Today, I could cringe at the thought of my diet growing up, but back then it felt completely normal. I didn’t give much thought to what I ate. It had to be convenient, fast and filling. I would start the day with some sugary cereal with milk, lunch was whatever pizza or other vegetable-less food was served at the canteen we had at school. The food was of so poor quality that eventually when we were old enough, we’d go to a supermarket close by to grab a quick sandwich. Today, I can’t believe this would keep us full until dinner which usually consisted of pizza or pasta with very little veggies or a traditional meal with some starch, meat and very small portion of vegetables. If I was hungry in between meals I would have a chocolate bar or a coke. Basically, very beige foods with little or healthy varieties.
During my teens I remember I had a lot of strep infections that were always treated with antibiotics. Later I found out that I had had mononucleosis without knowing about it. It was simply treated with many rounds of antibiotics while nothing was done to take care of my very damaged gut. Antibiotics are like an atomic bomb in our gut killing off many bacteria residing there, including the very necessary health-inducing bacteria. Unfortunately, very little was known about that at that time (early 90s).
My 20s was filled with a lot of partying at University, followed by awful hangovers that I tried to cure with greasy and salty foods. I was also quite sedentary. I tried to join a gym once or twice, but I never made it after that one introductory session. I had crazy PMS symptoms. I was moody a week before my period, I had enormous pains during my periods and extremely soar breasts. Unfortunately, this is what many women think is normal, but after some research and experiencing it on my own body, I now know that a healthy lifestyle can help relieve many of these symptoms.
My gut was a mess as well. I had terrible stomach cramps with lots of uncomfortable gas. I was either constipated or had diarrhoea. Finally, I was always feeling quite depressed. Never truly happy about life or anything in general. And somehow, I thought this is what life is. I never thought something as simple as diet would have such a huge impact on virtually every part of my life!
I always thought some day I will make a change, some day I will eat healthier, some day I will start exercising, some day I will lose the weight and finally be happy and confident with my body. Well, some day stayed some day in the future until my sweet little boy came along and forced me to face reality. Thank you, little darling!
Everything changed the minute I realised I was pregnant. All of a sudden, I was not only harming my own body but also someone else’s, and not just anyone. With my poor lifestyle I was potentially harming the most precious being that ever was! My first-born son. Just the thought of harming his little body was enough for me to quit smoking cold turkey and never look back. Believe me, I had tried to quit before, but nothing ever worked.
Suddenly, I was responsible for how his body, immune system and mind would develop and my nutrition, among other things, had a big part to play in that.
I knew my diet and lifestyle needed to change, but change is not easy and it doesn’t happen overnight. Something that starts as good intention can quickly fall apart without the right knowhow and the right plan. Just wanting to live healthier is not enough. You also need to know what to eat and how to make the change.
I was trying my best, but it didn’t feel like it was good enough. I was failing at work, at home and I was failing myself. I was unable to lose the pregnancy weight and I was unable to be both a good worker and a good mom. So, inevitably I trashed! I simply burned out.
Luckily, for some reason, the Universe had my back and introduced me to IIN (Institute for Integrative Nutrition). I heard about the program and I hardly hesitated and enrolled pretty quickly.
IIN taught me two very important things when it comes to living a healthy and vibrant life; one is that yet nutrition is important to good health, it is not everything. It is also about all the other things that feed us that is not food! The air we breathe, the water we drink, the exercise we do, the people we surround us with, the job we have, the way we relax and the list goes on and on.
The other thing that I learnt at IIN was that there isn’t one right way for everyone. We are all unique individuals and have very different needs and wants, also when it comes to nutrition. The trick is to figure out what works for us, and only us. The science of nutrition is a confusing world and very contradictory. Researchers simply do not agree and it can be very hard to find out what is right and what is wrong. The thing is that, it is probably all right, but depends who it is right for. I like the saying; one person’s food can be another person’s poison. It is therefore so important that we stop comparing us to each other. We are unique individuals and have unique needs.
