Being a great Health Coach is more than just possessing the knowledge to help others improve their health and sharing health quotes and pretty looking plates of food. Those looking to make changes in their lifestyle are looking up to our profession for inspiration, so, our work needs to be “true love made visible” so it can have the power to make an impact on others, to touch them and inspire them to self-betterment and becoming better versions of themselves.
For me, Health Coaching is a calling. People are looking up to us not just for our knowledge, but how authentic we are in our message. We need to be relatable, honest, real, with compassion and kindness for those who are struggling and yet have strength to tell them the truth, the way things are and reality of the journey ahead, not just give a lip service. And we also need to have integrity to show up every day and be first in line who take inspired action in our own lifestyle to show what is possible, commit to our own self-betterment so we indeed can be great in our profession. Integrity is when we do the right thing when no one is watching. People can spot a fraud. We give it away in our energy or lack of it. You can not fake authenticity. Authenticity is beautiful. There are people I follow because they are honest and authentic. It also takes skill to be able to comunicate it right, but energy is always there and can not be faked.
This article is not just about to show what I do on a daily basis, something I am asked about all the time. Following Get.Healthy.With.Sanela on Instagram would pretty much answer that. I also wish to communicate something much deeper than my “dear diary”while I also give those who asked me what they were looking for.
In the article I recently shared about my personal story, you can see that making healthy choices is something that has been built into me from an early age because of what happened when I was young. It is my very own blueprint when it comes to health. And we all have our own blueprint for all aspects of our lives. Quality of that blueprint will guide us through life and bring happiness or misery and everything else in between. It is our own very map, set of our beliefs about ourselves, our values, our limiting beliefs too – what we have accumulated throughout life through experiences and interactions with others – prism through which we see the world and what we use to make decisions.
It is said that each of us have thousands of thoughts each day and most are the same thoughts we had the previous day, and the day before, etc. Thoughts create emotions depending how we are “wired” and those, in turn, influence our decisions and make us do specific actions based on those emotions and beliefs. All that creates experiences in our lives and how everything in life manifests. Good or bad. Or even the ugly. Where focus goes, energy flows. What are YOU focusing on each day? On thoughts that are empowering you and bringing you closer to your goal or the opposite?
So, our life experiences and challenges have a direct link with our thoughts. While this is almost a whole different story, please bear with me, it will come together, for your benefit, of course… Changing on what you focus each day, will change the behaviours and create habits needed to take your health to the next level. Let’s see how I am managing my own daily habits and staying healthy…
For those of you that do not know me – I am soon to be 45 years old, mother of two really great boys, wife to a kind man, daughter of a generous and kind woman, close friend to select few and many more things to many more people. I am a Health Coach too and, as of recent, a Nutritional Therapist, just to show my commitment to the science of nutrition that I have been passionate about since I was a teenager. I have been a Health Coach since 2004 and it is an honour to serve people who wish to better their health.
START OF THE DAY – SETTING THE TONE FOR THE DAY AHEAD
My day starts early, at 5:30AM. On a school day, I have 30 minutes before my boys are up to fit in some yoga and my daily exercises; some squats, push ups, abs workouts… to raise my metabolism, to keep my main muscles nicely stretched and toned and generally, to wake me up. Nothing fancy and not more than 15 minutes.
I used to get up with boys and find that I never find time for my workout later on in the day. I read over the years that successful people get up before everyone else to get their mindset and body into gear. I adopted this habit years back and it is the best thing I did. Whatever time I go to bed to, I am up at 5:30. It is automatic. And it pushes me, on most days, to go to bed early, which reduces TV time. Another bonus.
Once I am up, I have some water, either plain or with a few dashes of lemon juice or Herbalife’s aloe. Then I make myself a cup of tea. I only ever use Herbalife’s Thermojetics Herbal Beverage – a fat burning, antioxidant powerhouse and energy & metabolism boosting tea based on green tea, hibiscus, cardamon, to name a few. I usually put either lemon juice or aloe in my tea. Absolutely divine.
As I sip my herbal beverage, I make myself a breakfast. Herbalife’s Formula 1 has been my breakfast for nearly 14 years now and it will continue indefinitely. We all do it, the whole family. It is a habit we can not do without. When we go away on holiday, we take our breakfast with us. There are many Meal Replacements these days, we choose Herbalife Nutrition. Because it is backed by science with perfectly balanced macro and micronutrients. It is a company I personally trust.
