Taking Back Your Wellness for the Health of Your Business
Entrepreneurs are pulled in so many directions, but taking care of ourselves should be our number one priority. Because when we’re not feeling good, we can’t be there for our business or our family.

If you’re a woman of a certain age, you might not be feeling yourself. Hormones, lack of sleep, and even being off on nutrition and exercise can contribute to feeling unwell. Together, these can compound into multiple health issues.

I’ve been feeling it and I’ve been hearing from friends and clients who are feeling it too. So I wanted to chat with Wendy Hill, this week’s podcast guest, to find out how we can start taking back our wellness…a few little changes at a time.

Listen in to learn what changes you can make to get the most health benefits, why being kind to yourself is key, and why planning and sustainability should be part of your health routine.

About Wendy Hill:
Wendy is the owner of HillStart Nutrition Health and Wellness. As a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist and an expert in female hormone health, Wendy supports women through perimenopause, menopause and beyond through her Fabulous & Female membership, group programs and 1:1 work.

Links & Resources:

Time Stamps:

[3:14] – More about Wendy Hill
[4:15] – You get the most benefit from the middle of the road
[7:06] – Excelling at careers means you feel extra pressure
[7:29] – We often blame hormones when it might be something else
[9:28] – Be kinder to yourself
[10:15] – Tell yourself: this is the time when I need to prioritize what you need to prioritize
[11:13] – My ambition exceeds my energy
[11:36] – Think of your cycle as seasons
[15:02] – Sleep is key but what’s happening the rest of the day
[18:25] – Planning can be the struggle for neurodivergent
[19:48] – Shift things just a bit to make more balance
[20:48] – Make your day-end routine realistic
[22:39] – When you’re in a place where your health is good, those one-offs don’t hurt as much
[26:15] – Where to start in taking care of yourself
[28:59] – Wendy coaching herself out of a job
[29:56] – Go all-in on one thing
[31:22] – Find a linchpin habit
[33:18] – Will you enjoy it? Is it healthy? In that order
[37:20] – Take the information and make it work for you
[38:43] – Drink water, more nutrient-dense food, stop snacking
[40:25 – We’re not giving our stomachs enough time to digest and repair


Amber Hawley 0:01
Business owners are increasingly being pulled in so many directions, feeling like they aren’t reaching their full potential in business and life despite their type aways. With my background as a therapist, entrepreneur and as a.com dropout with ADHD, I interview and coach high achieving business owners like you who want to stop struggling for success by using psychological systems, strategies, and the occasional care for entation. This is the Easily Distracted Entrepreneur, your place to slay overwhelm perfectionism and shiny object syndrome so that you can get done what matters most to you.

Amber Hawley 0:40
Hello, hello, my fellow energy seeking entrepreneurs. Today is a day I would like to caffeinate I don’t know why that would distinguish it from any other day because frankly, I always want to caffeinated That is my dream. I fantasize about coffee. It’s all I want. So today’s episode is very fitting because I have the wonderful Wendy Hill who is the owner of hill start nutrition, health and wellness. And she is a naturopathic nutritional therapist and an expert in female hormone health. Woohoo. We need that. Wendy supports women through perimenopause, menopause and beyond in her fabulous and female membership group programs and her one on one work. She is also a podcast host of the are you going to eat that podcast. And she has a wonderful guest. Plus, she has an awesome accent. And if you know me, I just basically would love to talk to people with beautiful accents all day long. It’s entertaining. I enjoy it. Today’s interview is packed with information and little nuggets about taking care of your health and finding more energy because frankly, I think all entrepreneurs deal with this. But if you’re with me in your 30s and 40s and beyond, then you know that the impact hormones can be having and wreak reaping on your business. Raking reefing I don’t know. Like I said, I need more caffeine today. But that’s okay. Luckily, Wendy is on her game. So I hope you enjoy this episode. Hello, Wendy, welcome to the show.

Wendy Hill 2:36
Thank you. I’m glad to be here.

Amber Hawley 2:38
Yes, I’m so excited. I I feel like we just spoke because we literally almost just did last week when I was on your podcast. But I had such a great conversation and you are here to talk to us about all things hormones today, because anybody in business ownership. I was gonna say I frankly, I think hormones are always impacting us just in different ways between our 20s 30s 40s 50s Beyond, but especially for all of us in our 30s and 40s. They’re definitely impacting us. But before we get into that, maybe can you just tell the listeners just a little bit more about yourself?

