How did you get to be an NTP, RWP and AIP Coach, and how long have you been doing what you do?
To answer this question, it’s probably best that I share with you a defining moment that brought me to where I am today, working with people like you to coach them back to health and wellness.
In 2008 my older brother died after a very short but aggressive battle with cancer. He was given a terminal diagnosis and 5 weeks to live. I’ll never forget the urgency with which we all lived through his final weeks, and the feeling of helplessness at not knowing where to turn to for advice as to whether there was any chance we could reverse his diagnosis, or at least extend his life. Sadly, five weeks after that meeting with the oncologist, my brother passed away. He didn’t have a lot of money but what there was he left to me. I felt so strongly that I couldn’t accept his savings because I knew they’d be swallowed up in bills or the weekly shop, so I asked my parents to hold on to the funds.
In 2014, the list of my own symptoms that had cropped up during my brother’s battle had grown significantly and I noticed symmetrical swelling in my thumbs. I’d already been living with Hypothyroidism since 1997, however now all my joints ached every single day and I was coping with brain fog, panic attacks and anxiety, depression, and digestive distress. I knew that the symmetrical swelling was a sign of Rheumatoid Arthritis which my paternal grandmother had lived with very painfully, but I was waved away by my doctor who said it was repetitive strain injury. I decided if I didn’t advocate for my own health nobody was going to do it for me, so I consulted Dr Google. There I came across the Autoimmune Protocol and tales of how amazing it was for reducing the symptoms of all autoimmune diseases.
I trained as a chef many years ago so I used my experience to set up my blog to not only create recipes to keep myself motivated to stick with the protocol, but to share recipes with other people looking for inspiration. Once I started my blog, I started getting emails from people like you, struggling with health issues and wondering what they could eat in order to get their health back on track. They’d tell me about their own health history and ask my opinion on what to do and what to eat. However at the time I could only write back and say “I’m so sorry, I’m not qualified to help you” and send them away.
My children are now 18 and 15, and don’t need me as much as they once did. You may find it hard to believe but they don’t find me cool any more, ha! But then I had a calling! I decided to go back to school (after all it’s never too late, right?) and help other people turn their health around, in just the same way I’ve done for myself and my family! So eight years later I asked my parents for my brother’s money because I knew that although I couldn’t help him, I could help other people achieve wellness instead.
I graduated as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner from the Nutritional Therapy Association in June 2017, and from the first Autoimmune Paleo Coach Program the following month. I graduated with a diploma in food (and wine, the irony!) in 1997 and you could say I spent the interim years in the world renowned “school of life”. My children were born with gut dysfunction and I’ve turned their health around by implementing dietary and lifestyle changes. Have a read of this honest post, written by my son about his experience with the protocol.
I am beyond excited to be a 2018 graduate of the Restorative Wellness Practitioner program, which means I’m also certified to run and interpret lab work for gut health using the amazing GI-MAP stool test, MRT-Leap food sensitivity panel and SIBO breath test.
Who are your clients exactly?
My clients are people, probably just like you, who have had symptoms over the years that started as something small enough to be pushed aside, yet have built up and accumulated into new and different ones over time that can’t be ignored any longer. Not all clients have an autoimmune diagnosis, although many have the symptoms of one. The majority, however, do have a diagnosis and the ones that my clients have had include:
|Addison’s||Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)|
|Lichen Planus||Undiagnosed Autoimmune Disease|
What happens if you haven’t yet worked with people with my diagnosis?
It actually doesn’t matter. That’s because the root cause of all autoimmune diseases is the same – when our immune system turns against us and attacks our proteins, cells and tissues instead. Which ones are attacked determines the autoimmune disease and its symptoms. So whatever your autoimmune diagnosis, the dietary intervention is always the Paleo Autoimmune Protocol (AIP).
How are you different from other “NTPs / AIP Coaches?”