What Herbalife Nutrition products I use? I make my shake with water, 2 scoops of Formula 1, 1 scoop of Protein Drink Mix and 1 x scoop of Rebuild Strength, this is my favourite combination. I either add some psyllion husk to it or, if making with 2 x scoops of Protein Drink Mix (without chocolate flavour of Rebuild Strength), then I add our Oat Apple Fibre. My breakfast has minimum 25 grams of protein, 10 grams of fibre (we need minimum 25 grams per day) and all the nutrients body needs. Then, I take my supplements with water. Herbalife’s, naturally. They are pharmaceutically graded with 99%+ purity, high absorption and the high-end of quality ingredients. I take Formula 2 Multivitamin/ Mineral for women (boys and my husband take men’s Formula 2), Herbalifeline Max Omega 3 tablets, Fibre & Herb, XtraCal, Cell Activator. On top, I also take 1500mg slow releasing Vitamin C tablet. You can check out these product in my Herbalife Nutrition Store.
6AM and it starts getting busy. Boys are up, their breakfast is in the making and then my mind starts racing: do they have PE today, gather PE Kits, do I need to pay for school dinner, what am I making for packed lunch, have you brushed your teeth, are the school shoes clean, have they taken their supplements, drink all of your shake, fill in some school form, water bottles, empty the dishwasher, fold the washing and put it away, make beds, vacuum as I have a client early on, clean the floor, gather dirty laundry, check the bathroom is clean (as clients use it), make the beds, answer several client texts, etc… millions of thoughts and actions… it is like another workout. I am sure all moms are the same. I keep checking my FitBit and heart rate can easily be in 120s. And already at least couple of kilometres done, just around the house. Crazy. And I would not change it for the world.
I usually have just over one whole hour once boys have left for school until my first client appointment and I use that hour to put the music on, do a little dance (like I was not active already), I have my own selection of songs that lift me up; it really gets my energy high. And just as I am out of breath, I make myself another cup of tea, sit down and focus on personal development: some podcasts or an audible book. Currently, I am listening to Napoleon Hill’s “The Law of Success in Sixteen Lessons”. Written in 1925 then banned until it was reprinted in 2010. Fascinating read.
Recently, I started going for a short 2-4km run with my head phones on and, instead of music, I would listen to some personal development. This, together with everything else, sets the right tone for the day. I have never been a runner, but now found it exhilarating. Just another habit.
I believe we are powerful without limits and it is only us who put limits on ourselves. Sounds like a cliché, but I know it personally all too well. Little voices in my head I used to have allowing them to pull me back.
Personal development has helped me stay strong when I needed strength; understand that showing vulnerability is the sign of strength when all I wanted is to close myself into a shell, that I should not care about the opinions of others (which was the hardest lesson to date as I have been programmed to care because I come from a society where being judged is a way of life), that my reality has a direct link with my thoughts even my health as the new nutrition science of epigenetics proves (change your thoughts – change your life), that energy we give out comes back to us (to reward us or haunt us), the power of our heart, the energy we vibrate with… It helped me take responsibility for everything that happened in my life without blaming anyone else. Or myself. Helped me forgive myself. It was good for my soul. And this story is still in the making as there are more things I need to work on.
So, my mornings are powerful. I am now fully set for the day knowing that I worked out my body, I hydrated it really well with at least 1/2 a litre a water/ tea at a start and I have fed my cells with pretty much 50%+ of daily nutrition it needs at a very start and my mind has been inspired and refocused to think positive. I am on fire.
And when I am not, and there are days like that too because of course I am human like everyone else – I know it is because I went to bed late and did not get enough zzzzzz, I ate what I should not have or there are certain emotions playing up that I have not addressed and handled and it is manifesting in the way I feel about myself, my day, my work, my life. I notice it, forgive myself and move on…
Emotions play a big part in our daily lives. So many thoughts we go through each day and so many decisions we make. It is said that 95% are subconscious. But, when we work on ourselves, we are able to quickly recognise that something is going on, we then have a power to stop it overwhelming us, so the episodes do not last for long, not more than few hours or a day before we start asking ourselves questions that help us see what is what, what is real and what is not.
