Do you need a health coach? What is a health coach anyway? You might, and I’d like you to meet a friend of mine, Stacy Spensley of Little Blue Hen.
I sat down with Stacy to ask her about her health coaching business, her training, and how it relates to her food blog. Stacy is offering a free teleclass on Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 at 6 pm PT called Stop Stressing, Start Living! Top Tips to Overcome Overwhelm and Love Your Life.
Why did you found Center Stage Wellness?
My goal is to empower busy men and women to take control of their health and lives. We know what we need to do, just not how or where to start. Supporting my clients to make gradual lifestyle changes allows them to start living healthier lives without drastic measures or deprivation.
The name comes from my background as a theatrical stage manager, where I supported the cast and crew to do their best work. I help clients take center stage in their own lives by putting a spotlight on their health.
Tell us about your training.
I trained with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York and am certified as a holistic health coach by the American Association for Drugless Practitioners. I am currently enrolled in IIN’s Immersion program for advanced training. I’m a member of the International Association of Wellness Professionals.
How does wellness coaching work? How much do you charge?
The core of my practice is personalized one-on-one coaching. In a 6-month program we set short-, medium-, and long-term goals for your health and wellness. Goals range from improving your diet or starting a fitness regimen to losing weight or preparing to start a family. There is no one-size-fits-all approach; it’s based on where you are and where you want to be.
From a holistic standpoint, I do lifestyle and emotional work. Stress is a huge factor for most people, so incorporating relaxation and self-care into peoples’ lives can have an amazing impact. You can eat a “clean” diet all you want, but if you hate your job and are in an unhappy relationship, you’re not healthy. Many of my clients are perfectionists, so we work on prioritizing and time management to help them achieve balance in all areas of their lives.
My rate for an individual program is $195 per month. This fall I’ll be launching a group program with lower rates per person. I also offer free teleclasses almost every month, and additional articles and workshops.
Do you have a favorite success story?
A client came to me with chronic headaches; multiple doctors said they couldn’t do anything. She was taking four ibuprofen before bed, then getting up in the middle of the night to take four more so she could sleep. She was tired, stressed, and feeling lethargic and overweight. She’d hit a wall and couldn’t take feeling so terrible anymore. In two weeks, her headaches were gone. In two months, she’d lost 20 pounds, taken up tennis, and signed up for a 10K race. She said she’s “more balanced, happy, and energized.”
I approached the root of the problem (stress) instead of her symptoms (headaches). She’s more productive at work, a happier spouse at home, and has found time to see her friends again. Her story is a perfect example of how small changes can have a huge impact.
If people wanted to work with you, how would they sign up?
If my approach resonates with you and you think you’re ready to make some changes, I would love to offer 10 readers a free Spotlight Session. This 45-minute meeting (in person, or via phone or Skype) is an opportunity to find out where you are with your health, where you want to be, and how I can help you get there. Contact me if you are interested.
I only want to work with people I truly believe I can help. No one is beyond hope, but not everyone is the right fit for me. Right now I have space for 3-5 more personal clients.
I also send out a free email newsletter with health tips, recipes, upcoming events, and special offers. That’s a great way to keep in touch.
Tell me about your upcoming classes.
I’m excited to be offering a series of workshops about mindful eating at Halcyon Tea in South Park, San Diego. The first class is called “Mindful Eating and the Buddhist Perspective” based on the book Savor by Thich Nhat Hanh. Each class features a tea tasting from Halcyon’s amazing selections, gluten-free baked goods from Gemini Desserts and handouts and worksheets to continue your mindfulness journey after the class.
Later classes will cover the Yoga of Eating, Intuitive Eating, Emotional Eating, and Mindful Eating for a Mindful Planet. For non-locals, I plan to offer an online version of this series in the near future.
How does your food blog reflect your wellness approach?
My food blog, Little Blue Hen, has definitely evolved along my own wellness journey. Now I include more health information along with the vegetarian recipes. My cooking style has changed; I try to offer dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan choices more often. I try not to overwhelm readers with information, teaching by walking my talk vs. standing on a soap box.
Some people are surprised that I still post dessert recipes. While I don’t believe in “everything in moderation,” I am firmly against deprivation and restrictive eating. I adapt recipes to include more whole grains or less sugar. I would rather enjoy a single, rich, buttery treat than a whole box of low-fat chemicalized shelf-stable anything.
A plant-based, whole food diet (whether that includes meat, lactose, gluten, or not) is an idea I strongly support, so if I can help demystify how to eat that way, I feel aligned and successful.
What do you do besides coach and cook?
My husband and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary over Labor Day weekend and we bought a house 2 months ago! We’re still settling in and I’m looking forward to starting a garden. We also love to travel. I play adult co-ed soccer, take yoga classes when I can, and go to the beach too rarely. Building a business takes a lot of time, and I spend a lot of time in front of the computer writing, editing photos, and marketing.