All posts in health coaching

Healthy ageing by design, not by chance

Healthy ageing by design, not by chance
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Healthy ageing. Fanciful thinking? Or a real concept?

I believe a real concept.

Ageing is a normal process, it is part of your human experience.

Research confirms your experience of the ageing process, how you progress through ageing can be shaped and influenced by your wellbeing choices.

Specifically, through preventative wellbeing strategies. Choices you make in all areas of your wellbeing.

These areas include (however are not limited to) your food choices, your movement / exercise routine, how you recharge and recover including your ability to manage (negative) stress.

Research confirms these choices, particularly those you repeat (your habits) can culminate over time to influence your ability to age healthier.

However I believe there is a second aspect you need to consider, to reflect on.

How you think about the ageing process?

The thoughts, beliefs, assumptions and perceptions you hold with regards ageing? These will shape and influence on how you plan for and prepare for impacts of ageing.

The better you prepare, the more likely you will have a better experience transitioning into and enjoying the later years of your life.

Want to know more?

Would you like to know, hear me answer four key questions on how to prepare for healthier ageing?

Listen to my recent interview with Rob Bee on his podcast the Art of Vibrancy.

The episode is titled “Healthy ageing by design, not by chance”.

To hear Rob and I on the Art of Vibrancy podcast discussing healthy ageing follow the link below:

My wellbeing audit

If you listened to the podcast, and are looking for the free cheat sheet – My Wellbeing Audit mentioned in the episode, look no further, download it here.


Wishing you healthy ageing.

ciao Jan


You think & feel what you eat

You think & feel what you eat
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Research confirms the role of food in keeping you (and I) mentally healthy is important.

In this post, I explore what I view as the essential insights to be aware of in this area.

The basics: You are what you eat

If you have listened, watched to or read anything I have written, you know I will oft repeat, you are what you eat.

This is because:

  • Food comprises nutrients
  • The body extracts these nutrients from the food during digestion.
  • The body uses these nutrients to make, repair and maintain you; your 11 core body systems (think cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, respiratory, digestive etc).
  • In making, repairing and maintaining these systems you are able to function; to do, think, relate and be self-directed.
  • At the highest level, nutrients fall into three key categories;
    • 1. macro-nutrients, think quality carbs, proteins, fats and water
    • 2. micro-nutrients, think vitamins, minerals and
    • 3. other nutrients, think fibre and antioxidants.
  • All nutrients play an essential role.
  • Your body systems are interconnected and interdependent, they operate as a combined whole system, not in isolation.

The key take outs

  1. If the food you eat contains poor quality nutrients, then you are inadvertently making it more challenging for your body to make, repair and maintain you.
  2. If you make it more challenging for them to do this, you inadvertently make it more challenging for yourself to do, think, relate and be self-directed.
  3. To be the best version of you, consistently eat a nutrient dense and where possible fresh whole food based eating plan.
  4. No, you did not need to do the right thing 100% of the time, rather aim to do it most of the time.

Other nutrients (substances) are also important

It is essential to highlight there are other nutrients/substances that are important.

One of these is fibre.

Fibre has many roles. These include:

  1. Keeping you regular (yes toilet going regular)
  2. Trapping pathogens and wastes to remove them from the body
  3. Supporting blood sugar levels
  4. Helping you sustain healthy cholesterol levels
  5. Ensuring you feel satiated (satisfied) with what you eat, and
  6. Supporting/promoting your immunity.

It is estimated the average person falls well short of their daily average fibre needs. The average adult male needs approx. 30-35g fibre daily and an adult women 20-25g.

But wait there is more; a closer look at fibre

We need to take a closer look at fibre, specifically to look at its ability to shape how you feel and think.

The essentials of fibre

  • Fibre is categorised in “Other Substances” essential to good health.
  • Fibre does not (is not meant to be) digested by the body.
  • Fibre makes its way to large intestine (bowel/colon) where it ferments.
  • Fermentation produces substances that feed the microbes living there.
  • In doing so, it facilitates the presence of the microbe species, numbers and ratio of microbes living in your gut.
  • These microbes form part of your body’s microbiota.
  • The body’s microbiota plays an essential role in promoting and maintaining immunity.

