FMCA webinars are known for offering invaluable insights into diverse topics, from health and wellness to forging a rewarding career as a health coach. This webinar, however, combines the best of both, thanks to industry expert Maggie Berghoff.
Serial entrepreneur, wellness leader, and author, Maggie Berghoff is a catalyst for transforming lives through the power of functional medicine. She doesn’t do it alone. Maggie heads a thriving marketing company dedicated to empowering health and wellness professionals, equipping them with the essential keys to unlock a fulfilling and successful career as health and wellness coaches.
Meet the Guest
Author and Wellness Leader
Maggie Berghoff is a successful serial entrepreneur and wellness leader blazing a path to helping people live happier, healthier lives. She is the bestselling author of her new book, “Eat to Treat: Your Three-Step Plan To Reduce Inflammation, Detoxify Your Life, And Heal Your Body.” She also owns a business and marketing company helping health and wellness professionals build and then scale their online coaching businesses.
Her expertise has been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, Entrepreneur Magazine, Oxygen Magazine, Glamour, Under Armour, and USA Today, along with national TV and top podcasts.
In This Webinar
- Learn Maggie Berghoff’s 3-step wellness model she uses with every client.
- Tips on how to help clients create an anti-inflammatory environment.
- Keys to building and scaling a fulfilling career in functional medicine health coaching.
- Advice on how to help your clients achieve their health and wellness goals.
Eat To Treat, by Maggie Berghoff
A three-step plan to beat inflammation! Identify your specific type, set your lifestyle up to avoid triggers, and cook tailored recipes designed to help you heal.
Functional medicine practitioner Maggie Berghoff presents a personalized, accessible approach to fighting inflammation. Using thorough questionnaires to identify your specific ailments, Eat to Treat prescribes a targeted plan that will help you live free of the major types of inflammation, including those triggered by hormones, digestive issues, stress, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, and more. From easy tips for healing, eating, and detoxing, to targeted lifestyle advice, Berghoff offers the most up-to-date instructions for living your best and healthiest life based on your specific inflammation type.
Meet the Host
Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum
Founder and CEO of FMCA
Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum spent nearly five decades making healthcare and education more holistic and innovative. With a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, Sandi specialized in positive psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mind-body medicine, and served as a teacher and the director of a clinic for Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD). She is a pioneer in her field, having implemented programs such as the use of neurofeedback with patients and becoming the first-ever psychologist to earn certification through The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM).
Dr. Sandi: Welcome, everybody. We’ll just take a moment as you all file in. I’m just so excited, thrilled that you are all here, because this is going to be a very special event. We have with us Maggie Berghoff. And I was just with Maggie live. We did an Instagram live together in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona, and now she is here with us. And this is going to be a really groundbreaking topic, because usually we choose one or the other. Either we’re focused on health and wellness information that you can use with your clients or if you’re considering becoming a health coach, this is exploring possibilities for the actual content, how you can educate people on wellness topics. But we are going beyond this topic. We are also talking about another subject that we emphasize which is your career building, how do you build a career, a business as a health coach. And so Maggie is going to share her tips and her insights about that area as well. And she has a new book that is out. It is called “Eat to Treat.”
So, I am going to turn it over to Maggie. She’ll tell you about her background as well as start the presentation. I would like to remind you, before we go much farther, that we have time set aside for Q&A. So, stay tuned, stay through the whole thing, this is going to be so jampacked with clinical pearls, with takeaways for business but also, if you want to ask a question, you can do that in the Q&A, and we will answer those questions at the end of the talk. So, take it away, Maggie.
Maggie: Well, I’m so glad to be here. Like she said, we are going to be diving into how to actually get clients results using functional medicine health coaching, the different strategies that I use. I’ll introduce myself why I would be talking about that topic in a moment. And then also career options in this space. And then at the end, opening to Q&A.
So, today, y’all, we are talking about transforming your wellness and your career with functional medicine coaching. And in the presentation, I’m going to teach you the three-step process to reduce inflammation, detoxify your life, and promote true healing, how to use functional medicine knowledge to help health coaching clients achieve wellness goals, and keys to building a fulfilling career as a health and wellness coach.
I am Maggie Berghoff is my name, and I’m the founder and CEO of Eat to Treat. We provide different forms of helping clients. We provide coaching, education, recommendations, products. Sandy recommended my newest book, “Eat to Treat” is out now, so we’re super excited about that. I’m also the founder and CEO of our business and marketing company. We have several programs, Online Business Academy, Course Creators Incubator, Elite Business Mastermind, and one-on-one mentorship, where we help people become health and wellness entrepreneurs.
The book “Eat to Treat” is a national bestseller, which is super exciting. And I’m a mom of three young littles, and I feel like probably there are a lot of other parents here in the room, too. So, that’s a little bit of a background about me.
And before we get started, I wanted to tell you the journey of why I’m here. Why am I even a health coach or passionate about teaching this topic? So, in my young 20s, I actually had a bunch of random symptoms happen, which actually now I know are not so random after all. But I did have a bunch of things going wrong with my body, and I went to doctors, and those doctors had no answers for me. They bounced me around from specialist to specialist, doctor after doctor, and they kept treating my symptoms with medications but never ever even tried to figure out why I had these problems to fix it.
Not to mention, I felt like no one really cared. I know that it’s not really their fault because they’re very busy, but I truly felt like another number. No one even took time to ask me like, “Are you okay?” or, “What’s going on?” or, you know, “What’s your lifestyle like? How do you feel?” And no one took time to ask me really what was even going on in my life to be able to figure out even why I had these symptoms.
And then typically when I went to a doctor appointment, they would either tell me my labs were all normal, and then they would discharge me with the medication to try for my symptoms or my labs would be abnormal and they would discharge me with the medication to take for those abnormals. But there was no answer of why that was happening or a follow-up or a game plan to fix it. Usually, it would be like, “Okay, here’s this medication. Follow up in a year unless things get worse.” And I was like, “Things are worse. Like, help me.” Right?
And so probably some of you can relate to this, but this is why I got into functional medicine. I finally decided that nothing is enough. I actually went to The Institute for Functional Medicine solely to learn more about healing my own body. I’ve never intended to start a business around this, and the reason I chose that institution is because I was a nurse practitioner at the time, and my mom and my aunt had found it. I didn’t even know FMCA was created at that time. I’m not sure what year you guys all were founded, but that’s what I did, and I healed my body, and I was forever changed.
