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Having clocked up 22 years as a marketing consultant, I’ve often witnessed the physical and emotional fall-out of work-related stress. I’ve also experienced the full force of it first-hand. As a sleep-deprived mum of a toddler and a baby, I battled to cling to an impossibly stressful job that left me frighteningly underweight and cracking at the seams.
Over the last couple of decades, I’ve had plenty of time to marvel at the way busy executives fuel themselves: drip-feeds of sugary snacks at their desk; a low-fat cup of dehydrated soup for lunch; or nothing more than a liquid diet of coffee to get through a long and demanding working day.
For eight of those years, I handled PR for global food ingredients companies. I gained what you might call an insider’s appreciation of what factors drive the food industry, what additives go into the processed food on our supermarket shelves – and how easily we’re duped by wildly misleading marketing.
Closer to home, I’ve wrung my hands in powerless desperation as my son was treated for a chronic “bowel disorder”. For nearly four years, his specialist put him on a merry-go-round of high dosage, prescription laxatives – none of which helped him get better. And, year after year, I was told emphatically that his condition was nothing, absolutely nothing to do with food.
And when one day, wracked with stomach pain, he said at last, “Please Mummy, I don’t want to take any more medicine”, I finally explored the so-called alternative route. I learnt that he had a condition I’d never even heard of: leaky gut. I was told to cut sugar and gluten from his diet for four weeks. To my astonishment, the condition he’d had for most (if not all) of his life improved within days and was cured in under three weeks. Permanently. And without a single dose of any medication. That opened my eyes to the innate intelligence of the body to heal itself… if it’s only given half a chance.
Years before I’d ever heard of health coaching and, as managing director of a busy agency, my passion for holistic health was already evident: I’d ply my unsuspecting employees with homemade herbal tinctures, bend their ears about eating properly and make our lovely office smell like a burger van by placing raw onions on desks to fend off germs.
Having trained first with the Institute For Integrative Nutrition and then the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy, I’ve studied all aspects of preventative health and the far-reaching effects of emotional blocks on our wellbeing. Rather than focusing on what is wrong with people, I use positive psychology to help people to focus on what is right with them and to leverage that to make sustained lifestyle changes.
As a passionate and life-long foodie, I love making punchily flavoured food from a rainbow of fresh ingredients. I’m lucky to have an allotment where I grow organic veg and do endless pottering about – it’s a space I’m delighted to introduce to clients who fancy growing their own food but don’t know where to start.
I’d dearly love to tell you that my house is now a sugar-free zone and that my kids clamour for kale smoothies when they fancy a snack. But the truth is that, like most mums, I’m still battling to loosen the vice-like grip of sugary breakfast cereals and chocolate spread on my kids. I understand the challenges of getting your family to eat healthily because, as a mum of three kids who each have their own particular outlook on food, I share them.
If my story resonates with you and you’d like to find out more, get in touch.