Food and Nutrition

Food and You with Nutrition Coach Laurel Kells kiwiconnexion practical theology

Welcome along to live on air this evening we’ve got Laurel and we’ve got stood here and we’re going to be talking primarily about laurels work and nutrition science and I think the very best place to start Laurel as tell us a bit about yourself and what you do yeah so um I’m Laurel I’m from North Carolina I’m not a Kiwi moved to New Zealand four years ago and during that time I was studying online and that’s when I got my bachelor’s of nutrition science so once I graduated I really wasn’t satisfied with I guess the just the way that we’re taught to engage with clients we’re more so taught to give them a meal plan and then kind of send them on their way and so that didn’t settle well with me of I’ve seen the success or the lack thereof with people just being told what to do so I looked into this thing called precision nutrition which is the world’s leading nutrition coaching company and decided to get certified as a nutrition coach so even though I had the qualification of a qualified nutritionist after four plus years of studying I took a course online to become a nutrition coach so that I could actually facilitate habit change so it’s more so than just giving a diet plan and telling someone what to do but I actually work long-term with people to change one habit at a time Laurel or you’ve also been to ministry school and training for all kinds of theological and spiritual work tell us a little bit about that part of your back yep so when I graduated high school I didn’t know what I wanted to study I had no interest in nutrition at that point but I knew that I just really loved Jesus and I wanted to do something that I guess took a year out to really pursue him and figure out just the practicality of what life was supposed to look like like we have all these dreams as believers we have dreams of what we wanted to do but I didn’t know where University fit into that because I always just drem of just being a missionary and being around a bunch of orphans and in Africa and in the bush so I had no clue yeah what to study so by God’s grace my dad who values university a lot let me go across the California so across the country from North Carolina and attended Bethel school of supernatural ministry so it’s a bit of a um it’s hard to describe it’s not your typical ministry school in the sense of it’s not just its theology based obviously it’s scripturally based sound in the Bible everything we learned come from the Bible but it’s also very empowering as far as learning how to walk it out of what the spirit filled life looks like of our Great Commission is to you know do what Jesus did of the way he walked on earth we’re supposed to follow suit like he set the perfect example for what life as believers should look like and so as a high school I was like what’d he know I was hungry for that it was hungry for so much more than just attending church service so I went to ministry school and it was everything and so much more than I could have hoped for as far as really just being immersed in a culture that knows how to do life well and a kingdom life that actually brings heaven to earth so yeah it was amazing it was the first best year of my life because I also learned how to just pursue God in a way that every year gets better and better so it’s been awesome that was what I did before I started studying nutrition well I think that’s a fantastic answer so you’ve got a sort of twin disciplines if you like you’ve got the ministry and theological education and you’ve got the discipline of nutrition science and our first question Laurel that sometimes it could be that people regard spiritual life and nutrition and physical life as somehow complimentary do you do you work with the two as complementary that they work together rather than working again to each other because you’ve got the twin background of training do you see an exit between spirituality and nutrition science so I can give you a resounding yes for that and it really comes from I guess my journey into nutrition really started while I was at ministry school so while I’m at ministry school I guess the background of really how I got into nutrition is it’s an interesting year where people from all over the world come to study in this one place we’re in one town all pursuing God every single day for nine months and you know you don’t usually get that sort of setup of your life as literally setup to just pursue him and learn more and lock it out and so while I’m nurturing my spiritual health like that was that was all that was the whole focus for nine months of my life really no distractions that felt like I was not taking care of my body well and so while I’m pursuing spiritual health I was really neglecting my physical health and I was doing so in a way that the Holy Spirit really convicted me of hey you’re neglecting the one body I gave you to host my spirit but to also live life and to do what you’re called to do and so one day while I had just I probably had had ice cream it was this sort of dysfunctional relationship with food where if I ate something that I didn’t think was healthy or wasn’t healthy then I would punish myself by working out and so that that’s not good terrible model to follow and when I was doing that I probably ate something bad and then I went on a run and I felt really guilty about it and when I got back from my run I just felt like the presence of God come upon me and there was this real conviction of spiritual health should manifest itself into physical health and because you lack health in identity so he targeted a spiritual issue of I lacked the identity of self-love of loving myself and seeing myself as he loves me there were repercussions for the neglect in that area into physical health were that was actually what was causing me to punish myself for eating food I mean that problem of body image something that has terribly afflicted the female part of the population but from what I gather the statistics are saying now there is an increase in males who have exactly the same this is a big issue for young people yeah so it’s huge and it thought there was just so much irony in that moment where I was trying to get so spiritually healthy yet I was not focusing on my physical health at all and it was interesting how the two were