Visit our Location
1101 E 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46240
Store Hours
Monday - Friday: 9AM - 6PM
Saturday: 9AM - 3PM
Sunday - Closed

What is Health Coaching?

Health coaching is an increasingly popular form of personalized health and wellbeing support. It is designed to help people reach their health, nutrition and lifestyle goals. A health coach offers professional guidance, support and accountability towards those goals. It is a collaborative approach to wellbeing that focuses on making lifestyle changes to enhance overall health. This can include things like improving nutrition and physical activity habits, losing weight, or reducing stress.

Health coaching takes into account your individual needs and lifestyle. A health coach will work with you to identify which changes will work best for you and your lifestyle, as opposed to one-size-fits-all advice. Your coach will discuss your goals, assess your current lifestyle and discuss practical strategies to help you move forward. This could include dietary changes, physical activity recommendations or ideas to help you manage stress. Health coaches provide personalized guidance and support to help clients identify their goals and create an action plan to reach them.

From a nutrition perspective, a health coach will help you to create a nutritional plan tailored to your individual needs. This might involve setting simple and achievable goals, exploring food preferences, discussing portion sizes and making any necessary adjustments to ensure that you feel comfortable and can stick to the plan. Ultimately, a health coach will help you to choose the right nutrition and lifestyle choices to best reach your goals. For instance, a health coach may help clients make dietary changes that support their health. This may involve learning how to read nutrition labels, understanding food portion sizes, and modifying their diet to reduce carbs, fats, and sugars. For those looking to lose weight, a health coach may provide advice on how to create a calorie deficit while still getting enough nourishment, and suggest the right balance of physical activities such as walking, running, and weight training.

As you can see, health coaching provides personalized guidance and support and is a great way to get the encouragement, advice and accountability you need to help you reach your health and wellbeing goals. With an experienced health coach to guide you, you’ll find yourself making healthier choices with confidence and feeling better than ever. At Nora Apothecary, we are licensed healthcare providers who offer a more in-depth take on traditional health coaching. We review your medications and supplements, labwork, symptoms, and stressors, among other things, and make recommendations, whether it is for a specific condition or diagnosis, or helping you find the cause of your symptoms. We’re here to be your partner in your health.

Gut Health and Immunity

You’ve probably been hearing more lately about the connection between your gut and your immune system. In fact, 70% of your immune system lives in your gut, which is why what we put in it is so important. 

And if you’re part of the 77% of adults (according to KRC Research) looking for particular foods and products to support your immune system, we’re here to help. 

Let’s start with what is your gut and what does it consist of. It’s home to thousands of different species of microorganisms including bacteria, fungi, viruses and other microbes. We call this your gut microbiome. Some bacteria are beneficial and others are associated with poorer health outcomes.

When your gut microbiome is healthy it includes a wide range of different beneficial bacteria and helps regulate your immune system so it can respond to injury or infection, but doesn’t attack healthy body tissue.

The link between nutrition and immune system response was recently illustrated with a ZOE COVID Symptom Study that discovered that people who consumed a gut-friendly diet, including lots of plants, were 40% less likely to have severe symptoms or require hospital treatment. 

Besides your immune response, the health of your gut can also affect certain types of inflammation; acute inflammation – which is a healthy defense response, and chronic inflammation – an unhealthy attack on your body, which occurs over time and causes chronic diseases. 

A bruise or a cut after an injury with redness, swelling and heat are signs that cells in that area are sending signals to specialized immune cells to fight infection and repair damage. This is known as acute inflammation.

There’s also chronic inflammation which is caused by a number of factors including long-term stress, poor diet consisting of too many processed foods and refined sugars, and lack of exercise, among others. Improving gut health helps to decrease chronic inflammation. Left untreated, chronic inflammation can negatively impact your health including by increasing the risk of serious conditions like obesity, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes.

Based on research being done at MD Anderson, patients who harbor certain good gut bacteria have better responses to immunotherapy that’s used to treat cancer. In fact, scientists believe that giving patients a fiber-rich diet of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains to nourish the microbiome might improve the odds that the cancer treatment is effective. In another study, patients were given daily meals that included as much as 50 grams of daily fiber, about twice the recommended amount, and findings showed that every five-gram increase was associated with a 30% lower risk of death or cancer progression.

So what foods should you eat? Start by increasing your fiber intake. Plants are a great source of prebiotics (plant fiber) that feed your beneficial gut bacteria. Fiber found in plants is insoluble, and adds bulk to the stool which can help food pass more quickly through the stomach and intestines.  Soluble fiber is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and vegetables. It is also found in psyllium, a common fiber supplement. Soluble fiber attracts water and slows digestion, helping bacteria to ferment and make very important short-chain fatty acids that promote the growth of healthy bacteria. 

Increasing your fiber intake can alter and improve the type of microorganisms in your gut in just a few weeks. Some good high natural sources of fiber include: 

  • Asparagus
  • Beans 
  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Legumes (like peas, green beans, chickpeas, and lentils)
  • Whole grains

Probiotics (live bacteria and yeasts) are also beneficial and can be found in fermented foods including: 

  • Yogurt
  • Kefir
  • Kimchi
  • Fermented sauerkraut 
  • Cottage cheese with live cultures

With yogurt, it’s important to read the label as all probiotic touted foods are not created equal. Many yogurts have added sugar and additives which should be avoided. To make sure the product you pick is filled with gut-healing benefits, look for the words “live active cultures” and “lactobacillus” (a gut-healthy bacteria). Since it also produces the enzyme lactase, yogurts with this ingredient may be easier for people with dairy intolerance to digest. Studies suggest probiotics may also reduce irritable bowel syndrome symptoms, like pain and bloating, and reduce the itchiness and pain associated with eczema.

Here are some yogurt brands to consider:

  • Chobani (non fat plain)
  • Stonyfield Farm Organic (plain whole milk)
  • Fage Total (2% milkfat plain)
  • Brown Cow (whole milk plain)
  • Nancy’s Organic (low fat plain)
  • Maple Hill Creamery (whole milk plain)
  • Wallaby Organic (whole milk plain)