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health coaching

Understanding Hormones and Gut Health

Maybe you’re in that mid-life zone and not feeling like yourself… for example clothes aren’t fitting
like they used to, and diet strategies that used to work no longer help you to shift those couple of
extra pounds. You’ve noticed that your brain feels a bit ‘foggy’ and you don’t wake up feeling
refreshed and ready to go and get the day. In fact now that you think about it you’re feeling worn
out and don’t recognise the woman in the mirror.

Hormones and Gut Health

We know. We’ve been there and (thankfully!) come out the other side. We created the hormones
and gut health workshop to support and inform you with regards to optimal nutrition and lifestyle
changes for this time in your life.

This day was dreamt up through shared experience, research and many conversations surrounding
nutrition, lifestyle, and wellbeing. We’re incredibly passionate about sharing this message as many
women are needlessly suffering from the effects of hormonal imbalances.

Invitation

We’re inviting you to spend the day with us in the lovely setting of Rudyard Lake to explore and
understand our hormones and gut health to gather a tool kit which will work for you and your body. When we
support our hormones, they in turn can support us.

A full day which is all about YOU

In addition to discussion and insights on nutrition, stress management, resetting your body clock and
other Functional Health protocols. You will have the chance to create a ferment to take home, spend
some time in nature, and experience a guided breathing session. During the day you’ll enjoy a healthy lunch, light snacks and herbal teas.

It is worthwhile booking early as places are limited. (Not just saying this! We’re purposefully keeping the group small).
You’ll leave us at the end of the day with a goody bag, the ferment you have created, and more
information to focus on areas where you need additional support.

Who are we? Well there’s me, I’m a board certified Functional Health Coach who specialises in working with mid-life women to improve their mental and physical health. Emma Cronin from Wild Pickle http://www.wildpickle.co.uk is a creator and educator in fermented foods for 10 years, forager and maker of delicious and nutritious foods.
The day is aimed at women approaching perimenopause and onwards. It’s a great opportunity to draw a line in the sand, and create change.

We are excited about hosting you day and look forward to seeing you there!

Here’s the link for tickets: https://buy.stripe.com/4gwaIzeXLeO3aJibII

Women’s Hair Loss

Breaking a taboo. That’s what my new course on How to Manage Women’s Hair Loss does. Nobody talks about this. Women (who generally discuss everything with friends) don’t talk about this. It might possibly be something that your hairdresser brings up if you have a solid long-term relationship.

Hair shedding

When it first happened to me I was already hyper-aware of the subject of hair loss as my son had been diagnosed with alopecia the year before. That said, I thought I was just noticing the shedding BECAUSE I knew about alopecia. In truth I was completely in denial.

While I didn’t have lots of hair on my pillow, I did notice a lot of shedding after washing my hair. Again, I could dismiss this as ‘normal’… it’s wonderful how we can rationalize what we don’t want to deal with! The moment when I realised that this wasn’t actually normal was when (and this is gross, if you’re eating please stop reading) my hair kept turning up in food that I’d prepared. When that happens repeatedly it’s really not something that you can ignore.

This was just one of the side effects of my hormones being completely out of whack – that’s a technical term, and it wasn’t even the worst symptom. Looking back stress was a big trigger. I’d had a major health scare in 2014. Then I started a gluten free bakery business which looked good on paper. It was making money, we’d won many national awards for our bread, cakes and biscuits, and my team was brilliant the flip-side of that was working 60+ hours a week, while looking after my three children by myself (my husband worked away). Oh and doing all of the other stuff that women do when they run a household.

Did I ask for help? Nope. I thought that the answer was just to work harder…

I managed to create an exit strategy after getting off the hamster wheel for a short break in France. This brief pause made me realise how unsustainable both my business and family life were. The holiday was in August and by the following January I’d turned the door sign to ‘Closed’ for the final time. While my customers were sad, I was euphoric and turned my attention to my health.

Your body’s signal for help!

So yes I know all about how we fool ourselves into thinking that hair loss isn’t really an issue. Think of it like the canary in a coalmine. Your body is sending you (not so subtle) messages that all isn’t well. If you don’t listen these signs become even more obvious until you really can’t avoid them. Like getting a mouthful of hair. Yum.

