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Metabolic Balance

Why you aren’t getting long term results

By | Health, Metabolic Balance, Mindset

I knew about 10 minutes in that I was in trouble.

10km wasn’t far, I had done 5, 6, 7km often. The difference was in the pack I was carrying. It wasn’t until we were loading up at the car that I realised the all important strap that causes your hips to take most of the weight was broken. Add to that our heavy & impractical blow up mattress (many of you will have heard all about THAT saga) and the fact that we had to carry enough water for all four of us for 24 hours in warm QLD conditions while we sweated our way from one end of the Carnarvon Gorge to the other, and I was in struggle town. From behind I looked like a hiking pack with legs, I know this because unbeknownst to me, Theo took a rather unflattering photo of me from behind while I tried in vain to secure the hip strap.

After about 45 minutes I moved ahead of Nick and the boys so I could give myself a little pep talk.
Tessa, this is going to be much harder than you thought, but you can’t give up, the boys are watching, and you want to do more of these hikes in the future, you’ve got to push on.

My knees already felt like they wanted to drop out of my body and slink way to die in the bushes and I was only about a fifth of the way.

In my mind I was chanting encouraging words and recalculating how much further we had to go at every signpost we passed. It wasn’t that unlike childbirth now I think about it.

Every few minutes we would pass hikers coming the other way and while it was nice to have eye contact with strangers (this does not happen in Frankston!) they all had something to say about our clearly under-equipped life choices.

‘Are you camping overnight?!’ They would often ask with a smug smile. These goody-two-shoes had obviously got up at the crack of dawn, hiked there and back and were heading back to the lodge where a glass of shiraz, cheese board and running water was waiting for them.

I passed one elderly couple resting on a bench with walking sticks and felt immensely better, if they could do it surely I could too. By this stage I was determined but so red and puffed out that all I could manage was a nod in their direction.

The leader of the next group of people stopped for a chat, they were impressed and curious about our family and couldn’t believe we were planning to camp at the other end. They asked a few questions, told us we were in for a treat and then wished us luck. I was elated, I had never actually met anyone who had done this hike and hearing about the wonders ahead that we would probably have to explore all to ourselves was spurring me on. This was going to be the experience I had planned for my family for months now. My pack felt lighter, my pace quickened, I could do this! The next 45 minutes was a breeze, I only stopped for a moment to let a family of kangaroos pass in front of me, a joey peeking out from his mothers pouch.

‘You’ve got a long way to go!’, called out a man as we passed, ‘At least another four hours.’
I heard the boys groan behind me. Instantly, my pack felt impossibly heavy, the enchantment of the forest, the gorge walls (which were glowing in the afternoon light) and the river song was broken. The pain in my knees came back 10 fold and a black wave of doubt filled my mind.

I can’t do this, I have weak ankles, I’ll injure myself, we’re too far from help if anything happens, we’ll run out of water, the boys are going to get bitten by a snake and die a painful, slow death, this is irresponsible.

It’s amazing the ways in which your mind can craft falsehoods in an effort to turn you away from discomfort. My thoughts and perceptions about my situation were shaping my physical reality, literally causing me pain.

For many people the war that rages on in their mind daily is with their relationship with food. They may win some small campaigns but ultimately, they always seem to end up defeated with no long term results. We all have a vision for ourselves and values about who we want to be and how we want to interact with food but somehow we never seem to gain victory long term.

The reason you aren’t winning the war is because you aren’t equipped. You need strategies, information about the inner workings of the terrain and a powerful battle cry – ok I’m taking the metaphor a little too far now I know. But you get my point right?

Food Freedom is the solution I created to educate while also challenge and equip you to win this battle, get the results and start living out the values you hold for your future self. It’s part Yoda, part Samwise Gamgee and part Fairy Godmother. It’s also the most cost effective way of working with me if 1:1 is beyond reach at the moment.

Topics I cover include goal setting for powerful habit mastery, emotional eating, hunger & cravings, self sabotage and how exactly your body works and wants to be fed so that is is nourished well and able to release any extra weight with ease. I also go over the basics like portions sizes, what foods should make up most of your daily eating and my helpful meal formula. There’s a lot of value!

If you join The Thrive Method you get access to Food Freedom as a gift (that’s one generous $397 gift) but you can also enrol for Food Freedom now and start today.

Hay Fever and Autoimmunity

By | Gut Health, Health, Metabolic Balance

Let’s have a talk about hay fever.

It’s been on my mind lately because every second person is complaining about it and for the first time in 8 years, I’ve had nary a sniffle or an itch. You see, when my health imploded with Hashimoto’s disease I had the most horrific two years of gut issues. And severe hay fever was one of the seemingly unrelated issues that reared its ugly head at the same time…or was it unrelated?!