I started to learn more about nutrition and little by little I could add in more vegetables and nuts and seeds, slowly! All in a speed that I was comfortable with. You have to remember that at this time in my life I am also learning how to be a mother, even a mother of two as my second darling boy was born shortly after. I was also busy trying to fit in exercise, working a fulltime job, being a good partner and a good mother all at the same time. So, learning about healthy eating and changing my eating habits was a slow process. But that is ok. Rather slow and steady than fast and unsustainable. After a few years of learning, I am now making salads and all kinds of different vegetable dishes, with ease. I still have a lot to learn but I am definitely on the right path.
Basically, when it comes to food and nutrition there are a couple of simple rules I like to follow: Eat more fruits and veggies, eat less simple carbs and processed foods. Drink more water and less carbonated drinks. Try to eat as close to nature as possible. I love Michael Pollans approach. He says; Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants. It’s simple and easy to understand. Note: real food is food that is as close to nature as possible. Broccoli is a real food, Kellogg’s frosties is not – you get the picture.
As I mentioned, eating real healthy foods isn’t going to make you live a healthy and happy life alone. It is definitely a step in the right direction, but there is so much more to healthy living. Having healthy relationships, a healthy career and exercising are just as important to living your best life possible. And let’s not forget how to manage your stress levels, sleep and spirituality.
All these areas affect your health in a positive or negative way and I urge you to include all these and more when evaluating your health.
Heal the World
I believe that one of the biggest problems we have in the western world today is that we don’t take better care of ourselves. We are so good at taking care of everyone else and we forget about ourselves. Especially when we become mothers. We care and we give while we completely forget ourselves and our own wellbeing. Our life seems to be for others only.
My dream is that we all start taking better care of ourselves, by eating better, exercising, having healthy relationships and healthy careers and everything else we need to be at our absolute best. I believe that when we start taking better care of ourselves we become better mothers, better partners, better daughter’s, better sisters, better co-workers and better friends. And it is not in a selfish way, it is in a “I will take better care of myself, so I can take better care of you”-way.
When we start healing ourselves and getting real about our health and our wellbeing, this is when we can help healing others. When this starts to happen, together we can heal the world, as Michael Jackson so beautifully says.
Balanced Healthy Living
I was so happy when I found out about health coaching. It truly helped me find a way to balance healthy living with all these new roles and responsibilities that comes with motherhood. Finally, I have found what works for me. I have healed my gut, my PMS symptoms have improved drastically and my diet is now colourful and varied.
I have learnt so many things in my journey towards living a healthier and happier life and I am now so lucky, that I am able to help you on your way, so you can turn it around too. Today, due to all the work I have done, I feel great, I am happy, I have great work / life balance and I sleep great. Best of all, so can you. You can feel great, look fresh, sleep better and you can live your happiest, healthiest and best life that you deserve!
Thank you for reading my story and I really look forward to connecting with you; either virtually or at one of my upcoming events!
If you’re interested in learning more about working with me, schedule a free sample session. During this session we’ll discuss your vision for your health, some of the obstacles that stand in your way, and how I can help you become the truest and happiest version of yourself.
You can also read more about working with me here.
In 2008 I graduated from the Technical University of Denmark, where I obtained a master’s degree in biotechnology engineering (Ms Eng (Biotech)).
– Human Nutrition, Physiology & Food Sciences
– Microbiology and Fermentation Technology; Microbial Inhabitants of Humans, their ecology and role in Health and Disease
– Industrial Food Production
– Organisational Behaviour, Management and Leadership
Master Thesis: Dietary Influence on Immune Maturation
In 2015 I enrolled in a yearlong online course to become a Health Coach at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. I learned innovative coaching methods, practical lifestyle management techniques, and over 100 dietary theories; everything from Ayurveda, gluten-free, and Paleo, to raw, vegan, and macrobiotics, and everything in between.
- October 2017 – The Coaches Training Institute – Co-Active Coach Training Program (CTI)
- Self Care
- Emotional Eating
- Body-Mind Connection
- Digestive Health