So, like I said, I was actually a nurse practitioner at this time, and I healed my body in a different model than I was trained in, and I couldn’t go back. I was so passionate about health and wellness in a different way. I experienced this first hand, and I wanted to help others who may still be struggling in the same boat that I was, who may be frustrated and feeling helpless. I wanted to help them get well.
And I realized that I am way more impactful and skilled at helping people as a health coach versus in my previous career as a traditional nurse practitioner. So, I pivoted and I had an entire career change. And I started my own business in this. Now you can have a career change and go get a job in this for sure. I personally started my own business, and I’ll talk about this later in the presentation, but I ended up revamping my entire life. My whole world was opened when I healed my body, and I felt amazing. And I had these new ambitions and these new passions. And so I built my own online health coaching business.
I ended up actually tripling my full-time nurse practitioner in the first year as a health coach, working way less hours only a couple of days a week, helping dream clients get well in a way that I was so aligned with. So, entrepreneurship is not for everyone, but if you do feel that pull, it’s more simplistic than you’d imagine to create your own career in this space.
All right. So, let’s chat wellness. How you’re going to help clients get well? This is the model that I use. It’s the model that’s in the book “Eat to Treat.” Step 1, I like to identify the root cause. When I was going through my sickness and when I saw lots of clients as one-on-one health coaching clients, we had to figure out what was going on in order to know what to do to fix it. Now you want to identify what’s going on contributing to these symptoms. And then, Step 2, I like to first create an anti-inflammatory environment. Establish an environment that reduces inflammation and also provides healing aspects. I love this step because these are usually, like, easy, actionable steps that somebody can take and implement in their life right away, that doesn’t really require, I don’t know, a lot of discipline or a lot of habit changes to implement, yet does reduce inflammation tremendously. So, I love this part. And then the third step is Eat to Treat. And this is exactly what to eat, how to eat, and developing the mindset, I think most importantly, the mindset around food and nutrition so that they can improve their symptoms and rebalance the body. So, three core steps, root cause, anti-inflammatory environment, and way of life, and nutrition.
Let’s dive into that Step 1 of identifying the root cause of chronic symptoms and diseases. So, we don’t want to treat the symptoms. We want to heal long-term. My favorite way to do this is through specialty lab testing. I love this because it gives you a concrete example of…well, it tells you what’s exactly going wrong. So, you can either perhaps do this yourself if you’re able to do that, or partner with a practitioner who is able to do that, or have your clients and recommend them to go somewhere to get this testing done. I just love to figure out what’s going on in the body so that your client can be their own advocate and just have the knowledge about what’s going on inside so that they really even know where they’re trying to address their healing path. So, they know what they’re doing.
I feel as if it really, well, number one, increases results because you know what you’re going to fix and then you know how to fix it. But also, for a client, I don’t know if you guys have ever dealt with this before, but when you’re sick or when you’re not feeling well, you just want so bad to know what’s going on inside. I remember even, like, hoping that my doctors would find cancer because then at least I would know what was wrong. That is not okay.
So, this way we can figure out what’s going wrong, what’s going on in the body. Maybe it’s nutrient deficiencies, a parasite, gut imbalance, hormonal amounts, whatever it is, and take them toward a path to healing. So, there are lots of different options for doing this. There are actually… Backtrack. So, I actually do have an assessment for people who don’t want lab work or can’t afford lab work done since it is an investment. I also have an assessment that asks a bunch of questions, and it gives them, kind of, an indication on what might be happening, so, like, what system of these six common inflammation types is going wrong. And then based on that, you can fine tune things of what to do.
For example, if someone is struggling with muscle and joint inflammation, what you might advise them to do in their lifestyle, their nutrition, etc., would be really different than someone who’s struggling with digestive inflammation, and they’re having diarrhea, right? Like, that’s very different. So, if you can figure out, kind of, what might be going wrong in the systems without the lab testing, then you can guide the program from there. This is helpful for the client to understand more about why they have these symptoms and head toward a path of healing.
So, the second step that we target is an anti-inflammatory environment. This is, kind of, my favorite thing. I’m so into non-toxic living from my own health journey and in my career as a functional medicine coach. Number one, I like to reduce toxins in their homes, workplace, and anywhere they spend a significant amount of time. I specifically look at and make recommendations for household products, personal care items, and hygiene routines.
This is so cool, like I said, because it’s an immediate satisfaction. It’s an immediate thing they can check off the list. For example, if they are using typical household cleaners, you can have them swap that to a non-toxic version that’s going to reduce toxins in their environment, which reduces the inflammation in their body every single day without even trying. And when inflammation is down, energy is up, and the body can start to do what it’s supposed to do and heal. Does this make sense, everybody?
So, you can go through things. I even teach my clients, you know, what kind of makeup to wear that is non-toxic, what kind of, I said, household products, hygiene products, air filter systems, the best water filter systems to make sure their water is on point. And I go through their house and, kind of, you know, swap as we can. And depending on where your client would be is dependent on how I guess aggressive you do this. Meet your client where they are. Are they someone who can totally revamp their whole entire house and, like, switch all their toxic products to non-toxic organic goodness or do you need to, kind of, do one focus area at a time and slowly but surely make those swaps? Which is absolutely okay as well.
I also look at lifestyle changes, because this makes a significant difference in their healing. I look at stress and mindset, sleep, parasympathetic nervous system activation, and everyday detox practices, not even, like, crazy huge detoxes but simplistic, teaching them to dry brush, lymphatic massage, Epsom salt baths, taking a walk outside and getting into nature, sun on the skin. Just all these different things that they can implement in their life right now that we know contributes to healing.
And then the last factor is mindset. They have to believe they can heal. They have to. So, it’s actually your job as a coach to instill that hope in them. Whenever you’re working with a client, you want them to feel so cared for and, like, so excited that they finally found you, and now they have hope for healing. And when they have that mindset, making these changes, and even waking up every day and going through the journey of healing, a health journey is going to be so much easier, more fun, and also yield better results.