Wendy Hill 3:17
Yeah, cool. So I’m Wendy Hill and my company’s health start nutrition, health and wellness. And I’m a naturopathic nutritional therapist, it is a second career for me. And I sort of came through this through the kind of foodie side of things. And I love my food always knew that there was a connection between sort of food and how it made us feel. And I added a couple of nutrition courses and then realized that I’m wanting to understand a little bit more about about the science. And naturopathic nutrition really looks at the person as a whole. So it’s not just you know, I don’t give you a meal plan and send you a new way. It’s very much understanding about the interconnections between between the house, the foods that we eat, how we eat, the environment, we bathe ourselves, and how much stress we’ve got, how much sleep we have, how much exercise we have, even the people around us all of these things have an impact on our overall well being and you can’t just do one thing, it’s you know, it’s you can you can have the best diet in the world. But if you have terrible sleep and you don’t exercise, you’ve got a super stressful job. You know, it’s not going to have the same benefit. You’re actually better off at being middle of the road with everything I think.

Amber Hawley 4:24
I agree. 100% Yeah, when I’m working with new clients, even therapy clients, that’s one of the first things is I want to look like an overall assessment of everything, just to understand because they they definitely do impact each other, right? But nutrition is one of those, I would say it’s one of the three pillars like sleep, diet and exercise are like the pillars of physical and mental health. And then there’s all these other things of course that we can and should be doing. But I always think, Man when you when you start to focus on one of those three things or if you can manage all three, then it can just transform things for you.

Wendy Hill 5:05
Totally, totally. And I think with, with food, it also goes, you know, with sort of Digestion and Gut health as well. And it’s very much associated, you know, vote for me very much about making sure that we are able to kind of assimilate the food, well excrete excrete toxins. And it’s so it’s so important to have that bat unit function moving correctly, shall we say?

Amber Hawley 5:27
Yeah. And I know, you know, when we had kind of talked and talked about, like, what we were looking for what I was wanting to talk about. This is something that I’ve been seeing a lot, frankly, like I said, for many years now, but especially in the last two years, just hearing so much from women talking about how their hormones were really just wreaking havoc wreaking havoc on their sleep, their quality of sleep, wreaking havoc on like just their energy levels throughout the day, and how much they could get done. And you know, and this is all for myself, as well, like, I’ve always been kind of a chronic insomniac. And there are lots of things that play into that, you know, even having ADHD plays into that. So there’s those pieces. But then there’s also like, I used to be, I used to have, like a memory like a steel trap, and I could, and that always compensated for a lot of like my ADHD qualities. But then as time went on, and then I thought, Oh, well, I’m having kids, I had three kids in four and a half years. And, you know, of course, that’s the hormones and the brain fog, and all that and I’m not sleeping and all that, then I, you know, they get to a place where they’re sleeping through the night, and I’m still having all these things. And then all this new stuff starts in your 40s, right, and you’re like, oh my gosh, now I can’t come up with words and brain fog. And I’m forgetting things. And it’s just, my bandwidth is different. And it’s it, it’s hard, it’s hard to adjust to that, especially when you were used to functioning at a certain level. And now you’re like, What the hell is going on?

Wendy Hill 7:03
Tiny, tiny, I hate you and nothing, also new sort of hits at that point in maybe when we’re, you know, excelling in our career or, you know, like me having a second career. And so suddenly, there is extra, like extra pressure on on us to, you know, kind of be impressive. That’s the word I’m looking for, you know, kind of an art, you know, have all of the skills and have it all sorted. Whereas when you got your kids is acceptable. But I also think even though I am a female hormone expert, I would say that we often we often blame hormones, when it can be something much simpler. And I hear it so often when when sort of women go Oh, yeah, well, I’m going to the menopause. So therefore, I can expect this. And you don’t want to hold on a minute, let’s just do, let’s just do some basic stuff, and see how we get on. And their their symptoms are so much reduced that then actually the manageable and we can then really nail them, rather than it’s like, Oh, I’ve got everything, you know, I’ve got the night sweats, and I’ve got brain fog. And I’ve got fatigue and my aching joints. And you know, I put some weight around the middle. And it just I don’t know where to start. And often it can be we can we can use as an excuse not not as I mean as an excuse as to like to be to be bad, but we kind of just put it down to something else rather than going well. What can I do? What little things can I do that are going to help and support me? Stupidly, like brain fog can sometimes just be dehydration here. And it’s like, it’s simple things like that. Are you drinking enough water? You know, are you getting enough fiber? So simple?

Amber Hawley 8:32
Right? And yeah, I agree with you. I think there can be that hopelessness sometimes the like, just what I have to go through. But then I’m hearing from so many people. And I know I have felt this where I’m like, This is not sustainable. I cannot function like this any longer. And I’ll go through bouts of things. And this is human nature, right? I get it. I get as somebody who helps people with change. It’s like, we’re I’m like, Oh, I feel great. And I’m doing better. And then all of a sudden, something else happens. Like for me, it would always be I get my period. Yeah. Which now seems to happen like every two frickin weeks, like a week. And I kept trying to will myself and a menopause because I just I’m like, I just want to be in menopause. I just want it to be over with like, Can this be done already? And then what’s happening is like, oh, during this Yeah, I’m getting my period every two weeks. So I’m doing really good. Then that happens. That’s a week where I’m just thrown off. Right? And so yeah, it just feels Yeah, it feels sometimes it can feel helpless. Like no matter what I do, something happens. And I’m back to where I started.

