Here we are again! I am loving sharing these very open and honest interviews with a selection of our clients here at the JCN clinic (you can see previous posts here, here and here). I can't thank our clients enough for taking the time to share their stories with us all here on the JCN blog.
The idea behind sharing our client’s experiences is to give you a true and candid view of how nutritional treatment can not only facilitate greater health, but also improve quality of life. Through these shared journeys my hope is that you will see the diversity of health concerns that people bring in the door, along with how each person evolves on all levels with nutritional guidance and support.
With today's feature post, I wanted to include two clients; I thought it might be interesting to see their different journeys in comparison to each other. Everyone who comes through our doors here at the JCN Clinic is unique in their own way and the contrast of these two stories highlights this.
First off, Chelsea.
Guest: Chelsea Green
Occupation: Wellness Coach and Student
Do you have any children? No
How long ago did you start your nutritional health and wellness journey at the JCN Clinic?
My initial consultation was in April 2015, in person at the JCN Clinic. Since then I have had a number of follow-up consultations via telephone, as I live in central Queensland.
My main reasons for seeking the services of a qualified Nutritionist were to have my health and dietary habits assessed by a professional and to gain an insight into the industry because I was planning to undertake tertiary studies in nutrition.
Generally I was in good health, although I had a few niggly concerns such as feeling low on energy and run down at times and I had a persistent cough and phlegm. I also wanted to loose a few kilos that had crept on over the years, but to make sure this was done in a gradual, sustainable manner.
On the whole, my dietary intake and lifestyle didn’t change drastically, except for the exclusion of dairy products. Jessica thought my cough and phlegm concerns may have been caused by my consumption of dairy products, so for a period of time I wasn’t allowed to consume any. Over time I have seen been able to introduce some sheep and goat’s milk products back into my diet, as they don’t seem to impact me like cow’s milk products do.
The other changes were mainly tweaks to what I was already eating, to ensure my meals were macronutrient balanced, or that I was eating at the most appropriate time. Initially this required more forethought, planning and preparation on my part, but it didn’t take too long until I was in the swing of things. Jessica would always offer plenty of suggestions for meals, snacks or other things to try, which were very helpful.
I wasn’t required to undergo any formal testing such as allergy or intolerance testing. Instead it was mainly done through my experience of eliminating and reintroducing dairy products or making other dietary changes, monitoring how this went and reporting back to Jessica at my next appointment. Through this process I gained a better awareness and understanding of my body and what works (and doesn’t work) for me.
I love dairy products so I initially found it challenging to give these up. Milk could be easily substituted with an alternative such as almond milk, but I really missed cheese and yogurt. Despite this, I was committed to not eating any dairy products for the required period and I noticed a big reduction in the amount of phlegm I was producing and my cough went away. In times since, I have consumed cow’s milk dairy products and I definitely notice its impact. I don’t get caught up in the absolute avoidance of all cow’s milk products, but I certainly try to stick to sheep and goat’s milk, or alternative dairy products, as much as possible.
My motivation stems from simply wanting to feel the very best I can – physically, mentally and emotionally, and my diet plays a huge part in that.
At each consultation we would discuss how I had been feeling, my lifestyle and what I had been eating and drinking. Throughout the discussion Jessica would revisit my health goals to make sure these were still relevant, and discuss my experience with any of the recommendations she had made at my previous consultation. At the end of the consultation Jessica would provide a “nutritional prescription” which included any dietary recommendations, and often included other information such as meal or snack suggestions, recipes or brochures.
I have had a number of nutritional consultation with Jessica over the past 12+ months, and it’s been great to see the same practitioner each time and develop a relationship with them. Life is dynamic, and with that our nutritional requirements may vary from time to time. My circumstances have changed over the past year or so, and they will continue to in the future, so seeking nutritional advice from someone I trust, is important to me.
My advice would be that you don’t need to have major health concerns, or be wanting to completely overhaul your diet and lifestyle, to seeing a Nutritionist. After my initial consultation, I found it very reassuring to know that I was mostly on the right track and just needed to make a few small adjustments.