Aside from being a certified NTP and Autoimmune Paleo Coach, I’m a Gluten Practitioner certified by Dr Tom O’Bryan of www.thedr.com. I’m a Certified Restorative Wellness Practitioner. I’m also a trained chef. This means I know my food. I trained for a year at a top culinary school in London, England, and graduated with distinction. I then left to work on magazines, books, commercials, food shoots, TV programs, food shows and catering events. I really know my food! I contribute a monthly AIP recipe to the Autoimmune Wellness blog and have hosted Paleo AIP cooking classes at Bastyr University (Washington) with Mickey Trescott of Autoimmune Wellness. In addition I have participated in two autoimmune health summits – Hey Hashi Healing Hashimoto’s Summit and The Autoimmune Vitality Summit, sharing my expertise on strategies for eating well on the AIP, both for adults and children. I’ve been invited onto podcasts too. I’m currently a Group Leader on this year’s NTA program, which means I’m mentoring the next batch of NTPs.
As mentioned above, I am certified to run lab work for gut health using a highly accurate stool test called the GI-MAP. This test uses DNA analysis that has been shown to identify many previously unknown organisms that are generally missed on other forms of testing. The MRT-Leap food sensitivity panel is a gold standard test looking for foods that are causing inflammation and therefore railroading the healing process. In combination, these are THE best tools for getting down to the root cause and truly healing from the inside out.
There’s also that school of life I told you about earlier, that goes a long way to learning life experiences. Having two children of my own, who have been raised on real food and elimination diets, has given me a wealth of knowledge that I believe you will really benefit from. I have a network of trusted health professionals should you need a referral out. I also believe in having fun because, let’s face it, healing is way faster when you’re happier.
What type of personality do you work best with and what is expected of me?
My coaching program is designed for people who are just as excited about the role of food as medicine as I am. It’s been created for those who are totally serious about halting the progression of chronic disease, sending their symptoms packing, and regaining their health. If there are families involved, I’ll help pay it forward to nourishing the next generation so they, hopefully, don’t go on to live with chronic illness. In the same way that you’ll feel it’s important to work with someone who “gets” you, I want to share my passion and work with people who are super-ready to get going, and are keen to know exactly what to do in order to feel better. I love spending my working days with people who are open minded about food, nutrition and all aspects of life – and are willing to try new and different ways in order to achieve healing.
What type of personality is this program NOT going to work for?
Please know that I’m very selective in who I work with and I cherry-pick my clients, choosing to (gently) turn away people who aren’t suited for this program and won’t get the results they would sign up for. (It wouldn’t be fair to them, would it?)
I am very happy to move at the pace of my client, however this coaching program is NOT for those who aren’t going to be proactive and do the things asked of them. There will be dietary and lifestyle changes to make, together with purchasing a few supplements. Please know that I’m very cautious of budget, and much prefer to heal through food, so these are targeted supplements only. I also favour specific essential oil blends which are incredibly valuable and supportive, especially with highly sensitive people who don’t tolerate supplements well. I will request food journal updates so I can help you track your intake, make sure you are eating the right amount and quality of food, and also help identify sensitivities and understand why you’re having cravings. If I don’t see your journals, I can’t help you nutritionally, and that’s why you’re interested in working with me. Something else, if you’re looking for the “healthy” equivalent of an oreo cookie or unicorn frappuccino, then I don’t think we’ll work well together – you absolutely will not see the results we are both hoping for, and I wouldn’t want you to waste our time and your money. I’m sure you agree?
What exactly is your coaching program and what does it include?
