Integrative Lifestyle Coaching – What it is, Why You Need it, and How I got Here

There are so many terms thrown out when it comes to healthcare these days. Its so confusing even for medical professionals! So here I am hoping to offer some clarity on this, as I too have trained in various modalities. Most of us are familiar with conventional medicine, but less familiar with the lifestyle or integrative health model of care.

Read on to learn the differences, why you need it, and how I got here.

Conventional Medicine

–  Provider is usually trained in a traditional medical school

–  Little/no training in motivational interviewing or nutrition or lifestyle change

–  High use of prescription medications as a first line go-to

–  Crisis management

–  Good for acute issues

–  Bad for prevention

–  Temporary fixes, does not lead to sustainable change

I saw this so often in clinical practice. Productivity and physician reimbursement were dictated by volume of patients seen, prescriptions written, and lab tests ordered. There was little to no room to dive deeper into patient’s real motivations and limitations.

It burned me out.

I genuinely wanted to heal. That’s why I went into this field. In this model patients were continuing to be sick. Chronic stress was showing up as insomnia, fatigue, poor blood sugar regulation, and increased weight. I knew there was a better way.

I pursued Integrative and Holistic medical training, started taking functional medicine courses, got involved on a volunteer basis at the community public health level to help appease my personal interests. The more and more I learned about Lifestyle Medicine and the evidence behind the change it can bring, the more I realized that this was what I needed to do if I wanted to help people live more fully.

Integrative Medicine

By definition, Integrative Medicine is a “form of medical therapy that combines practices and treatments from alternative medicine with conventional medicine.”

Lifestyle Medicine is the “use of evidence-based lifestyle therapeutic approaches, such as a plant-predominant dietary lifestyle, regular physical activity, adequate sleep, stress management, avoiding use of risky substances and pursuing other non-drug modalities, to treat, reverse and prevent chronic disease.”

Integrative Lifestyle Coaching –  The best of everything!

–  Focuses on building the coach/client relationship

–  Looks at the whole person and all of the environmental, lifestyle and genetic factors that are contributing to health and dis ease

–  Takes into account the stages of change model

–  Delves deep into triggers, patterns, previous traumas and emotional barriers in a safe and nurturing space that honors and celebrates bioindividuality

–  Offers tips you can institute right away to nourish yourself on and off the plate

I finally found a way to help heal and I can help YOU.

We all know what to do. Our society and media overwhelms us with information.

What is much harder is putting it into action and sustaining that action.

Are you going going going all day at work just to get home and do it all again? Are you wishing you had 4 more hours in your day but don’t know how you can make that happen? Do you feel like you are in a hamster wheel of stress and overwhelm? Relying on that morning or afternoon coffee and sugar load to get you through the day?

When was the last time you laughed so hard your belly hurt? Or felt truly present with yourself and your partner? How often do you do something just for yourself without feeling guilty? Wouldn’t you love to maintain a healthy weight without following any specific diet but instead loving your food and your own body??

If any of this rings true, I’d love to chat more with you on how I can help you get there. Send me an email at to schedule your complimentary consultation!

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BASED IN asheville, 


veena somani md

integrative  lifestyle  coach