Voices of IIN is our content series where we talk with IIN students, graduates, and staff members who make up our diverse, vibrant, and passionate community ‒ from all over the world! IIN’s commitment to improving health and happiness is what brings us all together, and we aim to celebrate this commitment by sharing the unique stories and backgrounds of IIN change makers. Through this series, we hope to continue working toward creating a more inclusive wellness community, where all feel welcome to create a healthier life.
Alex Palombo is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, a bestselling author, a speaker, and a founding member of the Association of Health Coaches United for Mexico. To learn more, check out his Instagram page: @AlexDetoxCoach.
What did health and wellness look like for you growing up?
I grew up in a family that always had love, and although the economy was not the most prosperous, we never lacked anything. At home as a child, even though we ate very well, my mother prepared unbalanced meals, such as enchiladas and rice at the same time ‒ and every week, they bought us a box of soft drinks. Obviously, it was a diet very high in carbohydrates. Judeo-Arab food was always present, and fat levels were also high. The consequence was a hypertensive mother and a diabetic father.
It was as I was used to, though through my own adulthood and marriage, I was led to find better nutritional balance ‒ especially when my wife was diagnosed with cancer. We brought more awareness to the food we ate.
Why did you ultimately decide to come to IIN?
Since my wife's melanoma nearly 30 years ago, we’ve focused as a family on comprehensive health care. At that time, I managed a colonics clinic, and I saw that people required more than a colon hydrotherapy session ‒ they needed more direct and personal advice on wellness issues. I also knew that in this way, I’d also improve my own life, which is why I decided to enroll. It’s been a blessing for me to be a Health Coach.
Perspectives on Nutrition and Health Coaching
How are you using your IIN education?
First, it was to improve my own lifestyle, and then it became helping my clients to improve their lifestyles day by day.
What about your IIN education inspired you most?
Bio-individuality and primary food, which are indisputably the guiding axis of IIN.
What does being a Health Coach mean to you?
I’ve been able to improve my own life, the lives of my family, and those of my society, and helping the global population is within my reach.
Society is changing, and human beings continue to require a good guide. Reading food labels is important and making good decisions about what we put in our mouths is vital, but they’re not the only things. Improving our relationships, doing what we’re passionate about, being physically active and leading a satisfying spiritual life will always be a key component in the equation.
I see the practice of being a Health Coach as a continuous expansion. Doctors may be able to give only a 20-minute consultation and issue a prescription, and I think they’ve become the salespeople of the pharmaceutical industry. However, through nutrigenomics and nutrigenetics, it’s been shown that a natural diet and proper detoxification keep diseases away and bring us closer to a healthy life.
How do you apply bio-individuality in your life? Your clients' lives?
Bio-individuality: This unique IIN concept means that we’re all different and must embrace our uniqueness to best take care of our health, from the food we eat to the environments we thrive in and everything in between.
It’s part of my daily life. In my coaching sessions and well-being consultations with new clients, comments like “My cousin told me to follow a diet with which she lost weight, but it didn’t work for me” or “I eat the same as I always did, but now I get very swollen” make me excited to share what I know about bio-individuality.
I really like to guide people to be self-referential, to listen to the signals of their own bodies and understand this wonderful machinery.
Nutrition, Healthcare, and Equity in the Wellness World
If we traveled to your country, what would we find in terms of food, wellness practices, etc.?
Unfortunately, the culture and economy in Mexico have made it the most obese country in the world. However, for those who want them, there are always extraordinary options in Mexican cuisine and an ever-increasing offering of healthy restaurants.
Is wellness accessible to everyone who wants/needs it in your country, or is there still work to do?
There’s always work to be done. I’ve been in the wellness industry since 1994, and now, as a Health Coach, I’ve become much closer to people through social networks and digital and electronic media such as radio and television to share my wellness knowledge.
You’re a speaker and an author – how does your work help make health more equitable and accessible to your community?
Through my books and conferences, I bring information about health, business, and personal and health success to the public, without borders. Even my most recent book, Armored Intentionality, has been published in both Spanish and English.
In general, we as Health Coaches make knowledge more accessible and take by the hand those who are determined to access it.
Personal Goals for Social Impact
What is your “why”?
“Why” – This refers to one’s purpose and the reason(s) behind their chosen work.
Improving the lives of millions of people around the world is my mission.
If you wanted your audience from your country to know one thing about health coaching, what would it be?
Everything is in your hands. Extraordinary health is bought in the market, prepared in the kitchen, served at the table, and really potentiated in the gut.