The last thing to Eat to Treat, we want to use food to nourish and heal the body from any problem. We know that food impacts health. This is not new, all right? It can impact health negatively or positively, but I also help my clients navigate that toward a mindset towards health and nutrition where foods aren’t necessarily bad and good yet we are knowledgeable that some foods may contribute to our health goals and some may steer us further away. So, this is very critical, especially for your clients who are struggling with restrictive eating, or bingeing, or chronic dieting, or yo-yo dieting. We need them to embrace a new mindset of viewing food as fuel, food as energy, food as just, like, this amazing thing that can light ourselves and just brighten everything and help our body heal. So, a lot of mindset around food.
And also the basics. Again, depending on where your client is, I’ve had some clients come in who are still eating a very standard American diet and don’t even know how to read a label. To you, if you’re interested in this space, this might be common sense to you and you feel like everybody kind of knows this information now. However, for a lot of people out there, this is still very new information that a food dye may be bad for your health. They don’t know that yet. And so depending on your clientele and that individual would depend on where you are targeting your health information of educating them and helping them to navigate what to buy for their pantry, their fridge, their freezer, what to eat when out, things like that.
So, you want to make sure that you’re educating your client from where they are, because there is no one-size-fits-all solution. That’s why coaching is critical to the success of a person trying to get well. I shared at the beginning I was really struggling with my health, and I felt so alone like no one was helping me. As a health coach, you’re able to work with somebody deeper and have a follow-up visit or stay closer in touch with them. Take them through a plan. Help them figure out what the plan is for them. Ask them, you know, what are you going to change in your life? What do you want to implement? Let’s do this. And keep them accountable to the goals that they’re setting for themselves. This is what I was lacking when I was going through my health complaint or my health complications, and this is what we, as coaches and consultants, can offer our clients.
So, now let’s transition a little bit into the career as a health coach. I’m going to touch on this and then we’re going to open up to Q&A. So, with a career as a health coach, you’re able to make a positive impact. Health coaches help people make positive and lasting changes in their lives and seeing clients achieve their health and wellness goals is so rewarding.
I will never forget that first client… Actually, not even a client. When I started sharing health and wellness strategies on my Instagram, just things I was doing in my everyday life, the fact that a stranger from somewhere around the world would message you and be like, “Oh, that was so helpful.” “Oh, I went and got that product you recommended. I love it.” That is so rewarding. And, you know, making that little positive impact is helping everybody.
This actually just happened last weekend. We mentioned that we were in Scottsdale. There’s this girl there that I had met and, you know, we were chatting in the morning and things like that. She wasn’t at the event we were at. And she went home and a couple days later, she got rid of the snacks that she was feeding her children because she realized, “Oh, my gosh, I’m feeding my children these things that are very much not going to be helpful for their health.” And she replaced it. I taught her some healthy swaps. So, instead of Fruit Roll-Ups, we got this. Instead of these bars, we got these bars. And we made some healthy swaps. And now forever her children are going to grow up healthier. She’s healthier. Her siblings are probably going to recognize this and be healthier.
So, the positive impact is just so real with this. There’s a huge growing demand with the increasing awareness and importance of health and well-being and an overworked medical system. There’s a growing demand for health coaches who take a different approach than conventional medicine. People are seeking out coaches now more than ever. And it’s not an either/or; we definitely need traditional medicine, but for what a lot of our clients are going through, it’s not the full answer to get them well. And a lot of people become trapped in this process of same practitioner after practitioner, specialist after specialist, medication after medication, and they end up getting sicker, and sicker and sicker, and sicker and super frustrated, and maybe even end up giving up hope. Whereas with coaching, we can really partner with the person and help them heal.
Autonomy. Coaches have a lot of freedom with choosing to work closely with our clients and helping them with their unique skill set. I did not have that as a nurse practitioner. I actually remember I got in trouble once. I got written up for giving somebody health advice that they said they didn’t want. So, it’s really cool as a health coach, you’re able to help somebody in a different way like that.
There’s job security. The need for health coaches is growing rapidly as healthcare shifts in big ways. Focus on preventative care and lifestyle interventions to improve health outcomes is bigger than ever before, not just in the functional medicine world. Everywhere. People want to get well more than ever before. It is so cool. They’re seeking out a different way.
There’s also a lot of flexibility as a health coach. You can choose to work independently and/or remotely like I do. I have an online business of my own. I own it. I can work whenever I want, wherever I want, giving you amazing work-life balance. And even if you don’t want your own business, people like me hire people to also… And, like, my full team, for example, they all work virtually. They have complete flexibility. They have a really great position and a lot of autonomy to help their clients.
It’s also an accelerated career path. No matter what industry you’re in right now, health coaching is an option for you. You could join, for example, FMCA, no matter what your background and become a certified health coach and be equipped with all the knowledge that you need to help somebody in this big way. What you really need is a passion to help people with their wellness, and then there are various programs to help you through that.
So, let’s chat business. If you wanted to create a business around this of your own, this is how you would monetize health coaching in our model. You would want to set up a business model that is conducive for one-on-one health coaching, group programs, or automated courses. And I’m going to go through a very brief overview of these because I want to make sure that we have time for Q&As.
But with one-on-one coaching, you’re going to be seeing somebody one-on-one, obviously, to help them with their problem. So, whatever solution that you have to offer for a client, they are hiring you to get support in that way. It allows you to bring in a large amount of income per client so you work with a lot less clients to make the income that you want. You do not need thousands and thousands of clients to have a very successful business doing one-on-one health coaching. So, you can work with less clients but make a great income and help them one-on-one through their health journey. You do not need a team for this really, and you don’t need a ton of knowledge with business and marketing. Like I said, it’s not as complex as some of the other models to see somebody one-on-one. The group coaching programs, you’re going to want to have the same program. So, for that one-on-one, say you would set up a three-month women’s wellness program, and you’re coaching women through their health complaints, whatever it is. So, a three-month women’s wellness program, seeing someone one-on-one.
Now in your group coaching model, you would want that same exact three-month women’s wellness program. The only difference is that you’re seeing more people in that program. So, instead of having 10 one-on-one clients, you have 10 clients in your one program. That means instead of 10 sessions with clients that week, you only have one session that week with all 10 people on a call. So, it actually lets your schedule lighten up, and it helps people… And there are studies showing that group coaching, especially in the health and wellness phase, sometimes it’s actually even more beneficial for the client because of that community factor and going through a wellness journey with others. So, group coaching is the next model.
