Health Sanity Coach Lacey Maloney stopped by the studio to share her secrets for staying healthy. Please enjoy this excerpted interview from the Radiantly You show! If you want to listen to or download the show podcast, just follow this link.
Susie: Welcome Lacey! Lacey Maloney is a Health Sanity Coach working in Kirkland, WA, and I think you are probably the only Health Sanity Coach I have ever met so I’m really excited to share what you do. During this hour, Lacey is going to share five health coach secrets, for everyday health. She’ll talk about how to shift your behaviors and your beliefs about food choices and tell you about how she went from hungry and frustrated to eating what she wants while staying healthy and happy. That’s right – eating what she wants.
She also has tools available to make health part of your life and she can talk about how various health conditions, like hormonal imbalances, blood sugar issues, auto-immune issues, and fatigue, can improve with healthy changes. So, Lacey, you got your start or I suppose your interest developed from a long struggle, right? You were trying to get healthy in your early 20’s and you were reading the magazines, searching the internet, and…
Lacey: I was trying to figure it all out. And instead of getting healthier and making it a healthy lifestyle, it just got more and more frustrating, and I became more unhealthy. Finally, I realized that I really needed to learn more about what it means to be healthy and where do the real answers lie. So, that’s when I joined the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Without any intent of ever becoming a health coach, but just going in for my own personal interest and really wanting to get myself healthy.
Susie: I can appreciate that because the information out there is so confusing. In fact, I printed some headlines that just came into my email today. And one of them says, “Only drink water when thirsty.” Now I’m really confused because what I always hear is to drink at least 64 ounces.
Lacey: Absolutely. We’ve come a long way, but there’s still a lot of confusing information out there. Even something like the Paleo Diet, which I think is fantastic, however, can be confusing because there’s still is a purpose for grains. For some people, absolutely cutting grains out is a great way to go, but for some people, they are an important source of B vitamins for example. So, cutting out complete food groups might not be good for everyone.
Susie: And cutting things out, even just that saying that has a low energy feel…cutting something out means I’m depriving myself. It feels like something is missing. And, on that note, I think a lot of advice that comes across today tends to be scary. “Don’t eat this.” “The Top Foods That Will Make You Sick.” or “The Three Health Mistakes You’re Making.” Right?
Lacey: Whenever you try to cut out something and it’s off limits it suddenly becomes more appealing and you want it more and so I try to show people how to eliminate foods if you need to eliminate them in a healthy way so that you’re not struggling with that, craving them all the time.
Susie: Not just craving them but then you’re also doing what you did when you were younger, which was counting calories. Grams of protein, grams of carbohydrates…
Lacey: Yes, becoming obsessed and then it doesn’t become a healthy lifestyle. It becomes a really unhealthy one and being obsessed about food is not healthy. We wanted to have just a natural healthy lifestyle so that’s what I like to show people.
Susie: I found a quote from Dr. Oz and I would love to hear your take on this. He said, “What we really need is a new tier of health professionals who serve as coaches. Getting people to adopt healthier lifestyles is the only thing that will save our healthcare system from bankruptcy.”
Lacey: That’s a great quote and I wholeheartedly agree. More and more doctors are realizing this, too and coming around. I had even my own practitioner ask me for my business cards when I she found out that I was a health coach because doctors cannot give the same attention to their clients and their patients that people need today, that personal attention. They don’t have the time to do that so that’s where health coaches come in and really bridge that gap. And are there to help support patients along the way, and help communicate with doctors if needed about what’s going on with the clients, depending on the situation.
Susie: Why don’t you go ahead and tell us your five health coach secrets?
Lacey: The first one is eating whole foods. That’s the first thing that I do every day is make sure that my meals are all around whole foods, not food-like substances. There’s a lot of “health foods” that are really not whole foods. A lot of meat replacements, a lot of protein bars and things like that, that you can find in a health store but they’re really not whole foods.
The second thing I do is make sleep a priority. A lot of people don’t do this and we try and stay up later and later and get more and more things done. We all have busy lives. I get it. But the next day, if you’re only getting five hours of sleep, six hours of sleep, you’re lagging the next day. You’re tired, you’re trying to recoup all that so, I say sleep is the most productive thing you can do for your body.
Susie: You also have more energy for the willpower that it takes to make changes and adopt a healthy lifestyle. Because you’re trying to rewire existing behavior.
Lacey: Exactly. If you’re tired the next day, you’re going be dragging, then you’re going be eating the unhealthy foods, those carbohydrates because you need some more energy, you’re going to have more caffeine and it just all compounds. So, one of the best things you can do is go to bed. Go to bed on time and stop trying to make excuses, to stay up and watch those television shows.
Susie: What’s another health coach secret?
