Are you interested in changing your body composition or exploring how to achieve a balanced blood sugar level? Did you know these are just two of the many factors that effect your overall health? If you’re ready for a deep dive for life-lasting change join Nourish. This prescriptive one-on-one 11 week program is designed to help you become your most vibrant and balanced self through personalized coaching.
MEET YOUR HEALTH COACH – ERIN PARUSZEWSKI
Alkalign Founder and CEO Erin Paruszewski is a health coach certiﬁed by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, and she is committed to the Alkalign mission, which is to educate, inspire and empower people to be the best version of themselves that they want to be. Erin recognizes that diﬀerent things work for diﬀerent people and is excited to introduce a ﬂexible oﬀering founded on bioindividuality.
Nourish is the health and wellness coaching pillar of Alkalign. The goal of Nourish is to help you reach your health goals and everything we do is viewed through the lens of long-term health vs. short-term only gains. We focus on 3 major areas, Nutrition, Movement and Mindset and give you the tools you need to make sustainable changes that will leave you feeling better now and for years to come.
WHAT IS INCLUDED?
Nourish 1:1 coaching is an opportunity to work with a certified health and wellness coach for 10 weeks. The program consists of 3 phases: Reset, Reintroduce, Maintain.
We start with a 60-minute onboarding session to learn about your history, assess your needs and put together a food and movement plan for Phase 1. We may need lab work done which is not included, but you can usually request it from your doctor.
Throughout the 10-week program, we will meet weekly for 30 minutes for check-in calls.
You will also receive the resources and templates you need to stay on track, including:
- Program Playbook
- Access to Alkalign’s Livestream and on-demand workout offerings
- Access to Alkalign’s library of Nourish education
- Holistic Health Tracker so you can visualize and work with your coach to make connections between your lifestyle and how it impacts your life.
- Custom Weekly Workout Schedule based on your goals
- Meal Planning tools and Recipes
- Bi-Weekly webinar on various health topics, including hormones, body composition, blood sugar, sleep, etc.
*The cost of lab work, supplements or devices like a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), if recommended, are not included.
IS NOURISH A DIET?
No. It’s a lifestyle. Diet, at least the way it’s been defined in the media and engrained in our brains, indicates some sort of short-term, quick-fix to right the wrongs of your food decisions.
At Alkalign, we don’t like the word “diet.” Not only does it contain the word die, and honestly that’s the way I felt when I tried every diet under the sun, from cabbage soup to keto, but it comes loaded with all sorts of preconceived notions. I like to think of Nourish as a lifestyle. I have had a lot of gut issues throughout my life and have tried everything. The short-term, quick fixes have never worked longer-term. The only thing that has healed my gut and improved both my physical and mental health is shifting my mindset from the “here and now” to a more sustainable and forward-looking way of life. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of getting super excited about the promise of some quick fix, only to be disappointed when it doesn’t work. Nourish teaches you what your body (and brain) truly needs, as well as provides an actual plan for how to live better without the extreme whiplash of being on and off the wellness wagon. It also gives you the knowledge and confidence to manage future issues that come up, as the body is dynamic and is always changing. What worked for you yesterday may not be working for you today and the ability to adapt is important. And by “adapt”, we don’t mean run full speed towards the most recent trend you saw on TikTok.
HOW IS NOURISH 1:1 COACHING DIFFERENT FROM NOURISH GROUP COACHING?
If you have ever participated in our Nourish Group coaching, you know it’s a lot shorter and a lot less personalized. Nourish Group coaching is an anti-inflammatory eating protocol designed to reduce systemic inflammation. It involves a lot of education about how the body processes food differently and how the quality of those inputs impact how you feel. We teach you about reading labels, focusing on high-quality ingredients and nutritional diversity versus just counting calories or macros.
While Nourish Group coaching has a fun, group dynamic that connects you to your peers, there isn’t direct 1:1 access to a coach and is mostly self-guided. The Nourish 1:1 coaching includes an initial onboarding assessment as well as shorter weekly check-ins to discuss progress, challenges, frustrations, etc. We believe this personalization and accountability are important for consistency and sustainable change. The biggest reason “diets” don’t work is because people see them as a short-term approach to what they hope will be a long-term outcome. Consistency is key.
HOW LONG IS NOURISH?
The coached portion of Nourish 1:1 coaching is 10 weeks and includes a 60-minute assessment call at the beginning, a 60-minute transition call at the end, and 30 minute weekly coaching calls. While we wish we could work with you for 6 months, we know that can be a daunting commitment. At the same time, our shorter, group coaching program is too short to set you up for sustainable change.
IS NOURISH OVER AT THE END OF 10 WEEKS?
Ten weeks marks the duration of time for this initial coaching program. However, we hope that you have learned so much and experienced the benefits of Nourish that you will want to continue to invest in your health. Health and fitness isn’t something that has an “on” and “off” switch. It’s the gentle consistency approach that yields the best outcomes.
There are always opportunities to continue working with Erin. We recommend a check in call 1-2x per month depending on your needs.
WILL I LOSE WEIGHT ON NOURISH?
Your body will change. We refer to this as body recomposition. The goal of Nourish is to help heal your body from the inside out. We will start by reducing systemic inflammation and fueling your body in a nutrient dense way. We also prescribe strength training 2-3x per week to build lean muscle. Your body composition will change. You may lose weight, but weight isn’t the only measure of success. Many people “diet” and actually lose weight because they are losing muscle. We are going to keep you well fed and strong so that you get to keep what you want (muscle) and shed what you don’t (fat) in a healthy way.