And the last is automated courses. Again, that same three-month women’s wellness. The reason I want all of these items to be the same is for simplicity. This does not have to be complex to make a massive impact in the world. In fact, the more simple you are, the easier it is to scale your impact. The easier it is for people to refer people to you and the more simplistic it is to grow a team around your business. So, you’ll want to create one core program, and then there are three ways that you can help people through that, one-on-one group or an automated course. Automated courses are amazing because you can sell them completely passively without seeing clients at all, and you’re essentially putting all your knowledge of that three-month program, for example, it’s just an example, into a recorded training with trainings and different modules, checklists, PDFs, tools to help somebody to navigate their own health journey with the information that you have, whether whatever the niche industry, etc., is.
So, I love that because somebody can buy your course at any time, and an unlimited amount of clients can do that without you having to work anymore. Because if you’re a one-on-one coaching or group coaching, the more people that you help, the more you will have to work and build your team. Whereas, with automated courses, a hundred people could sign up one day, and it doesn’t impact your work. It just impacts your income and your impact. So, it’s pretty cool.
I also love automated courses because it helps your one-on-one clients and your group clients get better results and be happier because they have something to go through in addition to their sessions with you. And it helps you because you don’t have to repeat the same stuff over and over and over and over and over again every single time you have a session. Instead of teaching every time you have a session, you’re actually supporting, which I think is very helpful for both people involved—for you because it’s more simple and also for the client because they can go through this material on their own time. Not everybody learns amazing with just like a one 30-minute session with somebody and then they have to wait till next week. A lot of people like to be able to have a program to go through in addition to that coaching so that they can go through on their own time, they can click pause, they can replay, they can print out the checklist. So, it’s really, really a great option to have with your business model.
If you’re wondering where the heck you would start, I would start—almost everybody who comes into our space at least—with one-on-one, because I said it’s simplistic. You don’t need a huge team. You don’t need a ton of knowledge around business and marketing. You can help clients get really great testimonials and really, really great results, build up your testimonials, build your brand and grow from there. But I would start with one-on-one and then dive into group and courses.
So, how the heck are you going to get clients into that program? Well, people need to know that you exist. So, you need an audience of people who know you exist. Hate to break it to you, but you’re going to have to market yourself. However, it becomes fun. When I first started my health coaching business, I was just showing people what I was doing anyways in my life. Like, you know, the wool ball dryers I use or the lab tests that I just got on my body, I’m just showing them what I’m doing in my life anyway that I love anyway, and that builds brand recognition so that people know that I exist.
You want to build a brand they trust and love. The easiest, fastest way to do this is to be okay putting your face on the brand, because people buy from people and they want to just relate to you. They want to be able to feel attached to you, feel like they can, you know, have a conversation with you even though it’s online.
And then authority and credibility in your space helps a lot to getting clients. The main way we do this is through social media, and I would recommend you to pick one platform to start with. I started with Instagram. The very first time I ever got Instagram was for my business. Like, seriously, I logged in for the business. So, I am not a social media girl. I had no idea what I was doing, so it’s completely okay if you don’t either, but you’ll learn it. You guys are all smart. This is simply a skill set that you can learn to help a lot of people and to perhaps build your own business.
The growth is endless. You can have partnerships with other entrepreneurs and brands. So, if there’s like a brand of food that you really love, you guys can do a partnership together or a giveaway. DMs are key. DMs are direct messages. Now, I would never tell people to go cold DM and pitch a bunch of people. Like, please don’t be the people that do that. Instead, have a conversation with people who are coming into your space. Attract the people, so buy your posts. You’re going to attract people. And when they follow you, send them a hello message. It’s just like if you had a brick and mortar practice or if you were hosting a party and someone came into your front door, you wouldn’t just ignore them. So, with social media if someone follows you, don’t ignore them. That’s rude. Send them a little message, “Hey, I’m so glad you’re here. Curious what brought you to my page. I talk tons about gut health. Are you struggling with your gut health?” And open up that conversation. It’s so amazing. And it’s more important than your website because it’s going to help you get out in the world in a bigger way.
In-person events are another way to find your clientele. A lot of our clients set up talks at yoga studios, at medical spas, at health and wellness grocery stores, lots of different options here. And you want to collaborate with the owners of that business. It’s not as intimidating as you may think, and I always tell our clients to remember that these are small business owners, too. And, like, they want to collaborate with you. They want their business to get out in the community in a bigger way. And they think it’s probably really fun to collaborate with you to host some kind of event. So, don’t judge your hometown. I’m also from a very small hometown in Indiana. We have lots of clients in small towns. There are tons of opportunities for you to get out into your local community and make a big impact and get clients if you’re seeing clients.
The last way to make your business known is other people’s audiences (OPAs). Getting in front of someone else’s audience, it immediately builds that trust and rapport with someone that I talked about earlier, that trust, authority, credibility, because that person’s already built it with their people. So, when they bring you into this space, it’s an easier barrier to grow trust with them. So, also, you are probably starting from pretty much scratch unless you already have a big audience. And even if you do, you don’t have, you know, their audience. So, getting in front of someone else’s audience helps your brand grow too, because all those people are now going to become aware of you. This can be in the form of IG lives, joint webinars, giveaways, podcasts, mainstream media, speaking at an event, the list goes on.
I’m excited for you to learn more about functional medicine coaching to help yourself, your loved ones, like I initially intended, or perhaps even make a full-blown career out of this. Like I said, I had never intended to make a career out of this, but when you love what you do, you love what you do. I feel like some of you probably are like, “Yeah, I’m obsessed with this,” and you want to help other people get well. And I’m really excited for you to have that.
Health coaches are the way of the present, not even the future. It’s here now. And more people than ever are waiting for you to step into your passion and help impact the world in this way. Let me know in the chat. Do you guys… Or, you guys don’t have chat? But, like, say it with me right now, like, do you guys feel this? This is the way. People want health coaching. They want you. They’re looking for you, so it’s up to you to get out there.
So, I’m going to show you three ways that you can, kind of, take next steps to learn more about how to help somebody in health and wellness. And if you want to make a business about this, how to make a business about this like your own career and also how to become a health coach in general, whether it’s for your own career or to work for somebody else, which is also a great option. I’m going to give you three resources to check into, and then we’ll open the Q&A. Sound good?
