We are passionate about seeking a better way to live longer, so will be bringing you experts in this field to offer the wisdoms they have acquired.
It was our pleasure and privilege to catch up with Tara Green - a holistic health coach and integrative nutrition specialist. Tara has some fantastic insights into how our nutrition affects our daily lives, mindset and even hormones!
What inspired you to become a holistic health coach?
I had come to the breaking point in my own life where I was burnt out, depressed and riddled with illness, and started following my beautiful friend, who had just become a health coach. I remember feeling this horrible sinking feeling in my gut and wondering if life would ever get any better, and her work transformed my life! In a week I found myself signing to the Health Coaching program, initially, just for my own health and wellbeing. But then at 1am in the morning I was shot upright with the business name coming to me.
What does a healthy diet mean to you?
Short answer: Mindfully consuming colourful wholefoods 80% of the time.
Long answer: I feel that ‘healthy’ diet, isn’t just about food. One of the main philosophies from my training is: primary and secondary foods. Primary foods are those foods that really fuel us – career, relationships, physical activity and spirituality, and if one of those is out of balance, our secondary food, the food we actually put in our mouths, looks very different. For example, you see kids outside playing all day and when called in to eat, they say they aren’t hungry, even though they have not eaten all day, they are full on life – relationships and physical activity. Or you want to be in a relationship and you get home from work and you are lonely, so you find your hug in the cupboard or fridge.
Tell us more about how diet affects our hormones?
In SO many ways! I don’t even know where to begin. Let’s cover the ones that is impacting so many of us due to our highly paced lives (stress) and modern largely processed diets. Stress and blood sugars! When we are in the constant state of stress (most of us) our body is in fight or fight, and we are not in rest and digest. Therefore our body is not absorbing the nutrients it needs to run efficiently, and because nutrients are needed for our hormone health, this throws out our hormones. Also when we are stressed (or eat the processed carbs and sugars, with not enough fibre, proteins and healthy fats) our blood sugars rise (our extremities need the quickest form of energy as sugar right?!) and this then has a flow on affect to our other hormones. Our hormones Cortisol (stress hormone) and insulin (blood sugar) are like the dictators and when we are in this stressed state they pretty much shut everything down. Issues with blood sugars can lead to Insulin resistance is what happens when the signal is going out, but the cells are just ignoring it. Think of it like a traffic jam and how the ambulance can’t get through. What’s going on here is that there’s so much inflammation blocking the cells that the important stuff can’t get in. There’s plenty of insulin, but nothing happens when it gets released – which leads to lots of insulin AND sugar in the blood stream. This then can lead to things like PCOS and PMS issues.
The ovaries have insulin receptors. Excess insulin causes them to make androgens, rather than their usual pro-fertility hormones – estrogen and progesterone. Too much testosterone, one of the androgens produced by the ovaries, can decrease or even completely stop ovulation.
It really all comes back to inflammation and I feel ‘crowding out’ with all the good stuff is the best way to combat this. That is why I love Zandi Organics, as it helps your body get what it needs.
Bad diet day for you, what might happen?
Haha... I usually live by the 80/20 rule. Eat well 80% of the time.
However my standards can be a little above the norm at times. It may look like meals out - fried chips, sourdough, a meal full of too much salt, sugar, oil, and at home if I have been baking - too much natural sugar (bliss balls), home made cookies/muesli bars, or a carb loaded meal ie risotto. I feel I crave all the good stuff now. My body has learnt what it needs.
How do you recover?
I just go back to what I was doing and don’t beat myself up. It has become an every day part of life now. If you've made a bad choice, move past it and make your next one a good choice, then focus on continuing to make good choices.
What's the one food that if you had the power you would eliminate from peoples diets immediately?
Refined sugar. Enter Zandi lattes for a delicious replacement!
How do you help yourself to health each day?
I believe how you start your day is how you live your day is how you live your life. So I start the day currently with a vegetable broth, then my supps, herbal tea, meditation, reading, journaling, yoga, a eating a rainbow of whole foods, using my Zandi products. Eg, a hearty breeky of porridge or a smoothie with my turmeric and matcha, morning tea an almond chai of course, and perhaps a berry beet coconut yoghurt if I am wanting to indulge mid arvo.
What does self-care mean to you?
Filling up your cup first, so that you can give from the overflow. I love the analogy of the cup. So many of us are hardly full and then continually giving, and this continually depleted us, then we may fill up a little, then we are giving again, hence that roller coaster of energy and sugar/stress. If we give to us first, we can then give to others, and share our gifts with the world. I cant encourage others to be the best version of themselves if I am not.
How do you practice self-care?
My non-negotiable morning routine, saying no to others to say yes to me, even though I feel I ‘should’ (no shoulding all over the place guys). I ask myself if it is a HECK YES for me and make a decision accordingly. I also out sourse, plan my day and make sure I don’t take on too much. I also ensure I fuel my body with the highest quality ingredients and finish my day with meditation before getting into bed about 10pm.
Tips for busy people to boost their nutrition quickly?
Meal prepping, crowding out and Zandi of course! It is so quick and easy to throw some veggies and coconut aminos in a pan while some rice cooks.
Biggest misconception about diets?
That one size fits all and that there is one right diet.
How can others start seeking a more holistic approach to health?
Start with small daily achievable steps in one area then build more in
once they become habits.
Who in the world would you invite to dinner and what would you cook?
Joshua Rosenthul the founder of IIN, where I studied. I would make my
favourite red pumpkin curry.
What is your favourite recipe right now?
My home made GF dairy free Enchiladas.
What did you have for breakfast today?
GF oat porridge with Zandi turmeric/matcha, greens, fibre and vanilla protein powder, almond milk, maca powder, topped with seed cycling for hormone health (at the moment I am on pumpkin and flax seeds) and organic berries.
Any holistic health hacks we need to know?
Cook once, eat 4 times! Effective meal prepping is key.
Thank you to Tara of Greentara Wellness . Be sure to check out her site for loads of free fantastic advice for optimum health and wellbeing and delicious easy to make recipes like the ones mentioned in this session.