From School Lunches to Health Coaching: Sara’s Inspiring Midlife Career Change

Meet Sara Mead, a PREKURE certified Health Coach based in primary healthcare whose mission is to help change the way we approach health and wellbeing. Her journey started with promoting the benefits of a healthy school lunch programme in New Zealand. This later inspired her to champion to foster sustainable health changes in individuals through the power of health coaching.

Sara Mead PREKURE Health Coach

Q&A with Sarah Mead

What did you do before you became a Health Coach?

Before training as a Health Coach, I was one of five women who started ‘Eat Right Be Bright’ a health promotion campaign advocating the benefits of healthy school lunches for New Zealand kids. The experience gained from coordinating the school lunch pilot programmes laid the groundwork for my transition into health coaching.

What Motivated You to Become a Health Coach?

It stemmed from the satisfaction of working at a community level promoting the benefits of healthy food and lifestyles which inspired me to do the same at an individual level – one person at a time.

What Are You Doing Now Since Graduating as a Health Coach?

I am working as a Health Coach in primary healthcare at a GP practice. I work closely with a great team of GPs providing patients a holistic approach to addressing their life challenges and long-term health conditions. Our focus is offering clinical, physical and mental services to support and empower patients. This service is readily accessible and free to all practice patients as part of the current NZ Healthcare model to ensure equity and provide them with the unique opportunity to experience the transformative power of health coaching.

Sara Mead PREKURE Health Coach

Is There a Particular Aspect of Health Coaching That You Are Especially Passionate About?

It is an absolute privilege to work with these patients and to see the power of the Health Coach model produce positive change! Through active listening and accountability, I can help individuals change their habits and start to embed healthier options into their daily lives.

Could you share a success story where your coaching has made a significant positive impact on a client/patient’s life?

A 57-year-old male tradie who was very active, healthy weight and with a positive outlook on life, was referred to me for dietary advice after receiving a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. The diagnosis was a shock for him, so we worked together so he could learn more about diabetes, how the body works, and what changes he could make to support his health.

We utilised short videos so he could learn about the absorption of carbohydrates in the body and the role of insulin. Then we worked through his current diet to find healthy swaps to keep his sugars down. By replacing highly processed, high-sugar foods with whole foods, good fats and quality protein, his diabetes was reversed in two months. He recognised he had slipped into unhealthy habits and simply needed the space and support to look at his daily life and work out the changes that needed to be made.

Sara Mead PREKURE Health Coach

How Has Your PREKURE Training Prepared You for Real-World Scenarios You Encounter as a Health Coach?

Training with PREKURE has equipped me with invaluable tools and insights for real-world scenarios. The Coaching Toolbox, coupled with the approach of creating ‘space‘ that allows the patient to identify key problems leading them to realistic solutions, has made me more effective as a Health Coach. 

How Has Being a Health Coach Enriched Your Life Personally and Professionally?

After completing a Postgraduate Degree in Nutrition, I had to choose where to apply my skills.  I wanted a way to reach people looking for a better way to navigate nutrition and wellbeing. PREKURE was my bridge!  Through my work, I have been able to make a real difference to people’s lives! I have also gained a deeper understanding of human behaviour and cultivated greater tolerance and empathy towards myself and others. It has also helped me with raising three strong-minded teens!

What Advice Would You Give Others Considering a Career or Upskilling in Health Coaching?

Health Coaching is a great life skill for everyone and is an amazing journey. PREKURE offers such a supportive community and invaluable resources with boundless opportunities. It is really helping drive change in the New Zealand healthcare system.

Learn more about PREKURE’s Health Coach Courses and how you can turn your passion for health into a career and start on your journey to becoming a Health Coach.

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