Health Coach Feature: How Sah D’Simone Has Created a Cycle Around Transforming His Inner World and Helping Others Do the Same
Sah D'Simone's life has completely changed since finding Integrative Nutrition. Since graduating from the Health Coach Training Program, he has had the opportunity to give talks and guide practices all over the world, including Google, Cannes Lion, the UN, the MoMA, and even with Kanye West. He is also the author of an international bestselling meditation book that’s been translated into Spanish, Dutch, and Chinese.
Q: What were you doing prior to enrolling at Integrative Nutrition?
A: My early twenties were devoted to the fashion industry, and because of my radical nature, I managed to achieve a good deal of success – the kind of success I was told I needed to be happy. But even as my material prosperity grew, I continued to feel a deep longing inside.
I battled with addiction and depression through most of my twenties. I would experience rippling bouts of anxiety and even contemplated suicide. Then in 2012, I sold my shares of the international fashion magazine I cofounded and left the fashion world behind with a sour taste in my mouth. At this point in my life, I thought my worth was a reflection on what I had to show externally, so I quickly started another business. But shortly after, in the fall of 2013, I wound up selling it.
That is when I decided to go to India the first time, seeking my new path, not knowing what I was getting into – I just knew I had to go to India. It was there that I first experienced how powerful the inward path could be. I hopped around from monasteries to ashrams to retreat centers. My travels eventually led me to Kathmandu, high up in the Nepalese Himalaya, for a 30-day meditation retreat. It was during this retreat that I first realized how much was built up inside me that I had to deal with, but also that I had the tools right in front of me. It was the beginning of my transformation.
I came back to the United States and was in Florida with all this new information. I was excited, but still, I had no idea what to do with these tools. Honestly, at this point, I was still focused on continuing my healing to a place of inner stability.
Q: What led you to explore the Health Coach Training Program?
A: As I kept going into my healing, I recognized a great need and a great desire within myself to share the healing with others. A friend of a friend introduced me to the Health Coach Training Program, and I was blown away. I signed up with a serious commitment to take my transformation to another level.
Diving into the online modules every week was so necessary for me to get to know my inner world at a deeper level and nurture myself before I could be of help to anyone. The program was perfect because as I continued to travel, I could take the classes anywhere with an Internet connection.
Q: How has your life changed since becoming a Health Coach?
A: My life has completely changed. I had no idea that sharing these tools is my purpose. I’ve had fantastic opportunities to give talks and guide practices all over the world, including Google, Cannes Lion, the UN, the MoMA, and even with Kanye West. I’ve written an international bestselling meditation book that’s been translated into Spanish, Dutch, and Chinese. And in the past three years, I have had the pleasure of working with about 100 coaching clients.
Q: Which topics and modules were most beneficial for you?
A: Primary food was one of the most potent modules. It laid the foundation for me to continue to study and teach about spirituality. I loved Marie Forleo and the incredible, joyous energy that she brought to her class and practicing meditation with the great Deepak Chopra. I could go on all day! And of course, I was deeply impacted by learning about the vegan diet as well as gut inflammation and how it affects mental health.
Q: What does a typical day look like for you now?
A: Let's just say life is full right now. I am working on my second book, recording podcasts, doing interviews, and traveling a lot for work. At the same time, I’m remaining available to my clients, offering support in person and remotely as they find their way to self-transformation.
Q: What makes you and your practice unique?
A: My method is unique because it comes from the intersection of Integrative Nutrition, Tantric Buddhism, and Contemplative Psychotherapy, and as I continue to study with spiritual masters and trauma experts, I keep developing my own identity as a teacher.
My mission is to make spirituality sassy. This vivacious quality is oftentimes absent in the traditional path; we need a spirituality that supports you to be extra, to laugh out loud, to dance, and to express your heart creatively. This has the power to transform people deep down. That transformation is what enables everyone to make an impact, not just a privileged few. Happiness and healing are an innate potential that we all have – everybody, no matter who you are, without exception! As a queer, brown, and an immigrant, a lot of the wellness places didn’t feel welcoming, so I carved my seat at the table. I “gently” elbowed my way in, and it is part of my mission to share the practices that have been hidden behind closed doors and try to bring it to everyone: all ethnicities, all shapes, all sizes, all gender identities, and all sexual preferences.
Q: How do you help your clients be successful? Is there a recent example that stands out for you?
A: I had a client who was prescribed several medications and had attempted suicide twice during our 6-Month Program. She decided to get off all her medications, and now she is thriving at her job, she’s developed a deeper family bond, she’s dating, exercising, meditating, and has cut out sugar and gluten from her diet.
Another client was dealing with a lot of internalized shame, and after a series of forgiveness exercises, she was able to release the hook and clear the stagnant energy that was blocking her, and within a week, she came up with an epic idea for an app that she is now really excited about.
I’ve helped CEOs learn simple mindfulness techniques. These are people who have said in the past, “I don’t have time to be present,” and now they understand that being present is the foundation for good leadership.
Another client who, after years of trying, lost 50 pounds in six months working with me.
Q: What do you love about your work?
A: What I love most about my work is that the more I transform my own internal world, the more I can help others. And the more I help others, the more I can transform my inner world. It’s such a beautiful, sustainable cycle!
Q: How have you seen the need for Health Coaches change over the years?
A: I think, more than ever, everyone realizes the old methods of subduing the pain with drugs, pills, and alcohol just doesn’t cut it anymore. People are figuring out that even working with a therapist is not enough; the body is a factor in how the mind feels. It is too easy to relive the same movie 75 years in a row, filled with regrets and unfulfilled dreams, all the while blaming someone else for it. One of the most potent ways to make a change is with a healing ally, and that’s what a Health Coach is in my opinion – someone keeping you accountable for your personal transformation.
Q: What’s your tip for balancing your family, work, and personal wellness?
A: Figure out your nonnegotiables and make time every day to do it. Some days you will have more time than others, but no matter what, you are continually replenishing your internal well and activating your best qualities of compassion, patience, courage, kindness, and wisdom. My nonnegotiables are meditation, prayer, breathwork, laughter, and movement, which is sometimes running, sometimes dancing.
Q: Tell us your favorite way to wake up each day!
A: Well, I don’t know if it’s my absolute favorite, but every morning I go into child’s pose and set an intention. I pray, and then I repeat a set of Buddhist vows. I then sit down on my cushion and begin my morning meditation, and to close, I do a round of breathwork.
Interested in becoming an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach? Class starts November 11th - Learn more today!