It’s a monthly subscription which is priced at around a third less than my coach advised… I don’t want price to be a barrier. (Yes, I know that price can be used as an excuse for not spending cash, i.e investing in yourself). If it makes you feel better about buying it now the price will be increasing in January! And if you’re wondering why, you should meet my coach.

I’m happy to run the first three months as a pilot and then re-evaluate. This means that rather than waiting until the New Year to start making a big change, you can start now and actually start experiencing regrowth by January (it takes 2/3 months for growth to start).

How to Manage Women’s Hair Loss is an online self-study course, plus a monthly group coaching session (third Thursday of the month 19:30 UK time). Yes, this means that the first one is next week.

I’m delighted to include this group coaching session as this is where you’ll have the chance to learn from others and start to put the pieces together yourself.

Interested? Here’s the link: https://practicalhealthcoach.thinkific.com/courses/how-to-manage-womens-hair-loss

How to be Happier

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while as I’m aware that my happiness levels have increased quite dramatically over the last six months. What’s changed? Well in a nutshell, it’s me. In April 2021 I began a program with the purpose of improving mental fitness. It was a 6 week program which included daily exercises, videos and a monthly live coaching program. which assesses then builds upon your Positive Intelligence Quotient (PQ).

As a Health Coach I was highly skeptical at first as I already had fitness and meditation routines in place. My sleep patterns were pretty good, but this is an area that I’ve struggled with in the past. I’m no stranger to the devastating impact of being woken up by whirling thoughts at 3 am which would stay with me for hours and took me back to the sleep deprivation of being a new Mum.

I already had an awareness of the impact of negative thoughts from my study of Dr David Hawkins work. For example, 80% of your thousands of daily thoughts are negative, and 95% of these are circling around subconsciously on repeat. In the past this supported our survival as it was helpful to remember that when your friend Brian ate those berries he had diarrhoea for a week, or that that bear asleep in a cave didn’t appreciate being woken up. These evolutionary traits are slow to catch up with how we’re actually living today.

PQ Program

The PQ program helped me by specifically identifying my personal saboteurs that were having a negative impact on my life. Once I started to recognise them I could see that they were showing up everywhere. I could look back on decisions that I’d made with a knowing Aha! It could easily have become overwhelming, however the PQ program teaches you how to fundamentally change your response rather than continue with the default decision-making that you have in place. In my case that default process had been reliably used for the last 40+ years. Incredibly you can shift this in as little as 6 weeks.

The game changer is having the ability to shift your personal saboteurs which means that you stop sabotaging your own life.

What changes did I make?

My diet and exercise program both received an upgrade, my sleep improved. However the biggest change for me was stopping drinking alcohol. I knew that it wasn’t good for me, and drinking even one glass of wine would make me feel unwell in the morning. My body was definitely sending me signs that alcohol didn’t suit me. Despite knowing all of this, and even being aware of it for years I continued to drink socially. After a couple of months of the PQ program I was able to say ‘Enough’ and was able to stop. It was as if my brain was finally able to catch up and listen to the signals that my body had been sending. I’m four months in and am feeling fantastic, plus I keep receiving compliments on how ‘healthy’ I look.

How can improving mental fitness help you?

Let’s see! What are your goals? What do you have a niggly feeling that you want to change? What do you regularly do that annoys you, and you wish that you could stop? The brilliant thing about this program is that you bring the goals that you’ve had in the back of your mind for a while, but have struggled to achieve. Upgrading your mental fitness has the versatility to be applied to ANY area of your life. For example, your weight, exercise, sleep, relationships, decision-making ability, stress management, being a better parent, driving (!). The PQ program adapts to fit your unique needs, your particular saboteurs and your goals. If you’re interested to find out more here’s a link to the Saboteur assessment. https://practicalhealthcoach.uk/mental-fitness/

I always have new group programs starting (videos are out on a Saturday, live group coaching is on a Monday), please get in touch if you’d like to find out how to be happier. As a board certified Health Coach I’m delighted to partner with Shirzad Chamine and bring his life-changing ideas to you, here’s his TEDx talk if you’d like to know more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zdJ1ubvoXs

Which foods can help to regrow your hair?