All right. So, the three things you can do right now to get started is grab the book. It’s actually right here, I’ll show it to you, guys, “Eat to Treat.” I break down those three steps. So, if you’re ever wondering…you want to learn more about health and wellness, people ask me this all the time. What are some books you recommend to learn more about health and wellness? What are some podcasts you recommend? I recommend this book. Obviously, I wrote it, but it is really good. This is years of experience, and knowledge, and clients put into this, and it dives really deep into all three of those phases and those steps. And you can steal my idea and use them for your own clients and your own life. So, get the “Eat to Treat” book at that link.
The second thing that you can do is I have a deeper training. Obviously, I wanted to keep this overview to give you clarity and direction on what this looks like and give you insight and direction on what to do. But we want to leave room for Q&A, so I can’t go super deep. So, I have another free training that is only business and marketing. So, if you’re watching this and you’re one of the people who are like, “I want to be my own boss. I want to start my own business around this,” there’s a free training here that you can go to. I guess take a screenshot because you obviously can’t click it, but take a screenshot or the FMCA team can put that in the chat. And this is a free training that you can join, which only talks about business and marketing. And that way, you can learn more about how to create a career around this.
And the third thing that you can do is FMCA, shameless plug, they’re amazing. I don’t think they even knew I was putting this in there, but their program is really good. So, if you want to actually be a health coach and you want to be certified as a health coach and learn the health and wellness strategies, the coaching strategies, things like that, they did give me 20 percent off for their spring enrollment with the code MAGGIE. So, again, maybe take a screenshot, and you can click that link, and then you can join their enrollments as a thank you for joining this webinar. I think it starts in the springtime, but go ahead and get booked now because I do think they cap their enrollment periods. So, yeah. So, FMCA, I went to the sister company of this to learn more about health and wellness, and then I built my own business and then things like that. So, these are all important things in your journey in this career path.
And that’s it, guys. So, let’s open up to Q&A. I’d love to connect with you. Here are my social media platforms. So, if you’re not yet following, I would love for you to say hi. I just told you DMs are key. Like, I’m going to say hi to you. If you follow me, I’m going to reach out and just chat like, “Let’s chat. I want to get to know you. I want to support you.” So, make sure you follow me there. And let’s open up to Q&A. I’ll stop my share, so I can see the questions. And I’m excited. I see them rolling in.
Dr. Sandi: Wow. There are a lot of questions. So, I want to thank you, Maggie. That was an incredible presentation. You had so much information to share, and it’s great to see so many questions coming in. So, we will do our best to answer them. And right off the bat, we have a question from Sabrina, and I think others are interested as well. I’m going to take that because it has to do with labs and how you can learn more about labs and, in general, what labs have to be done depending on the problem.
So, this is an area where coaches can make a huge impact. There’s several ways. The first way is if they are working with a provider, a functional medicine doctor, for example, and that practitioner will have a set of labs. And usually these are going way above and beyond the standard lab panel that you would get if you go for your once-a-year yearly checkup. And these are things like an analysis of your cholesterol panel. As an example, I was just with Dr. Mark Hyman. We did a webinar together, and he took my own personal labs and, on the spot, showed the different testing that’s done with his company Function Health. So, that would be number two. So, number one is, if you’re working with a doctor, they have their own specialty labs. These might be looking at an advanced lipid panel. It might be fasting insulin because most doctors don’t check that. They just check blood glucose levels. It might be hormones. It might be testing for heavy metals.
And now there are direct-to-consumer companies, such as Mark Hyman’s Function Health. And here’s the key. So, in both of those examples, one is the doctor ordering something for the client. The other is that individual, that client of yours is going to be empowered to take charge of their health, and they’re going to go to those companies that are direct to them, the consumer. And so the information comes back to them. And then they can share it with you as a health coach, and you can have a conversation about, “Oh, based on these results, where would you like to start in terms of maybe changing what you’re eating or getting more movement or better sleep?” So, they are focusing in that area, and that’s where they could be so, so inspiring. They can educate people about what all of these different specialty tests mean, and then help people feel empowered to go out and get them, whether from their doctor or for a direct-to-consumer company. So, they have a big, big role in labs.
Anything you wanted to add, Maggie?
Maggie: No, that was amazing. I do think there are just so many options out there. You don’t have to be the one to get the labs, and there are just a lot of great options out there. I personally think that all of you guys should even do your own labs, like you were saying, that you had recently done. I mean, we have a lot of advanced technology to find out a lot about our bodies so that we can stay well long-term too, because you’re not going to be able to help your clients to the best of your ability and make the impact you want if you feel like crap. You want to feel your best as well so that you can thrive.
Dr. Sandi: : Absolutely. I’m just going to go in order here, and we’ll scroll down from Christina. She wants to know the benefits of getting certified as a health coach versus others that become health coaches without. Okay. So, certification is very important. We issue a certificate of completion, which means you’ve met all the requirements for our course. And as an approved school, there’s something called the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching. We are very proud to be an approved school, and you can then sit for their exam. And we then see our graduates who are getting certified and they are so proud. Yeah, they’re posting that certificate, “I’m board-certified as a health and wellness coach,” and that means that they will be sought after. The board has companies and doctors coming in saying they only want board-certified coaches. And so it gives you that edge and also you just feel great like you have met that gold standard.
All right. And I think there’s some other questions coming in now that are Maggie’s territory.
Maggie: All right, so Kimberly said what was the name of the school I went to. So, Functional Medicine Coaching Academy and Institute for Functional Medicine are, kind of, one and the same. They have a different teaching style. What I do now in my business with health clients would be going to Functional Medicine Coaching Academy. They’re a little different, and I believe at least IFM is more I guess more medical license based where maybe, if I was a nurse practitioner then, that would be maybe if I went to IFM and decided to open my own integrative practice or functional practice but I decided to actually build a coaching route. So, if you see me and you’re like, “I want to do what you do,” I would actually recommend Functional Medicine Coaching Academy because that’s what I do now.
