I’ve been busy with unrelated responsibilities this month and keep putting this report on the back burner, so apologies for the delay. We’re more than halfway through the end of September though, so time to pull together an August report.
The Functional Health track in August featured a crash course in micronutrients. In week 7 we studied the entire family of B vitamins. Week 8 covered fluoride, iodine, iron, calcium, chromium, copper, magnesium, manganese, and molybdenum. Week 9: phosphorous, potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc, as well as the importance of electrolyte balance. In week 10 we took a close look at choline, essential fats, and fiber.
For each micronutrient, we looked at what role it plays in the body, daily requirements, toxicity (if any) from excessive intake, best food sources, and approaches to supplementation (when necessary). It was a crash course in nutrition basics, much appreciated, and a little overwhelming in terms of the amount of information to retain.
A few key takeaways: 1) Vegan and vegetarian diets can easily lead to deficiencies in vitamin B12, zinc, and iron — three highly essential nutrients. 2) A good balance of potassium and sodium is critically important, especially for those on keto diets. 3) It’s difficult for vegetarians to get adequate amounts of choline if they don’t eat eggs. 4) Beef liver is the best food source for damn near everything.
In the Art and Practice of Coaching track, we continued getting a big dose of Ken Kraybill. We studied and practiced using open questions, affirmations, summaries, and exchanging information. Motivational interviewing places a premium on eliciting the client’s inherent wisdom and holding a space from which they can direct their own healing. So it was refreshing to learn when it’s appropriate to offer information and how to go about doing so.
As much as I’m enjoying the Functional Health track, I’m more and more convinced that the true value of the ADAPT course is the coaching track. In fact, if a person graduated from this course and decided to go more in the direction of life coaching than health coaching, they would be well-prepared to do so.
We’ve yet to see much of John Kinyon and Robert Biswas-Diener, but I’ve been very impressed with what Ken Kraybill brings to the table.
We are gradually being introduced to the Professional Development track. In weeks 9 and 10 we watched a series of short videos with Chris Kresser discussing how to collaborate with licensed providers and how to structure client work.
As the course has progressed, it’s becoming more obvious that Kresser’s vision for health coaching is a collaborative model. He’s giving us a strong foundation in functional health principles not because he wants to prepare us to diagnose and prescribe treatment, but because he wants us to be knowledgeable enough to be effective collaborators. When a licensed provider diagnoses and prescribes treatment, an ADAPT health coach should be knowledgeable enough to help the client understand the treatment protocol as well as the diagnosis.
We will also be prepared to work independently, but the collaborative model, working in partnership with licensed providers who can order lab tests, diagnose and prescribe, is where the ADAPT coach, with a strong functional health foundation, will stand out in the industry.
I don’t have many criticisms of the ADAPT course thus far. As I’ve expressed in previous journal entries, I’m pretty happy with it and believe it will soon set the gold standard for health coaching programs. One thing I would say though is that there aren’t enough Teacher Assistant sessions. And I’m feeling frustrated with that.
Mentor coach sessions are once a week and are 90 minutes long, which gives us plenty of time to integrate what we’re learning in the Art and Practice of Coaching track. TA sessions on the other hand, which are intended to help us integrate the functional health content, are once every other week and only 60 minutes long. Especially this month, when we received a whole lot of information on micronutrients, it’s just not enough. 90-minute sessions, weekly, would be much better and would help us retain what we’re learning.
I’ve voiced my opinion in the suggestion box. Perhaps they will consider it for future cohorts.