Functional Nutrition: Tips to Find a Great Health Coach

  • FDA Disclaimer
    The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. Learn More
  • Affliliate Disclosure
    In compliance with the FTC guidelines, please assume the following about links and posts on this site: Many of the links on are affiliate links of which I receive a small commission from sales of certain items, but the price is the same for you. If I post an affiliate link to a product, it is something that I personally use, support and would recommend without an affiliate link. Learn More
  • Privacy Policy
    Please read the Privacy Policy carefully before you start to use By using or by clicking to accept or agree to Terms of Use when this option is made available to you, you accept and agree to be bound and abide by the Privacy Policy. Learn More
Functional Nutrition, Functional Nutrition: Tips to Find a Great Health Coach

Functional Nutrition, Functional Nutrition: Tips to Find a Great Health CoachFunctional Nutrition: Tips to Find a Great Health Coach

Functional Nutrition and Functional Medicine are two relatively new concepts in the health world. This health practice revolves around the idea of getting to the root cause of disease processes in the body rather than treating the symptoms.

By identifying deeper mechanisms that prevent the body from functioning at its peak, we can support the systems that need it. In turn, the body can heal itself more effectively. It is this kind of approach that has been extremely helpful for improving conditions that previously have had no treatment options.

Because the functional nutrition approach looks at the body as a summation of systems rather than overly specific mechanisms, it is able to take a truly holistic approach towards health. You will likely even discover unexpected, hidden causes of disease that are pushing your body towards metabolic chaos. In this article, you will learn some of the things to consider when looking for a functional nutrition practitioner.

Functional Nutrition, Functional Nutrition: Tips to Find a Great Health Coach

The Complexity of Health

The body is complex. It is one system comprised of hundreds of smaller systems all operating in synchronicity to keep you healthy. So you can see how using a nasal spray for a head cold may be short-sighted. Not to say that it can’t be helpful, but why wasn’t the body able to prevent it from occurring?

What systems in the body are responsible for fighting off infections and how can they be supported to prevent this from happening again?

These are the kinds of questions a functional nutrition or functional medicine practitioner asks themselves when they work with someone who is dealing with a health challenge.

As an example, the video below goes into how a common functional lab test (the Organic Acids Test) is able to uncover several potential reasons for poor healing in the body.

Functional Nutrition

A functional nutrition or functional medicine practitioner will work with you to investigate the underlying causes of your health issues, then help you design a multi-factorial approach to supporting the body in healing itself. A typical coaching plan would likely consist of the following:

1)  Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition and Lifestyle Plan: 

Based on your health history and symptoms your functional nutrition coach will help you customize an anti-inflammatory nutrition and lifestyle plan to reduce inflammation and start the healing process

2)  Run Specific Functional Labs:  

Your functional nutrition coach will help you identify specific labs that will help identify the root causes of your health challenges.  These labs may include looking at factors such as:

Stress and Sex hormones
Thyroid Function
Markers of Inflammation
Micronutrient Testing
Leaky Gut and Gut Infections
Food Sensitivities
Neurotransmitter Metabolites
Mitochondrial Function

Your practitioner will likely either have a set package they like to work with or will work with you to determine which labs will benefit you the most.

3)  Review Lab Results:

Your functional nutrition coach will help you understand the lab findings and tweak and better customize your nutrition and lifestyle plan along with targeted supplements to reduce root cause issues in the body.

4)  Ongoing Coaching:  

Your functional nutrition coach will be routinely monitoring your health status and help you troubleshoot any roadblocks that come your way as you follow your specific healing plan and will run follow up labs to observe changes in the root cause health challenges as you improve your health.

The ultimate goal of a great health coach is to empower you with a sense of self-sufficiency and mastery of your health that you can carry with you for life!
Functional Nutrition, Functional Nutrition: Tips to Find a Great Health Coach

Finding a Local Functional Nutrition Practitioner

Finding a functional nutrition practitioner locally is simple. Chances are someone who works at your local health food store knows one! Other ways to search for a local functional nutrition practitioner include:

  • Finding a chiropractic office that has a functional nutrition practitioner on staff
  • Doing a web search containing the terms “Functional Nutrition” and the name of the area you live. For example, “Functional Nutrition Kansas City” or “Functional Nutrition New York”

Generally, using these two methods, you should at least be able to find someone local who engages in something similar to functional nutrition. I will tell you now though… not all functional nutrition, functional medicine, or natural health practitioners are equal.

In a moment, we will discuss the qualities you should look for when choosing a practitioner to work with. 

Functional Nutrition, Functional Nutrition: Tips to Find a Great Health Coach

Virtual Health Coaching

You may or may not be aware of this but long-distance or virtual health coaching is actually a growing field. With the increasingly high demands of our lives, it can just be so much more convenient to consult with your functional nutrition practitioner by phone or video chat (whether you’re on the go or laid back in your pajamas in the comfort of your own home).

You might think that working this way would be cluttered but it’s actually super simple.