We have a question on toxins. How do you encourage people to understand the impact toxins have on their health? I’m finding many do not. It’s up to you to make this fun. No one wants to have like a status downgrade of something they have to do, or, you know, a thing that they have to implement in their life. So, I make lifestyle changes very exciting. I’m like, “Oh, my gosh, I’m so excited. It’s going to be so cool. It’s going to feel amazing when you wake up every day, by just living in your house, you’re automatically in an environment conducive to healing and a healthier environment versus like a toxic gross environment with chemicals flooding your air that are known to cause health complications. This is going to be awesome. Let’s start with something you use every day. Like, what’s a product that you definitely use every day? And we can try to find some swaps for it. So, I make it fun, and that’s how they really engage that.
I also lead by example. I do this in my own life. So, it’s very natural and very normal and to have our clients do that as well. Yeah, do you want me…
Dr. Sandi: Absolutely. Yeah, [crosstalk 00:37:47]…
Maggie: …to keep on just quick-firing down the row?
Dr. Sandi: Yeah, there was a question about the common inflammatory agents in those household cleaners.
Maggie: Gosh, there are a lot. Actually, in “Eat to Treat,” I have, like, 115 ingredients of things to avoid in your food and in your products. So, I would check that out. And then, in general, companies make it pretty simple now to, hopefully, unless it’s greenwashing, but if you find a company you trust, they typically make it simple by having different certifications that state that they don’t have different toxic ingredients, or there are sites like Yuka or EWG that you can put your product into, and it rates it on… That was EWG and Yuka. It rates how toxic it is, and it tells you the exact ingredients that made that rating go up in toxicity. So, you will want to focus toward EWG-certified, meaning it’s totally clean, or EWG1. And I feel it depends on the client too. If somebody is super, super struggling, super sick, they’ve got five chronic disease going, you want everything to be the lowest inflammatory as possible. Unscented. EWG-certified. Lowest inflammatory. If someone is maybe coming to you and they just want to…they feel amazing and they’re just like curious about health and wellness, maybe their body would be okay with, like, EWG2. I mean, it just is dependent, but in general, I like it as low as possible.
Dr. Sandi: Yeah, that is great. I love Yuka. I just discovered that, and you take a picture and it just tells you how it rates. It’s great. Very informative. And there’s another question from Diane that I could take, and it has to do with people who are stuck either past trauma, fight or flight syndrome. And how do you help them? Well, I’m a big believer in moving forward, power of imagery. And you want to, through a dialogue, ask the kind of questions, have them imagine a better future. What would that look like? And they picture it, they feel it, they have that emotion that’s very positive into the future. And that can go a long way. So, that’s the beauty of coaching. It’s that questioning process where you’re getting them to move forward and showing them hope that, yes, it is possible. Maybe stuck right now, but this is temporary. It’ll change.
Maggie: Agreed. It’s very powerful, especially, you know, when they have other complications. And then I’d add to that, there are clients that I’ve worked with where I understand I’m not the only person they need. And I make sure they know that. And I tell them you need to work with someone else in this space or this type of practitioner. And sometime I’ll help them try to find somebody like that because I know that they don’t only need me. They need outside help as well or different specialists as well. So, I’m helping them to navigate who do they need on their care plan to really get to the results that they’re looking for.
Sandi, this would be a good one for you since you’re specialized in teaching health coaches. Are you able to share, as a health coach, healthy recipes and non-toxic living tips on social media and still stay within the scope of practice?
Dr. Sandi: Absolutely. You’re an educator. As long as you have a disclaimer that shows, “I am not giving personal medical advice,” it’s just like if you wrote a book. I’m sure Maggie, in your book, you have that disclaimer that this is not a medical prescription for any given individual. You are sharing general information.
Maggie: Yes, I agree. You’re just showing them a healthy recipe, an awesome thing, healthy tips. And I like the word educator that she used and also, like, recommending. I’m always like, “I would recommend this. Here are five items I’d recommend for your pantry.” So, that’s great.
Daniel says, how do you balance and navigate the coach versus expert approach when working with clients when you have such a wealth of knowledge? Now, I think that you can be an… You’re an expert , right? I mean, I’m an expert on what I do. I have gone through a crazy health challenge, overcome that, and equip myself with so much knowledge and training on this topic, helped others through this topic, created content around this topic, written books around this topic. I’m an expert in this space, and you are too. I don’t think it’s necessarily different, and I also don’t think your clients really care. Your clients don’t care as much about your title, I have found, than how you care about them and the way that you show up for them. They don’t.
So, like, when I first started actually, for anybody who’s medical in here, I was nervous to let go of my nurse practitioner degree because I thought, “Well, that builds that. That’s what makes me me. That’s why they’re going to hire me.” But I found out they don’t even care. All they care about is can you help them, and so I knew that I can help them best in this role as a functional medicine coach and educator. Would you [inaudible 00:42:36] that?
Dr. Sandi: I love that. Yes. So, you can be the expert in health and wellness. You have a lot of information, and you can share that information. Here’s what’s key. You want to do it in a way where it’s solicited, where they want it. It is not just you saying, “You should do this. You should do that,” where you don’t know what exactly they want. But the coach approach is through that questioning. You are partnering with them. It’s not a dictatorship. As the expert, they are wanting that information and then you provide it. And even better, you share resources like Maggie’s books or other books or go to a podcast. You’ll learn more. You have those sources where there’s research to back up your expertise.
Maggie: The next several questions are health coach kind of based. If you want to sit through and choose, there are so many, so I want to make sure we kind of, like, answer… A lot of them are similar. So, why don’t you go through and, kind of, see do you want to answer like a general one? A lot of the next ones are very similar to each other.
Dr. Sandi: Great. So, there’s a question about how we imagine AI regarding health coaching advice. Well, AI is here to stay. It’s not going away. It’s becoming more sophisticated, but it doesn’t take the place of a heart-centered communication like health coaching. So, you work with AI. You can have certain things automated to help you in your business, or the provider you may be working with. But at the end of the day, it is that heart-centered communication that can never be replaced. And there’s been studies on this showing that people who are just getting text AI-driven, they tune them out after a while. Imagine what it’s like if you’re on a call and you want to speak to a human representative and customer service, and you just get the robot. It’s very frustrating. And so we need that human communication. We need health coaches, and it is growing rapidly.
Maggie: Another question. Joanna said, how did you find your first customer as a coach? How did you help this person? Well, I helped this person with the three steps that I just told you guys, and everything inside of “Eat to Treat” is exactly what I did to help this person. And I like this story because it’s not as intimidating as you think. My very first client, I actually met at the sauna at a YMCA in my small hometown in Indiana. We were just sitting next to each other, me and this girl, and we were just kind of chatting and connecting. And then she was saying that she had some health things going on. And then I told her, “Well, I’m an online functional medicine coach. I can probably help you with that if you want me to.” And it was so natural and so easy, and she became my first client, and it was amazing.
