Like many Australians, my husband Mark and I suffered from allergies and asthma growing up. As we got older, our list of ailments became longer and more complex. When I was pregnant with our first son, I put on 40 kilograms and was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, despite following all the recommendations on food and exercise. Then our son was born, a perfect bundle of joy.
It wasn’t until he was 18 months old that he stopped hitting developmental milestones, struggled to communicate and couldn’t cope with normal life events. By the time we had our second son, it seemed like we were in a never-ending cycle of meltdowns, migraines, skin infections, diarrhoea, constipation, runny noses, bronchitis, sleepless nights and more. The standard Australian diet and lifestyle was slowly killing us.
When our oldest son was diagnosed as moderately autistic with an expressive and receptive language disorder, it was the wake-up call that I believe saved our lives. Like many people, we received the diagnosis and thought, now what? The pressures of our modern lifestyle had left us without a sense of intuition; we didn’t know how to listen to our bodies and restore the balance we needed in our lives. So I enrolled in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition to become a health coach, which complemented my Bachelor of Education qualification and taught me how to create the right environment for healing and thriving.
I took a scientific approach, reading everything I could get my hands on and working with a range of healthcare professionals to manage the health problems my family faced. Along the way, I discovered that healing was as much about the physical body as it was about our emotional and spiritual state. Living mindfully and reducing self-sabotaging beliefs began to play a vital role in our lives.
It was a long and difficult journey, full of trial and error. Over the next nine years, we tried everything from eliminating foods like gluten and dairy, to trying the failsafe and GAPS diets. Slowly but surely, we moved from a modified GAPS diet to a low-carbohydrate paleo diet and began to see results. We began looking beyond physical health, to see how our environment and emotions were impacting our bodies. The changes were small and simple, but the results were extraordinary.
Today, my family’s ailments no longer control our lives and our children continue to heal, as we listen to our bodies and make changes to improve our health and wellbeing. Our recovery has made us a stronger family and taught us lifelong lessons that I’m now proud to share with others who are starting on their own journey. My qualifications as an educator and health coach have helped countless people heal themselves and their families, revitalising every aspect of their lives.
Your Personal Health Coach
The role of a health coach is to bridge the gap between healthcare providers, helping you find the physical, social and emotional imbalances that may be contributing to your illness. Through my books and speaking engagements, I help people understand nutrition and guide them towards a healthy and sustainable diet that will help their body heal naturally. I’m also passionate about increasing awareness of the chemicals we encounter in our everyday lives and the stress this places on our bodies.
A health coach doesn’t replace medical advice—they support it by looking at the bigger picture rather than focusing on one symptom, diagnosis or body part. I’m proud to help people take small but sustainable steps to reduce their use of chemicals, make informed choices about food, revitalise their body with exercise, explore their creativity and enliven their spirit with a deeper self-awareness and connection to all.
Where to Next?
While autism was the straw that broke our family and gave us the motivation to improve our health and wellbeing, for you it could be another diagnosis or simply a desire to feel more vibrant and live better, every day. No matter where you are in your journey, the same rules apply. It’s about listening to your body and taking small steps in the right direction. My goal is to be the health coach I needed during those dark times, when I didn’t know where to turn. If you’re ready to begin the healing process, I invite you to read my book and join our community of like-minded souls who will encourage you every step of the way.