How These 3 Health Coaches Describe Their Jobs: Health Coaching in Action

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by MaryAnn Jones, A-CFHC

As I begin to write about what I do as a health coach, I am thinking about the career paths of family and friends: engineer, nurse, banker, project manager, attorney, and real estate broker. These are occupations that most of us are familiar with and have had the opportunity to experience in different aspects of our lives. But, at this point in history, my job usually needs a bit of explanation.

When asked about what I do, I explain that I am an ADAPT-Certified Functional Health Coach (A-CFHC). I help people believe in their unlimited potential to change their habits and thrive. I offer my support, inspiration, awareness, and attention to motivate others to take simple steps that lead to their ideal vision of wellness.

I am also an Enrollment Advisor for the Kresser Institute, and I have the pleasure of spending part of my day talking to wellness warriors who want to share their passion for Functional Medicine and optimal health. We created a series of articles to forward the understanding of the vital role health coaches play in helping clients achieve positive health outcomes. This article will give you a window into the exciting and growing field of health coaching via interviews with three ADAPT graduates. I look forward to your feedback.

What Do Health Coaches Do Each Day? Stories from Three Practicing Coaches

What do health coaches do in a typical day? Check out this article from health coach MaryAnn Jones to hear from three practicing coaches as they discuss their daily routines. #iamachangeagent #unconventionalmedicine #kresserinstitute

To get a clearer picture of what health coaches do every day, I spoke with three practicing coaches and graduates of the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program. We talked about what a typical day looks like for them, how they work with their clients, their favorite resources, and more.

The ADAPT Health Coach Training Program is designed to equip students with the skills, knowledge, and tools they need to support their clients. Our yearlong, virtual course dives deep into the art and practice of coaching, the core principles of Functional and ancestral health, and the nitty-gritty details of how to structure a coaching career. If you’re ready to make a living by making a difference in the lives of your clients, click here and learn more about what the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program has to offer.

Elise Knox: Health Coach for Overwhelmed Teens and Moms

Elise Knox, ADAPT-Certified Functional Health Coach
Age 37; Auburn, California;

Q: What drew you to the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program?

A: An autoimmune disease is what brought me to Chris Kresser’s work, Functional Medicine, and health coaching. And being a mom is what drives a lot of my decisions. I want to teach my daughters about healthy lifestyle habits, and show them I am someone who pursues my dreams even when it’s hard.

Q: What is your morning routine?

A: I wake up at 5:40 a.m. and I meditate for 20 minutes, journal for five to 10 minutes, and then do yoga for 20 minutes. After that, I shower, drink lemon water with sea salt and then a cup of coffee, and wake my daughters. I like to make sure that I have gotten in this morning routine so that I can be calm and present for my daughters every morning. I like to sit with them and drink my coffee while they are eating their breakfast. We talk and read intention cards every morning.

Q: How has your morning routine changed since enrolling in the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program?

A: Before ADAPT, I woke up to my children every morning. It was never calm or peaceful. As a result of the learning in the program, inspiration from fellow students, and my oldest daughter starting kindergarten, I now start the day more gently and mindfully.

Q: Is health coaching a career change for you? What were you doing prior to coaching?

A: I worked as a special education teacher and have been taking time off to raise my daughters. I also became certified to teach yoga three years ago, and love yoga. I still felt like something was missing, and I wanted to help people on a deeper level and make a steady income doing something I love.

Q: In a few bullet points, describe your current work.


  • Business model: I own my own business and work as an independent contractor.
  • Niche: Moms and teens who are overwhelmed and disconnected—I have discovered a real passion for helping my clients find joy, ease, and connection in their lives.
  • Secret to success: Through my mindfulness practice and journaling, I allow myself to be open to all opportunities and say yes when it feels right or it scares me. At the same time, I have learned to say no when it doesn’t feel right.

Q: How has your career path influenced and informed your current work?

A: After taking time off from teaching to be a mom, I was worried I would not be as efficient or competent. But what I have discovered is that I am much more effective! Throughout the ADAPT program, we focused on our strengths and how they make us unique agents of change. We honed our communication, listening, and empathy skills; logged coaching sessions; and studied behavioral change. This practice and support has built my confidence and has me saying yes to new opportunities like the program I am leading at a local school. I am excited to expose them to the benefits of health coaching.

Q: What does a typical day of health coaching look like?

A: I work in a K-12 charter school three days per week from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. I meet with students for one-on-one health coaching. I lead groups on sleep, technology, stress, anxiety, and time management. We chose the topics based on a schoolwide survey I administered. I also meet with teachers to co-create strategies they can use with students.

When I am not at school, I am a mom and work on my private coaching practice. I am building and nurturing my email list, making and responding to Instagram posts, and planning in-person workshops or challenges. I take coaching calls one evening per week and on Sundays. I am in contact with a few different Functional Medicine practitioners and working toward collaborating with them in the future.

Q: How did you initially connect with and engage one of your current clients?

