21: Gluten-Related Disorders, Listening to your Body, and Intuitive Coaching


Hello and welcome to the podcast all about becoming a health coach. I'm Megan McCrory, a Certified International Nutrition Health Coach!

Each week I recap what I'm learning and how I’m applying those lessons in my health coaching practice.

If this is your first time tuning in, I'm happy you've found the podcast and a very special welcome to you. You may want to go back and listen from the beginning to hear more about my health coaching journey.

If you are a long time listener to the podcast you will have noticed that my introduction has changed slightly. By the time of this recording in April 2019 I have successfully completed the Health Coach Training Program from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition

*insert crowd applause*

I’m very happy with my dedication to completing the program, I sacrificed many weekends and evenings last year to make sure I put all my energy into learning as much as I could.

Last year I also completed the Advanced Gut Health Course from IIN. I can highly recommend that course. 

Earlier this month I sat for the International Association of Health Coaches certification exam and passed! Now my official title is Certified International Nutrition Health Coach.

My initial intention with this podcast was to chronicle each week of the Health Coach Training Program which I did really well for the first 3-4 months. Then life happened and the podcast episodes became more sporadic. This episode will cover Module 18 - that leaves another 22 episodes to cover the rest of the content of the course. But I’m not actually taking the course anymore, so what do I do? 

I have been struggling with this question the past couple of months and I have decided to reformat the show slightly. Starting with this episode, I will cover only the highlights of each module but then go more in depth with how I’m actually building my business. I hope this change will keep to my original commitment to help you understand what is involved in becoming a health coach while serving as a refresher for me. Meanwhile I can keep you up to date on what I’m doing on a daily basis to become a health coach. 

To help be more interactive with you I’ve created a Facebook page for the podcast where I will be posting but more importantly this is a space for you to connect with me more easily. Just search in Facebook for Becoming a Health Coach or you can click on the link in the show notes.

Let's dive right into episode 21

This week in Module 18 we learned the importance of listening to your own body and advocating for your health, we learned the history of grains and their role in the diet, we learned how to classify gluten-related disorders, we took the DiSC behaviour style evaluation to better relate to clients, and finally we learned how to coach potential clients through perceived limitations to signing up for the 6-month program.

Inner Voice on Health (03:16)

Module 18 started off with an impassioned lecture from actress Jennifer Esposito. You might recognise her from the show NCIS. Although she is an actress I don’t think there was any acting in the lecture she gave on how to be your own health advocate. Her story is truly heartbreaking and unfortunately all too common. 

Jennifer struggled with Celiacs disease for almost 15 years before it was finally diagnosed correctly. Some doctors just thought she was depressed, others had no idea what might be causing her symptoms. Many of the health coaches I studied with have similar stories. An issue that no Western trained doctor could diagnose so they turned to eastern medicine or functional medicine to find answers. This in turn leads them to the path of becoming a health coach because they want to help other people find their health answers. 

I wonder how many of you listening have had this experience or know someone who has struggled with finding answers to their medical ailments. Comment in the show notes and let me know. You can find the show notes at https://www.meganjmccrory.com/becoming-a-health-coach.

I recently watched a Buzz Feed video, where several women recount their experiences of begging doctors to help them only to be told that nothing was wrong and maybe it was all in their head. The video is called “My Doctor didn’t believe my pain”.

It seems that this type of thing happens more to women, I don’t want to go to far down this huge rabbit hole but it is true to state that not a lot of studies have been done on women of child-bearing age. Therefore there are still so many unknowns about what causes many of the issues with women and specifically their reproductive organs. 

This section of the module was fairly short compared to the other topics of food allergies and gluten free living but I believe this section deserves a bit more attention. Often times people have a symptom, maybe something that came on slowly over time, maybe all of a sudden,  but they don’t want to go see a doctor. Why? In my experience I believed the doctor wouldn't find anything wrong with me and I'd walk away feeling like a hypochondriac. So we wait, we wait to see if it goes away, we wait to see if it gets better, we wait. Often then we wait so long either we grow use to the symptom and just live with it or by the time we see the doctor it’s way more serious than if we had gone earlier. 

Now with the internet and Dr. Google we sit in the comfort of our home and try to diagnose ourselves, like that ever really works.

The simple fact is if you don’t feel good, then something is wrong with you. What it is will need to be figured out. However, you are the keeper of your body so you need to be the one to advocate for it’s well-being. If your car started losing gas mileage or puffing smoke out of the tail pipe you would take it to a mechanic. The same is true for your body. And just like your car, what can be wrong with your body can be a simple as eating better food or as complex as cancer - you won’t know until you talk to a doctor. 

If you haven’t had the best luck with western-taught doctors, search out a functional medicine practitioner. These are health care professionals that have taken additional training in functional medicine. More and more people are finding success with functional medicine practitioners, there is a link in the show notes that goes into more detail about functional medicine. 


The take home point is to listen to your body and take action when something is wrong. If you are turned away or not being helped, don’t give up, keep searching for answers because no body is going to do it except for you. You are your own best health advocate. 

Do you have a story about listening to your inner health advocate? Tell me about it by email at becomingahealthcoach@gmail.com or comment in the show notes.