It was so sudden & severe that I relied on anti-histamines to stop myself from sneezing myself off the freeway or gouging my itchy eyeballs out.

When I look back it all makes sense, I had been through a period of trauma & high stress (fire, cancer scare, financial pressure, grief, family troubles, you name it), I was fasting frequently, eating restrictively and over exercising in an attempt to manage my hypothyroidism weight gain, running a business, studying full time and raising pre-schoolers. On top of that the house we were renting developed a leak and we had an indoor NGV style water wall every time it rained heavily but it wasn’t arty and chic, it was a mould nightmare.

My gut health plummeted, I was diagnosed with a nasty SIBO infection and allergies entered my world for the first time.

So what in the actual heck causes a seemingly perfectly healthy person to suddenly mount an immune response to harmless substances such as pollen or dust?

Research tells us that babies who are breastfed and kids who grow up with pets and play in the dirt are less likely to suffer with allergies, so what does that tell us? Allergies are related to the different types & breadth of variety of bacteria (or lack of) that we are exposed to. This is one of the reasons why I go all the way back to your birth in your Initial Health Assessment so I can look for red flags and start to identify the drivers of your autoimmunity and your constitutional weaknesses so we can make a plan to get you feeling human again.

Allergies and autoimmune disease both have something in common…the gut!

70-80% of immune function occurs in the gut and behind mucosal layers (think nostrils, lungs, gut lining) so when your gut modulated immune function is compromised & on high alert your immune cells can start to identify substances such as grasses as a threat. And when things are really dire your immune cells can mis-identify your self-cells as a threat, hello autoimmunity!

So yes, it’s really common for people with autoimmunity to also have allergies as it is one of the first signs that all is not well in the gut. But not everyone will express that way either. So do you have to have hay fever to have autoimmunity? No. But do you have to have gut issues in order to develop autoimmunity? Absolutely! For some people it’s been an issue since infancy and for others it’s an inflammatory response to a number of factors that are unique to their story but often involve periods of high stress, the wrong food choices, a deficiency of thyroid hormones, mould exposure and sometimes antibiotic or certain medication use.

When it comes to hay fever if this is one of the ways your body is expressing disordered immune function, there are some very helpful nutrients & foods that act like anti-histamines in your system I’ve shared below. But when it really boils down to it, your gut health needs to be addressed so your immune system & gut health can turn off those wailing red alerts and stop expecting a bogey man behind every dust mite or thyroid cell.

Strategies to battle hay fever symptoms…

  • Avoid exposure: wear sunglasses outdoors, not heading out if it’s windy, smearing lip balm on the inside of your nostrils to protect that mucosal lining, change your shirt when you come home
  • Vacuum regularly with a HEPA filter vacuum
  • Ingest omega 3 fatty acids via regularly consumption of fatty fish or a supplement to drive down inflammation
  • Reduce consumption of inflammatory foods such as processed foods, excessive refined sugar containing foods, alcohol & vegetable oils
  • Take specific strains of probiotics that are allergy-specific (like LGG)
  • Consume nutrients that act like antihistamines (quercetin – caution it’s a goitrogen, zinc, vitamin C, ginger)
  • Focus on upping your vitamin D either through sun exposure and/or supplementation
  • Cooled chrysanthemum tea eye wash for allergic itchy eyes
  • Focus on microbiome restoration and gut health (a longer term option, but start now!).

Without improving gut function, lowering gut inflammation and improving your microbiome composition your gut will continue to drive autoimmunity. You may find that you continue to struggle with bloating, constipation and other uncomfortable GI complaints, allergies, food intolerances, fatigue, joint pain, low moods, brain fog, skin issues like eczema & dermatitis, nutrient deficiencies, frequent respiratory infections and your skin, hair and general health will never reach their full potential. Releasing weight becomes that much more difficult when an inflamed gut is causing internal stress on your system and dysbiosis (an imbalance of the good & bad bacteria in your gut) has been shown to impair glucose tolerance meaning that increased insulin will keep you in fat storage mode.

YES! Your gut health even affects your metabolic health!

This is precisely why I address digestive function and gut health with all my Hashimoto’s clients and why a gut healing protocol is one of the pillars of The Thrive Method. It’s just too essential to ignore and without it, it is kind of like trying to fix a leaky boat with a pad of post it notes. Implementing a gut healing protocol is often the first thing I do depending on my findings in your Initial Health Assessment and your pathology results. Not forgetting that the way I teach my clients to eat regulates their blood sugar which is one of the foundations of restoring gut function.

