Healthy for life

Whether you’ve been yo-yo dieting for years, or simply want to live a healthier life – enlisting the services of a health coach is a great way to make real changes in your life that can last forever.

Slowly implementing small changes, rather than going on quick-fix crash diets, is how Ballito health coach Louise Lord says we can change our habits, improve our health and live a happier, more content lives.

A health coach, Louise explains, is someone who is able to educate and coach clients to make small, achievable changes in their eating and behaviour to improve their quality of life.

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“We look at each person from a holistic point of view, understanding where they come from and what their triggers are. That way we can help them change their response to these triggers.”

With over 20 years’ experience as a teacher and lecturer, Louise says it was through seeing children and students in her classes unable to concentrate due to bad eating that she became interested in nutrition.

Originally from Zimbabwe, Louise is a mother of two and she and her husband returned to South Africa six years ago after living in the UK for 14 years. The Lord family live in Simbithi.

“I’ve always been interested in health and nutrition and, as a teacher, I was always amazed at how badly some parents would feed their children. There is a direct link between the food they consume and their behaviour,” she says.

As a lecturer in the UK Louise says often her adult students would eat really badly and be unable to concentrate during lectures or to write their assignments clearly. “I would have to encourage them to eat breakfast before they came to class and, if they were yawning and fidgety during the day, I would send them to Starbucks to buy a sandwich.”

When she and her family moved back to South Africa Louise decided to pursue a career in the health industry, but just couldn’t find the right fit. Then she discovered health coaching. She did an 18-month intense online course and has just recently qualified as a certified health coach. “It was very interactive, with weekly tests and lots to learn about. We have to understand everything to do with food, including knowing what diets and eating fads are on the market and what they are all about.”

Being healthy is not just about the food, and Louise says exercise goes hand-in-hand with leading a healthier life. Despite being an avid sportswoman at school, Louise says she herself only recently joined a gym with a personal trainer. “It was the best decision I’ve ever made. That is my one hour every day to focus on myself.”

Changing your lifestyle is not a quick process, which is why Louise requires her clients to sign up for a minimum of six months. “In those six months we will be able to make small, weekly changes through trial and error and finding out what works for you and what doesn’t.”

Signing up with Louise means she will come to your home and help you to makeover your pantry. She takes you shopping and teaches you to read and understand food labels. You then meet with Louise once a week for the first month and once every two weeks thereafter. “I’m available on whatsapp and email throughout the process. Ultimately, I help my clients get to a place where they can eventually do it without me – for the rest of their lives.”

One of the most important things Louise says she teaches her clients is about balance. She also says there are two types of food in life: primary food and secondary food. “Primary food is what you get from the people around you, your friends and your family… secondary food is the food you consume. Both are equally important and interlinked.” Louise offers a free 50-minute health consultation and thereafter the cost is R1200 per month for six months. Details: www.louiselord.co.za / 078 019 1499

Text: Leah Shone | Photographs: Crystelle Schlebusch Photography, [email protected]

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