Christmas has been and gone. Goose cooked, stuffed and eaten. The office heaved with Christmas chocolates. And my hand was permanently stuck in the Heroes tub. All my good eating habits were booted out the window. And now, I need help. Luckily, I have with me Helena Reeves, former NHS communications director, and founder of eponymous PR consultancy, now primal health coach at Nourish’d Health Coaching to see if she can help me sort out my diet, and maybe even my life.
How can a health coach help me?
Tooting Mama: It’s the New Year, and about now, I’d make a resolution and start a new diet.
But I am bad at diets. I tried the South Beach Diet for a minute, gave Atkins a go, I’ve been to Weight Watchers but counting points is boring. And I end up just cheating, then it becomes too embarrassing to get on the scales because each week my weight shoots up!
Helena Reeves: What a health coach can do is hold you accountable for your health. Let’s face it we know what’s good for us and what’s bad, whether it’s food, drinking, smoking.
Health coaches recognise that we are all different because it’s our genes that make us individual. As a result, I don’t offer one size fits all service. A health coach can be far more prescriptive and together we find a route to wellness that suits you.
I’m here to listen and understand and to try and figure out what you want to achieve. Once we identified your goals, we commit to that. Along the way, we have progress checks to make sure we are achieving your wellness goals.
Are health coaches just the next big health craze?
TM: It seems that health coaches are the big new thing in the wellness world. How does a health coach differ from a nutritionist or a dietician?
HR: Health coaches offer holistic lifestyle advice. We don’t just focus on food, we look at sleep and exercise. Both of which are hugely important.
Sleep gets disturbed because of our digital and light stimulated lifestyles. We need to wind down before we go to bed to get our best sleep. Ideally, we should make our bedrooms tech-free zones or at the very least dim our screens at night.
excercise is essential to our lives. We are born to move. We look at that too. I offer a whole, rounded wellness package.
Going back to the stone-age with primal eating
TM: And so what exactly is a primal health coach?
HR: Primal health coaches look at ancestral eating, that’s looking at how our bodies are designed to eat.
I remember a GP telling me years ago that ‘We have stone age digestion with hi-tech diets,’ that has always stayed with me.
As well as food, I also look at how technology impacts our lives.
Vegan rage. Is meat murder?
TM: Where do you stand on veganism? Is it a fad, or it’s here to stay? Is meat the enemy in our diets?
HR: Meat isn’t all bad.
Actually, meat is an essential part of our diet. It’s what helped our brains develop.
In the primal nutrition health advice is based on no grains, sugar or processed food so we get maximum nutrition as possible.
What can a primal health coach do for me
TM: While I have you here, I have a couple of burning questions that need to be answered. Call it my own mini-consultation.
I am returning to work, and I am determined to be healthy. But I know I will fall into bad habits fast – eating at my desk, eating high-calorie sarnies, downing vats of coffee. How can I keep healthy habits going while glued to my desk?
HR: Make life simple. If you are cooking in the evening, make an extra portion and take that into work for lunch.
Is breakfast time is manic? Then make a smoothie the night before and have that for breakfast or take it into work.
Not everyone has time to cook from scratch. If you find you are having to buy lunch make sensible choices, salads, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit.
TM: I’ve got two super fussy eaters. Not unusual for adopted children. How can I help them to be a little more adventurous and try new foods and flavours, and not just call everything new ‘disgusting!’
HR: Get the kids involved in making food then get them try getting them interested trying new foods. Let them play with food, explore flavours, tastes and textures.
Check out this book, Eat Like a Dinosaur: Recipe & Guidebook for Gluten-Free Kids, it has 100 fantastic, easy to make recipes for kids.
If you want to know more about what a primal health coach can do for you contact Helena Reeves at Nourish’d Health Coaching.
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