Taking care of yourself and adopting healthy eating habits

Taking care of yourself and adopting healthy eating habits

I was diagnosed with high cholesterol at my 40th health check at my local doctor's surgery. It was a bit of a shock as I wasn't sure what that meant at the time or what I could do about it. Their advice was to lose weight and reduce my alcohol intake otherwise I would need to take medication. 

I dipped into the weight loss world but got completely overwhelmed with the conflicting advice, as well as the advice on what was best to eat or avoid to lower my cholesterol levels. I decided to enroll in a nutrition masterclass and suddenly everything started to make sense. I'd been eating a lot of processed foods like ready meals, fizzy drinks and I always craved sweet foods. I hadn't realised that these foods were setting me on a blood sugar rollercoaster each day whereby I was craving more and more sugary foods. I decided to train as a Nutrition & Wellness Coach and in doing so have made the switch from ultra processed foods to whole foods, where my focus is on quality and diversity. I searched for so long for a 'silver bullet' to take but found there is no magic pill to lower high cholesterol. In order to improve lifestyle-related diseases, we need to work from the inside out. 

I advise my clients to reduce their sugar intake, start putting plants first, ensure they add in healthy fats which are anti-inflammatory, and start to focus more on their gut health. In doing so, we increase fiber intake and remove harmful sugars and fats. The American Heart Association's Circulation Journal found that consuming 50g of walnuts a day for 2 years lowered levels of LDL cholesterol so I always add these nuts into client plans. 

As well as eating a diet full of whole foods, I also make sure I undertake regular detoxes. A detox, done under the right conditions, will trigger the body's natural healing response and lower levels of unhealthy fats such as LDL cholesterol in the blood. 

I feel so much healthier having changed my nutrition and lifestyle habits and most importantly haven't needed to take medication. I now support women in midlife to feel their very best and mitigate the symptoms of perimenopause and menopause. Often, my clients have received a similar diagnosis to me or they are looking to minimise the risk of the many other lifestyle-related diseases that the tipping point of midlife can bring.

Susie Howe