Those that allow their emotions to overtake them can easily be the ones with health and weight management issues. Because we turn to food or worse like the answer is in them.
MID-MORNING – THE IMPORTANCE OF SNACKING
By 9:30AM – my mid morning snack is due. I will need to fit this in between my clients and it always, somehow, works out. If I know I have clients back to back with little space in between – I prepare my snack in the morning when I make my breakfast shake. If all else fails, I will have a protein bar or our Formula 1 Meal Bar instead and these days I try not to have either more than 2-3 times per week.
Alternatively, choice has to be between foods that provide good source of protein, fibre from healthy carbohydrates and healthy fats. I love porridge oats with either coconut or dark chocolate almond milk with two scoops of either PDM (Protein Drink Mix) or Rebuilt Strength from our Herbalife 24 range. This is the best snack ever! Or some cottage cheese with rice cakes and avocado or olives. Or cottage cheese with berries and almonds. Or eggs with some sweet potato and avocado or olives. Or tuna with some avocado, yoghurt and rye cakes. There are lots of options. The key is in planning, having the ingredients and building in our internal clock so that there is no way we miss our snack. If it is planned, it will be done.
Research shows that those who snack (on the right foods) will manage their weight better, have better mood, concentration. It actually starts at breakfast because your only chance to get your snack right is to get your breakfast right. Poor breakfast (or no breakfast) contributes to poor snacking choices. Because poor breakfast destabilises your blood sugar levels, which makes it difficult to make the right choices from then on for the rest of the day by default.
In between clients, I keep drinking water and our tea so, by lunchtime, I pass my 1 – 1.5 litres of water.
LUNCHTIME – TIME FOR A LITTLE BREAK
This is the mid-point between boys going to school and their return and it is when I evaluate how productive I was. I would have had several clients in the process and would have gone half or more way down my list of goals for the day. I would have had many conversations and this human connection is so precious and so important to me. I have served well over 1500 people in the past 14 years and it has given me such insights into human emotion, struggle as well as strength and triumph. It is an honour to have been part of some incredible journeys. It could be easy to take it all for granted. But, I pinch myself each day. I am not in a rat race, I designed my life so that I can make a difference each day and make a living out of it. I feel I have achieved balance.
So, I take a break, have my lunchtime Formula 1, reflect, perhaps do some house chores and then go back to work for a couple of hours. Before boys get back, I almost always have a 30-45 minute nap, it really helps with replenishing my energy as I will need a lot after boys are back, especially if the whole family is in the house, all four of us.
I always have a shake for lunch as it is an opportunity to fit in more nutrition in and because, as you will see, more food is coming later on. It makes my life simple. Nourishes me. And I feel so light and satisfied afterwards. Clinical studies show, and this is particularly good information for those who wish to manage their weight better – using our Formula 1 meal replacement, on top of physical activity and monitoring your food intake, is the best way to successful weight management and more effective than all food diet.
Around lunch time (or in the morning if my appointments are later in the day), if there is time, I enjoy walking to town to catch some fresh air and just to unwind. I gave up my car now four years ago and it has changed my life for better. Much less stress. And I am walking more. I may also go to a meditation class or have a treatment. I make sure every day I have some time for myself just to be. This gives me clarity and perspective or just an opportunity to enjoy my own company, get lost in my thoughts as I am walking, notice beauty around me that surely is plentiful in Bath.
If my snack or lunchtime shake fall in this period, I take it with me and enjoy in town or just pick up a nice raw salad while I am in town from my favourite place, Pret A Manger.
I keep drinking water…
MID AFTERNOON – BALANCING LIFE AND WORK
What many do not realise is that we need to eat MORE (of the right foods) if we want good results, so, my mid afternoon snack and dinner are two full on meals, same in size and portions (and both smaller than what I used to eat per meal), I just vary lean protein, healthy fats & healthy carbohydrate sources. This helps me fit in more vegetables in my day as now, apart from 2 shakes a day, I have 3 other fully balanced meals. Here are some examples of these two meals:
Although I work from home, things can quickly get out of hand with timings, so, on most days, I will have some meals prepped and ready in the fridge or freezer to get out and heat up. That is what I suggest to all my clients who work – to prep their meals and take with them. That is how we take control of our eating and not give our power and control to the street vendors and sandwich places or restaurants.
