5Qs with Melissa Lee, Functional Medicine Health Coach 

Meet Melissa from Colorado Springs, a functional medicine health coach helping clients journey to optimal health through root cause medicine.

By SGN | 23 Jun 2022

Melissa is a functional health coach at Upstream Functional Medicine, based in Colorado Springs. (Photo credit: LA City Guide)

Hi Melissa! What brought you to the States?

My husband actually – I met Daniel via Instagram and were in a long-distance relationship for about 2.5 years. Moving to Los Angeles felt like a dream and it was so exciting for me. We have since moved to Colorado and it still feels like a dream.

Melissa and her husband Daniel in Bishop, California taking their own engagement shots. (Photo credit: Daniel Bruce Lee Photography)

We understand you’re a health coach. We’re curious – how is it different from being a doctor or sports coach?

Health coaches facilitate lifestyle change in an individual. We are not licensed professionals, but we are certified in health coaching, quantum coaching, and functional medicine and more. Think of how a crew runs on a ship. The doctor is the ship captain, while health coaches form the reset of the crew. Without the crew, the ship will not be able to set sail or run smoothly.

Health coaching gives people a safe space to express their difficulties in making nutritional and lifestyle choices while giving them accountability and support. For example, it can be really difficult for someone to switch from a fast food diet to one that is filled with whole foods. If someone were to work with a health coach, that change would involve many steps, to make the transition easier. 

Health coaches now can also be certified in functional medicine – which is powerful in addressing the root cause of chronic illness. This is the opposite of conventional health care, where the doctor prescribes a pill for every symptom, as a bandaid. 


What inspired you to become a health coach?

I used to be a personal trainer in Singapore and found little satisfaction in just helping people exercise. I saw many loopholes in the way my clients were trying to reach health goals – they were often either trying to work out to remove guilt from their lives, using exercise to energise themselves or to suppress difficult emotions. They were still struggling with lack of sleep, poor eating habits, high stress levels and symptoms of toxin exposure.

I wanted to pursue health coaching to help serve the community better more holistically; to empower people to think about health management as more than exercise.

This ultimately inspired me to start my private coaching business NourishMel in 2019 as a way to help women overcome weight loss, Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), get pregnant and optimise their thyroid and adrenal health.Through NourishMel, I have helped women get pregnant, improve their menstrual cycle regularity, lose weight and optimise their thyroid health.

I have since been on various podcasts as well, like Funk’tional Nutrition hosted by functional nutritionist Erin Holt. I love sharing with others and drawing inspiration from each other’s experiences.


What are your hobbies?

I love being outdoors so naturally Colorado was a no brainer move. My hobbies include rock climbing, backpacking and caring for my cats.

One of Melissa’s first forays into climbing outdoors. Photo credit: Daniel Bruce Lee Photography

How do you stay connected to Singapore?

I stay deeply connected with my family and friends. It is not hard to do so now, with social media being so readily accessible. I also try to visit often, though the pandemic has made it difficult to happen.

Melissa’s group of Singaporean close friends came to visit her at her bachelorette party in 2019 in Yosemite.

I also have a weekly newsletter that gives updates on my personal life and health hacks.

I am currently stepping back from private coaching because I am working full time at a functional medicine clinic in Colorado Springs. However, I am still active on social media and have a podcast dedicated to women’s health.

About Melissa

Melissa is a functional health coach at Upstream Functional Medicine who helps women find out the reason for hormonal rollercoasters & digestive distress and solve them without the need for more medication. Originally from Singapore, she is now based in Colorado Springs.

Connect with her on LinkedIn or Instagram.

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