Wendy Hill 9:33
And the thing we have to be a bit kinder to ourselves during this time, don’t wait and say you know, if you’re if you’re having a period every two weeks, of course that’s going to be tiring, of course, you’re going to have some hormone and hormonal imbalances. And so therefore, you making sure you’ve got that good a sort of time in your schedule, you know, I had a client I was actually writing notes before before we spoke and she prioritizes sleep notes just it’s just feel so much better. Whereas she used to kind of If when the kids are gone to bed, it was like, yes, I’ve got a few hours, I’ll stay up. She’s like, but now I just go to bed when the kids go to bed, she said, and if I get woken up in the middle, and I get woken up at night, but I’m still getting eight hours sleep and still feel so much better for it. And it is that, you know, it kind of giving yourself a bit of a break, almost saying Is this the time when I just really prioritize whatever it is that I need? And if it is that one week, have every two, you just decide that that’s the week where you just take a little bit easier that you don’t book meals out and you know, days out and stuff and you kind of hibernate a little bit. And I’m not I’m certainly not suggesting no should lock themselves in and do nothing and stay in bed all day. But just being a little bit more respectful of the journey that our body is going on and saying, you know, I can’t maybe I can’t do 100 mile an hour. I can’t burn the candle at both ends. I certainly know I can’t anymore. I used to be able to go out drink. I don’t get hangovers. I’m one of those really annoying people that don’t get hangovers or go out, you know, could stay up till 2am Get up at 6am feel absolutely fine. Go to work all day. Not anymore. Not anymore.

Amber Hawley 11:06
Oh, yes. Since long past, yeah. But I always like to say I say my ambition exceeds my energy. And that’s the problem is like, I want to do all these things. And not even necessarily partying, right, we’re talking about, like, I just want to launch a new thing or grow or do this or finish that. And then it’s like, ah, you know, you have these things where, yeah, all of a sudden, you’re like, Okay, so I guess I’m not working today.

Wendy Hill 11:35
Yeah. But he’s also if he can is like, you know, if you work for yourself is is scheduling them around your cycle. So if you think about your cycle as season, it’s really, I think it’s really makes sense. So when you aren’t when you have your periods when you have your bleed, that is winter. So that’s your quiet time, the time when you sort of stay at home, and when you’re ovulating, which is Summer is the time when you should be doing the book claw and she should be launching your podcast going out and partying with friends. That’s when your skin’s glowing, is when you’re when you’re at your most fertile. So you’re at your most sexy, you’re at your most happy. And that, you know if we can work around that, why not we’d all have the best launches ever. If we could, if we could actually time it for when we’re oscillating. It’d be like, rocked that that’s

Amber Hawley 12:20
I was like, Who has that much certainty in there. And there’s, you know, I was like, Oh, my God, my, my body is all over the moon all over all over the world, I should say. Never know what season I’m in, or all over the moon. Sir, I know. Like, I’ve never said that line before, but I couldn’t think of anything else. So over the moon, whatever. I don’t know. But yeah, no, it’s in. That’s the thing. It’s yeah. I think it’d be nice if we had that understanding, or we had that predictability. But then I do agree, I think like taking into consideration what we’re going through, and figuring out a way to work with that, as opposed to kind of always fighting it, right. Yeah, exactly.

Wendy Hill 13:04
Yeah, it’s not given in it’s kind of saying, you know, this is this is fact. And so therefore working, working with it, rather than fighting against it constantly, at the end of day who wants to battle with a body, we should be kind of saying, right? What do I what do I need right now what is going to kind of serve me well, and always remembering that this is a you know, I think if we if I can if I could get every woman at 30 and talked about our hormones, we would all have a much better journey through perimenopause. I don’t always get people that early. So you know, I can’t help it. But But I do sort of say, you know, that actually, when we get when we get to menopause, it is a period is the common because we don’t have these kind of up and down hormones going on with some it’s much calmer, we’re a bit more like men and it’s a bit of a calmer state. So we have a bit of turmoil. You know, we can we can call it second puberty, it’s a good way of looking at it as well when the kind of the hormones are all over the shop. And if you had a pretty iffy puberty may well have pretty iffy perimenopause, but it will calm down it will, you know will sort itself out.