My life has a changed a lot! I left my almost 10-year career, got married, went backpacking through South America with my hubby, became an accredited Wellness Coach, started full-time university studies and have recently set up my own business, Zest Wellness and Nutrition. These changes weren’t a consequence of seeing a Nutritionist; however, the advice and support I have received from Jessica has played an important role in supporting these life changes and in my continual growth as a person.
The small adjustments I have made to my diet over the past 12 months or so have had a hugely positive impact on my overall health and wellbeing. My energy levels have improved and I feel much happier, healthier and more resilient.
My main goals for the remainder of 2016 are successfully complete the first year of my degree and to develop and launch my business’ first group wellness coaching program, whilst maintaining my health and wellbeing, so that I’m able to feel and perform at my best.
Jessica is professional, client-focused and offers a balanced approach. Her passion and excitement for food and nutrition is evident and she is able to communicate her knowledge in a way that is easily understood, and offers advice without any judgement. It has been a pleasure working with Jessica, and I would highly recommend her!
Next we have Kate!
Guest: Kate Harper
Occupation: State Manager Trustee Services
Do you have any children? No
I first went to the JCN Clinic in October 2015, I had first encountered dietary problems in 2010 when I had a severe B12 deficiency that led to an Ferritin deficiency –so constant blood tests and injections as I couldn’t absorb any nutrients from food. I was sick of being tired, feeling unwell and having digestive discomfort all the time.
I had a change in medications for my Esophagitis from my Dr which I had an allergic reaction to, it was horrendous but it was the straw that broke the camel’s back and it spurred me on to do something about my health issues that the Dr didn’t seem to want to tackle.
Scary - seems silly to say that but life without cheese are you kidding me ? But I feel so much better now and the reaction I get when I now eat those reactive foods is unbelievable, no wonder I was so unwell for so long.
Yep, we initially tried elimination, which showed up some amazing allergies (chia seeds, tahini !!) but it can be hard to pinpoint exactly what was going wrong so to have the test, while difficult to see the foods I can no longer eat (that I mostly enjoyed) it was a huge relief to know that this stuff wasn’t all in my head that there actually was a problem and food allergies and I wasn’t going crazy or a hypochondriac !
Yes, particularly when you find something that works initially (chia seeds) that you can’t sustain long term. So it sometimes felt like constantly back to the drawing board, had some great snack options that on receiving the allergy results were no longer an option so a challenge all the time.
I was actually feeling better and getting results, I lost weight, I didn’t feel bloated and heavy all the time anymore and I started to feel stronger emotionally as well.
It’s great to talk about achievements and get encouragement and a great counselling session !! It’s also good to talk about different foods and how to get nutrients in different ways and learning about cashew cheese and nutritional yeast YAY – who knew ! I enjoy cooking so it’s been fun to experiment too and it’s really good to know exactly what foods you are putting in your body.
Go to a nutritionist, stop Dr Googling your life and get it sorted out. It’s well worth the effort and with the support of a great nutritionist (like mine J ) the journey can actually be exciting.
I feel physically healthier, mentally stronger, I have discipline, more energy and am more confident.
Food wise to find a fabulous vegan cheese and cheesecake and maybe an egg free Pavola anyone? Personally to continue to feel good about myself and know that I can achieve my goals. Professionally to be stronger and more confident.
It has been and remains to be an amazing learning curve, and I am constantly surprised at how yummy some of the vegan foods can be and how easy it can be to adapt your diet and cooking style once you have the tools, support and knowledged to do so. I would encourage anyone with dietary issues to see a nutritionist!
How wonderful are these two stories! So different, yet both filled with that same empowerment that comes from knowing how to eat right for you. I particularly love Kate's note about not relying on Dr Google! So true!! Thanks so much ladies for being part of this blog post, it means a lot to open up and share your stories. Big hugs!! xx
If you have any questions about the JCN Clinic process and how we can help you, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.