Eating Your Way to Health
I first started working with Abi because I kept getting ill after a really horrible virus last summer. I heard about Abi through my gym and wondered if changing my diet could help. I was really surprised by how easy it was to speak to a complete stranger for an hour every fortnight. But it was super easy - like talking to a friend! And I can’t believe how much better I feel! I hoped changing my diet would help but I didn’t really know what to expect. I no longer have stomach-aches or discomfort. I feel less tired, healthier, and most importantly I’m well again. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome!
With my wedding coming up in October, I wanted to make sure I would be as healthy as possible so that I would feel good and look good, and also have enough energy to get me to the day! I wanted to learn more about what I should be eating and try to cut through everything we hear in the media about what’s ‘good’ and ‘bad’. I was surprised by how easy it was to make small changes. Each session, Abi would ask me to think about one change I could make in the next two weeks. Making one small changes feels manageable and it was also exciting to think about the new foods I was going to try! I learned that for me to make changes to my routine I need to do lots of research and learn about the ‘why’. Once I started doing this, making healthy changes felt natural and I had a reason for doing so. Rather than thinking about which foods are ‘good’ and which foods are ‘bad’, understanding what certain foods do to my body helped me make better choices. The big thing for me before working with Abi was low blood sugar. I would get dizzy spells and feel faint, particularly after work and since working with Abi I haven’t had any. I always thought I needed to eat before the gym, but eating a diet full of nutritious, whole foods meant I had enough energy to last through the day and my workout. More generally, I have made big changes to my diet trying to focus on natural, whole foods, and I am more tuned in to how these foods make me feel. If I go out for dinner, I know I’ll be tempted by something deep fried and delicious, but I’m also aware of how I will feel the next day. I feel a million times better if I stick to something healthier and I feel proud of myself for making that choice. I also no longer rely on coffee to wake me up in the morning!It’s great having Abi on the other end of the phone. Knowing that you need to check in with not only Abi but yourself every 2 weeks helps you stick to your goals. The process with Abi is very organic and mostly about finding out what works for you. It’s not about what you can and can’t eat, but about what food does for you, and not feeling guilty if you have a naughty treat as long as most of the time your diet is health and nutritious.The process is about what you can do for yourself, and Abi is there to guide you through the changes. For me, understanding what I am putting into my body makes me feel proud that I can make good choices – and less good choices when I feel like it!
I came to Abi because I’d had constipation for 16 years and had been on iron tablets for the same length of time. I knew the two were linked but my doctor said I didn’t have much choice. Abi opened my eyes to natural food sources of iron, sent me recipes that were tasty and easy to follow, and after two months I had my first normal iron level reading. I couldn’t believe it! My energy levels were improving at the same time which allowed me to get back to the gym, and all of a sudden I was going to the toilet 2-4 times a day, instead of the usual once a week, or sometimes two, previously.I can’t explain the impact this had on my life. I felt tons better, was more confident in myself and was just so chuffed that this was happening, and Abi was just as excited to hear of my regular toilet activities!However, I still felt tired and lethargic, so we worked on something called the elimination diet. Its goal was to help me uncover any toxic triggers in my diet that were making me feel this way. It took a lot of organising, but Abi only wanted me to start once I felt confident in doing so. After 6 weeks I’d discovered that gluten was having a severe effect on my body. Even though I never thought I had much gluten in my diet, it was enough. Now when I eat gluten I get headaches, severe stomach cramps, and sometimes even vomit, so it’s a definite no for me.I feel 100 times better for my new way of eating, and Abi was with me every step of the way, supporting me when I needed her and helping me celebrate when I made discoveries about what worked well for my body. As for my sugar cravings, Abi reassured me it was fine to treat myself once in a while with chocolate, which took the guilt away. We also did a cooking class together (I chose sweet over savoury of course!). I really enjoyed our session as although I’m a confident cook, I’d never experimented with raw chocolate. The results were delicious and even better, I got to keep all the finished chocolate bits of heaven. This session showed me how easy it was to make guilt free treats, which has really helped me manage my cravings since.I would describe Abi as a very kind and calm coach. Whether I came to her with a problem, or had good news to share about my week, she was always just as happy with my results as I was in myself. This encouraged me to keep going when things got tough, which they did a few times! Abi has a great sense of humour and there was never a dull moment, which also made me forget it was a session and I saw her more as a friend figure. And knowing I’d have to keep Abi up to date with my eating habits helped keep me on the right path!There isn’t anyone I wouldn’t recommend Abi to. I had so much fun through out my journey and still managed to smash all of my goals and learn so much about my body and nutrition. I am so glad I signed up with Abi. I can’t believe I was living with my iron tablets and constipation issues for so long, just thinking that’s what the rest of my life would be like. The only regret I have is that I wish I’d signed up sooner.
Before working with Abi I felt like I’d become stuck in a rut - I have a high pressure job, three kids and a busy family life, and while managing to fit exercise in, my weight wasn’t shifting and my energy levels were all over the place, so I needed to do something for me, take some time to think about what goes into my body and how that will help me with what I get out of my body. That was where Abi came in. She helped me discover a new found excitement to be in the kitchen, trying out new recipes and cookbooks - and what amazed me even more was that my kids enjoyed some of the food too! I’m now less full of guilt about making bad food choices because I am armed with nutritional information to make better choices. And I now bring in my own breakfast or lunch to work most days, which I never thought I’d have time to prepare for before this! Abi’s approach of making small sustainable changes over time as well as educating - and suggesting new things to try - was a winning combination and I would definitely recommend her!
I would certainly recommend Abi for anyone who’s struggling to add variety to their diet and for ideas if they’re not adventurous. I discovered that cooking can be fun and isn’t all about Julia Childs. The recipes I’ve been using take no longer than 10-15 minutes to prepare and about that long to cook. I’ve become much more relaxed about the whole process. My food bill has also dropped drastically as I now cook for myself, and always cook more than I need and freeze the rest. Now my frozen foods are my own home-made ready meals!
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p.s. Have you joined the Eating Your Way to Health facebook group yet? Created for busy women who want to get healthy without depriving themselves of the foods they love, come on over for daily tips, recipes and advice to start making healthier choices today.