Four years ago my wellbeing was simply not a priority. I was totally disconnected to my body's murmurs keeping up with the demands of hectic city life along with friends, family and work being my first concerns, not my wellbeing. I worked long hours in a job that left me unfulfilled, and although it was an experience I would never change because it brought me where I am today, I felt as though something was missing.
I woke each day pretty exhausted and jumped back on the hamster wheel, getting through the week on borrowed highs of sugar, caffeine and convenience food never pausing to listen to my body. I was stressed and prone to mood swings, with sluggish digestion, always bloating after meals never understanding why and rosacea flaring up on a regular basis. I was in a constant battle with my body, and my inner critic was running the show. Negative self-talk and self-doubt affected my confidence. Pretty common symptoms for the average person, wouldn’t you say?
I had to start putting my wellbeing first
Something had to change. It was a long process which began with the realisation that I needed some time off to slow down and check in with myself to see what I really wanted to do with my life and what mattered to me. I was able to take a month off work and travel around California, where I immersed myself in sun, positive people and real, natural whole foods. I returned inspired, happy and excited. You're thinking 'alright for some' I know, but life happens and its about being realistic but I was determined to clutch onto what I was feeling back home. After America I knew I needed support to keep me inspired, so I signed up with Madeleine Shaw as my health coach for 6 weeks.
Finally, my health and wellbeing improved
With Madeleine’s support, I discovered that what you eat actually changes everything and I experienced amazing shifts in my life. My digestion improved and bloating calmed down. I began to control my rosacea and felt so much more in control of my feelings by what I was feeding myself. I can honestly say afternoon slumps are a thing of the past unless I haven't been looking after myself because life happens or particular lifestyle habits have unraveled which YES does still happen.
Food IS mood
Finally, I learned to control my moods with food. It’s an incredibly powerful thing to be able to use food as medicine not just entertainment. Still, I knew there was more work to be done in areas of my life that real food couldn't fix. Would the healthy eating miraculously erase my insecurities and emotions? I needed to somehow feed the mind too but spirituality back then I was absolutely not interested in.
Although I had conquered my eating habits, something still wasn’t serving me – my career. A year later I made the decision to leave my job and work instead as a private PA. This gave me the flexibility to be able to take my health and happiness into my own hands and make it my number one priority.
I threw myself into my healthier lifestyle and enrolled in a course at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, the biggest holistic nutritional school in the world. I fell in love with their philosophy of teaching the importance of Primary Nutrition – healthy relationships, physical activity, a fulfilling career and a spiritual practice – before Secondary Nutrition – the foods we put into our bodies.
Secondary foods don't come close to giving us the joy, meaning, and fulfilment primary food provides – Joshua Rosenthal
Through throwing myself into 'the spiritual gym' of reading endless self help books, exploring daily practices of guided meditation, journaling my gratitude, clearing blockages and beliefs in my life that had engrained in my subconscious at an early age and rewriting them, controlling my inner critic, eating real whole food and listening to my body, my eyes have opened and I have at last become in tune with my needs and what works for me.
Why am I different?
In recent years it’s fair to say health and nutrition have become buzzwords within the wellness trend. I love the increased understanding and research into diet and mindfulness to aid in healing, it is about time, however it is important to point out that I’m simply encouraging you to step back and take responsibility for your health and make better decisions that work for your body and mind. As you know - we (especially in London) are surrounded by toxins and a fairly hideous environment. We just have to deal with it as best we can and make the most out of the additional options that we actually have choice over.
I am certainly not promoting or preaching a deprived clean diet, prescribing the latest fashion trends, entering a regimented food and beauty contest that we often see being played out online. When it comes to enviable avocados on toast, and touched up torsos on instagram, I steer well clear. In fact I will be more likely to suggest a digital detox.
For many people, ‘healthy living’ means a fad diet of food that lasts a couple of months to then fall back into the old habits. When it comes to food the thousands of diet books and products out there only serve to confuse us and steer us away from the food and lifestyle changes that we really need to make to achieve better health.
At the Institute of Integrative Nutrition I studied over 100 dietary theories meaning I have a broad understanding of what my clients may or may not have tried in the past. I've been taught by more than 100 world-class educators: physicians, researchers, doctors and nutritional experts. The coaching methods I learned are sustainable and practical in everyday life, and I can’t wait to share them with you.
I believe that given the chance, the body will heal itself – by itself. But there isn’t one solution that will work for everyone. Bio-individuality, the theory that one person’s food is another person’s poison, is fundamental to what I do as a Health & Lifestyle Coach. Let’s work together to find what works for you.