Amber Hawley 14:06
So yeah, this is where I’m like, be careful what you wish for because I kept wishing for it. And then I’m like, Okay, I am definitely I have gone through like many transitions. I have been, you know, climbing these mountains. And then I realized, oh, it can last for 10 years. I was like, Oh, my God. orrible breaking out for the first time like, I’m breaking out like I’m a teenager, you know, I never really had that, you know, 20s and 30s. You’re like, Oh, this sucks. This really sucks. It’s hard. But I think more importantly, it’s like you’re saying I think what I’m hearing from a lot of people is just a lot of women is just the disruption and sleep and the bandwidth, just the lack of energy and I had the brain fog. I think the brain fog is really frustrating especially, you know, I work with a lot of type a go getter, like accomplished women. And so it’s hard. Yeah,

Wendy Hill 14:59
yeah. And we have to, we have to work harder. So we have to kind of put those things in place. So that you said that kind of like, the sleep is a key word really, really key one, but then it’s looking at actually what’s happening in the rest of the day. So you know, assets we we use. So we use an amino acid, we’ll do it science, the use of amino acid called tryptophan, which we get from food. And we can convert it either to cortisol, to serotonin, or to melatonin in simple terms. And cortisol is our stress hormone. So if we are super, super busy in the day, or if, like us, like now, it’s fairly late in the day in the UK, for me, so I’m gonna be very high cortisol now, which is not conducive to a good night, a good night’s sleep. So that’s the first thing is is, you know, when, how is I called? How are our cortisol levels? How is our stress? are we supporting that poster in the morning to get up, but we want melatonin at night to go to sleep? And if we’re, you know, if we’re really working late at night, if we’re using our phones, yeah, our phones and our laptops and stuff late at night, that activates cortisol because that blue light. So it’s kind of saying, Actually, I need to be much more mindful of that. Then things like serotonin is made in the girt. So how good is your digestive health? are you snacking constantly Are you are you trying lots of my clients kind of get that little bit of middle age spread. And so they try and cut back on the calories. But then actually, what it means is that they’re probably snacking more on sugary foods, or they’re not getting the nutrients that they need, like, we need B six to make hormones. And if you don’t get an A B six, then you can’t make your hormones. So it’s kind of generous. I mean, it’s this kind of very, kind of, you know, I’m not gonna make it sound hard, what we’re saying is actually, we actually need to kind of prioritize that health and say, right, you know, I, I am going to have a nighttime routine, so that I do activate melatonin, I’m going to actually when I get up in the morning, I’m going to, I’m going to go in the garden and have a walk around so that I’m seeing that light. And I’m telling my natural circadian rhythm, that this is the time when I’m awake. And when I do that bedtime routine, that’s the time to go to sleep, you know, I’m going to make sure that I have three hours between each meal so that my gut has time to make serotonin, I’m going to make sure that I have lots of nuts and seeds, chia seeds, and fruits and vegetables so that I get all the vitamins and minerals I need. And actually, then that isn’t really that hard. That’s actually you know, quite a nice way of looking at it. But you just need to kind of be clever about it. It doesn’t mean you can’t, you know, I’ve got my own business, I retrained 45. And so, you know, that was I didn’t even go to university. So it was a whole new kind of like learning thing for me. It was like a new language. It’s the whole biology like pops the body. Oh, my God. And you’d have asked me what melatonin and serotonin was, I thought melatonin was the thing that made you tan. So you know. I had no chance that you can do it, but you just have to be clever about it and really kind of like nail that kind of health. Get all the health stuff that you possibly can? Because you need it.

Amber Hawley 18:10
Yeah, like you said, I think it is. Well, there’s so much interplay between all of the things that it does take planning and unfortunately, if for people who are ADHD neurodivergent that that planning can be the struggle, right, like so coming up with that plan, sticking with the plan, and often we actually resist those, resist those routines. That’s part of like, you know, the work in which I’m helping people to and I’ve gone through it. I know, I mean, knowing this, and I’ve you know, known people who are really big in the health field, and they would talk about, well, yeah, you need to shut off work by like, 5pm, so that your brain can, you know, not stimulating your brain and like you said, so that you’re producing the melatonin. And I’m like, What’s that is my prime time, like, I am so productive between like, four and seven, you know, or used to be, but it depends, but that’s like that prime time. And so I was like, no, and then I see clients until nine o’clock at night, you know, and it was all of this thing where there was a lot of resistance. But as time goes on, and I see like, Oh, it’s 1,000% True. You know, I’ve even talked about this before, where, like, if I go past a certain time, and I’m actually focusing on work, my brain cannot shut off. And all of a sudden, it’ll be like, four in the morning or something. And I’ve worked through the night and I had the energy. But of course, you know, there’s a there’s a there’s a payout after that hyperfocus we call it the hyperfocus hangover, where you’re so exhausted. And for me, it doesn’t necessarily happen that next day is the day after that. And so it’s like, but sustainability wise, it would be much better to figure out how can I shift things a little bit, even if it’s not, you know, for me, I was like realistically shutting off at five that’s just not going to happen. That’s not how I made. But But figuring out, you know, those those ways to start inching it towards more of that, like balance or being thoughtful, because even the the blue light thing, you know, ideally, you’re supposed to be two hours before you go to bed and I said, Well, that’s unrealistic like nobody’s nobody, like, usually people by the end of their day, and you know, families or dinner or whatever, and then they finally get to their their TV, it’s like, they’re not going to say, well, I’m going to shut off the TV here at 10 o’clock, and then stay up until midnight, so I can fall asleep or whatever. Exactly, yeah, like even an hour makes a difference. And I’ve seen that too, with people were just those small changes, or even a half an hour, but done consistently really does have a really helps.

