“Health is the new luxury. Invest in yourself,” exhorts the website of a new Wilton company called Luxe Health Coaching, which offers personalized and holistic programs of support to help clients achieve their long-term health goals.
It was launched by Dina Levi, a resident of Wilton for nearly 20 years, who told GOOD Morning Wilton the business is very personal to her.
“I went on my own personal wellness journey,” Levi said. “I really just focused on my health in a new and unique way, different than I had ever done before.”
Her journey included, among other things, organic gardening and meditation, and resulted in significant weight loss, though she didn’t consider it “a diet.”
“It really wasn’t about dieting for me,” Levi explained. “It was really about health, and addressing [a whole host of] health concerns that I’ve had,” with her weight being just one.
“I had a whole bunch of things that were not working, and so I worked on myself,” said Levi.
On the company’s website, Levi said, “I knew that to reach my goal of being healthier I needed to change my lifestyle choices: my diet, my awareness, my mindfulness. Change took time and dedication, but the effort and payoff has been tremendous.”
With her newfound success, and with some encouragement from a friend who is also a health coach, Levi pursued certification from the Health Coach Training Program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), a New York City-based, online holistic health and nutrition school.
“I felt like it was my ‘aha’ moment. I thought to myself, this is exactly what I was meant to do.”
That clarity was reinforced when Levi began working with clients.
“[When] I started seeing clients, it was amazing, fantastic, rewarding… and just so perfectly aligned with with I wanted to do,” Levi said, adding, “And it felt extremely genuine too, because I was able to speak to people regarding their health concerns in such a relatable way, because of what I had, myself, gone through.”
Levi expects the business will work in close partnership with medical doctors.
Levi said, “I see us going into medical practices and working with doctors, with their patients who have an interest in prioritizing their health,” and where the doctors see a good fit between the coach and patient.
She cited the recommendations by the American Medical Association (AMA) in 2016 to primary care doctors to include health coaches in their approach to patient care, based on a study that concluded health coaching, as part of a “physician-led, team-based care model”, significantly improved outcomes for patients with a number of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, for example.
Levi says people might seek out a health coach for a variety of reasons, but fundamentally they have one thing in common.
“They want and need help and motivation and support for issues of health in their lives… that they’ve been unable to properly address on their own. So they’re looking to take their health from where it is right now and bring it to the forefront on their priority list.”
Levi says many people seeking a health coach have spent “a lifetime of dieting” without good results, and without enough focus on health.
“And what’s sad about that is that most people don’t focus on their health until they’re faced with a crisis or an illness that forces them to make changes,” Levi said. “So my personal goal is to help people to take a real active role in their day-to-day lives, where they make health a priority, where they make it primary, because without it, well, nothing else really matters.”
“I am a very big believer that nutrition plays a [huge] role in chronic diseases,” Levi added, noting that she believes it was a significant factor in her own struggle to manage a serious autoimmune disease.
Besides Levi, Luxe Health Coaching includes a network of six coaches who have the same certification from IIN. Among them are Dana Nickel, who is also a Wilton resident, and Vivian McVey, a former Wilton resident.
With such a sizable team, Levi says, “we’ll have that capacity to service [clients] in a better way, in a more complete way.”