Getting a handle on your health problems begins with understanding why they happened in the first place. Then it means taking action so that you’re the one in control. Here’s what we’ll cover
1. Create your health history – we’ll go through your intake forms and piece together your health history. Your timeline will enable us to understand when and why your issues really began and where the root cause is likely to be. Sticking a bandaid on your symptoms is NOT something I do because the root cause will still be brewing below the surface and hindering recovery. We’ll look for that root cause so you can heal from the inside out
2. Food/Mood journals – we’ll delve in to work out what might be causing problems, as well as make sure you’re eating the right balance of macronutrients (protein, fats, carbs). The AIP isn’t really about what you take out of your diet, it’s about what you put IN. So of course we’re going to talk about this a lot. We’ll do a lot of journal and symptom evaluation as we work together, to make sure we’re on the right track
3. Transition – we’ll get you onto the AIP at your preferred pace, there is no right or wrong here. If you’re new to the protocol you’ll learn all the strategies for making the transition as easy as possible so there’s no chance of overwhelm. And if you’re an old hand at the AIP, we’ll aim to tweak a few things and hopefully move you on to the reintroduction phase that bit faster
4. Navigate the protocol – I have so many resources to pass on, you’ll soon be a pro at this. Once you’ve learned all the what’s, where’s and why’s, everything will be a breeze as it becomes second nature. You’ll also have a good stash of recommendations, resources, articles to read and websites to visit
5. 30-day meal plan – will set you on your way to healing with high nutrients and flavour in mind. The plan includes all the recipes, together with shopping lists for four weeks. You’ll also receive a copy of my ebook along with extra recipes, and links to those you may like on other blogs. You’ll also be encouraged to make your own meal plan which will reduce overwhelm as you move forward
6. Coaching – that is unique to YOU. This includes motivation, guidance, support and accountability strategies for transitioning to the AIP (if you’re new). You’ll also have unlimited email Q&A support between sessions, so you’ll have your burning questions answered and never be left wondering what to eat or what to do
7. Dial in on your lifestyle – this bit’s just as, if not more so, important that the food. You need to be sleeping properly in order to detoxify. You also need to manage stress and incorporate the right amount of movement for your body, so we’ll be working on this important part too
8. Troubleshoot – this is where we tackle any roadblocks or plateaus that are stopping you from making progress. We’ll keep a track on this, with monthly questionnaires and intake forms. These questionnaires create a visual graph that will blow you away, not to mention keep you motivated
9. Reintroductions – depending on how familiar you are with the AIP we should have time for a reintroduction or two. Not to worry if we don’t get to this, by the end of the 3-months you’ll have all the strategies you need to start the reintroduction process by yourself
10. Secure portal – I’ll invite you onto my HIPAA compliant online portal. This is where we’ll have video sessions and interaction with one another during and between sessions. Not only is it completely secure, but everything stays in one place so you never need search through your inbox again. In addition to these things, you’ll learn what an amazing machine our bodies are. You’ll know how they’re supposed to work and what can go wrong and, importantly, why. You’re going to come away feeling as passionate as I do about your body.
Does this really work?
Yes … the blend of nutritional therapy and the AIP is a really powerful one. Check out this AIP study, published in September 2017 that backs up what a gift this protocol is to those with chronic illness . There is also a Hashimoto’s centred study that is currently taking place.
What results can I expect?
You can expect to:
* learn how to dramatically improve your nutrition stores by understanding how to digest your food
* understand the organs in your body and why you need to give them TLC
* know why your adrenal glands should be treated as top dog in the endocrine system
* understand why hydration is fundamental to life, how to improve yours
* start detoxifying your body the gentle way
* gain knowledge on the way your immune system functions
* receive specific bio individual instructions that apply to you only
* learn how to identify food sensitivities
* understand which foods are avoided on the AIP and why
* understand which foods are to be included on the AIP and why
* learn which foods are the most valuable to your nutrient stores
* be a better advocate for your own health
* have a strategy for being a key player in your health team
* be able to socialize without worrying about what to eat
* have strategies for when you travel
* batch cook so you gain more free time in the long run
* feel supported and cherished every single step of the way
* be challenged to try new and different foods and recipes
* receive the accountability you likely need to stay on track to healing
* hone in on where your symptoms are coming from and how to remove them
* get knowledgeable on the value of real food and nutrition
* say goodbye to (or at least reduce) joint pain
* enjoy greater energy than you’ve had in years
* sleep better and feel more refreshed in the morning
* have clearer skin and brighter eyes
* be more productive in the work place and/or at home
* improve your mood and say goodbye to brain fog
* bring your body back into better balance
Can I read some testimonials from clients who have previously worked with you?
