How I became a Nutritional Therapist

alex.jpg

If you have clicked on this blog, you are perhaps curious to know how I became a nutritional therapist.

This is an honest account of my story. I’m not looking for sympathy so I haven’t exaggerated anything, I just want to share with you what led me to change my lifestyle and career and retrain as a Nutritional Therapist.

I know what it feels like to feel tired. To burnout. To not sleep. To have no energy. To feel really unhappy. To struggle with weight. To suffer from depression. To feel desperate. I know too, how it feels to have your world broken.

I’m telling you this because I know what it feels like to hit rock-bottom and recover from it too. I’m no stronger than the next person, I was just determined to somehow rebuild my life when things got bad.

I have always been interested in science, human biology and health. I would pick up a book about those subjects at any given opportunity. This led to the desire to want to help people lead healthier lives and that yearning was just getting stronger and stronger.  So, during my time as a cookery teacher and lecturer, my underlying passion was always about health and nutrition but, of course, the classic way of cookery training involves butter, sugar, cream and more butter, more sugar, more cream. The rise of obesity and type 2 diabetes and so forth was rapidly worsening and eventually I just wanted to jump out of that job into another, more worthwhile one where I knew I could help others improve their health and lifestyle.

Whilst I was teaching and at the same time attempting to change my career, I was also trying to start a family. After years of trying to get pregnant and numerous rounds of IVF, I fell pregnant with twins. Sadly, one of the twins was ectopic so didn’t make it past the early stages. I did go on to have a healthy pregnancy and my first baby girl was born on 4th December 2008. Then, our worst nightmare happened. Our beautiful girl didn’t make it past her first day with us. I will spare you the details but, as you can imagine, our lives fell apart.

I couldn’t sleep, eat, or do anything for some time but slowly, somehow, we did rebuild our lives. Gradually finding some strength and determination, together with support from those around us, we learnt to laugh again and thankfully went on to have another set of twins, who are now 7 years old.

When I started to feel better and able to cope, the realisation hit me that no one is invincible. We all need to look after ourselves and that means our physical selves as well as our emotional wellbeing. We all spend money on our cars, houses, holidays and so on but it seems that health comes a long way down many people's list of priorities. We perhaps need to remind ourselves that, since we have only one body, it should be one of the things we look after the most. I realised I needed to make this a priority, not just for myself, I also had a burning desire to help others live their lives to their best as well.

I felt empowered to follow my dreams. So, I did my research, enrolled on a course and the rest is history. I completed my training as a Nutritional Therapist at the renowned College of Naturopathic Medicine in London where I trained in the principles of Functional Medicine, a science-based method that assesses and treats the underlying causes of symptoms. I specialise in stress management, weight loss, sleep, hormone balancing and gut health.

I have a special interest in stress management and how stress and anxiety can influence the body and overall health. Another focus of mine is child health. As a mother, I am hugely passionate about healthy eating and the effect this has on a child’s development, learning, mood and behaviour.

As someone who has struggled, I can empathise when things get tough for others. Just telling someone to change isn’t always enough. Clients need support, reassurance and guidance. I listen to my clients’ stories and treat everyone as an individual. After all, every BODY is different.

I live my life quite differently now. I practice self-care and don’t feel guilty about it. I say no to things. I work hard but I enjoy life. I exercise. I prioritise my sleep. I’m not so strict on myself that I lose the enjoyment from life though. I'm not self-obsessed or mad. I’m very realistic and I believe that BALANCE is key - you have to enjoy life. I'm practical and realistic in my approach and I just want to share my passion about ‘real food’ and health with you.

My aim is to help people make long-term improvements to their health. Health is about being happy and having the energy to enjoy life. I want to encourage people to be the best versions of themselves and live their lives to the full. I love what I do and I hope that my passion inspires others.