As a Health Coach certified by the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, Dana is in the business of showing strong, smart, independent women how to take back control of their lives; from what they eat and how they look, to what they do and how they feel. We interviewed Dana Dinnawi to find out the insider details of a health coach’s day to day life.
Start the Day Off: I always start with a warm lemon elixir (warm water, juice of 2 limes, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, and a little raw honey). This is great for jumpstarting your organs after sleeping because it aids in digestion, releases toxicity and strengthens the immune system.
Breakfast: I make green juices or smoothies for breakfast for me and my family. My smoothies are made of almond milk, a variety of fruit, a couple of handful of greens, a tablespoon of almond butter; raw honey to sweeten, some cinnamon plus a superfood like raw cacao powder, maca powder or spirulina. If I have a juice it’s apples, lemons, spinach or kale, lemon, ginger, cucumber and celery all juiced in a juicer then blended with half an avocado in a blender.
Time for Work: Once the kids are off to school, my work day starts. I start with a few affirmations and read for about 20 minutes. I work from home, which I love, and my practice is completely virtual, meaning I “meet” my clients via phone or Skype and moderate my group programs in closed Facebook forums. I typically spend a couple of hours answering all the questions that come up on the group, do a one hour workout; shower and then go through my 1:1 coaching for the second half of the day. Because I work from home, I’ve made sure to create a schedule that fits my needs so I’m done with the bulk of my work by the time my kids come home from school.
Workout: I love the Tracy Anderson Method. It’s the only workout I’ve done for the past 8 years since the birth of my youngest son. I’ve subscribed to her live streaming classes and love them. She uses a combination of dance cardio and muscular structure work to really give you a balanced body in a way that’s very different from conventional workouts.
Lunch: I have a quick lunch at midday of either another smoothie or a vegetable based soup with a side of protein, like salmon or chicken.
Prep and Family Time: After school is for homework and time with my youngest son, who’s 8. That’s also the time we prepare our meals a couple of times during the week. I believe that you don’t have to spend every day in the kitchen for hours (unless you want to). So, twice a week we prep and cook meals for the whole week.
Dinner: Dinner time is usually between 5:30-6 and we always have a big salad, soup or grilled veggies with some kind of protein—grilled meat, roast turkey, salmon, roast chicken.
End the Day: Once my son goes to bed, I do a quick check in with my groups in the evening and then I’m done. I end my day with a meditation, more reading and sleep by 10:30 on most days.
We also asked Dana some nutrition related questions to get some inspiration and help inspire you too to become healthier!
The most common nutrition misconception you see when working with clients:
A major misconception is that fat makes you fat and that to lose weight you need to go on a low-fat diet. Your body needs fat in order to lose fat, not the other way around. But you need the right fat from the right source.
On the top of your grocery shopping list:
Lots of leafy greens, and all fruits and vegetables.
Foods that you never eat:
Junk food. I would never eat Mcdonalds, KFC or Pizza hut or the like. Never. There are a lot of other foods I rarely eat, (like breads, pasta) but I still do on occasion.
Your favorite place in Cairo to grab a healthy lunch:
Casper and Gambini’s
Your biggest personal challenges when it comes to maintaining a healthy and fit lifestyle:
Working out. I have to be honest I am naturally lazy. I have no problems with my food now since I really have learned what works for me and what doesn’t and I rarely have any cravings. But workouts, or to be more exact, maintaining a very regular, consistent workout routine still challenges me.
Your favorite kid friendly recipe to encourage children to eat more veggies:
A smoothie with veggies hidden inside:
1 cup almond milk
1 large banana
1 handful of spinach or kale or swiss chard (sal2)
½ tsp cinnamon
3 tsp dark cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
1 Tbs raw honey
Place all ingredients in a blender and process until very smooth.
The one piece of advice you would give to someone who is completely new to health and fitness but wants to start eating better:
I know a lot of people are confused about what’s the “best” way to eat and is it better to be vegan or vegetarian or paleo etc? The confusion can be so overwhelming and the theories so conflicting that people might end up doing nothing. My recommendation is to start with a smoothie for breakfast and work your way from there. Starting with smoothies gets rid of all the confusion and makes it easy to get a jumpstart on getting healthy without worrying about all the labels. To find out how to start drinking smoothies everyday you can download Dana’s free Smoothie Challenge guide here.
How can clients connect with you?
Anyone can schedule a complimentary Discovery Session with me at http://empoweredwellness.schedulista.com