Leah M. Webb, M.P.H.
Holistic Health Coach
I’ve always been passionate about health, but health took on a whole new meaning when I became a parent. My son has food allergies and asthma, and my daughter has cystic fibrosis (CF), a genetic disease primarily affecting the lungs and pancreas. For the first time ever I found myself relying on frequent doctor visits and prescription medications to keep my family healthy. But this isn’t at all how I had envisioned life as a parent. I felt powerless, defeated and like my children’s health was out of my control.
My son’s issues were challenging, but my daughter’s diagnosis was absolutely heart breaking. I spent a solid 8-months feeling completely overwhelmed by and powerless against CF. I grieved, I mourned and I obsessively researched natural ways to combat her disease. Even in my state of grief I wanted to fight, I just didn’t know how.
Sometime after my daughter turned 8-months I started to accept our reality. I found that I could talk about her disease without crying and I felt a sense of hope that hadn’t existed before. I was suddenly strong, hopeful, empowered and to be honest, slightly pissed off and ready to fight. And this incredible feeling has extended itself into all areas of my personal and professional life.
I no longer accept feeling powerless and defeated.
I no longer accept the doctor’s word as the final say.
I no longer accept that disease has to be terrible.
Rather than focus on the limitations of my daughter’s disease, I focus on the possibilities. What if we lead healthy lives and choose to believe that everything will be okay even when it’s hard? Will it change the course of her disease? Will her outcome be better? I believe it will. I believe that she can be extraordinary and that we have the power to make that happen through positive thinking, diet, and lifestyle.
I’m also a huge supporter of alternative medicine. My daughter has quarterly visits with her CF team and my son has routine checkups to monitor his allergies and asthma, but we also recruited the help of an acupuncturist who practices Chinese Medicine. For us, choosing health has meant seeking the varying opinions of different practitioners and incorporating recommendations from both.
Food and Nutrition
A healthy diet is at the core of a healthy life. Cooking is one of my absolute favorite nourishing activities. I prepare a 100% whole foods menu for my little family of four. Yes, we’re busy and cooking every meal takes time, but I make it work because I know how important it is for my family’s health. Truth be told, I’m a real whiz in the kitchen when it comes to cooking for the masses. I know how to get it done and it’s a good thing too… these kids can EAT!
In order to cook nourishing foods, I need quality ingredients. I rely heavily on my organic garden, (a.k.a. the “micro-farm”) for supplying the majority of our vegetables. I also have a “micro-orchard” of apples, figs, pears, and apricots. I have big plans for more perennial fruits and vegetables once the kids are a little older and I can find a bit more free time. I’m fortunate enough to live in a climate that allows for nearly year round production. My garden doubles as weekly (sometimes daily) therapy. It’s definitely my happy spot.
We are fortunate enough to live in one of the best mountain biking towns in the country, Brevard, NC. Whenever my husband and I have an opportunity for a date night, we head to Pisgah National Forest for some well-deserved date night riding. I’m also fortunate to have an incredible network of strong women to ride with throughout the week while my husband watches the kids. Taking time for myself, away from my kids to enjoy the company of others is key in maintaining sanity.
Rock climbing is my real passion, but unfortunately it’s taken a back seat while I raise my young children. These days I’m lucky to make it to the climbing wall once/week, but this is enough to keep me in shape for when climbing will once again be a priority.
I’m also a huge proponent of short and sweet at-home workouts. I love feeling strong and fit, but with two kids, a huge garden, treatments for my daughter, and cooking, carving out time for exercise on a regular basis can often be a challenge. Luckily I’ve found tons of online resources and fitness apps for getting my fitness on in the comfort of my own home.
- Certified Health Coach, Institute for Integrative Nutrition, 2013
- Master of Public Health, Georgia Southern University, 2011
- Bachelor of Science in Ecology, Appalachian State University, 2008