Local health coach receives Michigan Small Business Restart grant – and you might be a secondary beneficiary!

In 2019, We Love Ann Arbor health columnist and Integrative Nutrition® health coach Liza Baker created a health coaching program specifically for women who work in mission-driven fields—healthcare workers, caregivers, educators, nonprofiteers, etc. because she noticed how “chronic caregivers” tend to burn out—hard!

After beta testing it in late 2019, she was all set to launch … and then the pandemic hit.

Liza says, “It felt a bit tone-deaf to market in these times of plague and chaos, so I put plans on hold and watched as even more women burned out. And I watched as the pandemic turned women—who already work inside, outside, and from home—into their homes’ virtual teacher’s aides, school nurses, and lunch ladies…. The pandemic has significantly increased the mental load, the cognitive labor of women, disproportionately so over that of men.”

In the past month, she noticed that many of us are starting to realize that “the ‘Rona” is here to stay—and it’s important to get and stay healthy, so she started thinking it was time to revisit launching the program, which offers SIMPLE tools to start addressing burnout and reclaiming your best health now without adding tasks to an already endless to-do list.

“It felt like the time was right,” Liza says, “And as usually happens, the Universe delivered—this time in the form of a generous grant from the Michigan Small Business Restart Program.”

The pandemic has brought the wealth gap in America into stark relief—and it’s widened it considerably: according to a recent poll by NPR, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, families with an income of $100,000 or less now face financial difficulties that were previously the province of those with much lower incomes.

And the outsized impact of Covid-19 on Brown and Black bodies, coupled with the continued violence against those bodies, has made historic economic inequality something that can no longer be ignored or swept under the rug if we are trying to do what Sonya Renée Taylor refers to as stitching a new garment—”one that fits all of humanity and nature.”

It’s been Liza’s mission since the days she was training to be a health coach to make the service accessible to those who would not normally consider it within their means—because usually, they could benefit from it the most!

“Women—particularly those doing the good work in the world that puts people and planet ahead of profit—are not renewable resources, and if those women keep depleting themselves, who will do that work in the world?

Health coaching can be perceived as a luxe service. My mission is to make it affordable to Every Body because we all deserve to be not just healthy but truly well—especially those of us who are out there making the world a better place. And I recognize that historic economic inequality exists and is especially oppressive for the marginalized and those with low income.

Health coaching is not about making us conform to a specific body type, certainly not the media’s tall/blonde/thin/cisgender/straight/married-with-2.5-children default body; it’s about loving on the body we inhabit by making the best choices for us at the stage of our lives we find ourselves in.”

Health coaching is all about creating a sustainably healthy lifestyle, one in which we can nourish ourselves and honor the important obligations we have to others, so Liza is using a portion of her grant funds to offer partial scholarships to women burning out in mission-driven work—specifically those who might not normally consider health coaching to be within their means.

If you are interested in more information about the EAT™ | Your way to health program, visit Liza’s blog!