Has hay fever been part of your autoimmune journey? What about any of the other symptoms I’ve mentioned above?

Tessa

How this Hashi’s Thriver turned her symptoms around with personalised nutrition…

By | Client Results, Health, Metabolic Balance, Thyroid Health

Initially Kara was not sure she wanted to work with me or do Metabolic Balance. She was extremely doubtful it was going to work.

I knew I would be able to help her but after our chat I didn’t hear from her for a few weeks.

After 8 years as a vegetarian and 2 as a vegan following the advice of the Medical Medium, Kara was nervous to try animal proteins again, fearing it would make her antibodies soar.

But she was also frustrated with her extremely low energy levels and the stubborn tummy weight so in the end she decided to give it a go.

This is what Kara had to say about how she felt initially…


“I was hesitant coming from a vegan lifestyle for 2+ years and vegetarian lifestyle for 8+ years. Changing my diet was extremely unnerving 
to me as I had seen improvements in my health however I still had lingering concerns which didn’t change no matter what I tried.”
Kara

As a working mum to a two year old, Kara’s sleep and energy were of major concern to her.

She reported her energy at a low 5/10. She was particularly exhausted by 3pm (the blood sugar hour as I like to call it) but felt tired throughout the day.

Her brain fog was severe enough it affected her ability to function.

Kara was familiar with the benefits of a whole food diet and ate plenty of healthy and wholesome foods in her vegan diet but they were not right for her or her healing journey.

She claimed she was ‘always hungry’.

I knew that personlised nutrition was going to be a game changer for her.

Kara had a very pale pallor to her complexion and not surprisingly her pathology revealed she was very low in iron. Hormonally, Kara reported mild PMS with heavy bleeding day 1 with some cramping discomfort.

Kara had trouble conceiving in the past due to Hashimoto’s and she wanted to prepare her body for a successful pregnancy in the future.

Kara wanted to manage her thyroid function better and with fewer or no supplements (she had 9 different supplements she took on & off).

She was also hoping to get her autoimmunity into remission eventually.


“I was also heavily supplementing which was also something I wanted to reduce as much as possible and find something that would heal my body through food only. It took me almost 3 months before I was ready to commit and start the program. Mostly changing my mind set around “healthy eating”.
Kara 

Kara is a very petite woman, weight gain had not been a major issue for her and was not her main motivation for working with me.

She stated that it would be a bonus if she could release her stubborn abdominal weight gain on her belly which she estimated to be around 4kg of extra weight based on her history.

Her starting weight was 58kg and her goal was 54kg. Kara experienced a few food intolerances and digestive issues and was already on a strictly gluten free diet.

Kara had her initial health consult at the end of March and started her program with me at the beginning of April 2022. We had her last consultation in mid-July 2022 so we worked together for a total of 3 ½ months.

We stopped all her supplements as she wanted to see what just food could do for her health. I recommended some selenium drops and Kara agreed to take the drops only throughout the program.

In 7 days

  • 2.5kg released. This was very much a fluid & inflammation picture that was sitting on her belly due to the unsuitable dietary patterns Kara had before starting her program
  • Energy had already jumped up to 8/10
  • Sleep had improved

14 days

  • 4kg released, down to goal weight with abdominal weight gain released
  • Energy stable at 8/10
  • Enjoying food options

28 days

  • First period since starting MB is lighter & more comfortable
  • Libido has also significantly increased
  • Sleep has improved to 7/10

2 months

  • Energy 8/10
  • Sleep 8/10
  • Brain fog is gone
  • Maintaining new weight
  • Very confident with food choices
  • Period is lighter with a shorter bleed, no pain

3 ½ months

  • Sleep 8/10
  • Energy 9/10
  • Upon retesting TPO antibodies have decreased from 470 to 424
  • Ferritin and iron have increased
  • Kara’s complexion has improved drastically, she looks healthier, more pink in her complexion with eyes more alert & clear.
  • Has advised she is definitely ovulating and is feeling more optimistic about her fertility. To be continued I guess!
  • The weight has stayed off her abdomen effortlessly despite having been in maintenance phase for about six weeks.
  • Kara’s thyroid function has normalised since she first started her plan, all her blood levels are now in the optimal range and her TSH has decreased from 3.3 (subclinical hypothyroidism) to 1.7 (optimal) and her symptoms have resolved.

Kara is now super confident with which foods are right for her, her portion sizes and how to balance a meal to keep her blood sugar regulated, keep inflammation at bay and energy high.

She still enjoys food while on holidays and at special occasions. She is effortlessly maintaining her energy levels, hormonal health and healthy weight.