so interconnected where God first targeted a spiritual issue that was manifesting itself physically in the way that I was treating myself and when he did that I heard the phrase the only phrase I heard was healthy in healthy out and I just kept hearing those four words repeated over and over in my spirit of healthy and healthy out and that’s actually what began I guess my journey of figuring out what that really looks like because it’s a cute catchphrase but what does it mean what’s the practical representation and just a quick question for you as well Laurel I mean just from things that you’ve been saying so far it sounds like once you started to acknowledge and become aware of what you were putting into your body as well did you begin to notice that there was a change in your spiritual dynamic as well and how how did that manifest itself yeah that’s a good question Stuart so um it’s really interesting to know which one comes first and I think because you know when you do life with holy spirit like your spirit being you have a spirit and in that I think for me my spiritual health really determines almost how I then nourish my body and so when I’m in a yucky place spiritually if I just have you know not really been tending to my spirit and my spirit health I find that that is what then causes me to make poor choices that’s when like I’ll eat food for comfort you know I’ll go to sugar and I’ll go to sweets and that would be a way to comfort myself and that’s because I’m not actually getting comfort from where my source should come from which is the Holy Spirit and then vice versa is the more I tend to the spiritual health then I’m empowered to actually make better choices when it comes to food of theirs God’s grace to have you know self discipline and self-control and just the ability to say no to what might not be that great for you in pursuit of what is good for you having having said that it seems to me because you earn your living as a nutrition coach you must have developed a set of principles simple easy to memorize things that ordinary folk like us can can easily get hold of and I’m kind of curious as to what would be the three most basic principles you believe you want every one of your clients to get a get a hold of yeah I’m going to give you five I call them my five habits so the five habits they’re the first two are called anchor habits and these rb2 habits that you can do no matter what life looks like so life is really busy you’re really stressed you didn’t do a grocery shop or you have fruits and vegetables everything’s a mess these are the two habits that you can still do and the first one is eating slowly eating slowly is a real struggle in our day and age we are a fast paced you know culture where everything’s on the go and we’re so stressed and we’re so rushed so just slowing down while you eat the recommendation is to take 20 minutes to actually sit down chew your food slowly put your fork down between bites maybe even enjoy a meal with someone else so that you’re engaging with someone else while you’re eating but just to take your time so that first one is to eat slowly the second anchor habit is to stop at 80% full sew-in eating slowly you’re actually able to register when you’re starting to get full whereas when you eat fast it’s very easy to overeat of we all we all have probably done it I know I’ve done it is the faster you eat the more you overeat so to stop eating at 80% full and that’s an interesting number of ok well what does that actually feel like but it’s just registering hey I’m not yet stuffed but I’m comfortable it’s that real light comfortable phase of when you’re eating and then the other three are at every meal I use my hands to teach my clients portion sizing and so at every meal you want to ask yourself where are the vegetables so that is one of the most important things is no matter what where are the vegetables on the plate and we use our fists so everybody I painted today I paint on my arm but um everybody can use their fists and that also represents your body size so for a fist of vegetables you want at least 1/2 to every meal and then the second question that you ask yourself is where’s the protein so you use this the palm of your hand everyone should be getting at least one palm of protein at every meal and then where are that where’s the fat so you want a couple of thumbs of fat and that’s your cooking oil your avocado your nuts and seeds so those are the three most important things that should be on your plate and that forms the five habits in the end that some it’s as simple as can be and yeah yeah I think I said that’s a great way of putting it in a very easy kind of package to to a client or to someone like myself it has to be very careful with diet and a number of us in the in the congregation here at that kind of age and stage where diet becomes not all consuming it was pretty critical that we follow the medical advice now everything that you said I I admire and I try to do we know from our survey before we begin recording that the people that are watching those lives in I think they see sometimes no I said sometimes I’m able to follow they said they said usually and I mean I think that usually can sort of be swing quite a lot of quite far Cantor’s with people that because I mean when I sort of I mean I’m one of Laura’s clients and when I first sat down with her she got me to track out a three-day of meal plan of what I eat and I actually quickly discovered that a lot of the things that you sometimes assume a healthy are actually not and is that something which you find can often be a bit troubling and in today’s society that there’s so much information out there Laurel that people don’t really know where to start yeah and one of the biggest problems is there is too much information and in doing so we almost use confusion as a cop-out of I’m so confused about nutrition I just won’t do anything but really if we uncomplicated it like the five habits I just gave you let’s stick with just the food habits protein veggies that if we focus on those three how simple is that and I think in its nature’s food it’s it’s as natural as it gets but we have we’ve just over complicated it so much in such an unnecessary way where if we actually eat just the food that’s edible that nature produces for us it really solves all of our problems I think it’s when we try