And so you don’t have to have these huge complex stuff and team members and marketing teams. You don’t have to have that to get clients. What you need is confidence to talk about what you do. You need to be confident in saying, “I am online, but I’m a functional medicine health coach. I help people blank,” whatever your expertise is, so that people know you exist and that they can hire you.
Dr. Sandi: So, the next question, what is the difference between a functional health coach and a functional health practitioner? Here’s the difference. As a coach, you are the expert in behavior change. You are trained to listen. And you have a certificate. Whereas, if you are a practitioner, you are licensed in a state to practice your specialty. You might be a nurse practitioner. You might be a physician, and that is the key difference. So, as a practitioner, your license to practice medicine means that you’re going to be ordering labs. You’re going to be coming up with a diagnosis and a treatment plan. Then it’s the coach who does the magic. They are the one who’s partnering with people so that that treatment plan can be carried out or personalized even more for that individual.
Maggie: Mm-hmm. Absolutely. This is kind of a health one, I guess. Delphine says that I talk about water. Please can you help me know the type of drinking and bathing water for health and wellness? There are a lot of different types of filters. Some common ones would be Home Master or Aquasana are some great water filter systems. And then depending on their finances and also their living situation, like if they own a home or their apartment, you could also get a whole house filter so that all the water is filtered. It’s more of an investment, but it is kind of gold standard. And if you can’t do that, I would, at minimum, have your clients get a showerhead filter so that whenever they’re in the shower, their water is filtered. So, at minimum, drinking water filtered, shower filtered. At max, you can get a whole house filter and those other items.
Dr. Sandi: A question coming in from Shelly, can you comment on corporate clients if you worked in corporate programs?
Maggie: So, I actually have for a couple but it’s not my main area of expertise. However, some of our business clients, that is their main area of expertise. And there are so many ways you go about it. Some of our clients have had a year-long contract where they come and do a quarterly session with the corporate clients like the whole corporation. Some of our clients have zoned in on just executive teams where they work with, like, the top six executives of the company and help them through their health and wellness. And then some of our clients are actually paid speakers. One of our clients actually just recently flew out to San Francisco, and they paid her a lot of money to come and talk about health and wellness to their audience. And then she did a great job, and they contracted her on monthly. So, every month now, she’s going to do a talk at that company. So, there are a lot of opportunities in that space as well.
Dr. Sandi: So, Destiny has a question about the actual how, like how do you get clients? How do you start your business? Can you comment on that?
Maggie: Yes, I could comment on that for, like, 50 hours straight. There’s a lot that goes into it, which is why one of the recommended resources that I sent is another free training that only talks about business and marketing. And I do recommend you to go to that training. So, if you missed that, maybe Scott can put the link in the chat. But in general, without getting too, too deep into it, how to find clients, social media, specifically Instagram. Let’s zone in there because that’s what I live and breathe and what most of our clients do. So, Instagram. Posting on Instagram is a huge opportunity. And once you rip that Band-Aid off and start, it’s not as intimidating as you think, especially when you start to get people who message you and tell you how helpful it is. The positive reinforcement of everything is everything. And, also, it’s cool that some of them don’t even hire you, and they tell you that you made a huge impact in their life, or that they feel better or their headaches are gone because they got rid of the candles that you told them were bad like all the things. So cool. So, social media, specifically Instagram.
In-person events, local events. You could do, like, little Wellness Talk on Thursday. A lot of our clients are doing Healthy for the Holidays talks, because I did one when I was a newbie health coach. So, they’re doing Healthy for the Holidays talks in their local community coming up, and these don’t have to be huge. My first talks were two. My first in-person talks, there were two of them. One I did at the compounding pharmacy. I just called the guy and asked. Like, you have to have the courage to ask. So, nothing is crazy special about me except for I was confident enough to ask people to do stuff and to tell people that I can help them. So, I called the local guy. He was like, “Yeah, how’s next Thursday?” And one week later, I’m in front of his people, and it was so cute. I’ll never forget. There was a little flyer of me. They had, like, put a picture of me and, like, our little title on the door. And I remember thinking like, “Oh, my gosh, this is so cool and so real.”
And and I did a little talk. I personally did the difference between traditional medicine and functional medicine. The majority of people were like from ages 70 to 85, and I got clients from it. And I helped some amazing handful of first clients. The second event, kind of, a lot of people came like 25 maybe. And the second event I did was at a medical spot, and only two people came, but still it gave me practice, it gave me experience, and I showed on social media, even though I was like so nervous, I was grateful for that opportunity, which is another lesson. We have like a whole entrepreneurial mindset course. Like, that’s a different lesson. Like, don’t be bummed out only two people came to your first event. Be grateful that anyone showed up and that you have the opportunity to keep growing from there. So, I was so grateful for that event. I show behind the scenes. It was such a fun night. So, those are some of the areas that you can find clients, social media, Instagram, and local events.
Dr. Sandi: Everything you said so resonated. I did the same thing. I joined a local group, and pretty soon I had two people asking me to be on their podcast. It was called Lady Bosses. And then I got another interview, and I did two talks already and someone else asked me to do a talk. So, it just grows. It’s snowballs. You just start with one and one event. One post. One client and it’ll snowball, and they will be referring their friends, family.
Dr. Sandi: Yeah, it can be exciting. I look at it with excitement. So, we have a few questions. So, we talked about IFM. IFM trains the doctors. We train the coaches. So, the information is more about how to prescribe. They go into a lot more detail about things that doctors do, and you are certified by us by Functional Medicine Coaching Academy. And let’s see.
Maggie: There are a couple about like, how do you start making income or how do you start to build your business without finishing the program? Because the program’s a year. Is your guys’ program one year?
Dr. Sandi: Yes.
Maggie: Okay, cool So there’s a couple questions I see here of like, how do you get started before that year is ending? You could start right now today to build your brand recognition, to build education, to build your waitlist of clients, so like an email list of clients that you can just click send to when you’re ready to see clients. And you can start seeing paid clients without being certified in a way that keeps you safe. It might be so simple it’s helping them to readjust their schedule and routine, right? Whatever it is that you can do with your specialty, you can probably start taking clients before the whole formal certification. And I don’t know if I’m going to get myself in trouble for that, but Sandy, is that correct?