Most often, these practitioners offer a free intro call to discuss how their plan works. When it is time to order functional lab work, all you do is make a simple online order, the kits show up at your doorstep, and you simply follow the included directions. You complete these labs at home, ship them back to the laboratory, and within a few weeks, you’re on the phone speaking with your functional nutrition practitioner putting together a game plan!

In addition to being more convenient, online health coaching also gives you a wider selection of practitioners to choose from. This puts you in control of the experience. Next, we will cover the critical questions to ask your potential health coach in order to determine if they are the best option for you.

Functional Nutrition, Functional Nutrition: Tips to Find a Great Health Coach

What to Look For

Check Out Their Website

Most reputable health coaches have an online presence these days. Whether they have a website or some kind of social media page, this is how you can become familiar with their personality and health philosophy before even getting in touch with them.

For example, on you can easily get an idea of how we would go about supporting the body in healing things like Auto-immunity, Cancer, Digestive Issues, Parasite Infections, weight loss, and so much more.

You can also check out each one of our health coaches and read about their stories and philosophy when it comes to working with people one-on-one.  More on that at the bottom of this article.

If a health coach expects you to work with them without knowing anything about their coaching process, be very cautious. Be sure to check out their social media pages and read their content or watch the videos they are putting out to get a good feel for their health philosophy and health strategies.

You really want a coach or a team of coaches that share similar values as you do because you will resonate with them and connect with their style more effectively.  If you don’t follow me already, you can keep up with me on my facebook page here or Instagram page here

Functional Nutrition, Functional Nutrition: Tips to Find a Great Health Coach

Look for Reputable Credentials and RESULTS

There are now several different methods for getting into the functional nutrition field. Unlike traditional nutritionists, functional nutrition is not something learned in public institutions. Rather, several private certifications exist that operate on a similar functional nutrition framework.

Ideally, you will want to find someone who has been certified by an institution who has an established record of GETTING RESULTS with people.

People can try to sell you things all day, but results speak for themselves. You should be able to find a health coach that gets results using their methods. Oftentimes, those who get the results will display them on their website or social media page on a regular basis.

I can’t emphasize this enough, be wary of those that make claims without showing the results to back it up! 

Functional Nutrition, Functional Nutrition: Tips to Find a Great Health Coach

Experience and Expertise

If you’re going to invest in your health, you want a solid return on that investment. Look for a functional nutrition practitioner who either has years of experience working with clients or has been trained and mentored by someone who has.

The thing about functional nutrition is that not everyone is the same. The more you work with people, the more you realize that not everyone responds the same way to the same protocols. In fact, what works really well for one person, may cause a negative reaction in someone else.

An experienced practitioner will be able to identify these reactions quickly and shift your plan accordingly to maximize chances of success.

Functional Nutrition, Functional Nutrition: Tips to Find a Great Health Coach

Interviewing Your Potential Health Coach

Getting on the phone for a short intro call can go a long way. You can use this opportunity to figure out if you are a good fit for their program. Many practitioners offer a 10-15 minute phone call for this purpose. If you are strategic with your questions, you can get a really good idea of whether or not you want to work with them. Below are some vital questions to ask when looking for a functional nutrition practitioner. 

Do you believe nutrition and lifestyle play a huge role in overall health?

Are you familiar with an autoimmune elimination diet? A leaky gut diet? A ketogenic diet?

Do you recommend specific functional lab testing to find the root cause of major health issues?

You can even ask which testing would likely be the most beneficial depending on your specific health challenges. 

What could we realistically achieve health-wise on a plan together?

This goes both ways. As the potential client, don’t expect miracles. On the other hand, if a health coach tells you they can cure you of all disease, be very cautious about starting a plan with them. With time and persistence, making the right changes can help put your body back into a state of healing. No magic bullets here, just a reliable process!

Functional Nutrition, Functional Nutrition: Tips to Find a Great Health Coach

Things to Avoid

When it comes down to it, we still live in a very competitive and money-driven society. That being said, there are those who are in the field of functional nutrition who are either looking to maximize income or simply do not understand the true complexity and holistic nature of health coaching. The following are things to look out for.

Over-Simplified Approaches (Magic Bullets)

Your health is not determined by a single diet, food, or supplement.  Many people sell their products or service with a HUGE promise.  I would be weary of this as the journey to health must be a multi-therapeutic, holistic approach and it takes time to heal.

Nutrition, lifestyle, supplements, stress levels, sleep patterns, the light you expose your body to, your exposure to toxins, and whole list of other things can alter your health. Learning these things will empower you to be healthy forever.

Over-Reliance on Supplements

A health coach should understand that your health results will be 70-80% based around your lifestyle habits.  Supplements can be great at accelerating the healing process, but they are to be used in addition to a healthy nutrition plan and lifestyle.

A roof is great but before you can build a roof, you need a house underneath it! Food and your everyday habits are the foundation to your health, supplements are great after that has been set in place.

Radical Alternative Treatments

There are many fringe therapies out there. Some work, some don’t. However, look for someone who is going to work on the basics first.

Nutrition and everyday lifestyle choices are your foundation so start there! If your coach has the intention to teach you how to keep yourself healthy forever, they will focus on the basics first!

