What's the go-to diet of a health coach? Plus my 6 core concepts for long-term health
It’s so funny, whenever I introduce myself as a Health & Nutrition Coach, the first thing people usually ask (with a slightly scared expression) is…“Are you vegan?”
What, I believe, they are actually asking is whether they themselves need to go plant-based in order to be healthy.
When I reply with a calm and friendly “No”, I hear people sigh with relief, and anticipate the follow-up question that often trails behind… “So, what do you eat?”
Most people hope at this point I’ll share the one magic element that solves everything overnight. I used to explain that I didn’t believe in a ‘one-size-fits-all’ specific diet, but after seeing people literally switch-off I got a bit more specific…“I practice intuitive eating.” This, I have found helps me to better engage people with their health. It’s a practice that many have usually never heard of.
So what is it?
The experiences and beliefs that have brought me to this intuitive practice have come to me through my own healing journey and through the concepts I learned at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. The real reason why most of the time I go for the healthy choice is not only because I find it tastes delicious but also because I can instantly feel how well my body responds to vegetables, greens, gluten-free grains, herbs, lemon water with ginger, etc. It took self-discipline at the beginning to get to this space but today, it's joy not a chore to make my morning smoothie, to cook at home instead of picking up take-away, to drink green tea and lots of water.
Here are my most important beliefs… 7 concepts that I know for sure will support your long-term health…
1. Food is not the only ingredient to health
What you eat undoubtedly influences your health in a massive way, but it’s far from being everything. Other elements play a significant role: the air you breathe, the water you drink, the exercise you get, the love you have in your life, the way you express yourself through work and any kind of spiritual connection you practice in your life.
All the broccoli in the world cannot balance out the negative effects a toxic or unfulfilling relationship will have on your body. If your only exercise is typing all day long on your keyboard, how can your body properly digest its food? If you work in an environment that is completely opposed to your personal values and beliefs, how much incentive does your body have to thrive and live to the max? Looking at health holistically, means not only focusing on food but also looking at areas such as exercise, relationships, career and also spirituality.
Following a spiritual practice means healing and happiness can come better and infinitely faster. Connecting to something outside of yourself allows you to see a bigger picture of what you want and need, develop greater trust and reduce the pressure of doing it ‘alone’. This could be nurturing a connection to your intuition, your life’s purpose, God, the universe, your ancestors, energy… anything that resonates.
2. There is no one-size-fits-all diet (never has been, never will be)
Any lifestyle choice or diet will never be beneficial for everyone, all of the time. Even our own individual needs change at different stages of our life.
There are certainly some basic rules which apply to every human, such as our inherent need for water and vegetables. However, differences in our bodies, metabolism and hormones (along with many other factors), means our specific needs are quite diverse.
The best diet is based on the individual, and never on one theory. Diet regimes and recipe books are a great resource, but always challenge yourself to see outside the box and implement the parts that feel really right for you.
3. Addition is better than subtraction
Going cold turkey on things we’ve been craving can have a short-lived and challenging effect. Focussing on adding in nutrition foods, instead of taking away things that don’t fully support our wellness, is a great way to transition into healthier forms of eating.
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4. Your body is a powerful healer
Just like mammals in the wild, our human body has incredibly powerful healing mechanisms. We can support these processes not only from consuming great nutritious food, but also ensuring that rest and deep sleep are part of our everyday lives.
5. The body talks, and is always right
Our body sends us messages every single day… more rest, a certain food, activity, movement, fluids… it asks us to give it exactly what we need, and it’s always right. This is where intuitive eating really comes into play.
Once we have cleansed our systems of any food, drink or substance addictions, we can ‘clear the floor’ for our body to share what it really requires.
6. Disease is a product of imbalance
The root cause of nearly every ailment is being out of balance. Homeostasis is the process of bringing our body into equilibrium. You can get back to balance by eating less meat and milk-containing products, reducing or cutting sugar, artificial junk food, coffee and alcohol. This is in addition to eating more fruits, vegetables and whole foods, drinking lots of water, getting adequate rest and if you do consume animal products, ensuring these are of the highest-quality available to you. Grass fed, organic and no antibiotics is the gold-standard.
While some (or all of these) points might seem common sense, you might be wondering why anyone needs a personal health and nutrition coach?
Because understanding something and connecting the dots within your own body and lifestyle, is a tricky process. I love supporting my clients to shake up deeply-rooted habits, commit to consistency and learn how to read their body so they can interpret and customise the theories to create their own unique blend of health.
I encourage you to start considering how you can welcome these concepts into your everyday lifestyle and health regimes. If you need a supportive hand, I’m always here to help. Book in a free discovery call to explore how you can deeply transform your relationship with your body and start making significant steps towards your dreams and goals.
“Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become character. Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.” ~ Unknown