Wendy Hill 20:46
And I think also having a routine as well. So you know, for me, the thing that I do, I hear you say, you know, I hear you. And what I like to do in the evening is me and my husband like to sit and watch telly. That’s what we that’s what we do. You know, so if we Yeah, if I was gonna see if I was gonna turn off two hours before I went to bed, and well, the only way I would stay awake is by distracting myself with like, doing like cooking or housework or something, which is not gonna work is it? So for me, you know, I have probably only probably half an hour, a half an hour, but it is a routine, you know, kind of, you know, I gotta I kind of take my makeup off. And there’s a little bit of kind of getting my stuff ready for the next day. And that’s my kind of go to bed routine and have a bit of a read. And it’s probably about half an hour. And I think you do have to find your sweet spot what works for you. Because we’re all different. We’re not all the same. And so, yes, in an ideal world, I don’t I one of the things I don’t use, don’t look at my phone. And just be honest, I do put my phone away fairly early. But I still have like the TV on. So that’s not the best. But I don’t put my back, put my phone to bed about nine o’clock. And don’t look at it against all my friends know that if they message me sort of after half a day, they’re not going to get an answer till the morning. So that’s fine. everyone kind of knows that now. But yeah, I do do that. But But yeah, it’s got to be it’s got to be realistic, hasn’t it? It’s like, you know, getting having a drink for me means my sleep is awful. But it’s it’s one of those socially acceptable things to go out and have a drink. And I like the taste of it. And so you know, I will go out and have a celebration. I just don’t drink. Like to come in. I say drink to celebrate, not commiserate. So you know, if I’ve had a really great day, and I’m out with friends, and I’m having a laugh and really enjoy myself, a couple of glasses of wine aren’t really going to hurt me. But if I’m sitting at home, drowning my sorrows with a bottle of wine, you know, in front of the telly with a wine by the side of me, that’s not so good. Is it?

Amber Hawley 22:33
No. Yes, yes. Yeah. And, you know, there’s actually been research around that. I don’t know the actual study. But Dr. Andrew Weil, I talked about this a long time ago, something I had read of his where he said he there were certain things he just didn’t eat just because he knew like his body and how he felt about nutrition. And he said, but when he was out with friends, he was visiting somebody in a different country, and they were having this big celebration, and he ate all these things you normally wouldn’t, and he would normally feel sick. And he said, I felt great the next day, because it was just this different. There’s like this context. And there’s, and I think there’s something and I don’t know, maybe you’ll agree with this. When you are in a place where your health is really good. And where you’ve taken, you have good gut health, you’ve taken care of yourself. Those like one offs don’t seem to impact you as much.

Wendy Hill 23:23
Yeah, 100% I was listening to I was actually listening to a podcast today about drinking. And they were saying, you know, there’s the whole kind of the polyphenols in red wine and all this kind of stuff. And they were saying, you know, there are consistently exceptions to the rule. And we talked about the blue zone living in a Mediterranean diet, and many of those will have a glass of wine pretty much every day or a glass of beer every day. And you see the you know, the 85 year old Nona, walking down to the cafe to have a regular glass of wine, and they’re saying, Is it is it the wine? Or is it the fact that she’s walking every day that she’s seeing friends and family, she has that sense of community and you know that it is the wine is a secondary, she could have had a glass of water, it’s the fact that she’s out kind of seeing everyone and I think that definitely kind of is given the way to think about it, is it associated with positive and kind of back to your question about kind of balance and I call it crowding out so if you’re going to have like if I’m gonna go out if I’m gonna go out for a bender, let’s say you know, and that happens, then I will kind of make sure that the day that I go out I eat really well and then the next day I’ve already got food in the house so you know that whole kind of getting up with a hangover and having like in the UK, it would be like a bacon sandwich like fried sandwich. But if you if you kind of get ready and you get like a lovely smoothie ready and you know you can have a really great lunch then you are crowding out that negative rather than compounding the negative.