Yes, I encourage you to! Please go to my Testimonials page and read them.
How quickly can I expect results?
Obviously this is going to depend on the depth of your symptoms and how much work you put into our time together. That said, all my clients see results within the first couple of weeks, or even days in the form of reduced joint pain and/or brain fog. If there are underlying issues, these will take longer to address as we’ll need to do some troubleshooting. Depending on what we unearth, you may need to get some form of testing done, some of which I can do, others I can’t, although I can direct you to someone in my network who can.
How can I guarantee myself that I’ll see results?
If you do the work, focus on the quality and type of food you eat, and be mindful of how you eat it, you will experience a shift in your health. When you take into account lifestyle changes such as addressing sleep, stress management and movement, then you will see profound improvements. Please note though, that in the case of autoimmune disease, once you have a diagnosis that will always be the case. This protocol is about managing, reducing, reversing symptoms and yes, hopefully even putting them into remission over time. Understand though, that this is not a “quick fix”, it’s not magic and if you think about the months and years your body has taken to reach a diagnosis, to turn it around in a matter of weeks is unrealistic thinking.
Will I recover the investment I put into this coaching program?
Yes. A resounding Yes! All my clients have excitedly reported that they were able to make a huge positive impact on their health quite quickly into our process, and much more so by the end of it. Of course as with the previous question, the more you put into our time together, the richer the rewards. All my clients have left me with a deep knowledge of how our bodies work, what can go wrong when we don’t treat them so well, and how to love them and allow ourselves to heal with real food and lifestyle intervention. Each and every single client has gained an awareness of what their own particular body responds to – for good and for bad.
How will we work together and what does the program entail?
If we decide to work together, you will receive comprehensive health assessment intake forms, an initial consultation to discuss the forms, evaluation of your 5-day food journal, total support and coaching from me via weekly one-on-one video calls (or in person if you live locally in Vancouver BC), follow up summaries detailing the information in our conversations, interim support when needed, 30-Day Meal Plan and future meal planning strategies, digital copy of my recipe eBook, relevant resources, hand outs, recommended reading and useful websites, backup materials and resources, follow up assessments, follow up food journal evaluation. All information will be held in a private drop box so you have easy and organized access to resources at all times. All our interaction takes place within my HIPAA compliant online portal, which you will be invited to join. This means there are no emails floating around in your computer inbox, everything is together in one place. I also set up a Google Drive which only you and I have access to, and this is for storage of resources and handouts
How long is the coaching program?
My one-on-one program is run in 3 month increments. Why? You’ll get results right away, however based on my experience, there is a lot to work to do and a minimum of 3 months is what’s required to produce lasting results. It takes that long to truly see some outstanding results. Again, think of the length of time your body has been telling you that something’s not right – it wasn’t an overnight process was it? So now it’s time to respect your body and allow it some patience whilst it starts to heal.
What’s the investment?
You currently have the following options to choose from, depending on where you are on your healing journey, how familiar you are with the Autoimmune Protocol, what level of support you’re looking for, and how quickly you want to see results:
The 3 Month Transformation Package
1 initial 60-minute consultation and 11 x 30-minute calls
This program was created for people who need complete support throughout. This is the most popular program and, of course, the one where you’re going to see the biggest results. With this option we schedule weekly calls to get you onto the full elimination phase of the AIP, keep you on track and eliminate all obstacles in your healing, with troubleshooting where necessary. If there’s time we’ll be able to progress towards the reintroduction stage but if not, it’s my aim that you’ll be in a perfect position to know how to do this for yourself. For those people already on the AIP we’ll aim to move through the phases faster, then troubleshoot if necessary before going into the reintroduction stages for optimal wellness.
