My name is Meghan Toups and I am a licensed professional counselor and holistic health coach practicing an integrative approach with my clients. I co-own a health and wellness business with my husband based in Atlanta called Merge, Health, Fitness & Nutrition. I have 2 darling children and am passionate about helping others live their best, fullest, happiest and healthiest lives.
I believe that there are three main pillars of wellness: spiritual, physical and emotional which each contribute to one’s wellness. When one is off balance, it effects the entire system. That’s why my approach is “whole”istic – I seek to treat the whole person, providing a supportive, empathic and solution focused environment to promote happiness, balance and positive growth. From a young age, I was always fascinated by the human mind and relationships with self and others. As a child, I never considered counseling as a profession, but looking back I remember always working to facilitate communication between people. I attended Marist School which planted many seeds that allowed me to grow in these ways including meditation classes, leading retreats and small groups and volunteer work. I always knew that I loved people and I saw the very best in them – their core goodness. After graduating from Loyola University New Orleans, I enrolled in my master’s program in professional counseling at Georgia State University. I trained with some of the most inspiring people and learned a great deal about how to help people feel more balanced, emotionally. Even greater lessons were learned as I ventured out in private practice and public service work. We were trained to treat the brain, however I kept thinking there was more to this puzzle. I began to listen to my clients talk about their exercise routine, their diet, their medication use, and their alcohol consumption. Surely these played a role in balancing emotional health, and I wanted to learn more. I decided to become certified in health coaching from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I learned so much about food, it’s role on our physical and emotional self and the importance of self-care.
I began to work through some of my own stress with improved nutrition and found great relief. This was a huge breakthrough for me: food directly effects our mood. Optimizing my diet was a life-changer for me. Integrating a regular meditation and mindfulness practice was icing on the (gluten free) cake!
I began to integrate my training as a psychotherapist, focusing largely on cognitive behavioral therapy, with food and mindfulness training. Drawing on my experience in grade school learning meditation, and my trainings in mindfulness, adding the food element was a fun and exciting way to help others. It’s empowering to know that we have many different ways to heal our brains and our bodies.
I also integrate the importance of the gut-brain axis into my practice. Optimizing digestion through healing practices like eating whole foods, sleeping and getting adequate exercise and sleep has been another breakthrough for me in my practice. A perpetual student in my field, I'm now a PhD student studying Psychology, examining even more deeply the mind-body-spirit connection.
My own health and wellness journey has guided me and changed my life in so many ways. My overall health, sleep, clarity and relationship with myself and others is so much greater. Inspired by my own experiences, I'm passionate about empowering others to improve their health naturally. I feel so grateful when a client chooses to work with me for counseling or coaching. I approach each person as whole, just needed to few new ways to feel more balance and joy. It’s a great honor to be a part of their journey toward greater healing and health.