Amber Hawley 24:57
I liked that I liked that approach. I mean, because I know sometimes I feel like everybody’s offended by every single word now and they’re like, oh, balance is bullshit. And it’s like, okay, but but the word itself like it, actually, we’re saying, like, you’ve got to have, you’ve got to have this, you got to have that you got to, there’s got to be two sides of that. So I agree, but I do love the idea of that crowding out. So focusing, it’s kind of like, if 90% of the time you’re doing things a certain way that you know, or that make you feel good, because I think that’s the focus, right? It’s about this health and wellness not about looking a certain way or you know, any of that. But when you do that, then yeah, these little these things that you do don’t impact you as much. Plus, I want to say about that 85 year old woman, she’s probably drinking like four ounces, honestly. Oh, obviously. Yeah.

Wendy Hill 25:47
You know, it would be the teen years. Two years glass. Exactly. Yeah. Not like not like my glass.

Amber Hawley 25:54
Yes, yes, I know. I’m sure everybody knows those glasses that can fill but you almost could put a whole bottle in but at least a half a half a bottle in a glass,

Wendy Hill 26:03
tasting it. Yeah. I’m hovering. So it looks like I’m letting the mind breathe.

Amber Hawley 26:09
Exactly, exactly. So I guess when you know, when, when women are coming to you, and they’re talking about, okay, I’m going through these things like, again, I think I think I see the impacts of this at different stages. But I would say the 30s and 40s, where, you know, it’s that perimenopause, or just all those hormonal shifts and things that are going on that seems to be wreaking havoc on their ability to show up consistently. And I think that’s what’s, you know, that’s where the stressor is coming, that I’m hearing from people? What What would you recommend? Where would you recommend they start,

Wendy Hill 26:47
and that may is always start with the basics. So think about, you know, always what you can add, so I’m not a big fan of kind of given someone a big meal plan and saying, off you go. So taking, taking what you’ve got, and make small changes, consistent, small changes, focusing on the nutrients, so we are obsessed by calories. And actually, it’s nutrients we need, it’s the ingredients we need. We all know that, you know, 100 calories in nachos and 100 calories an Apple are entirely different thing. So it’s about ignoring the calories and thinking what am I getting nutrient wise from this meal, thinking about making sure you get enough protein, making sure you get enough fiber fiber is really, really key as well, because it’s for elimination. And if we’re becoming if we’re getting a bit of toxic overload. And then, you know, thinking about toxins, so for me very much, but it’s very much about those baby steps, clients are often very surprised by how little I asked them to do. Because if I if you do a little bit, sort of every couple of weeks for six months, then your diet is transformed without you realizing. Whereas if I gave you all of those changes tomorrow, by the end of month three, you’d have had enough of it. But actually by the element six, this has just become how you eat. So it is, you know, I just don’t think we should try and reinvent the wheel. It should be very, very gentle. But definitely think about what you can add you know, if you’re having, you know, I don’t know, yogurt and some berries for breakfast, could you add some seed features and chia seeds you know full of vitamins and minerals that you need. And if you haven’t a smoothie or you’re having just a fruit smoothie, do you need some hemp seeds in there some flax seeds. And there are some great really natural ingredients that can really support some hormonally, the phyto estrogens are a plant form of estrogen. So they’re really high in things like flax seeds, and oats, tofu, and soy. So you can add adding those to your diet can help balance our estrogen levels. And making sure you’re able to eliminate it effectively is really really important as well, but he’s just really the basics. It’s like, you know, I’m doing myself half a job here, but it’s like drink water, eat nuts and seeds and green leafy veg is the answer to everything.

Amber Hawley 29:06
Yes, yes. And we all know it’s harder to actually stick to those things. I’m sure. I’m sure you still have your job as safe as what am i Yeah, and you’re right. I mean, we know that it’s like small incremental changes are the sustainable, although I do say I know this about, you know, my, my ADHD people like we are very all or nothing. And yeah, we love to do that. I love going all in and having this big plan and going in. But again, like you said, almost without fail, it may last a few months, and then it’s done. And it’s like back to homeostasis. Right. And so those incremental changes really do have a huge impact.

Wendy Hill 29:54
And I think it’s about giving you focus still. So even if you have those tendency when you want to go all in it’s like well We’re just gonna go all in on this one thing, I’m gonna go all in on breakfast. Because it you still kind of have some that you can channel that energy to so you feel like you’re doing something. So, you know, it’s not health by stealth or anything, you still have to kind of make an effort, but you just make an effort in one little area rather than it being really overwhelming because I agree people want you know, they, you know, they’re not going to come to me and go, Oh, well, you know, just a bit better, there’s a bit of it lame really isn’t. So you do have to kind of, you have to give them a real sort of focus, right, and this is what we’re going to work on and push them a little bit outside of their comfort zones. Everyone wants to be challenged a little bit. But it should be it should, there shouldn’t be so much push that you’re that you you’re you know, at the end of the day, if you’re super stressed, and you’re you’re not sleeping and you’ve got brain fog, and you’ve got no energy, and you can’t get yourself out of bed in the morning, you really don’t want me to give you a whole huge, difficult to follow meal plan loads and loads of supplements to do tell you need to exercise an hour every day go to bed at eight o’clock at night. You just like it would just be the worst thing you could do when it? Yeah,