“Within the first week there was no question in my mind that I had made the right choice to start this. I instantly felt energized and inflammation had reduced greatly already! In the end my results have been amazing and I’m so happy with where I’m at with my health, in terms of how I’m feeling but also with my Hashimoto’s & Thyroid blood work. This is now just a lifestyle that works best for me, my blood type and blood results for my condition (which is basically gone now). So so happy. Thank you very much! Forever grateful!” Kara

The Thrive Method for women with Hashimoto’s & Hypothyroidism will be available very soon.

Reply to this email with YES (‘heck yeah’ is also acceptable) if you want me to put you on my in-the-know wait list for The Thrive Method.

The four stages of transformation

By | Health, Metabolic Balance, Nutritional, Whole food

The four stages of transformation

When we set health goals, we often focus on a measurement aspect.

I want to lose 10 kilos.

I need to lose 8cm off my belly.

I want to fit into size 12 clothing.

But we often forget about the other positive changes that really should become a focus!

Things like a positive mindset towards food, craving control, energy levels, confidence, and improved moods.

Of creating habits that act as an ally to great health.

But as you know, we don’t just jump from where we are currently at to where we want to be.

It’s a process.

And there are four distinct stages: Tension, Transition, Tantrums and Transformation.

Tension – you know something is wrong but you aren’t sure how to fix it.

Transition – you are ready to start taking action and invest resources into resolving the problem you are facing. This is usually when someone first books in with me, they know they need help and they are seeking expert guidance.

Tantrums – This is the self sabotage phase when you either push through or give up. This is complicated and I cover it extensively in my Food Freedom program.

Transformation – You have your result and maintaining it is effortless as you’ve mastered new habits with no desire to go back to how you used to feel.

A couple of weeks ago I had the final consult of the Metabolic Balance 12 week package with one of my clients.

Yes she had reached her goal of losing 10.5kg and was managing a chronic health condition really well but she was more excited to tell me about her new mindset toward food.

How easy she was finding it to navigate eating out and making everyday choices that was making her health transformation easily maintainable.

She now craves good, fresh whole foods and has learnt to listen to her body.

Food has become her ally and it was a joyful part of her life rather than a source of confusion or guilt.

This is how you know that you have moved through the four stages into Transformation.

I cover these four stages in more detail in my Food Freedom course, which is available now (let’s chat).

My focus is to have you flow through each of the four stages so that at the end, maintenance of the new you is effortless.

One woman’s Metabolic Balance journey (and her amazing results!)

By | Client Results, Metabolic Balance, Thyroid Health
One woman’s Metabolic Balance journey (and her amazing results!)

I often to speak to potential clients who are curious about Metabolic Balance but want to see some real results from women just like them.

So one of my client’s, Sarah, has stepped forward to give you some inspiration and motivation.

Sarah’s story…

In 2019 Sarah had suffered with postpartum Graves disease, a thyroid autoimmune disease after the birth of her third child.

Since then Sarah’s weight had crept up, she was exhausted, sleeping poorly, menstruating heavily and was concerned about her PMS affecting her parenting & family life.

Sarah had daily brain fog and she felt inflamed and lacklustre. Her joints were “crunchy” and sore, particularly her knees.

Sarah’s digestion was causing issues for her with daily bloating and irregular bowel motions every 2-3 days.

Sarah’s goals were to regain her energy, balance her hormones so PMS wasn’t disrupting the household, know which foods suited her body, improve digestion and release 10kg of weight.

Sarah started Metabolic Balance on the 4th August 2021.

Day 8:

  • Starting to notice an increase in energy, 6 or 7/10, no longer needing a 3pm nap which have previously been a daily occurrence.
  • Bloating has decreased, stomach doesn’t feel hard & distended any longer.
  • Clothes are fitting more easily.
  • Struggling to drink the required water content though.
  • Missing the ritual of snacking.
  • Day 2 of period, PMS greatly reduced despite high stress.

Day 15:

  • A lot of stress this week and felt tempted to comfort with food but resisted and stuck to the plan.
  • Knees are feeling less ‘crunchy’.
  • Brain fog decreased and able to concentrate more easily.
  • Released 2kg, 3cm off waist, 7cm off hip, 3cm off thigh.

28 days:

  • Energy 7.5/10.
  • Brain fog is gone.
  • Mood and emotional resilience greatly improved despite being in lockdown again.
  • Menstrual cycle lighter and previous severe PMS now mild.
  • No longer experiencing joint pain in knees or shoulders. No longer feeling ‘crunchy’.
  • Sarah has noticed that she can see collarbone again and is fitting into pants she hasn’t worn in a long time.
  • Released 6kg, 7cm off her waist, 8cm off her hips & 5cm off her thigh.