Microbiome-gut-brain axis

There is a growing body of research indicating:

  1. The gut microbiota is linked with the brain in a bi-directional relationship, it is generally referred to as the microbiome–gut–brain axis.
  2. It suggests this axis has an important role in regulating brain function and behavior.
  3. The link to food is because what you eat, is one of the most significant factors shaping human gut microbiota structure and function.

Yes, research is still going on and yes we still do not understand all that goes on. However, we do understand the role of food, in particular fibre in large intestine microbiota health.

To keep things simple, the phrase you are what you eat takes a different meaning. You think and feel what you eat.

Why an important insight?

Your ability to think and feel is core to your ability to function and perform in day to day life; personally and professionally.

  • 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health crisis in their lifetime.
  • Negative stress is experienced by many, both in and out of work.
  • Your aim is to be agile, focused and relevant in thinking, so you can make quality decisions.
  • Your aim is to effectively manage and regulate your emotions, so you can engage, motivate and collaborate.

Key take outs:

  1. What you eat, is one of the most significant factors shaping human gut microbiota structure and function
  2. What you eat, including the amount of fibre you include in your diet, will help shape how you think and feel.
  3. What you eat, including how much fibre you include, is a factor you can have within your control.

So what do you do now?

  1. Know how much fibre to include in your eating plan; the average healthy adult women approx. 20-25g daily and man 30-35g daily.
  2. Understand how much fibre you eat: Keep a food diary for 5-7 days, track food and the fibre it contains?
  3. If you are not eating enough fibre, takes steps to add fibre to your diet, both soluble an insoluble fibre.
  4. To learn more about fibre and what foods contain fibre, read my blog article Are you eating enough fibre.

What more information?

I encourage you to make contact.

Take care, stay safe.

ciao Jan


How to eat healthy at work?

How to eat healthy at work?

Do you work in a busy work environments.  Do you find yourself short on time constantly juggling priorities.

Is it undermining your ability to eat healthy?  Are you feeling the effects – poor concentration, lacking energy, low motivation?

To help you stay on track, here are 8 key tips for sustaining healthy eating when you are at work.


How to consciously manage energy levels

How to consciously manage energy levels?

Do you too often find yourself feeling as if you have too much to do with too little time to do it in?  Have you wondered why?

It is taken as a given that we live in busy fast paced world.  It is taken as a given that we likely have a lot to do.

However surely there has to be strategies that offer hope to those us struggling with fatigue?

Strategies that will help us better manage our energy  levels and reduce the risk of fatigue?

This is exactly what I was asked recently by Huffington Post Lifestyle Editor Leigh Campbell?

For my reply please read on.


Listen to your body

Listen to your body.  Prevention is better than cure.

The body’s aim is to maintain balance across its systems that together comprise your body.

These systems are interconnected and interdependent.

The body constantly monitors these systems to determine if they are in balance.  If it finds them out of balance, it makes adjustments to bring them back into balance

What to know more?  Read on.


This Girl Can

This girl can.

Have you seen the campaign recently launched in the UK.

It’s aim is to encourage girls and women to get active.

In their words “This Girl Can is here to inspire women to wiggle, jiggle, move and prove that judgement is a barrier that can be overcome.”

In reading and watching the campaign I took our 10 key messages.


Combat poor food choices when stressed?

Combat poor food choices or overeating when stressed or busy.

Ever had a super busy or stressful day, week, month or months?  Yes, my hand is also in the air.

I have 4 questions for you:

  1. Did it undermine your good intentions to make healthy food choices?
  2. Did you instead find yourself craving or seeking out comfort (aka energy dense unhealthy) food?
  3. Did you find yourself inhaling your food at a rapid rate?
  4. Did you eat something before you were aware you had it in your hand?

Simple exercise tips

Simple exercise tips.

Some of us invest a significant amount of time and money to exericse.  And some of us lack the confidence to know where to start being active.

There has been a significant amount of research conducted on exercise.  The concluding principles of this research are consistent and surprisingly common-sense.

Read on for simple exercise tips that I believe will help you reap reward and enjoyment for your efforts.