Amber Hawley 31:01
it won’t. Yeah, we won’t do it. It’s just too overwhelming. You know, my husband, he’s much better about balance than I am. But he will say he’s like, you don’t have the time to do all that you don’t have the time for further. And we know we do have enough time for what’s important to us. But like you’re saying making those big shifts. I think with anything like sometimes I like to talk about finding that linchpin habit like that one thing, like, this is the thing that is easy to make the shift on, and it seems to impact the most other things in my life. Yeah,

Wendy Hill 31:34
exactly. Again, and you find that with with a lot of them that if you make a small change, you will get for example, if you’re in a better breakfast, then you won’t get by automatically. You won’t snack mid morning. So you’d be reducing the sugar because you won’t you won’t be reaching for that, you know, sugary snacks that you would have been half having. So rather than say, don’t have that mid morning snack, have a better breakfast automatically takes out of the equation. So you’re gonna get a positive benefit, rather than, you know, taking that negative away girl. She said I can’t have my morning snack. It’s like, Oh, guess what I don’t need anymore.

Amber Hawley 32:11
Exactly, exactly. Yeah. And I don’t know, I find that that’s one of those things for me. Like the whatever I do first thing in the morning, like, I’m somebody who eases into her day, like I don’t schedule work. I don’t care what time I wake up, because I do have lots of sleep problems. I do not schedule things before 11am My time like I’m I am more of a although I’m solidly an afternoon person right now. I’m like that, where’s my little five hour window? Is my dream is my dream scenario. But yeah, I don’t schedule things before 11. So I have all this flexibility in the morning, but, but I know that when I when I choose things that I can choose to eat things that give me energy, or I can choose to do things where I know after I eat it on, I need to go back down, like go lay down for a little nap or something. Right. And I find that yeah, once like you said, once you eat that one thing that makes you feel good, because I am all about food. I love food. I love I’m a foodie. And then it’s like the rest of the day, you just kind of naturally seem to make better choices.

Wendy Hill 33:14
Understand? Yeah, totally. I agree. I agree. And and the way to help you to do that is by making sure you’ve got those things in, isn’t it? So you know, if for example, I said to you, tomorrow, I want you to have a lovely wife, I said to my husband at tomorrow, I want you to have a mushroom omelet for a start off. He hates mushrooms. So he would be like, No, it has to be something you really like. So there are there is always a healthy foods or healthy giving foods that we’d like. So it’s it’s about making sure you’ve got those things there. So you’re like, Oh, I’m gonna have that lovely, you know, almond pancake or something with some blueberries and you know, some coconut yogurt. I’m gonna have that from our assessment because I love that. And it sets you up for the day. But also you haven’t done that you really enjoy it. There has to be I’m like you I’m a foodie. So ultimately, first date, you know, the first thing for me is it does it taste dice. Am I going to enjoy it? And then is it going to be healthy? And you know, it can’t get healthier. It tastes like crap. Well, I’m not going to have it. I’m just to get a because you might do it a couple of times, because you know, it’s doing you good, but you’re not going to do it every day. Oh, yeah.

Amber Hawley 34:18
I know. I know. Yeah. I I know people that can do that. And I’m so impressed by them. But I’m just not that person, like fantasize and like, you know, when I my husband, since he retired has been cooking dinner and I’ll say like, what’s for dinner and he gets really defensive because he thinks I’m gonna be like you because sometimes I do. But he’s like, I’m like I want to fantasize about what I get to eat in a few hours while I’m working and then I come up I want to know like I’m just that person right? But I remember going to this healer person who’s really brilliant and everything but she told me I have to drink celery juice first thing in the morning and it was like a whole stock. You have to Drinking within 15 minutes. Every single morning, she goes, if you do this every single day for 30 days, it will change your life if you just did that one thing. And I literally got to like day 15. And I’m like, What the hell is wrong with me? This would guarantee a change in my life and I wasn’t willing to stick out the 30 days. And you’re like, oh my god, that’s so frustrating, right? But it’s one of those things where I was like it was It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t good.