If you have been listening to my podcast for awhile now and it’s been part of helping you make your decision to become a health coach, please let me know. If you decide to sign up for health coaching at IIN, please let the admissions officer know that I’m your IIN ambassador. As an ambassador I do get a referral bonus which helps me keep making this podcast and doesn’t cost you anything! You can reach out to me directly and I’ll send you a special phone number to call to help you enrol. 

Gluten! (08:01)

Oh, the G-word. Gluten! Let’s dive headfirst into the topic that’s been on everyones lips for the past 10 years. In the show notes you’ll see a graph of the rise of relevance of the word gluten in Google searches. It peaked in 2013 but has been hovering near the top ever since.  In Module 18 we had two speakers present information on grains and gluten. Dr. William Davis, author of the book Wheat Belly and Rachel Begun, registered dietician, and food & nutrition consultant.

William Davis’s lecture was enormous! There was so much information to absorb. He broke out his lecture into 3 parts, Part 1 called “Are you part cow” where he talks about eating according to species and asks a very good question “why doesn’t our mouth water when we look at a field of grass?”. Part 2 called ’The Green Revolution” in which he describes all the mutations that grains have undergone since the 1950’s that correlate to the 400% increase in Celiacs disease since then. And Part 3 called “What is in the seed of grasses (AKA grains)" where he introduced the word Gliadin, which is the component in gluten that is causing all the fuss. Then he proceeds to talk about lectin protein, amylopectin A and allergens. If you are interested in learning more about Dr. Davis, check out his website called wheatbellyblog.com, I have a link to that and a link to Dr. Davis’s youtube channel in the show notes.

At the Institute for Integrative Nutrition they pride themselves on not being tied to any one doctrine, belief or diet. They basically have a level playing field for all the proponents and opponents for specific diets to have equal air time to voice their rationales. It’s clear in Module 18 they are allowing the anti-gluten camp the right to provide the evidence for their case to the students. Back in Module 10 Andrea Beaman gave a lecture called the Goodness of Grains. This is one of the things I like most about the school. They really recognise that not one diet fits all and what works for one person may not work for someone else. 

Gluten Free Living (10:23)

Next, Rachel Begun talked to us about Gluten free living. The first thing that stuck out to me in her talk was the way she describe gluten-related disorders. I have since used this explanation several times when talking to people about gluten. 

There are three branches of gluten-related disorders, autoimmune, allergic and gluten sensitivity. The most well-known and documented autoimmune gluten-related disorder is Celiac’s disease. Like all autoimmune diseases, in this case the body is attacking itself when you introduce gluten into your body. Someone could also have a gluten allergy, this is completely different from Celiac's because the body attacks the gluten directly not the body itself. The third type of gluten-related disorder is a general term called Gluten insensitivity. This encompasses all the remaining class of symptoms that are not diagnosed as either Celiac or allergy. 

There is no definitive diagnosis for being gluten insensitive rather you would be tested for Celiac’s and allergy and if they both come back negative you would by default be diagnosed. There is so much more to say on how the body can build up sensitivites to your favourite foods which I hope to cover in a future episode. 

Rachel states that 30% of the US population are eating gluten-free and most are doing it without any medical reason. If you are interested in learning more about gluten I recommend that you read the research from Dr. Alessio Fasano, there is a link to his research in the show notes. He is without question the one scientist that has done the most research on this topic.


There is a bit of a fad with gluten-free right now but it is also a real trend because celiac disease is on the rise. Rachel goes through a list of all the type of foods you can eat that are naturally gluten-free. You can find this list plus more on how to live a gluten-free life as a free printable in the show notes.


Address Potential Clients (12:40)

The last part of Module 18 is how to address potential clients. First we took the DiSC evaluation which helps you identify if you tend towards, Dominance, Influence, Compliance or Steadiness. I fall squarely in the Influence area leaning towards Dominance. By knowing you style this can help you relate to others with different styles. 

The speaker for this talk was Eric Barron, he main message was you can’t be afraid to be a sales person and he had a handy slogan, ” Feed the motivation and manage the fear” when it comes to talking to potential clients. Be confident in what you have to offer and how this will help the client. 

Not everyone we talk to will become our client. Module 18 also dove into how we can address hesitations. The magic of addressing hesitations comes in believing in yourself as a coach, letting go of your insecurities. Think about the last time you talked to someone who was super passionate about their job vs. someone who is not very confident. Who do you respond to better?

What is behind typical hesitations:

  • lack of resources whether it’s time or money or both

  • fear of change

  • fear of failure

  • even fear of success.

Module 18 goes through all these scenarios and helps you ask the right questions to make sure the client’s hesitations are addressed in the way that ultimately helps the client regardless of whether they sign up with you. look at hesitations as opportunities to show clients how they focus on their goals and priorities.

What I’m working on day to day (14:49)

Please email me at becomingahealthcoach@gmail.com and for links to the resources I mentioned check out the show notes at mybestself.fit

Thank you again for spending this time with me

I’m Megan McCrory and you’ve been listening to how I’m becoming a health coach, until next time stay happy and healthy!

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