Dr. Sandi: So, yeah, so it depends where you are on your journey. If you’re completely new to health coaching, it depends who you are serving. And many people are already working in some capacity as a coach. And so, yes, in terms of going for board certification, you would not be able to call yourself board-certified, and you need so many practice hours, but many people are logging those hours and actually charging for their services.
Maggie: Exactly. And some monetization could even come from your Instagram. And you do not have to have a huge social media following for this. Even when I was first starting with 80 followers, companies would at least give me free things. I think one of my first ones, I got a free Ninja Blender and I did a giveaway. And then I had a paid opportunity where they actually paid me some money to do a post about something.
So, you can even be paid in that way and monetizing as you’re getting your health coach certification program through either client or online courses, depending on your knowledge base currently or brand partnerships. But most of all, getting the confidence and experience of building a brand. So, that if and when you are ready to take on clients, all you have to do is press accepting and they come in. We just had a client last week kind of do this, and we sent out an email saying she’s now taking clients. And she got three calls set up that day, and she closed all three clients. So, this is the importance of building that brand recognition in the meantime and why it’s really important to start. If you know you’re going to do it, start now instead of waiting one year down the road because that’s an entire 12 months that you have to build up your brand awareness and all that good stuff.
Dr. Sandi: Yeah, there’s so much demand for people wanting… They’re hurting, they want to get well. Kevin asked about insurance and Medicaid. So, stay tuned because this is going to happen. It’s a matter of time right now. There are transitional codes, not fully reimbursable codes, but changes on the horizon. And so stay tuned. This will be happening.
Maggie: Super cool. Let’s see. There’s one about… I’m not a medical practitioner, but I want to start a functional medicine clinic or business focusing on Alzheimer’s patients and their caretakers. What do you recommend to study? Well, that’s like something that a certified health coach can help with with their tools and strategies. So, you could study to become a certified health coach and use those practices and those skill sets to help the Alzheimer’s community.
Dr. Sandi: We have a lot of graduateswho are specializing in this area, and so it is definitely very, very needed.
Maggie: I’m going to answer this one because they’re asking PA or NP, which I’m assuming they are, and I’m a nurse practitioner. So, if you go through the certification program for health coaching, would you be able to be called a functional medicine nurse practitioner or functional medicine PA or is that only if you go through IFM? The way I phrase mine is, if I ever want to give myself that background, first of all, you’re always a nurse practitioner and physician assistant. Like, that’s a part of your story. So, it’s in my About page type of deal, but how I did it when I started was I said like, “Nurse practitioner turned online health coach.” And so I don’t call myself functional medicine nurse practitioner. I’m a health consultant, health coach, course creator.
But I think depending on probably your state or where you went to get your certification or what your background is, what your actual license is and what you’re doing, it makes a huge difference. Like, are you having a local… We have some clients who actually have local brick and mortar practices using their license as functional medicine nurse practitioners in their community. So, that’s totally different than what I’ve done, and you can do either. There are a lot of different paths. I would say that, kind of, figuring out… Well, watch the training on the business because I dive into it in that free training I gave. I dive into some different options. Like, do you want to have a physical practice or true telemedicine where you are? I mean, I have functional medicine practitioners and doctors that I see who are in a more traditional licensed role, not coaching role. So, you can do that. I just chose to go to the coaching world.
Dr. Sandi: I’m going to touch on Christine’s question about she wants to work directly with physicians, get referrals from them. Yes, tried and true. I did this for almost 40 years as a psychologist. Just start with one. Often you have maybe one client, and you find out who their doctors are. You get permission, you connect with them. You say, “I just saw your patient so and so,” and then they’ll get curious, “Oh, can you work with type 2 diabetes?” “Yes.” And you chat, they get to know you, vice versa. And you can have a lot of referrals from these doctors because they are frustrated. They can only see the conventional doctor, seven, eight minutes with person. They may want to focus on lifestyle, but they can’t for many reasons. And so they will welcome you.
It is a relationship. This is relationship first. You find out, oh, maybe, you know, in your child’s school, there’s some doctors, parents. You get to know them socially. You find common interests. Somebody in your yoga class could be a physician who’s on the mat next to you. You get to know them and pretty soon they’ll be referring to you.
Maggie: Yeah, absolutely. I love this because there are just so many opportunities. Look at all the doctor’s offices and all the clinics and things like that. And I also had this. Some of my first referrals were from a gastrointestinal doctor, and I met him at a drug rep dinner when I was still a nurse practitioner. And we were, like, at this drug rep dinner, we were chatting, and he was asking about me. And I told him, well, actually I’m doing online health coaching now. Like, I’m transitioning to that. I’m building my own business in this. And he was so interested. He wanted to help people in that way but didn’t have the time because he’s busy doing surgeries all day. But he was telling me like, “I know there’s more to this because I do surgeries and the clients are still sick sometimes,” or like, “I know that they need your help, but I don’t have time to learn this.”
And so actually we partnered, and I got a little pamphlet in his office. And so for people who were struggling with their—that was gastro—gut health, he would send them my way because he understands that this is important but does not want to take the time and effort. And that’s not his passion to learn this, right? So, it’s really, really important to make connections like that and help these people out because that’s what helps the client out. Like he said, people are coming to his office and all he can do really is medications and surgeries, but he knows that’s not all there is to this. And so you can provide yourself as a tool to that practitioner, to that doctor, to send clients to you to help and assist them.
Dr. Sandi: Absolutely. Well, we are at the top of the hour. This has been just so wonderful, Maggie. I really want to thank you. I want to thank everybody who tuned in. I know we did not get to all of your questions but rest assured we will do our best to have a follow-up. You will also get the recording of this in case you missed some parts of it. And we are, again, just so, so thankful for you, for everything that you are doing to offering both information about wellness, cutting edge information, and also showing the how to’s of having a thriving career as a health coach. So, thank you. Thank you for participating, everybody.
Maggie: Thank you guys for coming. And I’m excited for all of you to see what’s next for your career path.
Dr. Sandi: Yes. Check out Maggie’s resources and check out FMCA.
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