8 weeks:

  • Packing house to move, high stress.
  • Family member had surgery, high stress and very interrupted sleep with children waking her regularly.
  • MB has “helped me stay level headed and clear”.
  • Released 6.9kg, 10cm off waist, 11cm off hips and 7cm off thigh.

10 weeks:

  • During move had more takeaway for a couple of weeks and felt awful.
  • Energy 8/10 despite the move.
  • Released 7.9kg, 10cm off waist, 11cm off hip, 8cm off thigh.

Two months later:

  • Sarah had moved house so I didn’t see her for a couple of months, she was feeling confident with her daily eating. By the time we caught up next Sarah had reached her goal weight and was maintaining it well.
  • She was still enjoying all the changes to her mood, cognition, menstrual cycle, joint health and digestive function too.
  • Sarah was in tune with her body and very confident with a whole foods diet. She had been experimenting with different foods and discovering which foods served her and which didn’t. She notes that she felt “free from emotional eating” and had learned a lot during the house moving stage when she ate a lot more takeaway and lapsed into old habits, noting “you realise how toxic processed food is”.
  • Bowel motions daily without the need for added fibre supplement and no bloating. Sarah had realised through trial and error that gluten caused digestive symptoms and was having a lower gluten diet, consuming rye instead of wheat. She had also discovered that dairy made her gassy and was contributing to her digestive discomfort. Through experimentation Sarah discovered she could still have A2 milk in her tea without any issues.
  • Sarah was now finding it easy to drink enough water.
  • Through Metabolic Balance Sarah had learnt a lot about her own nutritional needs and it was informing how she fed family too, family dinners were fully integrated with her own heathy eating now.
  • By the completion of her Metabolic Balance program after seven consults Sarah had released 10kg, 11cm off waist, 9cm off hip, 10cm off thigh and reached her goal weight.

I asked Sarah a few questions about her journey with Metabolic Balance, you can read what she wrote here….

Where were you at (health wise) before you started Metabolic Balance?
I was at a bit of a cross roads with my health and knew I needed to change what I was doing. I had recently been diagnosed with Graves disease and after several months of cutting out sugar, dairy and gluten I was in remission. However, 2020 came and I slumped back into old habits and ended up bloated, tired, irritable and 10kgs heavier which made me feel uncomfortable.

What tangible improvements had you had now after completing your program?
– no longer bloated
– less brain fog and more clarity
– more energy and no need for the 3pm nap
– feeling full and satisfied
– no hayfever symptoms
– less inflammation in my body, my knees aren’t as sore, no need to crack my knuckles
– change in taste buds
– weight loss consistent all over my body
– better posture
– less gassy and more predictable bowel movements
– more predictable periods and much less pain and irritability
– awareness of what will fuel and benefit my body
– less headaches
– no coldsores
– much better sleep
– becoming more disciplined
– making better choices and feeling confident in myself.

How would you describe MB to your best friend?
It’s something you need to choose to do for yourself, because at times it can be hard, especially in the beginning. It is something that will help you for the rest of your life and change the way you approach food in general. It has helped me in ways I wasn’t expecting and I’m grateful I had a coach who could walk through this with me and help me. It’s a total investment in your health, and a way to avoid all the drugs and symptom suppression that western medicine is reliant upon. With Metabolic balance, food is the medicine!

Are there any surprising or unexpected benefits you’ve found through the program?
I’ve tried new foods that I wouldn’t have normally chosen and it’s made me consider all the ingredients in processed food.
After having some of my highly desirable foods, I’m more aware of how it negatively affects my body and I will avoid them now.
My children have watched me with keen eyes throughout the process and they’ve noticed a lot of changes and how I talk about food.

What are you able to do now that you couldn’t before MB?
Fit into size 8-10 clothes!
Stop myself from eating too much and then feeling bloated and uncomfortable.
Think about how each meal will affect me in the long term and how to better equip my body for all the changes it will face as a woman!

It’s such a pleasure to play a part in someone’s health journey.

It is my belief that all women deserve to feel amazing like Sarah so they can show up in every area of their lives with vibrancy & joy.

And guess what? It’s possible!

Get in touch if you want to want to chat about whether Metabolic Balance is right for you!

 

5 kitchen hacks that save you time and energy

By | Health, Metabolic Balance, Nutritional, Whole food
5 kitchen hacks that save you time and energy

Does it feel like you’re spending waaaaaay too much time in the kitchen and when you’re not in the kitchen you’re thinking about what to cook? Feeding ourselves and our family can take up a lot of brain power and add to our mental load significantly but with a few strategic habits you can cut that time and mental load in half.

