Thanks to much of what we hear in the media, healthy eating has earned a reputation for being a bit extreme, and a bit confusing. When you hear the word “healthy” in connection with food it’s hard to separate the fads and extreme diets from a more practical and sustainable approach.
My approach to eating for hormone health is simply this: MAXIMISING what does you good, MINIMISING what does you harm and PRIORITISING the choices that promote health and well-being.
My definition of healthy eating is simply to focus on natural, whole foods that are full of the nutrients that feed our cells and to avoid the foods that are nothing but empty calories and which disrupt hormones and cause inflammation.
The truth is, eating well is one of the key ways to ensure that your hormones are happy. And if your hormones are happy, you are happy. It doesn’t have to involve any of the above—it is simply about eating in a healthy, supportive manner, so you can give your body the full range of tools and building blocks it needs. To be honest eating well is simply about going back to a simpler, more holistic approach to food.
The following are four myths many people associate with any bid to make healthier choices. Understandably, these myths may get in the way of you making really positive choices for yourself, so it’s worth taking a closer look.
Myth # 1: Eating well means deprivation.
Eating for hormone health isn’t just about eating lettuce with a drizzle of olive oil. There are many delicious recipes that can be prepared using healthy ingredients that not only taste amazing, but nourish and detox your body as well.
The best part is, many of them don’t involve any fancy ingredients and can be prepared even by a cooking novice. In fact, participants in my Jumpstart Programmes always discover new foods and recipes that they absolutely love that have become staples in their diets long after the programme ends.
Myth #2: You’ll struggle to overcome cravings and hunger.
It is an unfortunate fact that the things that are the worst for us are the ones that are the most addictive. We know that this is the case when it comes to alcohol and recreational drugs, but it is also true of the foods that we tend to crave as well – including all those sugary and starchy foods that undermine our best efforts to look after ourselves.
Overcoming addiction is never easy, but the pay-off is so great the effort has to be worth it. The choice we have is to struggle with is this: suffer cravings indefinitely or tackle them head on and make them a thing of the past. If we decide on the latter course, we are back in control and able to choose foods that serve us (and not the companies that make them!)
The first three days in any change to our normal habits are the worst, but once you get through those, it’s pretty much plain sailing from then on. One of the great benefits for people who’ve mean on my programmes before is that they have been able to overcome their cravings, sometimes for the first time in their lives.
Myth #3: You need to do an all-liquid detox to remove toxins from your body.
Liquid-only detoxes have had more than their fair share of popularity. These types of detoxes can backfire: Not only do people often gain the weight back as soon as the detox ends, but such restrictive eating for several days can be detrimental to your hormonal health as it sets up a cascade of responses that impact our thyroid and overall metabolism. Much better to eat a variety of whole foods that provide your liver, kidneys and digestive tract with the raw material it needs to do the de-toxing work they were designed to do.
Aside from the benefits discussed above, focusing on natural, whole foods is an incredibly effective way to identify if you have any food sensitivities, balance your hormones, and establish healthy habits for the long term.
I’ve worked with participants of my programmes who not only have lost weight and kept it off, but who have also seen their energy level skyrocket, their skin clear up and even their allergies disappear.
Myth #4: Health programmes are just a way for people to make money out of expensive supplements.
To my mind, supplements involved in any protocol should be just that, a supplementary part of the programme, not the primary source of your nutrition. While on any of my programmes you will get all of your vitamins and minerals from whole-food sources.
Occasionally, and in specific circumstances depending on each individual, supplements may be recommended to help your body make the most of the nutrients it receives from these foods. For example, by including probiotics in your diet, you help your body produce vitamins, absorb minerals and remove toxins from the body.
Are you ready to discover for yourself the benefits of eating for hormone health?
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What questions or concerns do you have about participating in a programme like this?
Before you try something new, it’s normal to feel hesitant. If you need any questions answered, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I read every email that comes into my inbox and I promise to email you back personally.
You’re probably here because you feel something needs to change, but maybe you are not sure what, or that you feel you need to make so many changes, you don’t know where to start. I can help you not only identify which changes will help you the most, but also how to priorritise and put together an individualised plan of action that is totally do-able for you.
Here’s a little breakdown of what you can expect from working with me.
- The first step is to book in for a FREE taster call. During this call I will listen carefully to all your issues and then gently set out a way working together and the approach I will take to help you achieve your own health goals. Because I am trained in Functional Medicine we might also discuss any tests that might be helpful (such as stool tests or food intolerance tests) and I will explain my approach to supplements (which is conservative, I prefer to use food as the best and most natural medicine of all). In signing up to the call, you will be invited to join my Practice Platform which has been specially created to ensure totally confidentiality and to protect your privacy absolutely. It is also the place where we can safely share documents, message each other and where you will find a whole host of resources that will help you achieve a really successful outcome.
- Once you feel happy to do so you can then commit to working with me, safe in the knowledge that I have the knowledge and experience to put your needs, as a unique individual, first and foremost in every aspect of our work together. I offer a variety of different packages and payment terms to suit most people but will encourage you to commit to a minimum 3 month programme as it takes at least this amount of time to experience meaningful change.
- On signing up, you will be invited to complete a comprehensive health history and symptoms questionnaire to give me all the information I need to ensure I can advise and support you appropriately.
