What is Holistic Health: A Q&A Holistic Health Coach Danielle Stern
Danielle Stern is a holistic health coach and the co-founder of Food Mood Gratitude, a health and wellness company that practices mindful eating, yoga and wellness events. We asked her what she does to reduce stress, practice mindful eating, and the role relationships play in her overall health.
1. HOLISTIC HEALTH AT A GLANCE
What does it mean to take a holistic approach to wellness?
DS: Looking at the “whole” person rather than focusing on a specific part of the body or a specific illness, approaching their health by taking all aspects of their life into consideration.
What are the components of wellness?
DS: The components of wellness are nutrition, physical activity, stress management, sleep quality, sustainable habits, education, spirituality, and supportive relationships.
2. NUTRITION & MINDFUL EATING
How does good nutrition play into your holistic wellness approach?
DS: Nutrition is so much more than just food on our plate. It’s what nourishes our body & mind!
What is mindful eating?
DS: Mindful eating is based around the concept of mindfulness, a form of meditation. It helps you become in tune with your emotions and behaviors. By practicing mindful eating, you are developing awareness around food and recognizing the triggers that make us want to eat (hello stress eating!)
Any tips for how to practice mindful eating?
DS: Chew your food thoroughly. Remove distractions while eating (scrolling through Instagram, reading emails, watching TV). Check in with your hunger and satiation hormones while you’re eating (“am I still hungry?” “am I full enough to stop eating?”). Put your fork down in between bites.
What role do dietary supplements play in your holistic approach to wellness?
DS: I always try to get my vitamins and minerals through food first, but I know I can’t always meet my needs. There is definitely a time and place when dietary supplements are necessary.
What role does fitness play for your holistic health?
DS: Physical activity is such an important part of holistic health. While physical activity is important for keeping me strong— the benefits go way beyond that. Improving my mental health, increased energy levels, improving sleep quality, improving illnesses or chronic conditions.
How much do you exercise each week?
DS: I try to move my body every single day. That could mean even just a walk outside! Most adults are sedentary all day because of desk jobs, so stepping away from your desk to go for a walk and stretch the body can be quite beneficial. I do some sort of physical activity 30 minutes a day for at least 5 days of the week.
What are some of your favorite non-gym workouts?
DS: Taking a walk, going for a hike, playing tennis.
Which nutrients and supplements do you take to help support your fitness routine?
DS: After a workout I love using plant-based protein (pea, hemp) in a smoothie. I also incorporate magnesium and L-Glutamine supplements for my muscle health.
4. MENTAL WELLBEING
What role does mental wellbeing play in the holistic health approach to wellness?
DS: Mental wellbeing is such a big component to holistic health. Working on my mindset must go hand in hand with making any other health change. For example, if my goal is to create a healthy sustainable diet, but I have a fear of eating carbohydrates, I must first work the mental aspect around carbohydrates, before I can work on the actual food.
What role do your family and friends play in your holistic approach to health?
DS: A huge one! Surrounding myself with family and friends who support my health journey, can make the barriers seem less difficult to get over. They can also be really helpful in keeping me accountable towards my goals.
What are some of the first healthy habits you practiced in holistic health?
DS: Drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water every day. Aim for 8-9 hours of sleep every day. Practice some sort of self-care every day (meditation, gratitude journal, cooking a nourishing meal).
What are some of strategies you use to help reduce your stress?
DS: Meditation is always a great place to start. I also practice the 4-7-8 Breathing Method (breathing in for 4 seconds, holding the breath for 7 seconds, and exhaling for 8 seconds). Plus, I write down a to-do list and physically cross off tasks as I achieve them for the day can serve as a real motivator (and a good way to celebrate my successes).
What are the nutrients or dietary supplements you take to help support your sleep and stress management?
DS: Sleep and stress management are highly correlated for me. Poor sleep can increase my stress levels, and vice versa, stress can adversely impact my quality of sleep. Magnesium can be low in people who don’t get enough sleep, so magnesium is one of my favorite supplements. For stress management I love taking Ashwagandha. This traditional herb can help lower stress and help support overall well-being in adults.
Danielle Stern, MS CHHC
Danielle is a nutritionist, holistic health coach, and co-founder of Food Mood Gratitude. She’s passionate about the science of nutrition and overall health and wellness. She believes that whole foods with whole ingredients can positively impact both the mind and body. This passion is what drives her business of helping clients achieve their personal goals and create sustainable, healthy habits.
This information is for educational purposes and is not medical advice or intended as a recommendation of any specific products. Consult your health care provider for more information.