil’s Eating Well For Optimal Health was one of the first books I read when I began this journey of health and healing. After reading, rereading, highlighting and talking many notes from this book, I was filled with delight when I got to see Dr. Weil speak in 2012 at an Integrative Nutrition live conference. 

In addition to the many bits of mind-blowing and applicable information he shared, he led the group a breathing technique called the “4-7-8 breath” and my life was changed! This simple breathing technique is a practice I still use regularly in my own life and always share with my clients.  

On being honest with her clients: I put a great deal of energy in making sure each client knows that the space I hold is 100% judgment-free, encouraging them to let down their guard and take an honest look at where they are and where they want to be. 

I am very open with my own story and am always happy to share successes and failures along the way, which I believe makes me more relatable – yes, Health Coaches have bad days too! I love the honesty that is involved in this process. Everyone I work with helps me take an honest look at myself, just as I encourage them to be honest and compassionate with themselves. In this world, we are too often encouraged to be strong, successful and perfect (whatever that means), which is exhausting and unrealistic. 

Success looks very different for everyone, which is why I find it important to celebrate every positive step along the way, no matter how big or how small. I really love to have a good time, and always encourage clients to laugh and to be light with themselves. 

Connect with Amanda

On her website
On Facebook
On Twitter
On Instagram

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