1. Stop snacking

Plan three nutritious and filling meals per day. The only exception is if you’re an athlete, child or are pregnant or breastfeeding. The snacking mindset has you going back to the kitchen every couple of hours checking the fridge, checking the pantry, checking the fridge again. Instead, plan three main meals around a protein source and be amazed as you don’t even think about food for a few hours. This is a key concept that my Metabolic Balance clients work through and gain big results from, too.

2. Meal plan

As mentioned before, the brain power and mental load it takes to actually think about what to have for dinner every day can really suck the joy out of being in the kitchen. Leaving meal planning to the few hours before you’re to eat can lend the process to be rushed, stressful and actually push us into that sympathetic nervous system state (fight or flight). If we are in this state, we are not absorbing and metabolising our food as we should be.

HINT: create two or three different weeks of meals, and rotate them. You’re still getting the variety but without having to meal plan every single week once you’re in this habit.

3. Shop once weekly

Have a plan, then execute. If we spend time writing out the meal plan, don’t drop the ball when it comes to collecting what is needed to follow through. One big weekly shop will save you so much more time and energy (and money, trust me!) than smaller shops throughout the week.

4. Batch cook

Lentil curry one night, lentil curry pies with GF pastry the next yummmm.
Or spaghetti bolognaise morphing into a shepherds pie for the next day.
And a super versatile one: leftover roast vegetables being used for lunch the next day, simply paired with some goats cheese and fresh greens.

This hack is a favourite time saver of mine. So much so that I’ve created a mini batch cooking recipe book – you can grab it for free here.

5.  Keep it simple! 

We seem to way over complicate our evening meals, but in reality you can create a healthy meal that is super simple and quick. In summer we are lucky to be able to get away with a lot more raw and fresh foods so dinner can be as simple as a piece of grilled meat alongside a salad with dressing.

Just make sure that your meal structure contains these key aspects: protein, good fats, complex carbs, vegetables and colour.

Hint: Have quick proteins ready to base your meal around, tinned tuna, salmon or sardines, pre-cooked chicken breast, boiled eggs, goats cheese, yoghurt, legumes, etc. I posted recently about getting a roast chook and making a salad. Nothin’ wrong with that!

We often don’t do these things because we think we don’t have time to be that organised, but in reality you can’t afford NOT to be this organised! And as you can see, with a little conscious thought and preparation, these hacks are super simple and easily integrated into your life.

I would love to hear how you’re putting these kitchen hacks into action! Please hit reply (I absolutely love reading your responses!) or tag me on Instagram and Facebook.

‘Burning it off’ is a myth

By | Health, Metabolic Balance, Nutritional

‘Burning it off’ is a myth.

It really grates on me when I hear about people flogging themselves in the high intensity cardio, pump until you vomit, HIIT and F45 kind of way. It puts the body under enormous stress. It has the opposite to our desired outcome and actually increases our insulin which keeps us in fat storage mode.

I know, right.

Can I also mention that if we add kids, a stressful career and/or a ton of responsibilities onto that, then this kind of exercise will just drive up your already elevated stress response.

Further to this, if we don’t have a disposable few hours a day to spend toning our bodies (not to mention the time drain of compromised health) then this way of approaching our health goals just won’t work.

So I say this with love, but that New Years-fuelled gym membership is not going to give you the results you want.

But stay with me here, because there is an alternative to losing that weight and it does not start (or end) in the gym.

Actually, it begins in the kitchen.

It’s more important to get your food right, master that, and THEN incorporate some movement that nourishes rather than ravages your nervous system to support your overall health – including weight loss.

In fact, the notion that you can’t maintain a healthy weight without hours of punishing daily exercise is quite outdated and doesn’t take into account how smart our bodies actually are.

Using Metabolic Balance and my system, you are actually required to rest for the first few weeks. That’s right, no gruelling exercise regimes alongside MB at all. And I’ll let you in on a little secret. Those first few weeks, when the focus is on resting and nourishing and gently resetting the body, is when a lot of people release most of their excess weight.

Sounds amazing, right?

With MB we start with a comprehensive health assessment and blood test panel. And we use that information to formulate a plan individualised to your nutritional needs.

This is the key to dropping excess weight.

Because once we get your food right, your insulin levels stabilise, and then by incorporating smart movement into this we switch on our fat burning mode.

Now, I want to show you some interesting stats.

Have you ever heard people say that weight loss is 80% diet, 20% exercise? That actually comes from a large meta-analysis of 493 studies on weight loss methods.

