eating lifestyleLooking for ways to motivate your clients? Action steps can give them accountability and create a sense of accomplishment for your clients who are looking to moving toward a whole food plan and away from the standard American diet.

When clients are interested in learning how to read labels and have no idea what an anti-inflammatory lifestyle looks like, the thing I have found effective is for them to look at what’s already in their own kitchen.

Instead of handing a client a list of all the things to remove from their fridge and pantry, I give them a list of foods that are safe and unsafe. Using a Paleo foundation, (lots of nuts, seeds, vegetables, fats, fruit and clean meats). I have the client educate themselves from their own resources by designating two different sides in their kitchen (like a table or countertop) with those labels.

Starting with the pantry first, pull out each item and determine if they are safe or unsafe according to a reliable already done for you guide like this one and place them in the designated area.

For example, if they have a box of Hamburger Helper, they are going to read the label, which is full of ingredients that they cannot pronounce, that don’t sound like whole food and are not organic. So that should go in the unsafe pile.

Then they may pull out a jar of organic olives, reading the label, they may determine that it belongs in the safe pile.

After going through the pantry, they could look at both piles and see exactly what they have on their shelves. Then I would encourage them to put it all back. As an additional challenge, they could eliminate one item for now. That one item is a chance to trade in for a healthier, gluten-free, organic or less toxic alternative.

Then they can go through the exercise a second time, using items from the refrigerator.

This is an Education and Preparation phase that helps ease the client into a lifestyle change. It’s not as stressful as throwing them right into a detox or new meal plan, and they don’t have to feel as much panic. Taking the route empowers them to make changes in a lasting way.

Yes, there will come a time in your working with them that they will need to make the choice to throw out some of the non-safe foods. But right now, this is just a great first step and piece of homework to get an idea of what their eating lifestyle could look like and educate them on reading labels.

This action step can be done once again after they have taken on a cleaner lifestyle or toward the end of working with someone. It’s a wonderful way for your client to measure their success by revisiting their pantry or refrigerator and creating safe/unsafe piles of their food to see how far they have actually come.

If you’re looking for a place to start and don’t want to have to reinvent the wheel, take a look at my Food Review and Food Guide Packet. This is an excellent content for new or seasoned coaches who want an easy template to follow. Not only is this great for one-on-one coaching, but it’s a great structure to use for group coaching programs. The best part? It’s fully customizable for you to rebrand as your own. If you want a complete tour of this guide to see all that’s included, take a look at this video. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see that it’s full of helpful content to best serve you and your clients.