My guest today, Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum, was 65 years old when she decided to found her business, The Functional Medicine Coaching Academy. She saw a need and she saw how her skills would be able to complement something that is so imperative to our successful changes in health behaviour — which is our own need for coaches. Sandra approached The Institute for Functional Medicine and said, ‘As someone with a background as a teacher and a psychotherapist, I can develop curriculum and teach people to be coaches for your practitioners’ — and the rest was history.

What’s so incredible about this interview is that we touch on all these different elements of behaviour change — not just from a perspective of what’s valuable for a practitioner, but how do you, as an individual, find the key elements that are going to help you be successful in actually addressing and changing your health. We got into all sorts of elements of coaching — but most importantly, we got into how we leverage them to take your life forward.

This is a fascinating interview if you are looking to understand how to leverage your own business, how to leverage a coach in your own life and health journey, and the basics of how to move your life forward.

Key Takeaways:

[1:43] About my guest today, Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum.

[3:35] Welcoming Sandra to the podcast!

[3:43] Background on Sandra’s career and what brought her to the place she is now with founding her own business.

[7:24] What was the hardest part of launching the academy?

[8:50] Was the content creation (developing the curriculum) one of the harder parts of working on the academy program?

[11:37] What were some of the core areas that Sandra invested in during the early stages of founding her business?

[15:01] About Sandra’s discovery of functional medicine.

[20:18] All about Sandra’s coaching program!

[23:19] How knowing your purpose makes a successful coach.

[24:46] What does the journey look like for coaches going through Sandra’s program? What do they usually do after coming out of the program?

[26:41] In looking at the patients and clients her coaches are working with, what are some of the common elements that individuals are running up against when they’re trying to put these lifestyle changes into practice? What are some of the things that get in the way of people’s success?

[29:24] Sandra’s actionable tips to help you today to realign with your commitment to your health.

[31:33] Where has Sandra leveraged coaches in her own life?

[32:25] What does Sandra want her legacy to be?

[33:05] How does she define health?

[34:54] Sandra’s KPIs!

[37:40] Where to find more about what Sandra is up to online.

Mentioned in This Episode:

The Institute for Functional Medicine

The Functional Medicine Coaching Academy

Barbara Fredrickson (Positivity Psychology Researcher)

The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah

More About Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum

“A self-professed lifelong learner, Dr. Scheinbaum’s life’s work has been centered around education innovation since the very beginning.”


“She began her career in 1972, teaching students with learning disabilities. Her drive to incorporate a more holistic perspective into her work led her to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology at Fielding Graduate University, where she specialized in positive psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, and mind-body medicine. Following her passions for cooking and yoga, she pursued additional education in holistic nutrition and became a registered yoga instructor.

Dr. Scheinbaum’s innovative spirit led her to pioneer the use of neurofeedback in her role as director of a clinic for attention deficit disorders. In 2013, she earned recognition as the first psychologist to become an Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner. She has taught courses in the psychology of eating and the psychology of wellbeing & mind-body medicine in the Masters Program in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine at the University of Western States. As the director of Feed Your Mind Wellness, LLC, she ran individual, group, and corporate wellness programs.”


Connect with my Guest:

Website: The Functional Medicine Coaching Academy

Facebook: @functionalmedicinecoaching

Instagram: @functionalmedicinecoach

Twitter: @fxmedcoach

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“[At my program] they are learning these essential [functional medicine] principles and we pair them with the field of positive psychology.” — Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum

“We teach our coaches how to listen to somebody’s story and access their strengths — and that’s how they make change.” — Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum

“Meaning and purpose are so fundamental to living a good life, [and] also helping others create change.” — Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum

“A coach doesn’t help people eat this and that, but they help sort it out … and help them come to their own conclusions … and figure out what’s right for them.”
— Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum

“That’s the main strength of … working with a coach — you become the CEO of your own health. A coach helps you feel empowered to make those decisions on your own.” — Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum

“I want to have a health coach in every doctor’s office.” — Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum

“Health is really a sense of well-being. It is waking up every day with vitality, with a sense of … joy. It’s health to feel contented.” — Dr. Sandra Scheinbaum