and figure out what you know the marketing team is doing a countdown or PAK’nSAVE for different foods where it’s for profit and if we just eliminated all of that and focused on the basics of just what is nature produced for us to eat I picked up particularly on the first two points about eating slowly and I he’s one of your clients but he doesn’t eat slowly I’ve seen them you got to work on yeah but I I picked that up as a kind of hidden spiritual principle all the emphasis that you made was on taking time with food now if you think about it doesn’t matter whether you’re a Christian or a Buddhist or Hindu people with a religious outlook tend to be thankful for the food that they have because we know that so much of the world doesn’t have food so out of that sense of gratitude taking the time to really prepare it well and taking the time to eat with family and friends if possible just changes everything as far as I’m concerned yeah you you you said don’t get caught up well if you get caught up in the busyness of life you know everything happens at a fast pace and that’s that’s what happened to me I think I I like being busy I like being active in so many different areas but that doesn’t give me the correct balance that I should have with food so I really relate there’s a kind of spiritual insight and then is that fantastic second one and my I can remember my pyramid said this to me stop eating before you’re you think you’re full they didn’t have an 80% rule but oh yeah I mean I think my guy was actually my grandma who told me that the whole 80% rule revolves around the amount of time it takes before and you might be able to elaborate on this a bit more Laurel at the time it takes for your body to actually realize just how much it’s got in it in that period of time machine you know we like food into the stomach it’s not an instantaneous action there’s actually a process and a little map that it to get to its destination and it’s not that quick so that’s why the 25 the 20 minute rule is I’m so important of just taking your time because you’re not yet registering the fullness if you just scored your food quickly Stewart will work on that one Stewart also had a particular question but less about these general principles but I want to say thank you for those general principles because we’ll write them up and we’ll well put them in section of the video but Stewart had a particular question about the relationship of diet yeah so I mean there was there’s been quite a few posts out there recently Laurel that have been talking about the relationship between I think just general gut health and the potential which an unhealthy and guard digestive system or insides tends to have on some things how it can possibly aggravate certain types of anxieties or depression or stressors and that kind of thing and it would be interesting to sort of get your thoughts and insights having studied it on where you see that relationship lying and and how it affects all of those things yeah so for anyone who is interested before I go into the brief recap on that if anyone’s interested in mental health in your diet I recommend the book a mind of your own by Kelly Brogan and it really dives thoroughly into this topic and she’s an expert on it she’s a psychologist she’s now become a holistic psychologist because in her practice as just a general psychologist she was really fed up with prescription medicine not actually setting people free from anxiety and mood disorders like depression and schizophrenia and when she started experimenting with food how food affects your mood she has testimonies of people who are schizophrenic they went to a whole food based diet which the key with depression and all mood disorders and how food affects those disorders is really an issue of inflammation so your gut in your brain actually connect far more than even though they’re quite a ways away from each other just the connection with your health is huge and so while that’s a science that we’re still learning a lot about we don’t know exactly what the relationship really is but one of the biggest issues it’s inflammation and food can either promote inflammation or be anti-inflammatory in the body and so the connection was that yes hands down no doubt about it food affects your mood because the testimonies she had was people who were schizophrenic their entire life this is the extreme example she does a process where she doesn’t take them off medication all at once because that’s quite dangerous but as she slowly lowered the medication over time and increased a whole food diet that eliminated sugar grains dairies and industrial fats which are all inflammatory this person was healed of schizophrenia where those symptoms vanished and they never had it again so there’s a lot of testimonies like that which science is now trying to prove we’ve got to catch up of okay what’s actually going on behind the scenes but people are trialing this for themselves and the results are amazing a couple of months back I did an interview with David Lorimer who’s the executive director of the scientific and medical network in Great Britain and that network has for a long time looked at complementary medicines alongside of the best of normalized medical practice and how the two worked together but one of the fascinating things was that they did a survey of scientists 3,000 scientists including doctors nutritionists that the whole spectrum of science and they had a thousand in the UK a thousand in France and a thousand and Germany so it’s a massive survey that was done as a totally independent bit of research from the ischium in but what a what emerged most significantly were regional differences so you had find that just for example sake in the United Kingdom there was a lot more skepticism about complementary medicine then there was in Germany where there was a real training of doctors around different kinds of therapies and a different set of therapies again in France so there were these clear regional differences but when you analyze the data for the medical fraternity and France and Germany there was not the slightest question that a strictly mechanistic approach to medicine didn’t work they they recognized that there needed to be spiritual dimensions as well and they also needed to be complementary of approaches and that’s why I think that your work is a particular