They found that:

  • The first group changed their diet lost 10.7kg in 16 weeks.
  • The second group didn’t change their diet but embarked upon an exercise regime and lost 2.9kg in 16 weeks.
  • The third group changed both diet & movement patterns and lost 11kg in 16 weeks.

So with this we can see that diet is the ultimate tool for releasing excess weight.

BUT we don’t avoid movement altogether as it is so important for physical and mental health.

Instead, in combination with my system using MB, I encourage my clients to move in a way that feels good for them, is enjoyable, and that also builds muscle (as having more muscle raises your metabolic rate, meaning you burn more fat at rest). Bonus points if this movement is done outside in nature (you get extra stress-busting points for that!!).

So let’s tackle your health goals together this year, pop that gym membership away for now and allow your body to relax into the MB way of eating and moving. You can book your free info chat here.

My 5 tips to enjoy Christmas feasting

By | Digestion, Health, Metabolic Balance, Nutritional

Christmas Greetings!

I just want to take 2 minutes to talk to you about the silly season, it’s well & truly arrived. I was walking through the city this week and even on a Wednesday night it was clear that many a Christmas party was occurring in every restaurant & bar we walked past.

We don’t have a lot to celebrate as Australians, a few sporting events, Australia Day and the highly anticipated Christmas holidays. After the year we’ve had, I say grab it by the horns and party! Eat the amazing food, have a drink (or two) and laugh with your loved ones & colleagues.

Can I tell you one of my biggest bugbears? This ‘I’ll start eating healthy again on the 1st of January’ malarky. This stems from the deeply rooted diet culture we have in the west.

Can I challenge you to think about it differently?

Christmas & New Years are two days in the calendar, throw in a secondary family do, a work do and maybe a friend do and you’re looking at 5-6 events tops. What if you were to attend the events, enjoy the feasting and then come home and continue to nourish your body at the next meal? Do you really need to write off 6 or so weeks? When you get yourself into the all or nothing mindset you can do some real damage to your relationship with food and your health.

I teach my Metabolic Balance clients to approach food mindfully as an adult, not with our child-like or judgmental parent selves. The adult understands the consequences and can make rational decisions whereas the child or authoritarian parent want you to either binge until you’re sick or bring on the guilt for even daring to consider eating the trifle. This perpetuates the diet mentality and keeps you stuck in an immature relationship with food, continually frustrated with your health & inability to maintain a healthy weight.

Here are a couple of tips if you want to feel good during and after Christmas parties:

  • Listen to your body & stop when you are full.
  • Chew slowly and pay attention to the taste on your tongue.
  • If it’s a grazing dinner, fill a plate with the amount of food you know you need and stop there, there is nothing worse than lying in bed clutching your stomach late at night.
  • If possible, select a protein as the base of your meal and add the trimmings; vegetables, complex carbohydrates & good quality oils. This is a principle you can always apply to your meals whether they are home cooked, a la carte or a shared grazing platter.
  • Enjoy the dessert, drink the wine and don’t deprive yourself.

I invite you to employ these simple steps to help you feel not only happy and festive on the outside, but inside your body too!

If you’d like some support in this area, you can book a discovery call at anytime or gift yourself my Metabolic Balance program for Christmas or as a kickstart into 2022 (only a couple of spots left!).

My Autoimmune Metabolic Balance Journey

By | Client Results, Health, Metabolic Balance, Nutritional, Thyroid Health, Whole food

As promised, an update on how I am going with Metabolic Balance….

Was it trauma from my past?

Was it the house fire?

Was it the 10 month long cancer scare?

Was it my overachieving ‘I can do it all” personality?

Did the gut issues lead to the autoimmune issues, or did the autoimmune issues lead to the gut issues?

I’ll never know… but by my 30th birthday I knew something was seriously wrong.

I’d fought and won the war against SIBO, my gut was pretty good but my fatigue was next level. In fact my 15 years of gut issues were starting to look like a walk in the park compared to this. My skin was sooo dry, I was still getting hormonal acne (in my 30s?! No fair!), my fingernails couldn’t grow, my hair was thin and my periods were a mess and dominated the calendar month.

To top it all off I was pretty sure I had rosacea and my PMS was getting so bad that I was starting to worry about the effect of my moods on my kids. I was getting this chronic cough & sore chest whenever I burned the candle at both ends. I had also put on 5kg and just couldn’t shift it, I had to watch everything I ate or my clothes would keep getting tighter & tighter. Good sleep was very hard to come by and let’s just say my moods were such that I wasn’t easy to live with, my poor family.

My cup was so very, very empty. 

The kicker? I was about to graduate as a Nutritionist! I was meant to be the picture of health! My diet was pretty schmick but the things I had done in the past were not working any more.

