Nutrition

Why I went from being a consultant paediatrician to a Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach

Nutrition and lifestyle coaching transforms your health, as shown by a tree of butterflies

I’d love to take a moment to introduce myself

I’m Catriona Walsh, a nutrition and lifestyle coach, or NLC, although for years I worked as a doctor in the NHS before that. I was actually a consultant paediatrician with a special interest in paediatric allergy. I’ve written more about my journey here.

What was the catalyst that led to my career change?

You’re probably wondering what led me to such a career pivot. Well, my own health problems were what sparked the change. I ended up completely burnt out, exhausted, anxious and depressed. But the story of my burnout is for another time. Suffice to say, it slowly sucked the life out of me. When I sought help for my chronic ill health from conventional healthcare, I actually got sicker. If you haven’t already read about my gadolinium ordeal, you can find out more about it here and here.

But I didn’t give up hope. I knew that there must be a way for me to regain my vibrancy and vitality. Eventually, I discovered that diet, lifestyle and supplement changes were actually a lot more powerful than I’d ever been taught during my medical training. I’d always been told that drugs were the most powerful way to manage poor health, so initially I felt a lot of resistance to this new way of thinking. 

Nutrition and Lifestyle Coaching is like the Light breaking through the clouds behind a girl in a field

I reflected on how advanced life support saves lives, and that changed everything

But then I took some time to consider how I’d helped to save children’s lives, and what I realised was that life support and the most powerful treatment strategies actually rely largely on carefully, and with a great deal of expertise, using exactly the right amount of natural treatments: things like oxygen, intravenous fluids, salts, vitamins, sugar, blood transfusions and other blood products, and intravenous, nebulised or even subcutaneous (injected under the skin) hormones were some of the most potent ways to help save children’s (and adults’) lives.

From that point, I really wanted to learn as much as I could about how to harness the amazing power of food as medicine.

Girl in yoga stance with branches growing from her hands and roots from her foot

The role of the nutrition and lifestyle coach is going to become more valued in conventional healthcare

Now when I look around, I can see that there’s a gradual realisation in healthcare that food, supplements and lifestyle changes should often be the first, and even only, approach that a lot of chronically unwell patients need. 

When I was working in paediatrics as a doctor, there were lots of times I witnessed children’s lives being saved when they came into hospital in emergencies.

Why I became disillusioned with conventional healthcare

But when it came to seeing great results in my chronically unwell patients who were being managed according to national standards, using pharmaceutical drugs, the results were really disappointing. 

These kids had a few of their symptoms suppressed by drugs, but they were seldom cured or had a complete reversal of their conditions. In too many cases, children were experiencing a steady or stepwise deterioration in their health, particularly when they were diagnosed with autoimmune diseases and chronic inflammatory conditions. Their medications had side effects, which could be unpleasant or even life threatening. This was disheartening, to say the least. But it was heartbreaking for the kids and their families.

How I started trying to make a difference, as a doctor working in the NHS in Northren Ireland

As a doctor, I started trying to introduce some basic dietary changes in my outpatient practice. And would you believe, I started to see some kids experience much better results. But there were some I knew who needed more expert dietary and supplement advice than I was able to give at that time.

Family linking hands with beautiful sky to signify the importance of connection in nutrition and lifestyle coaching

The results of nutrition and lifestyle coaching can be spectacular

So whenever I left paediatrics, I jumped at the chance to train in nutrition and lifestyle coaching. And I’m loving the results I’m seeing with many of my clients. Some of them had suffered from autoimmune conditions, chronic fatigue, type 2 diabetes, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, anxiety, depression and other conditions for years or decades and had given up hope of ever getting back to normal, before engaging in nutrition and lifestyle coaching with me. 

So, helping them be able to: 

  • reduce or completely stop their prescription medications while losing weight, without trying to cut back on calories, 
  • get their energy back, 
  • reclaim their vitality and optimism, and 
  • slow down or reverse deteriorating health 

has given them their lives and confidence back.

Follow your dreams

I can help you experience similar improvements in your health and wellbeing

I promise that I’ll do everything I can to help you experience the same sort of results. I’ll help you get real clarity about which foods to eat and which to avoid. As well as this, I’ll help you identify some lifestyle changes that will help you feel more connected to other people, less stressed and stronger, physically and mentally.

The difference that being willing to commit to making changes can have on your outcomes

Clients who’ve experienced the best results have been the ones to really go all in and commit to trying these changes to the best of their ability for at least a few months.

Can you make a commitment to yourself and your family?

For that reason, I’d really like you to make a commitment to yourself. Really give it a go and work at changing, despite the fact that change is both difficult and frightening. If you choose to work with me, I’ll be there to support, guide and encourage you. I’ll be your ally. Together, we’ll work on optimising your health.

Contact me to arrange your free discovery call

Are you interested in reclaiming your health?

Here’s what some of my clients have to say about me:

"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"
Claire
“Hi Catriona.  I am delighted with the results achieved since listening to your brilliant advice  The direct correlation between an improvement to my health, as I introduced more of your suggestions, is undeniable. I am in a completely different mind set as to how important my diet is  having suffered with reoccurring sickness for almost 16 years. I never could get the link before between the pains I suffered (and the flu like symptoms I had) with my diet. Although the advice does seem simple it is delivered with such an in-depth study into where I'm able to improve it's hard to express the difference it has made. I now feel my future health can be determined by my own eating habits...something that is of great relief having never been able to get any long term solutions despite numerous doctors investigations. I have enjoyed meeting with you. I'm changing eating habits for our whole family. Thanks again"
Stephen
Testimonial for The Food Phoenix Mary Murphy
Testimonial for The Food Phoenix Clara Rua

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