As a family, we all eat the same, but I will give myself a variation of what my family is having – no carbs like potato or rice (I use sweet potato instead, which is my absolute favourite), more vegetables, no salt, no sauces/ dips etc.
What my family eats is very important to me and I do my best to nourish them all. It can be difficult with children as they can have such peculiar tastes, but I think it is even more important not to insist too much and make meal times stressful. When I prepare plates of food for my boys, they look very different as they do not like the same vegetables or how eggs are cooked, etc. I don’t mind the extra work. As long as they eat, I am happy. There were times when I insisted and then I just raised the white flag and surrendered as stress at meal times is not good. And their tastes change and we need to allow the process to take place. I can see that they are eating more foods than they used to and I am sure it will keep improving. If you have a picky eater at home, just have patience and keep offering and introducing old and new foods. I also developed many tricks, like packing 10 veg they don’t like in a soup – and voila – they love it!
So, it is a late afternoon or evening… If I have clients then, all the meals are carefully planned to fit around it. No chance is given of forgetting about any. Because it is important – it is done.
EVENINGS – WINDING DOWN
If my dinner was early, around 6 or 7PM, then I will allow myself an evening protein snack too. Combination of protein and healthy fat before bed time has been found to positively impact our weight management efforts by helping body continue to work during the night and burn the fat.
As I start early, most nights I would want to be in bed by 10PM, so, I get at least 6 to 7 hours of quality sleep. I read a bit before bedtime. Sometimes it is a book and sometimes articles I did not manage to read during the day. I am still working on reducing screen time before bed time. I am just too attached to my smart phone. I understand all the cons. And still. Hm. One day…
That, my friend, is a day in a life of a Health Coach. Nothing complicated, but fully intentional living that also leaves plenty for spontaneity and fun, but food and health are not thought of casually. You may know the expression – “being casual causes casualties!” I see people driving their bodies like it is their slave. There are consequences to our actions and, as much as it can be fun getting there, there just might come a point when fun is over and we need to face the music.
I believe food is energy like everything else is, starting from our thoughts. And everything is connected. So, to have energy rich life, inspired life, our intentions and attitudes towards our bodies and health are very important.
There are no sick people who are happy. Actually, I will take that back. Being sick can take us to the depths that health can not – of being genuinely grateful for all the good we have in our lives. Because there is no story without the struggle. Sometimes, we just have to lose something to connect to ourselves and all that truly matters. That is when we begin to change the way we think and adopt different behaviours and habits in order to begin the process of gaining back what we lost, because “we can not solve the problem with the same mind that created it” (Einstein). Some succeed, some do not.
That is why, it helps to see investment in our health as our birth right. The way we honour ourselves and life given to us so we can make something out of that life. Figuring out what our is purpose is hard enough, but we make it much harder when we are mistreating our body that needs to be the vessel to take us from point A to B. Our body is the main instrument in that process.
And this, I fully understand, is not easy for everyone. Yes, those emotions that lead to particular habits run us… sometimes into our graves. I heard so many times famous Jim Rohn’s quote: “Work on yourself more than you work on your business!”. It actually applies very well to health and weight management too. So, work on yourself. Reflect. Stop and listen to your emotions. Notice your choices. Think what choices you actually should be making to be closer to your goal.
Also, seek help. It shows strength, remember. Someone has a story like yours. Life never gives us more than what we can handle. Find that someone who you can relate to and see what they did to come the other end. You will most probably find that all the answers lie within you. All is in you already to help you change they way you think about your problem, which will change your emotions and behaviours and make you take different actions that will change your circumstances and create different reality. All of that is connected. And you deserve the best of health. So you can have the best of life.
I hope you are inspired to give your body nourishment like the mother lovingly nourishes her child. The body will respond with love and energy back to you. Just start somewhere. With more water, with a better breakfast, with less alcohol and sugar, etc. Love yourself first.
If you do not know where to start, my Online Wellness Evaluation Test is a great place to start and see where you could be going wrong and changes you need to make. Or just reach out. I am here for you.
In the mean time, wishing you a lifetime of great health & energy! And, if you are not there yet – wishing you a breakthrough to make it all possible!
Yours in Health,