I met Claire when she was going through a difficult time: feeling exhausted, sick and unhealthy. Her get-up-and-go seemed to have got up and left. Fortunately, I had the tools to help Claire turn her own life around. She really wanted to get back to her normal, vibrant self again, for both herself and her family. And she was determined to do whatever it took to get there. So she launched into making some major diet and lifestyle changes and they paid off.
It’s been a journey and I can’t tell you how delighted I am to have been a part of it. My job was really to help her understand what choices she had, which diet and lifestyle choices were impacting negatively on her health and which choices were most likely to help her see the greatest improvements. And also to keep her motivated because we all know that making changes can be daunting, particularly if you feel like you’re going it alone. But Claire and all of my clients do the hard work of making and sustaining those changes. And I’m immensely proud of everything that she’s accomplished since we met.
I’d love you to hear about her journey in her own words. So here it is, straight from the horses mouth.
Claire's journey to recovery, in her own words
I can honestly say that I felt lost and a little hopeless before I met Catriona. I was convinced I was dying of something, I felt so toxic and merely existing in a world that I loved to engage in. I had felt really “stressed anxious, irritable and frustrated with my lack of bodily strength and my inability to think” for the last year but I had attributed it to stress in changing my job.
I was having pain in my abdomen which prevented me from sleeping, copious wind and night sweating on and off. I was diagnosed with coeliac disease 7 years ago and was managing this well on my diet. I had been on holidays three years ago and took really sick and was diagnosed as having Helicobacter when I got home. I had triple therapy antibiotics which apparently cleared it up.
It was only after speaking with Catriona that I could trace back my feeling unwell to this time and not a year ago! Since the triple therapy I was gaining weight and I looked like I was blowing up from the sides. My tummy looked as if I was pregnant and I noticed it deflated during the night but sprung up again during the day! I developed several red/purple bruises on my abdomen. I was convinced it was my gut and had watched how eliminating potatoes had helped the wind but not the pain. I went to my GP and had an USS which was normal and bloods taken that showed my iron was low. I had been restricting my diet as I didn’t feel well and wanted to lose weight but it was only when I met Catriona that things made sense.
Despite numerous visits to the GP my symptoms were getting worse. It had got to the stage that I would fall asleep without warning at 3pm, 4pm or 6pm in the day and I’d go to bed at 730 with my daughter so I could go to work. My perceptions of life were distorted and I was conscious of that but I didn’t know why. Then with Catriona’s help I realised I wasn’t eating enough food; I needed to eliminate processed food from my diet to reduce my inflammation burden and take probiotics to rejuvenate my gut. I can honestly say that after the first month I knew I was getting better but I still couldn’t focus or concentrate so I had to write everything down.
Catriona’s visits to my home and review of my pantry were so helpful because at this point I needed clear practical advice and direction on what to eat, how often, what to cook with and what to avoid. I got a shopping list together and have never looked back. The biggest lesson for me was understanding the science of food so I could make good choices to heal and maintain my gut health. Catriona is so knowledgeable scientifically about food and how the body uses it best and has a wonderful gift of converting the complex into the simple. She has an innate desire to help and goes out of her way to provide me with information to encourage and coach me back to health. It’s like having your own personal health coach who only wants to see you well again.
Catriona’s assessment is holistic and it looked at my physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing which at times challenged me to think differently about things.
Catriona’s service had a huge impact on my health and wellbeing. In particular I found understanding the role food plays in my thoughts and feelings so liberating as I thought I was going mad! Catriona reassured me and set realistic goals with me so I could progress my healing and I found pleasure in the simplest of things which I had forgotten being so busy.
I now struggle with how I can contribute to the world now as I know my current job will not nurture my health. But I’ve learned to be patient for this change. I am still cooking from scratch using herbs and organic foods mostly and I’m really keen to learn more about gut health and autoimmune disease. I follow the (AIP) Auto immune protocol in the main. I know first-hand the importance of eating well and good quality sleep. It’s been four months now and I feel 100% better but still not back to full power. I lost a stone in weight in 6 weeks by following Catriona’s guidance and going on the AIP diet alone – I was not fit to exercise at this time. My fat is redistributing over my body and my shape is changing so that is exciting to see. Four months on I can exercise and really enjoy it again. I really enjoy cooking now and prioritise what I eat each day over everything else.
I could honestly say that meeting Catriona has saved my life as I did not know where to turn to. I would highly recommend Catriona and her service to anyone and I wish her the abundance of success she so deserves.
With sincere thanks and gratitude,
You can find out some of the strategies I used to help Claire get back to feeling normal again in this post on how to deal with anxiety. And why previous approaches hadn’t worked for her in this post about the mind-body connection and exhaustion.