If you’re interested in which foods can help to regrow your hair, you’re in luck! It’s the New Year and we’re all keen (I think…) to improve our eating habits after the last few months.  In the UK walking around a supermarket from September onwards is literally a battle of temptation and nostalgia for Christmas eating. We’ve emerged on the other side only to be met by creme eggs, but they can be safely ignored until April this year.

Not ready for AIP or Paleo?

While you might be happy to plunge full-on into the AIP diet or a Paleo reset, equally you might not. If you’re in the latter category but also want to ramp up your healthy eating a little these are the foods that will support hair growth. They’re in no particular order, and you should aim to consume foods from a couple of different categories daily:

Fats: Avocado, MCT oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Flaxseed oil and Coconut oil.

Protein: Fatty fish rich in omega 3 like wild salmon, mackerel and sardines, chicken liver, calf’s liver.

Vegetables (starchy): Sweet potatoes, beetroot and parsnips

Vegetables (non-starchy): Cruciferous veg like broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy. Spinach, asparagus, onions, organic seaweed.

Fruits: Berries, Cherries, Pomegranates and apples.

Grains: Gluten free grains only!

Nuts and seeds: Flaxseeds, Walnuts and chia seeds.

Herbs and spices: Basil, cinnamon, fennel, garlic, ginger, oregano, parsley, rosemary, turmeric and sage.

Full disclosure: I’m not a Registered Dietitian or Nutritionist, I’m a Functional Health Coach who has had success with these foods in regrowing hair!

With this quick post on which foods can help to regrow your hair I’m trying to keep it simple and give you a steer towards foods which will support hair growth once you’ve ruled out any intolerances that you may have and have started to improve your gut health. I haven’t even mentioned bone broth… which is brilliant as long as it doesn’t trigger a histamine response. This is a great article on that very topic: https://chriskresser.com/could-your-histamine-intolerance-really-be-mast-cell-activation-disorder/?fbclid=IwAR1xoK18j19vpjaMFjCkGI280zqfT0NPdNrK5jsAW2nX6bVDo9JVHEouLew

If you’d like to find out if I can help you, book some time in my calendar. https://calendly.com/practicalhealthcoach/45-min

Getting to the Root Cause of Hair Loss

One of the areas that I work on with clients is getting to the bottom of the root cause of hair loss. Once we figure out what the cause is we can address it and support your hair regrowth. It could be caused by an autoimmune disease, poor nutrition/absorption, infections, chronic stress, a traumatic event, hormones or histamine intolerance. And that’s just for starters! Clearly you are not going to get the bottom of this in a 12 minute GP appointment, or just by using a topical steroid prescribed by a dermatologist.

Genes load the gun…

If we acknowledge the widely accepted concept that genes load the gun, but environment pulls the trigger with regards to disease, then it makes sense to start here. Let’s put it another way, if we both have the same autoimmune condition e.g. Hashimoto’s, mine could have been caused by extreme stress which kept the body in fight or flight mode for sustained periods of time. While yours could have been created by inadequate sleep and eating foods that your body doesn’t tolerate well.

We have the same disease with (potentially) an identical impact on our thyroid functions causing hair loss among other symptoms. Our doctors will likely have prescribed the same dose of thyroid hormone. However, our treatment strategies to resolve the root cause of disease would be completely different. Mine would include stress management techniques, yours would incorporate a sleep hygiene protocol and a food diary to track the impact of the food that you’re eating.

Root Cause of Hair Loss

If we look at the root cause for alopecia any of the below list could be a trigger:

  • A car accident
  • An infection
  • A hormonal imbalance (e.g. pregnancy)
  • Chronic stress
  • Environmental toxicity (e.g. mold, heavy metals)
  • Histamine intolerance

This could be compounded with gut dysbiosis and/or leaky gut. As you can see all of these triggers are completely different and yet create the same end result of hair loss.