The Maintenance Package
1 initial 60-minute consultation and 1 x 30 minute call
This option is for independent AIPers who are well seasoned in the protocol and just want to do a little troubleshooting and know they’re on the right path. Perhaps you’ve reached a plateau, or there’s something stopping you moving forward which you can’t quite put your finger on. We do a full health history and look in depth at the intake forms to see where your main issues lie. You’ll be given a strategy for the way forward and we’ll have a catch-up session two weeks later to make sure you’re on track to healing. Includes unlimited email support between the two sessions.
The Q&A Package
1 x 60-minute call
This one’s for someone who is happy being independent on the AIP, but has a few basic questions in order to get back on the track they’re already taking. There is no health history, nor intake forms.
The RESTART® Program
5 x weekly 90-minute group sessions, in-person (Vancouver) or online
This option is for people wishing to kickstart their health within a group setting. It’s part nutritional education, part sugar “vacation” and part support group. Each week we cover a different topic, such as digestive health, sugar’s impact on the body, the truth about fats etc. By the end of this course, participants regularly experience increased energy, more restful sleep, clarity and focus, decreased anxiety and better fitting clothes. Please note this isn’t for individual Q&A, but a great opportunity to connect with like-minded people who are chasing the same goals. Classes run with a maximum of 10 participants. Please see here for further details.
How do you accept payments and do you offer student discounts?
If you are based in Canada, eTransfer is appreciated in order to keep the overall cost down for you. The fee for you is minimal whereas Paypal charges me a sizeable fee that would force me to put my rates up. If you live outside Canada, I accept payment through Paypal, and you can pay through your own Paypal account or by credit card. I do not offer student discounts.
OK, I’d like to work with you. How do we get started?
Great! Did you know that the people who reach out for help are the ones who are more likely to achieve healing, than those who don’t? The decisive ones who follow their gut instinct (excuse the pun), will save time in the long run by reaching their health and wellness goals faster, and nip future symptoms in the bud. The people who delay addressing their health always take far longer to heal.
Here’s what to do: email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know which program you’re interested in. We’ll set up a day and time to have a brief “get acquainted” chat just to make absolutely sure we’re going to hit it off together. That way you’re more likely to get the results you’re after.
If I’m not sure I’m ready to get started, how can I sample your work at low cost to see if it’s the right solution for me?
You can start by reading through my blog and/or downloading my recipe eBook here for $8.99. This will give you a good idea of the recipes I write. If you like what you see, you know you’re going to fall in love with the Meal Plan you receive as part of working with me for the 3 month program.
Another way is to sign up for my newsletters, in which you’ll receive news, recipes, tips and any offers that crop up from time to time.
I have a family and a busy life. Although I want to improve my health badly, I don’t have much time to spare. How much time do I need?
If you can spare a couple of extra hours a week, develop a routine and learn to implement some learned strategies you will already be well on the way to improving your health, without it being all-consuming. Not only will you improve your own health, but that of your spouse, if you have one, and family too. Have you heard the oxygen mask theory in relation to good health? Imagine yourself in an airplane emergency (God forbid) and being told to put your own oxygen mask on before tending to those travelling with you. This is because if you run out of oxygen, you cannot help anyone else. It’s exactly the same when it comes to your good health. If YOU are sick, everybody else in your home will suffer too. So addressing your health will impact on those living with you, as they’ll receive healthier meals. If you have children, they will be nourished from a young age, which will impact on them AND your future generations. How amazing is that?
A final thought. I have two children, whose future health has been dramatically changed by my providing them nutrient dense meals, searching out and removing food sensitivities and educating them on how and what best to eat. Yes it can be a challenge, but absolutely it can be done!
OK, I’m ready to do this for myself, but I have a couple of additional questions. Can we speak?
Hurrah, it sounds like you’re ready to start some serious healing! Yes, of course. If you have a couple of questions email me at email@example.com and I’ll gladly answer them.