I went to my regular GP and said something was wrong, either my iron was low or something was up with my thyroid. I had remembered years ago that an integrative GP had made a comment about my thyroid being ‘sluggish’.

He checked my iron and it was fine. My TSH came back ‘within range’ but my new Nutritionist training had taught me that TSH above 2 was not ideal and indicated thyroid function was declining. I stamped my foot and insisted that he check my other thyroid markers. I had to pay privately, but I got it done.

My hunch had been right, none of this was normal! These symptoms were not just my lot as a mother & student.

I had Hashimoto’s disease.   

I went on the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP), started seeing an amazing Naturopath who specialised in thyroid autoimmunity and I felt soooo much better. Stress would derail me but I was working on my meditation & mindfulness. Maintaining my weight still felt like an uphill battle and I was tired of eating so well yet always having to be vigilant. My menstrual health came & went but my sleep was never amazing, I awoke unrefreshed every. single. morning.

Then 2020 hit. The stress of having to shut my clinic, support my family and feeling the collective weight of fear around Victoria and the world completely undid all my hard work and threw me back into the haze of Hashimoto’s disease. 6+ months of hard lockdowns and the fear of an unknown future took their toll. My clients were all struggling, the stress was seriously impacting their health. And it was the same with me. Some of the less desirable symptoms of autoimmune disease flared up big time, the painful joints, inflammation, poor cognition and fatigue were preventing me from being the mum, wife & boss lady I knew I could be. My periods went haywire and I was diagnosed with Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. The anxiety was so bad that I was barely sleeping and when I did I often woke during the night with panic attacks.

I was in the middle of a serious autoimmune flare and I couldn’t seem to crawl out of the pit I had fallen into. 

The thing about autoimmunity and thyroid dysfunction is that you don’t tolerate stress well. We’ve got to remain pretty zen just to maintain a regular level of health.

I had heard some colleagues talking about something called Metabolic Balance. They were losing stubborn weight, sleeping well and most importantly they had more energy than they had enjoyed in years. In their photos they looked somehow sparkly & full of joy (no BS). Their clients were experiencing the same incredible benefits. I heard story after story of effortless weight loss, reduced inflammation, awakened libidos (hello!) and 20-something-year-old energy levels. I wanted a piece of that! And it was all based on your individual blood chemistry. No fad diets or calorie counting, no supplements, just individualised, whole food, nutrition.

I contacted the head of Metabolic Balance in Australia & New Zealand and fast tracked my training. I knew that as part of my training I would receive my own individualised nutrition plan and I couldn’t wait to start.

The first week was a bit of a rude awakening, I had headaches & my bowel motions were allllll over the place. I wasn’t used to my plan and had a few failure meals. I had doubts and my brain was coming up with every excuse as to why this was a bad idea. It was also Easter which did not help one bit!

The second week I got a few pimples, the headaches improved and it was like a switch was flicked and I was able to sleep deeply all night. I woke up in the same position that I went to sleep in and couldn’t remember anything but a few vague dreams. Whoah! I even measured myself and hooley dooley I had lost 4 of the 8cm I was hoping to shed off my butt. In ten days! You’ve got to understand that I have a wardrobe (or two) full of vintage pieces I have been collecting over the past 15 years, and I desperately wanted to fit back into them! What’s more, I was maid of honour on the Friday night of that week and was not fitting into my dress that had been custom made for me the year before for a COVID-cancelled wedding.

Well guess what?! I fit into the dress! Only 10 days after starting MB!

By week three I was experiencing the 10/10 energy that I had heard so much about. I honestly asked myself, ‘what Hashimotos? I feel great!’

It’s now been six weeks and I’m honestly feeling amazing. My sleep & energy are superb. The weight loss is a nice side effect and I feel like I could happily keep this up for the rest of my life. My personalised food list has become an old friend and I’m super confident with creating satiating & tasty meals now. I’ve lost all the lockdown weight and I’m reacquainting myself with some of my wardrobe favourites.

Here I am in a 1930s dress I bought at the beginning of lock down, you know, to cheer myself up. By the time it arrived months later I couldn’t get it over my hips! Now I have to wear a belt because it’s too big on my waist!

    

After years of feeling frustrated with my own health but also feeling like I didn’t have the best tool to help my clients with sustainable weight loss, I can finally say with confidence that I have found that tool.

Can you tell I’m just a little bit excited about Metabolic Balance?! My books are now open for MB, I suggest you book a free health discussion with me here to see if MB is suitable for you.

I cannot wait to see the transformation in my clients. I want everyone to know, you don’t have to accept feeling crap all the time, transformation is possible!

Tessa

 

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