Alopecia

I’m frequently asked about the root cause for my son’s alopecia. I’ve concluded the following:

  • Genetics: We have a family history (both maternal and paternal) of AI disease.
  • Gut problems: Intolerance to dairy leading to leaky gut AND antibiotics wiping out gut bacteria
  • Triggers:
    • Underlying Stress – Moving internationally and attending 3 schools in 3 years
    • Trauma – 2016, Broken leg (nasty spiral fracture), 2017 Broken arm, 2018 Broken finger
    • Mindset – All of the breaks occurred while playing rugby, each recovery necessitated not playing rugby (which he loves) for between 6-15 weeks. I think that this had a negative impact on mental health.

I hope you can see that this particular scenario is unique to my son, just as your root cause will be completely unique to you.

It takes time to get to the bottom of the reasons for your hair loss, and it’s highly likely to be multi-factorial. Your hair is not a separate part of your body, it’s all connected. For example, if your nutrition/absorption is poor your body will prioritise your essential organs over your skin (the body’s largest organ) and hair.

I hope that this brief article has provided an insight into how figuring out your root cause can help you to regrow your hair. My program is naturally tailored to your precise circumstances because one size does not fit all.

If you’d like to find out how I can help you please book a call following this link: https://calendly.com/practicalhealthcoach/45-min

What is Health Coaching?

Let’s be clear, when I was growing up in the 70s Health Coaching didn’t exist. Little kids did not say that they wanted to be a Health Coach when they grew up. For the record I had aspirations to be a spy… But I found myself drawn to the world of health and wellness as a result of managing chronic health conditions both for myself and my children. The regular GP route with referral to individual specialists didn’t work for us. We were all still ill.

I saw a Functional Medicine practitioner in the UK, Dr Sarah Davies, https://www.drsarahdavies.co.uk/ which ignited my interest in this area of lifestyle medicine. Perhaps more importantly we started to get better. This was all of the evidence that I needed. But I wasn’t about to retrain as a doctor… After working with a Functional Medicine Health Coach in the US I was really keen to help bring that level of care and service to the UK.

I joined the second cohort of the ADAPT program at the Kresser Institute as my research showed that it was the best health coach course available. I was looking for academic rigour without the wishy-washy woo woo component. (That’s not a technical description…).

In a nutshell I support my clients to make critical lifestyle and behavior changes to enable them to reach their health goals. For example, we all know what a healthy lifestyle looks like:

  • Eating unprocessed whole foods
  • Adequate exercise
  • Enough sleep
  • Not smoking
  • Limiting alcohol

So if we all already know this, how come we’re not all the absolute healthiest that we can be? We all have that same information. Simply put, information alone cannot create change. A coach will help you to understand and prioritise which health goal is most important for you at this particular time in your life.

As a coach my role is to empower you to uncover your own knowledge and strengths, support you without judging, help you to devise your own solutions to issues and hold you accountable to your goals. By making micro changes we’re able to tiptoe past your amygdala bypassing the freeze, fight or flight response.

How is coaching different to having a chat with a friend over coffee? For a start while your friend obviously likes spending time with you they are not at all invested in helping you to find your inner knowledge and innate strengths.

So you might tell your friend that you ended up having three glasses of Pinot on Friday, when you only meant to have one small glass… She will likely respond with a similar story of when she had too much wine as well. There will be no conversation around how you felt when you poured that second glass or what you were thinking about by the time the third glass came around.

Coaching creates the space to have that conversation and understand the motivations regarding why you chose not to stick to your original plan. It will explore how you felt afterwards, and provide some options for the next time that this situation comes up which gives you opportunities to respond differently.

Those of us that aren’t key workers have likely found that we have more time on our hands due to events being cancelled and the complete reduction of commute times as work and study have both moved into the home. What are you going to do with this time? What have you always put off because you didn’t have enough ‘time’. What’s perhaps more interesting is what’s stopping you now, if you still haven’t kicked off that project?

One of the things that I’ve done is rewatch a film that I saw once back in 1991. I was actually afraid because I loved it so much! I was worried that I wouldn’t like it as much as I remembered. As all of my usual excuses vanished I sat down with my teenage daughter and we watched it together. It was a completely different experience, I saw different nuances to the storyline, but thankfully still loved it.

What’s on your to-do list? How do you want to spend your time during this unique stretch of history? What kind of person do you want to be as you come out of the other side? How could your health be improved? As a functional medicine health coach I can support you to answer these and other questions that you haven’t even thought to ask yet.