A: My business coach shared my information with one of her contacts who she thought might be interested in health coaching. We connected by phone and we discussed her health goals. I asked her some questions and explained how we might work together. We both agreed we were a good fit for each other and booked our first sessions.

Q: How did you forward the client’s transformation?

A: We began working together for two months on diet and lifestyle changes. But as we began to go deeper and discuss the obstacles she was facing, the real transformation began. She realized that it was her morning routine, or lack thereof, that was holding her back. We co-created a morning routine together that aligned with her wellness vision. It has wound up positively impacting every area of her life.

Q: What are some of your favorite resources?

A: I listen to a lot of podcasts, in the health field, personal development, and marketing:

Q: What additional certifications and education are you considering?

A: I have hired a business coach, and enrolled in some business training programs.

Q: Are you currently doing any networking?

A: I participate in the ADAPT alumni forum and Facebook page. I have led a health challenge at a yoga studio and hosted a networking workshop. More networking is on the horizon for me.

I’m also a member of Health Coaches Without Borders, which provides free health coaching to groups and individuals to help them adapt to COVID-19. When I first started to realize the magnitude of COVID-19, my immediate response was: How can I help? The impacts of this pandemic are great; whether people are dealing with loss, life changes, income changes, or illness, all of us are affected. I have a skill that can help people process and adapt to this type of situation and I want to share it however I can. I am lucky to be part of an amazing community of other like-minded individuals with the same training.

Q: How are you marketing your health coaching services?

A: I have a free opt-in on my website. I regularly post on social media with valuable content. I write a blog article one to two times per month, and send it to my small, but growing email list every other Tuesday.

Q: What advice would you give to someone considering a career in health coaching?

A: Simply persevere and keep an open mind. I was not planning on working with the teenage population, but given my past career as a middle school teacher, I seized the opportunity. The path to success is not always linear, but you can find your way by focusing on your strengths, building confidence through practice, and seeking a supportive professional community.

Tyler Anderson: Remote Health Coach for Clients with Diabetes

Tyler Anderson, Adapt-Certified Functional Health Coach
Age, 26; Denver, Colorado;

Q: What drew you to the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program?

A: I had followed Chris Kresser’s work for years and respected his holistic approach to healthy living. So I signed up for the course on the first day that enrollment opened and never looked back!

Q: What is your morning routine? How has it changed since becoming an A-CFHC?

A: One component I have added to my daily routine since becoming an A-CFHC is setting clear priorities and desired outcomes for my day. I am infamous for having a never-ending to-do list. Over time, though, I have found that the best way to get through this list is to focus on only one or two items each day. This helps me stay focused on the task at hand because I don’t have intrusive thoughts about the vast number of things I need to get done. It also makes me feel better about my day as a whole because I am actually able to achieve everything I set out to do in the day.

Q: In a few bullet points, describe your current work. 


  • Communicating with patients through the Virta Health app and over the phone. This might consist of inquiring about trends in the patient’s biomarkers, answering diet and lifestyle questions, and setting goals with patients.
  • Collaborating with other coaches and providers to troubleshoot difficult problems for clients.
  • Working with other teams across the company on new initiatives aimed to make our patients and business more successful.

Q: How has your career path informed your current work?

A: I have known that I wanted to work in healthcare since I was in high school. I first became interested in health and wellness around this time because I wanted to improve my athletic performance. This interest led me to major in Nutritional Sciences and

Global Health in college. While in college, I worked a number of different jobs related to nutrition including doing research on vitamin A metabolism, working to change public health policy, and procuring local ingredients for a farm-to-table café.

While important work, none of these jobs felt like something that I would want to do long-term because they lacked human connection and real-world application of all the nutrition information that I had been learning about. With that in mind, I decided to join the Peace Corps as a Community Health Extensionist in rural Paraguay. For this role, I spent two years living in a Paraguayan village of about 700 people and working on community health initiatives related to healthy living. In the Peace Corps, I got closer to the human connection that I craved by working on a gardening outreach project, teaching healthy lifestyle classes, and hosting my own health and wellness radio show. While this experience was meaningful and transformative for me, the work itself lacked the deep interpersonal relationships that I crave. Luckily for me, just as my role with the Peace Corps was ending, the first cohort of the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program was set to begin.

Health coaching immediately resonated with me in a way that none of my other jobs had. This is because at the core of health coaching is the relationship that a coach forms with their clients. After a few short months in the course, I landed a job as a Community Health Educator specializing in working on healthy lifestyle changes with individuals afflicted with obesity, prediabetes, and type 2 diabetes. This role allowed me to apply what I was learning from the ADAPT coursework with real patients and gave me the experience and confidence to apply for my current role as a health coach at Virta Health.

Q: What does a typical day of health coaching look like?

A: At Virta Health, our mission is to reverse type 2 diabetes in 100 million people (not a typo) by 2025. We are working to accomplish this mission by providing remote (virtual) care to patients through our app and over the phone. As a health coach, I work with patients on implementing and sustaining diet and lifestyle changes that have been proven to drastically lower blood sugar. On a daily basis, I spend most of my time monitoring each patient’s progress and communicating with them via a chat stream on our app. Communicating with patients mainly through text presents some unique obstacles, but I enjoy the challenge of translating the coaching framework I learned through the ADAPT course into this setting.