DOES NOURISH INCLUDE SUPPLEMENTS?
Depending on your nutritional needs, we may recommend you incorporate supplements, especially during Phase 1. While I would love to say we get 100% of what we need from food, it’s hard to do, especially in this very fast paced world we live in. The cost of the supplements is not included in the program.
WILL THIS BE TOO MUCH FOR ME TO HANDLE WITH MY BUSY LIFE?
The hardest part of Nourish is the mindfulness component. We mostly live life on auto-pilot so being intentional and thoughtful about things we typically take for granted (sleep, movement, food, etc) is a change. The second hardest part is making time to prep. A little prep on a Sunday afternoon goes a long way toward setting you up for success the rest of the week. Establishing this habit during Nourish will help you carry these practices with you beyond the 10 week program. Remember, this program is designed to set you up for better lifestyle habits and is not intended to be a “one and done” crash course to help you melt off the summer/Covid/holiday pounds.
Nourish does require a commitment. It’s also an investment in both your current and future health. It’s really up to you to decide if it’s worth it to make the time today so you can avoid or delay the costly and time consuming doctors appointments, medications and treatments of tomorrow.
IF IT'S NOT A DIET, WHY IS PHASE 1 SO RESTRICTED?
While we hate the idea of “taking away” anything, we have found the best way to reset your body is to wipe the slate clean. You could do this slowly over a looooong period of time, but we only have limited time. Thus, Phase 1 will remove the top culprits of inflammation (gluten, dairy, corn, soy and refined sugar) in the body and then will reintroduce each of them slowly, much like you introduce new foods to a baby. We also highly recommend you discontinue alcohol and reduce or eliminate caffeine. This phase is not forever. If we are making good progress at the end of 4 weeks, we will move to Phase 2 and start introducing additional foods. The benefit of the 10 weeks is that we can do that together. Often at the end of a cleanse or “diet”, people just go right back to their prior habits and then are disappointed when any positive outcomes they experience fade away.
You cannot make short-term changes and expect them to last forever. That’s not how the body works and that’s why this is lifestyle and mindset coaching as much as it is nutrition and movement focused.
HOW CAN I NOURISH WITH PEOPLE IN MY LIFE NOT ON BOARD WITH MY CHANGES?
“I want to sign up for Nourish but I live with other people and there is no way they will be on board. I can’t prepare or plan different meals to accommodate everyone’s needs. What should I do?”
It is really challenging when friends, family and colleagues are not supportive of your health goals. Remember that often people project their own fear and insecurities on you. They may even be jealous because they too want to make a change but can’t quite take the first step.
The first recommendation we have is to never apologize or position this as a “healthy diet.” It doesn’t matter if you are serving cookies and cake, if you tell your family it’s “healthy” or have an apologetic tone, they will automatically be skeptical.
The second recommendation is to invite your family into the process. “Hey Sally/Sal/Steven…I am committed to my health and having more energy in the coming year so I can be a better partner/parent/friend and am really excited about it. I’d really appreciate your support.
You will be eating more frequently than you may be used to and some of those initial meals will be easy to prep for just yourself, like a smoothie. However, Nourish food is real food and it tastes good. You can leverage the recipe book as an opportunity for your family to try some new things. You can also adapt your existing family favorites to make them more Nourish-friendly with some simple substitutions or eliminations.
IF I CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT GLUTEN OR DAIRY, SHOULD I STILL DO NOURISH?
As my coach Mary would say, “Do you know that to be true?”. Behavior followers belief, so if you think you can’t, you can’t.
Remember, this program is not forever and you can live without some of your “non-negotiables” for a period of time. You can do anything, especially if the idea of feeling better is motivating enough. The definition of “better” differs from person to person. For me, “better” used to mean getting rid of debilitating abdominal pains. Now that that acute issue is behind me, I am focused on more subtle things like brain fog, blood sugar, energy levels, mood, and sleep. If your “why” is important enough, it’s worth taking the time to really explore it.
The good news is that you will likely find that certain things may irritate you, but you don’t have to “give up” the entire food group forever. For example, I do not drink milk. It literally results in me doubling over in pain. I also don’t prefer creamy cheeses. However, my body can tolerate hard cheeses like parmesan and manchego. I can even have the occasional ice cream without my belly rebelling. So just because a few items or a few low quality versions (think GMO corn and soy) send shockwaves through your system, it doesn’t mean you have to give up an entire classification of food forever. Quality does matter when it comes to both food and exercise.
CAN I DRINK ALCOHOL WHILE NOURISING?
You can, but I honestly wouldn’t recommend it. The more you allow your body to truly detox during this time, the better you will feel. If you do decide to have an occasional drink during Nourish, limit intake and stick to weekends only. Avoid beer (gluten) and beverages with sugars like wine, sweet cocktails and mixers like juice or tonic (more sugar!) Stick with vodka or tequila & soda with a fresh lime juice. Note: This is a tough one for me because I do consume alcohol. It has taken me seriously dusting off my denial glasses to see that certain types of alcohol don’t work well for my body. Beer was banished from my world long ago, but wine is harder to cut back on, although the negative impact on my sleep and mood makes it not even worth it. Alcohol consumption can also lead to poor food choices and a cycle of shame around those choices.