- We will ‘meet’ (either in person or virtually) at least once every fortnight for the duration of your programme. During your first session we will go through your Health History together. This gives me the opportunity to fully understand you as a whole person, to map any interconnectedness I can see see and work with you holistically
- During subsequent sessions, we will work together to co-create the ideal Lifestyle Prescription for you, based on where you are in your health journey and what you are hoping to achieve. I will also be helping you identify and overcome any ‘blocks’ that get in the way of you reaching your goals.
- It is a normal part of the coaching process to experience set-backs and to go through times when your motivation drops, or you become ‘stuck’, or even that you feel things are not working. Try to be patient with yourself and the process – you are a subtle and complex bio-computer that is completely unique, and it can sometimes take time to discover exactly your unique ‘factory settings’ and how best to return to them and profound change is often not seen or felt immediately. We know that daffodils will appear in the Spring, but there is always a point mid-Winter when things seem particularly grim and there is absolutely nothing to suggest that there is a lot of activity taking place underground. It is very much the same with the natural healing process – it takes time.
- I will help you hold your faith at these times. It is, in fact, these tricky moments when working with a Health Coach becomes invaluable as they step you through the process of becoming ‘un-stuck’, help you re-frame blocks and maybe even explore different strategies and tactics that may sit more comfortably with your unique lifestyle and experience.
- I will also help keep you accountable to your own goals and will be ‘holding up the mirror’ so you can see what you have achieved and the distance you have come.
- At the end of your agreed programme, and depending on where you are in terms of achieving your goals, you will be invited to renew your agreement. For most people, working with a Health Coach is like peeling back the layers of an onion – removing or reversing one issue, allows you to move on and deal with the next. Only you can tell when you are ready to stop working with your Health Coach.
What it means to work with a health coach
If eating healthily, exercising and finding time for yourself at the bottom of your to do list, you’re not alone. According to a survey from the Mental Health Foundation, a staggering 74% of us felt ‘so overwhelmed we were unable to cope’ which is no surprise, given the pressures of modern life. We’re so busy working, taking care of our family, juggling social events, our health quickly falls to the bottom of the list.
You are probably here because you feel something needs to change, but maybe you are not sure what, or that you feel you need to make so many changes, you don’t know what to tackle first. A health coach can not only identify which changes will help you the most, but will help you prioritise and put together an individualised plan of action that is totally do-able for you.
If you can relate to this, maybe health coaching is something to consider. By just making a few small but targeted changes in your day to day life, a health coach can help you transition to a healthier lifestyle and offer guidance on key aspects of your health such a stress, diet, menopause as well as helping you to manage, or potentially reverse, a chronic condition that has been undermining your quality of life for a long time.
What is a health coach?
A health coach is there to help you gain the knowledge, skills, tools and confidence to help you reach your desired health goals in small, achievable steps.
The cornerstones of health coaching are (a) that small things make a big difference, and (b) it is consistency over time that delivers results. It’s all based around giving the body the right tools to balance itself so it has everything it needs to sort itself out (which is, in fact, what it is constantly trying to do). And those tools often involve the small decisions we make on a daily basis.
Health Coaching is all about helping people take the small, incremental steps that will help them take back control of their health in a way that is not stressful (i.e. doesn’t involve turning their lifestyle upside down) or damaging (doesn’t involve unrealistic claims or fad diets).
It’s not rocket science, but many people need help cutting through all the mis-information out there, to set achievable goals and then to stick with them – and that’s where a health coach really delivers value – it’s that whole piece around overcoming resistance, perfectionism and self-sabotage that makes such a big difference.
What can you expect when working with a Health Coach?
One of the key benefits of working with a health coach is that the whole process is individualised to your exact needs. We are all unique, and what works for one person does not necessarily work for anyone else. Whatever your issue a health coach can help you resolve it – it could be a few(or many) pounds of stubborn weight, menopause struggles, nagging pain, fatigue or all of the above! If you are feeling rubbish for no obvious reason, the huge advantage of a health coach is that they have the time, the expertise, and the desire, to spend time listening to you and getting to the root cause of your issues, and then helping you create a plan of action that fits in with your lifestyle and doesn’t make unreasonable demands of you. It sounds simple, but you would be surprised how dramatically transformational it can be to have someone in your corner who is trained to make things easy and do-able for YOU.
What you can do to make your experience as positive as possible
- Commit to the process and ‘stay in the room’. Even when change becomes difficult, unappealing or too complicated, stick with it. My role is specifically to help you get through these times and I will work with you to find an alternative approach, or break things down into smaller steps or tweak the protocol in some other way that will make it more do-able for you
- Be compassionate with yourself. All change is hard, that’s why it makes such a difference to have a Health Coach by your side. Nobody is expecting perfection and you will be amazed at the compound long-term benefit of seemingly small and insignificant things.
- Be honest so I can meet you where you are. There is no judgement in Health Coaching. Like most other Health Coaches, I have been through my own health journey and understand exactly what you are going through.
- Ask questions. There is no need to commit to anything that you don’t fully understand, the more confident you are in the ‘reason why’ behind any suggestion, the easier it will be for you to implement it in your life.
- Don’t throw in the towel too early. It sometimes takes several months before real change starts to be experienced. For complex issues, it is not uncommon to work with a Health Coach on and off for over a year. The exciting thing about this process is that it is taking you closer and closer to total wellness.
- Remember that working with a Health Coach is like saving for your retirement, every little positive choice you make now will be an investment in your future health.