Lacey: The next one is digestion, and making digestion a priority, so to speak. That’s really important. A lot of people roll their eyes when I talk about digestion. Because it’s the boring part of health. But as one of my health teachers would say, “You’re not what you eat, but you are what your body can do with what you eat.” That was Andrea Nakayama, and she teaches Replenish PDX. It’s a course that I took for health coaches. So many times we do eat healthy, but if you can’t digest and absorb those foods, you’re not going to get the full benefit from it. And that’s where I recommend the lemon water, or the raw apple cider vinegar that I told you about before, and you said you do it too.
Lacey: Yes. So do I. I absolutely love it. So there’s two options, you can either do lemon water, warm lemon water in the morning first thing. Or you can also use raw apple cider vinegar. And a lot of people hear the vinegar, and get scared away, but it’s actually my preferred method.
It really helps stimulate your digestive system. The acid actually contributes to a more acidic environment in your stomach. And that’s really what you want, to help start breaking down foods better, and get your digestion going and working for you.
Susie: I think a lot of people don’t appreciate the work that the acid in our stomach does because you hear all of these ads and commercials for antacids – which creates an impression that perhaps acid is not good. A lot of people self-medicate, perhaps with the wrong thing.
Lacey: I’m glad you brought that up because a lot of people think acid is bad, but actually the acid is good. And a lot of people with indigestion, or acid reflux, actually have too little stomach acid, and when that happens your LES, or the Lower Esophageal Sphincter, that weakens. That’s when you get that acid coming back up your esophagus, is because the sphincter weakens. In order to help build that back up, you can do that by adding more acid slowly, and doing it a gentle way.
Susie: Your download actually talks about how to increase the amount of lemon over time until you’re up to half a lemon. But how much raw apple cider do you recommend?
Lacey: One teaspoon to start with, and the you can dilute it as needed, if you needed to dilute it more. Start with 16 ounces of water. And you can work your way up to about a tablespoon.
Susie: Can you clarify the difference between raw apple cider and your standard, distilled apple cider?
Lacey: The raw apple cider actually has probiotic benefits, as well. And it’s alkaline in the body. Once it gets metabolized, and into your blood stream, it becomes alkaline, and so does lemon, but regular, typical vinegar and coffee for example, they’re both acids, and they both also are acidic in our blood. Sugar on the other hand is interesting, because sugar is actually alkaline, so it lowers our stomach’s PH, and then when it gets absorbed, it increases our blood PH, so it causes more inflammation inside of our body.
Susie: You have quite a few interesting workshops. Before we get into last two secrets that you have for staying healthy, I’d like to ask what is one of the most common things that you hear from people when they come in.
Lacey: A lot of people come in and want help with hormones. They think that they need a bunch of blood work, which can be helpful, but sometimes the problem with that is, because we’re all different, hormone levels that are maybe normal for you will be different than for someone else. So, when you look at your lab work, it’s not going tell the full story. You’re only going to get a partial picture. You can take certain hormones to help balance it out, but if you’re not sleeping well, and if you’re under a lot of stress, those are two easy things that you have to correct first before you should even start down that path.
Sleep helps balance your hormones and stress can set your hormones off into the wrong way. Get those two under control first before you bother with all that other stuff.
Susie: I’m curious, what have been some of the inspirational books or teachers that you’ve come across, that have shaped your views?
Lacey: Oh, great question. My IIN teacher, that’s Institute of Integrative Nutrition where I did my health coaching, Joshua Rosenthal, has a book called Integrative Nutrition, and it outlines pretty much everything he teaches and it’s a fantastic book, and a great read, and you’d learn a lot just from reading that book.
Susie: What does that mean, integrative nutrition?
Lacey: It’s really about incorporating health, and wellness, and nutrition, into your everyday life, and that’s what I try and do as a health coach. It’s not “follow my method,” it’s “let’s see what method works for you, and with your life, and things that you like to do.”
Susie: What about medication?
Lacey: Medication can definitely help people do and as a health coach I have to tow the line and help people figured what’s going to work for them and sometimes that means working with their doctors too.
Susie: Have you have really good luck with that? Have doctors been very open?
Lacey: It depends on the doctor. But more and more professionals are really starting to see the benefits of health coaches and that we’re not out with our own agenda. That we’re here really for the patient and to help them along.
Susie: And I would encourage everyone to be sure that you have a doctor who is willing to support you in the approaches that you want to take. You need a doctor who is part of your team, and not a one-stop-shopping approach of, “take home some pills”. I have a fantastic doctor who, in fact, when I returned from a trip overseas and I got something with my stomach that wasn’t getting better, she said, “You need to go see a naturopathic doctor, because I can give you medicine, but I can’t tell you about enzymes the way she could. ”
At that moment I knew I had a good doctor on my side. Make sure that the doctor that you work with, all of the people who help you in your healthcare, are supportive of what you want to do. Because it really is your health. You have the power.
