“I would not give advice to clients on eating animal protein when I do not eat it myself.”
I think that’s a good policy. I wouldn’t give advice on being a Christian if I wasn’t one myself haha.
Not apples-to-apples but I think you get my point.
Besides, we need more knowledgable folks teaching how to utilize plant-based proteins.
Not to be difficult, but I do not see a dilemma here. I am thirty years vegan now and work with mostly non-vegan clients. I do not push them to be vegan, just as I would not push someone to my political views or my religious views. I direct them within my scope of practice regardless of their lifestyle or ideology.
I do refer most of my clients to a registered dietician when they want/need specific guidance in proper nutrition. I do explain nutrition within my scope to those that want me to do so. When it comes to protein, we discuss their potential options. This includes all potential sources of protein. I do work with several vegan clients. For the most part they are on it nutritional speaking, but I have given them guidelines as well when requested with the protein focus on vegan sources.
If you would like to discuss this further, contact me through my profile or my website, www.hawaiifitnessacademy.com.
Then, as Harris said, you should market yourself as a vegan trainer so that you will attract the clients who will appreciate your perspective.
If you are willing to talk to non-vegan clients in a manner that is non-judgmental, “I’m vegan so I can’t give you a lot of advice about how to cook meat, but the three healthiest meat proteins are ___, ___, and ___,” then you might be able to work within the scope of your health coach certification and your values, without doing dis-service to the no-vegan client. But if you’re going to actively avoid discussing any and all types of meat, in any context, then you will want to limit your clientele to vegans.
I also think that you should advertise yourself as vegan, so you’ll attract clients closer to your philosophy. This doesn’t mean that you should not help or work with others who do not agree with your views (your choice of course). As a health coach you might not have to be to specific with nutritional information and or recommendations. You will need to check how far you can go with this certification.
Your job is to help others make better choices for themselves. This can be achieved by providing them with as much information as possible and then let them decide what works for them according to their needs, goals and preferences. Not always one size fits all.
I agree with Natalie that if you do the Health Coach certification you need to look very carefully into scope of practice regarding how much nutritional advice you can give. Without a degree and licensure in nutrition this advice is likely to be fairly general.
I think this gives you two options. The first is as Karin says to be clear of your own path, but to explain options without demonizing paths that differ from your own.
The other is to market yourself specifically as a vegan. If you are clear before you take on clients that this is the path you walk and the path you teach I think you could build your business around it as a niche. To expand on Karin’s metaphor this would be to say…. if you wish to bicycle I will refer you to excellent bicycle coaches. But my particular skill set lies in snowboarding, and if that is right for you I would love to work with you.