Treating Symptoms

What is a headache a symptom of? Well… I could probably think of 10 different potential reasons. What about chronic headaches? Chronic fatigue? The truth is… a symptom doesn’t tell you much about what is going on in the body.

This is why it doesn’t make sense to treat symptoms. This is where functional lab work comes in handy. Looking at specific markers within the body narrows down the possibilities and an experienced practitioner can help you troubleshoot the rest!

Practitioners I Recommend

Considering the factors discussed above, I have personally recruited two top-notch health coaches that are available for long-distance functional nutrition consulting.

Functional Nutrition, Functional Nutrition: Tips to Find a Great Health CoachFunctional Nutrition, Functional Nutrition: Tips to Find a Great Health Coach

Melissa Nohr, CHC

Melissa Nohr is a Board-Certified Health Coach, attorney, wife, and mother of four. She is a prolific researcher and writer on a variety of health and wellness topics. Her writing has been featured on The Truth about Cancer, Cancer Tutor, and

Melissa became a health coach after going through her own health crisis. She turned to functional medicine for answers and healing and expanded her education by attending the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She was able to overcome her adrenal issues, hypothyroidism, leaky gut, and SIBO. Now, she is on a mission to help her clients through their health challenges so that they can experience optimal health.

As a health coach, Melissa works with clients with a range of health issues, including leaky gut, adrenal and thyroid issues, digestive issues, chronic disease, and much more. Melissa also works with children, both young and old, who are dealing with their own challenges. She loves to involve the entire family in healthy nutrition and lifestyle changes.

Melissa focuses on reducing inflammation, balancing blood sugar, maximizing nutrition, and reducing stress. She educates, supports and guides her clients in developing and maintaining nutrition and lifestyle changes to meet their health goals and overcome any obstacles.

Melissa has a passion for educating people on nutrition and health. She gives interactive workshops and leads grocery-shopping tours.

Melissa is Board Certified as a Holistic Health Practitioner by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. She is a member of the State Bar of Georgia, International Association of Health Coaches, and the Association of Health Coaches for Christ.  She is also trained as a BioIndividualized Nutrition Practitioner and has studied functional medicine in detail for over 5 years.

Read more about Melissa and her coaching plans here.

Functional Nutrition, Functional Nutrition: Tips to Find a Great Health Coach

Chris Wilson, CFMP, FDN-P

Christopher Wilson is a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner® (CFMP), a Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner® (FDN-P), an associate pastor, husband, and father of two boys. He is an avid researcher on nutritional therapy and alternative health looking to solve the many overlooked autoimmune challenges people suffer with.

Christopher became a Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner® to better understand how to resolve his wife’s major health challenges. He attended Functional Medicine University and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® School to learn how to apply food as medicine and use herbal and botanical compounds to restore function back in the body.

Chris’ wife, Amanda, suffered from debilitating fatigue, constipation, cold intolerance, weight-loss resistance, gut infections, and adrenal/thyroid imbalances for as long as she can remember. Utilizing the principles of both functional medicine and nutrition, Chris, was able to restore his wife’s body back into balance so that she can live vibrantly and be the mother and wife she aspired to be.

Chris has a passion working with autoimmune related disorders as well as ALL things digestion and detox! His focus is on restoring gut and liver function and calming the immune system’s response by helping you identify the right diet for your unique self! He helps people accomplish their health goals via empowerment, inspiration, and education. Remember, test don’t guess!

Chris and his family are on a mission to help people discover their potential to a vibrant healthy lifestyle from a functional perspective using the right labs and foods for your body! He is very active on social media doing webinars on the latest health topics and always trying to raise awareness to inspire change. Service unto others brings the greatest fulfillment!

Read more about Chris and her coaching plans here.

Functional Nutrition, Functional Nutrition: Tips to Find a Great Health Coach

Was this article helpful?
AvatarDr. Jockers

Dr. David Jockers is a doctor of natural medicine, functional nutritionist and corrective care chiropractor. He currently owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia. He has developed 6 revolutionary online programs with thousands of participants.



Let's Improve Your Health Today!

Get instant access to 2 FREE eBooks when you subscribe to Dr. Jockers’ newsletter.


"Join my tribe today to discover hidden strategies to improve your energy, brain, digestion & metabolism."

— Dr. David Jockers
Dr Jockers




  1. wow, it’s interesting that a nutrition coach can actually right-fit your body with the essential nutrients that it needs. I love it when you sai that life coach can help you customize your anti-inflammatory nutrition a lifestyle to help you speed up the healing process. My body is very prone to inflammation. I think getting a nutrition coach can help me heal from this condition.

  2. Dr Jockers,

    I have a similar question on which education path to take to become a functional nutritionist/ practitioner and work for a doctors office to support their patients. My education is a B.S. in Exercise Science Health and Fitness, A.S. in Occupational Therapy Assistant, I read many books on health, nutrition and have good understanding on how the body works. I have a basic understanding of most functional medicine tests that are currently used. Since I have an intense holistic passion to get back into the health space, I want to make the correct choice in my education. Any suggestions would be grately appreciated.

    Thank you,
    Lisa F

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.