Q: How did you forward a client’s transformation?

A: I have seen too many patient transformations at Virta Health for me to count. One particular patient who comes to mind was able to completely stop their insulin while maintaining blood sugar levels below the diabetes threshold and is at their lightest weight in over 15 years. They were able to accomplish all this within their first three months on the program!

Q: What advice would you give to someone considering a career in health coaching? 

A: I would advise them to talk with other health coaches in order to gain a deeper understanding of what health coaching is. I have found health coaching a rewarding and fulfilling career, but that doesn’t mean that it is for everyone. Health coaches need to have patience, empathy, and acceptance when working with clients. If this doesn’t sound like you, that’s OK! There are plenty of other ways that someone can contribute to making the world a healthier and happier place that don’t involve working directly with patients. It’s all about finding a role that gives you meaning and aligns with your personal strengths and values.

Lori Balue: Full-Time Coaching Consultant at a Natural Food Store

Lori Balue, ADAPT-Certified Functional Health Coach
Age: 57: Quartz Hill, California;

Q: What drew you to the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program?

A: I have been studying health and nutrition for many years. My passion for learning led me to Chris Kresser and the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program.

I didn’t fully understand what I was getting myself into, but I needed a change and am happy to have come out the other end a stronger person and headed in a new direction. It has provided me with new career choices.

Q: What is your morning routine?

A: I get up between 5:00 and 5:30 a.m. to study and read. I drink two cups of water with salt, minerals, and vitamins D3 and K2, and take keto enzymes. I just started adding in vitamin C. I then have black coffee with medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil. I start work at 7:30 to 8:00 a.m.

Q: How has your career path influenced and informed your current work?

A: I have been a nutrition consultant for 15 years at a natural food store. My job has proved to be a stepping stone to health coaching. It is proving to be an opportunity to build my audience and connect with future clients.

Q: In a few bullet points, describe your current work.


  • Full-time work at the Whole Wheatery in Lancaster, California, as a nutrition, vitamin, and keto consultant.
  • Monthly preparation and delivery of a Keto Lifestyle workshop.
  • Writing lifestyle, health, and nutrition blogs for my website,
  • Continued study and learning to empower my efforts to put myself out there and step into opportunities as they appear.

Q: What does a typical day look like for you?

A: I am employed full time and work at the store from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and I fit in yoga twice per week. I work on my coaching business on weekends and evenings with a focus on self- and business development. I use this time as an opportunity to grow my email list and work with clients.

Since completing the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program, I have been more involved with self-improvement. I am learning to know and improve myself. I continue to engage with ADAPT Mentor Coach, Amy Warshawsky. We work together to improve my focus, self-empathy, and business development. I am building a vision board and also find time to listen to self-improvement books, like:

Q: What else are you doing to further your career as a health coach?

A: My success has been slow and steady. I have my diet and nutrition dialed in and my brain is primed and growing new brain neurons. I am excited to learn and want a career with flexibility. I have enrolled in the Functional Diagnostic Nutrition program and start in June. I hope to blend my ADAPT health coach training with additional nutrition study to create my dream career.

While still a student, I was able to hone my niche. With the help of ADAPT instructor Keith Rhys, I crafted a message that still rings true for me: “I help women who are struggling to lose weight and increase energy. I support their efforts to lose weight naturally, turn their brains back on, and age successfully.” My tagline is Age successfully! Be vibrant!

In addition, developing a website wasn’t even on my radar while a student. I just trusted the process, went with momentum, and everything fell into place. I have begun to attract clients—it appears that people are sick and tired of being sick and tired!

Q: How did you forward a client’s transformation?

A: I have been witness to some significant transformations! I connected with an acquaintance of my sister, a woman who was interested in making some changes, but when we started out she was clearly in the pre-contemplation stage. She complained she wasn’t ready to make changes to her diet and exercise habits. But she was willing to begin to initiate the action goals we were co-creating together. She began to feel more ready and find success. At the conclusion of our year of working together, she was choosing to exercise and excited by the changes she had made. She is more confident, empowered by the acknowledgment of her successes, and inspired by the resources I shared with her.

Q: What are some of your favorite resources?

A: I listen to Bulletproof Radio and do a lot of personal research to further my new career and personal journey. I learn about new books and people to follow. It keeps me positive. A few I am reading now:

Q: Are you currently doing any networking?

A: I plan on networking and attending Functional Medicine conferences over the next year. I am also following Lisa Fraley for a more female-centered networking source. I will continue to participate in Marie Forleo’s B-School.

Q: What advice would you give to someone considering a career in health coaching? 

A: Jump at the opportunity to learn about health coaching. It can be a personal development journey as well as career advancement. It will excite you, challenge you, and give you unforeseen opportunities. Life is a journey. Get to know yourself and discover your own strengths. Stay focused, excited, and develop a personal goal and work toward that. Change is on the other side.