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Health Coach Spotlight: Drisana Clifton

Our Health Coach spotlight this month features Drisana Clifton. Hailing from Minneapolis, MN, Drisana is a Registered Nutrition and Dietetic Technician. Having been with Omada for almost four years now, Drisana has inspired thousands of participants to live free of chronic disease.

What led you to health coaching?

I’ve always struggled with my weight, and through that struggle nutrition and wellness became a passion of mine. While I was getting my BS in Nutrition I worked at a hospital and saw first hand how chronic disease can impact a person’s life. I became close to a lot of the patients and it inspired me to focus on prevention. I have been working in diabetes prevention programs and helping people lose weight and live their best life ever since then. I wouldn’t change a thing.

What behavior changes are necessary to create a healthy lifestyle?

We are the experts on ourselves, so only we can know what changes are right for us. The most important component of those changes is consistency. Our overall health comes from the things we do most of the time, not just some of the time.

What are the most fun ways to stay active in your region?

I like to drive a few hours north of the cities to stay in a cabin, hike and enjoy the beautiful Fall colors before Winter comes. Of course, during the Summer, our 10,000+ lakes offer tons of fun activity like swimming, water skiing, rowing and more.

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How has coaching impacted your life?

Coaching is important to me because I see amazing transformations and because it pushes me to be my best self. Nearly every day, I’m encouraging people to drink water, eat half of each plate as produce or get out and get moving, even in their busy lives.

Coaching with integrity is my top priority, which means I push myself to walk the walk and not just talk the talk. I’m always stepping on the scale, trying the recipes I might share, or adding intensity in fitness even when I just want to be lazy. I feel so lucky to have a career that fuels my personal passions and goals.

What is your best advice for someone who’s trying to start a lifestyle change program?

Start small, it’s not all or nothing- it’s all or something. Try adding spinach leaves to a burger, or cutting one piece of pizza in half to feel like you’re enjoying 2 pieces. If you’re making pasta, chili or a casserole, use up veggies in the fridge in the sauces. These things add up, build momentum, and lead to the next change!

What makes Omada different than other programs?

Omada truly cares about what is right for someone long term. The program is designed to promote lasting results and not return customers. It is flexible and acknowledges there is no one size fits all when it comes to a health journey.

What three things motivate you to stay active?

My biggest motivation for exercise is mental health. It helps me keep anxiety and stress under control, which makes life much more enjoyable. It also helps me be a better person. I’m in a better mood, more efficient, sharper, more energized, and better at everything when I make exercise a priority.

What behaviors do you see interfere most with a person’s effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Busy lifestyles and being stressed…and I totally get it! Right now, I’m working full time, going to grad school and trying to stay on top of everything else in life. Time and energy is tight. Getting creative is key and the most important thing here is to be honest with ourselves. “Yes, I am busy… yes, I am tired, but I know healthy choices and exercise are still possible if they are important to me.” It’s all about adjusting mindset. Instead of looking at exercise and healthy eating as chores that add more stuff to our day, look at it as a gift, and a tool to help handle it all. Exercise to reduce stress and gain some extra energy to tackle that to-do list. Eat healthy for a sharper brain and to be more present for the people we love.

  • 1 small head lettuce, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 5 green onions, chopped
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped
  • ½ cup radishes, chopped

Dressing:

  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2-3 T olive oil
  • ½-1 T dried mint
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Wash, chop and mix all veggies together in a bowl.

Whisk together the dressing ingredients…

pour over veggies and toss lightly.