Milla is a dear friend of ours – as you may or may not know, there is a lot of chat & hype about those out there giving advice on health and wellbeing, we thought we’d clear up a few facts and find out exactly what a Health Coach offers / preaches / desires… So read on to hear what this totally wondrous, genuine baybe would like you all to know;
Ok Milla, so the burning question of the day, what exactly is a Health Coach?
First off, I have to be clear here, a Health Coach is not a nutritionist, doctor or even a councillor for that matter. A Health Coach is simply a guide and mentor to empower and support individuals so that they (the client) can finally take responsibility for their own health. Health Coaches work alongside the client so that they can implement sustainable, lifestyle behaviour changes, that will contribute to achieving their personal health and lifestyle goals by making step – by – step changes to their food choices and current lifestyle. We look at the root causes of particular issues, for example why a client may be addicted to sugar or why someone can’t sleep, and then on a more basic level we simply offer help and guidance to those that want it, rather than just treating the varying symptoms with medication. Deep down I believe people know what they should be eating, they know coffee (in excess) isn’t beneficial, they know they need to eat more greens but when they aren’t doing it then we come in in an attempt to help the client pinpoint the underlying reasons. We come in to peel back the layers as to why?
What does healthy eating mean to you?
I don’t think it needs to be as complicated as people make out. For me, healthy eating means eating foods that have had a life. Sticking to foods in their natural forms which haven’t gone through a chemical process. I think it’s all about stepping back and understanding that one person’s food is another person’s poison. We are all different and no diet fits all. Its about listening to your body and eating the food that nourishes you and makes you thrive.
What are your 3 favourite tips to share with clients – non food related (for once)?
This is a hard one. I have so many. The key here is that health starts in the mind, for me the mind is the most powerful tool, controlling all thoughts, beliefs and our individual focus. What we put out into the universe, and the words we speak, are all a reflection of who we are. Therefore I encourage clients to;
- Journal their gratitude for 5 minutes daily, ideally first thing in the morning. It is such a simple act which completely lifts your spirits and empowers you to take on the day. It’s such a stereotypically British attitude to concentrate on what’s going wrong, that we so often forget what’s going right!
- Learning to love yourself is key, it’s my understanding that when you start loving yourself then your own, unique health journey really begins, and this is because you want to treat yourself with kindness and nourish your body from the inside out, consuming the best & most nutritious of foods. Switching off your inner critic and replacing those words with love and forgiveness is the first step. Afterall, we all deserve to be happy and healthy no?!
- Learn to say no and stop doing so much. Get up that little bit earlier in the morning and make sure you have evenings to yourself, to be peaceful, without screens or social media. Do something for you and your body, this could be soft belly breathing, meditation, reading, body brushing or just having a bath with your favourite oil. Self-care should be non-negotiable.
What are your 3 favourite tips to share with clients – food related (obvi)?
- A food diary is really important. I ask my clients to write down what they’ve eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner but, importantly, to also write down how they felt after 10 minutes of eating it and then 1 hour after eating it. This is a great way to track what foods aren’t serving you.
- We eat for so many different reasons. Whether it’s boredom, excitement, loneliness, stress or sadness. I teach my clients to really pause and tune in before they eat to make sure it’s actual hunger that beckons, so often it’s something else they need, not food. I also encourage clients to pull up a chair when they eat and really be mindful when it comes to chewing. Remember your stomach is the size of your clenched fist, so it’s key to be kind to it.
- Finally, I say eat the rainbow – yes eating an abundance of greens is key but don’t forget your purples, oranges, blues, yellows and reds! Sometimes people can eat too much beige food, we’re talking cereal, crisps, sandwiches, chicken and pasta – which can all serve a purpose – but colour is so much more important, I say the more colour, the better for your body.
Any advice for someone who is keen to break some bad habits and live more holistically? And anything to say to someone that has only basic skills when it comes to cooking?
I would say book me as your health coach and we’ll go on a supermarket tour 🙂 It’s important not to deprive people, I certainly don’t advocate taking things away that people are used to consuming – particularly if it gives them great joy. Once again, I’d say it’s about implementing baby steps and making small lifestyle tweaks. I would start by encouraging the client to add healthier habits and foods into their lives, this method of ‘crowding out’ helps the cravings, for unnatural and rubbish processed foods, gradually cease. Only having basic skills in the kitchen is fine, we all have to start somewhere and you don’t have to be a talented cook to eat healthily.
That makes sense, although we the Sibz, would say that we are incredibly talented 😉 … Anyway, finally Milla, what advice would you give to you but ten years younger?
Be authentic, be yourself, don’t try to fit in, if anything try to fit out. Make your passion your job, feel the fear but do it anyway. I would also tell my 16 year old self not to have stayed on my skin medication for as long as I did, I know we’re all different but in actual fact it was my diet that was out of whack, not my skin regime. Finally, the advice I’d give would be to say: question everything.
Food good measure, here’s another pic of the baybe that is Milla, rocking her #TommyGal dungies, you can also read more about her here: www.millalascelles.com.