interest now I’m just tossing this and sort of out of the ether Laurel you’ve your your set up and tell part it’s a long way from Carolina North Carolina so what’s it like being a nutrition coach at the bottom of the world as compared to being a nutrition coach in North Carolina I mean are you finding that it’s a hard kind of cell to get your message across or are you finding it easier than you would have anticipated I have to watch myself because I’m speaking to all Kiwis I love New Zealanders but I find that this culture is very different then the culture is back home and I don’t there’s pros and cons of back home anything to do with fitness nutrition improving your body image it sells easy it’s really easy to make money off of that and I’m fine a bit more of a touchy subject here of perhaps the culture isn’t as open and transparent about you know what I’m doing is I’m not just staying surface level with my clients of telling them what to do I’m actually diving into root issues and figuring out why they make the choices that they make around food and it’s it’s different it’s it’s a bit of a challenge to crack Kiwis open sometimes I’m fascinated by that answer I think that’s a really honest answer and I think it highlights the fact that most of our medical profession were trained out of the UK model as opposed to say out of the French model or the German model and there’s been a tremendous change in America in the last twenty thirty years where prior to that there was a pretty mechanistic view of medicine and spirituality you didn’t really get a mention but then there was that terrific survey done on the effect of intercessory prayer on recovery of heart attack and you know bypassed people and all of that kind of patience and from that time on there’s been a tremendous flourishing across all the teaching medical universities in the United States where you’re as likely to find spiritual dimensions talked about much more openly much more freely and that includes complementary things but you are actually mainstream nutritionists yeah yeah because I actually am while you know my faith is really important to me when a client comes to me I let them lead the way of where we’re gonna go with this and if they want to bring spirituality into the process then that’s awesome but because I am I’m just your your average nutritionist nutrition coach that’s not like a mandatory thing that we’re gonna discuss in our sessions and some people like that’s what they want to into the equation and I have so much fun with that but then I also respect those who they aren’t there they don’t want to go there and that’s fine but then we’re still going to get into I guess more so the behavioral change in the psychology of it and that still kind of represents a holistic factor as well not just nutrition alone Laurel there was a great question which came in from Julie earlier on which was pretty much saying a lot of people don’t think about making dietary changes until some sort of health issue comes up how exactly do we go about dealing with that how would you approach that yeah well unfortunately we all have fortunately and unfortunately we all have free will and so that’s a tough one for a lot of people it takes a health issue for them to actually become conscientious of how the food that they’re eating is affecting just their state of health so I think in one way perhaps it’s a personal thing of lead by example where if we are conscientious of what we’re putting into our body and we’re aware of I guess preventative nutrition you know preventing just any health scares in the future by just being really intentional with taking care of our body now we’re leading by example and that’s really all that you can do of you know we’ve all experienced where you can preach to someone something that’s really good for them till the Sun Goes Down but until they actually it resonates within and within them that it’s something that they want to do it will fall on deaf ears so it’s tricky of it’s unfortunate because we love people and we want to you know we want the best for them but we actually can’t force them to do anything that they’re not willing and able to pursue on their own and diets obviously something that has to come from within yeah I guess Julie’s question arises out of the particular context that she’s for many many years been a practice nurse and so you know there’s going to be that gap between giving patients or clients the information and their ability to actually act on it and that leads us to James’s question which is can you explain please the difference between dieting and what you do I love this question I’m glad this was asked as interesting as it is I’m a nutritionist and I hate diets I hate dieting and I hate putting people on diets because it’s proven not to work we’ve all seen it that there are a ton of diets out there and what turns into is just yo-yo dieting where the mindset of dieting is I’m going to make a bunch of extreme changes this is different I’m putting Stuart on one but this is for athletic purposes but for the most part people go on these diets they change a lot all at once and it only lasts for a short period of time because the statistic goes something like this if you try and change one thing out of it at a time you have say a 90 percent success rate as soon as you try and change two things at one time it goes down to 25 percent success rate so that’s the greatest flaw in dieting is it’s not sustainable it’s always for this one goal of just let me hit my goal weight but then if you don’t actually change the habits that you acquired throughout your entire lifetime you’ll just resort right back to them and so the difference between what I do and dieting is I’m actually coaching people through behavior change one step at a time so that it’s sustainable long after their time with me I think that’s a fantastic answer and I really like that could I also suggest that when you’re next dealing with your client Stuart Mackay don’t you give him some tennis coaching because no matter what he does with his diet he clearly he’s too afraid to actually meet me on the court all right we’ll work on that it’s been great having you along I’d like to say thank you very much indeed and maybe we can come back and do some more discussion nice pecs sometimes yeah I think

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