Lacey: So, number the four health coach secret is to listen to your body. Some people hear that and think, “Oh, but you know I have all these cravings. I’ve got all these crazy things going on.” But when you unmask all that and you’re sitting quietly, and you, for example you want to run, you get real excited about working out and you’ve got a sore knee, you’d really need to take it a step back. But this applies in a lot of other ways too.
Susie: Take a moment, and wherever you are right now, quiet your mind a little bit and tune into your body and just see if there’s any part of your body that jumps to your attention? And if it is, what exactly is it telling you? What are you feeling? Tune in and listen.
Lacey: Sometimes we’ve just got these things that just nag and we can get through the day and keep going and it just is part of us. It becomes this normal thing that we have and that we deal with, like joint pain or something, and we don’t stop to take the time to say “What could really be the issue here?”
Had I kept going with the eating gluten and ignoring this problem, it probably would have turned into a full blown auto-immune issue, which is really common today and there are over 80 different types of auto-immune diseases. Everything from Hashimoto’s to rheumatoid arthritis to type 1 diabetes – and it’s really where your immune system becomes overwhelmed and starts attacking its own body. It can do that in different ways, but that’s really common. That’s why I really want people to stop and listen and pay attention, so that you don’t go down that path.
Lacey: Another book that I wanted to share today, is The Dorito Effect by Mark Schatzker. It’s a fantastic book all about our food system and how things are flavored with artificial flavors, and sweeteners and salts and it really messes with our own body’s innate natural system to seek out the right foods. It’s like having an orange soda, instead of an orange. If your body is used to getting that vitamin C from an orange and then here you are drinking orange soda, or craving orange, and you go for that orange soda.
Susie: We have the holidays coming up. Halloween which is really “Sugarween.” There’s nothing but sugar, sugar, sugar, followed by Thanksgiving and then followed by Christmas and all of the winter holidays that people celebrate, and then New Years.
What can people do to make it through in the healthiest way possible, that doesn’t make them feel like they’re going crazy. Because you don’t want to feel like, “I don’t want to go to this party because I can’t say no to all of the goodies,” or because people might be saying, “Why aren’t you enjoying this delicious food that we have put out?”
Lacey: Right. And you want to be able to go to those events and enjoy the food and enjoy the company and be relaxed about it and not worried about it or anxious about it. All the food that might be presented in front of you and having to say no and all that.
I’m actually starting a Healthy Holiday program. It’s beginning in November, and so if you sign up for my newsletter you’ll be notified of when that starts. That’s part of what I coach people with is how to do this and how to celebrate the holidays and still enjoy and maintain your health.
Susie: I also have a question about all of the information that’s out there. Because one of the things that you talk about a lot is maintaining your sanity. When there is so much information out there, what is the key to doing it without going crazy? You’ve given us some really great tips, but even with these, how do I do it without feeling like it’s becoming obsessive or taking over my life?
Lacey: Great question. You really have to start with what works for you, of course. But then it is about understanding just a basic principle about health. I try to bring that to every client. And that is Mother Nature knows best, and we can science everything and try and get very technical and down to how many grams of protein we should be eating every day, and then that just drives us crazy. But our bodies are inherently smart and intuitive, and if we can tune into that and take out all the static, we can really just make health so much easier. For some people out there listening you might think “Easy? Health is not easy. This has taken me so long to just get to where I am at right now.” And maybe you’re stuck and you’re struggling, but once you start cutting out the static and sitting and listening to your body and being able to tune into it’s own intuition and its own genius, your body wants to keep you in homeostasis, and that’s basically just this balanced level.
And if you can find out where that tipping point is for you, you know that you can have a piece of cake once a week and it’s not going affect you, it’s fine to celebrate and enjoy something that you really like. But then you need to do the other 90% of the work the rest of the time and to make that part of your normal healthy lifestyle. It’s really just about tuning into yourself and figuring out what works for you. I know I keep saying that, but that’s where a health coach come in because I help people do that.
Susie:.And another tip is: don’t be hard on yourself. Definitely explore at least meeting with a health coach because even if you decide not to go that route, many of the health coaches will have programs and workshops and little things that just are packed with information.
Lacey: Yeah, exactly. I love my workshops, they’re information-packed. I also offer a free 30-minute session if you just want to see if we’re a good fit.
Susie: I’m just going to really quickly recap the five top secrets: Sticking to whole foods, making sleep a priority, digestion also as a priority, listen to your body, and…
Lacey: And the fifth one is sugar. Make sugar a conscious choice.
Susie: Thank you Lacey for joining us.[Listen to the archived show]