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Meet Laura Folkes, Certified Holistic Health Coach in Roscoe Village

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Folkes.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Laura. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My story and how I got to where I am today as a Certified Holistic Health Coach starts with my weight struggle, which began around the age of 12. I tried multiple diets through the years only to lose weight, followed by gaining it all back plus some. People say that dieting and food is a battle and that really rang true for me, partially because I thought that in order to lose weight I had to feel some level of deprivation. From 2003-2008 I embarked on my weight loss journey and lost 60 pounds and have kept it off since.

The thing that led to my success to a healthier, more balanced life was shifting my fixed mindset to a growth mindset while making minor lifestyle changes along the way to ensure I never felt deprived since that hadn’t worked for me in the past. I ensured I made small, incremental changes and set attainable healthy eating goals so they would be sustainable.

As I was losing weight I was working in advertising and my passion for my work and career was diminishing. I realized that my passion was really around supporting others on their health and weight journeys. So in 2013 I decided to get my Health Coaching certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and I haven’t looked back since.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Overall I would say the first couple years of starting a business is a time full of uncertainty, insight and learning. For me it has also been a time of insight and learning from a personal standpoint. Specifically while I was getting my certification I realized that even though I had success with losing weight and had been maintaining my weight, I still struggled with my relationship with food. I would find myself sabotaging my efforts where I would eat well for a while, let go of the reins, gain a couple pounds, and then eat healthy again.

The pattern didn’t seem right and also made me feel like it would be difficult to fully support my clients when I had my own struggles maintaining my weight. This led me to decide to start working with my own Health Coach to figure out why I was in this vicious cycle of self-sabotage, as well as to make me a stronger coach. During this time I learned it wasn’t just about the food but also what the food represented in my life.

Between my weight loss journey and working through my relationship with food, that’s what has shaped my Health Coaching practice. This self-exploration led me to discover that I love digging deeper to find out why we crave certain foods and how to overcome the cravings. When you know this from the start the path is more motivating and not as overwhelming.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Laura B. Folkes, Certified Holistic Health Coach – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
As a Health Coach I work with busy adults who are health-conscious and generally know what they should be eating. They have dieted in the past and also have done a lot of research on the latest health and wellness trends. Some of them are overwhelmed by all of the information they have gathered over time and they often know what they’re supposed to be doing but are unaware of why they’re having a hard time sticking to it.

I support my clients to help them lose weight, but that isn’t typically their sole goal. Often times they want to lead a healthier lifestyle and just feel better overall. To help them reach their goals, I provide accountability and support that can help break down information into digestible step-by-step actions so the changes they make aren’t as overwhelming. I always ensure the changes are small and will work within their lifestyle so they will be sustainable and the client won’t feel deprived in the process. This allows them to pace themselves and their efforts so they don’t end up rebelling and giving up later down the road. My business is really built around the principal that deprivation isn’t a recipe for success.

My approach is unique as we take a look at what’s happening holistically in my clients’ lives with the goal of getting to the root cause of what’s driving their cravings. Many times this is addressing what’s been keeping them stuck and what’s happening at an emotional level.

I provide a comfortable environment and never pass judgment. The work I do can be very vulnerable for people so it’s important that I’m a trusted partner for them in their journey. Many people have been going through this for years, so to have someone they trust and feel comfortable with is very important.

I get the most satisfaction from my work when I hear comments from my clients such as, “It has been great to have an accountability partner to help me have a healthier lifestyle routine so I could feel more energetic and reach my health goals, lose weight and improve my health numbers without ever feeling any level of deprivation.”

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My plans are to have an impact in the health and wellness industry by inspiring as many clients as possible. My goal is to help people reach their health and weight goals without the need to “diet” again in the future.

In order to accomplish this I will continue to support clients in a private setting, conduct workshops and group programs. I also enjoy going to corporations to help support their employees to find balance in their lives so they can be as productive as possible.


  • Each program begins with this 45-minute session and from there, together we’ll build a customized approach. The cost of this session is $85.

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Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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