Wendy Hill 35:29
And it’s like 30 days. Yeah, it’s a lot of time. I know, I hate and I

Amber Hawley 35:33
see you be able to do it. And I often think about doing it again, but But it’s one of those things like you said, sustainability wise, like realistically, I think we have to figure out those things that are easy for us or that we look forward to right. Yeah,

Wendy Hill 35:50
totally. Totally. So she said it was like you know, a nice if you want the celery juice, I don’t know, in a apple juice with a bit of maple and something that it might be all right. But yeah, as it as it is, I’ve got a I’ve got a collagen drink at the moment that I’ve trialed. And I really don’t like the taste of it. And I’ve had this blinking collagen drink now for about six months. I’m like, but it’s not going to must get any good. Is it? Because I’ve literally added like, once every five days, every time I go like this. Why? I think I might just throw it away.

Amber Hawley 36:20
You just gotta find somebody who’s my husband. I had that I had it for like a year and I never drank it because I was like, This is disgusting. He started drinking it. He drink it all like, Oh, that’s wonderful.

Wendy Hill 36:31
It away the most powder. I can’t throw it away what we’re gonna do with it. But yeah, I like measuring out before I go to bed. I like leaving it with my supplements on the side. And still every morning. I’m like, kind of look at it like you go on my skin? I’d rather not haggard.

Amber Hawley 36:50
Yes, exactly. I know. I mean, but I think I like that approach, though. Because realistically, we all know what we quote unquote, should do in a way, right? Like, sometimes we need the education, but it we can know that but knowing and doing are two different things. So totally out of a job.

Wendy Hill 37:13
And we get to choose don’t where we are, we are adults. You know, I for me, my approach is very much give you the information, and then you take it away and make it happen for you. So you know, I’ll tell you what an idea is of a healthy breakfast. I’ll tell you what, uh, what proteins are good to have, you know, how to tell you which fruits and vegetables are better whatever it might be. I’ll give you that information. But ultimately, you’re the one that has to do it. You’re the one that has to apply it and you’re the one that makes the decisions.

Amber Hawley 37:40
Yeah, yes, absolutely. And that is the hard part. That is the work as they say. So going back to this understanding, you’re talking about, you know, small, sustainable changes that kind of build into these new ways of being these new habits, routines. I always like to say routines rather than schedules, like anything that’s too rigid. I think when we’re in that rigidity, that’s when we start to kind of like fight back against it, or that’s not even healthy, right? Like rigidity is unhealthy. We want to be flexible, but we just have to have some kind of, we have to have something there to kind of support us to getting when we’re in these habits. We don’t even have to think about it. Like you said, the ideal place to get to is I don’t even have to think about it. It just happens. So if someone again, like if, you know thinking about the women who have been talking to me about, okay, it’s their sleep, or they’re just like completely no energy. So I’ve heard you say you start by looking at are you making sure you’re drinking enough water? Yeah. Right. My husband mocks me on that one too, because I’m always like, anytime I say anything, he’s like, Did you drink any water? He’s doing it in a mocking way. Have you ever drink any water today? Like I was said it’s my kids too. And I’m like, you had a headache? Maybe you just need to drink some water, you know? So if they’re drinking water, and they’re starting to look at how what are small, you know, sustainable changes I can make to get more nutrient dense food. Is there something else that you would recommend for people to kind of look at or a small baby step to approach addressing like health and or I’m sorry, sleep and energy issues.

Wendy Hill 39:23
Yeah, definitely just stop snacking. Stay simple, but cut snacks give you give you we weren’t designed to constantly eat. And we live in a society now where we eat just all the time. It’s there. The amount of people that I know that have you know on their desk, you know, everyone who’s listening to the podcast. Now if you if you’re sitting at your desk, have a look and see how much food you have within like, you know, a foot of where you are sitting. And I can pretty much guarantee that most people will have some food lying around them in some way, shape or form. And we just Eat all the blinking time, and I guess has lots of other things to do besides process food. And actually given it that space to be able to make the hormones is our immune system is in our guts, you know, and if we were constantly eating and I speak to so many people who have digestive issues in irritable bowel and leaky gut and all the rest of it, and a lot of it comes from just not giving stomach time to rest and repair, it’s quite, it’s eating food is quite damaging to the gut. I mean, you know, it’s fine, we do it all the time, we it’s okay to do that, but it is quite damaging. And if we don’t give, give our guests time to repair, then we are constantly it’s almost like scratching a rash constantly need to let leave it for a few hours so that it dies down again before before we eat again. So thinking about when you’re eating, and how you know, and how much of a gap you’ve got. I’m not a huge fan of the the terms again, are a bit like you and I don’t like toes, I don’t like intermittent fasting and five, two and all this kind of stuff and 16 A and but what I see is like, you know, kind of try and leave three hours between your meals, try and start eating earlier in the day and finish earlier in the day, ideally within a 12 hour eating window if you can, and you can have three meals within 12 hours. This perfect really helps balance our blood sugar. Women parent or perimenopausal women have quite a lot of issues with insulin regulation. That’s to do with estrogen and stress as well constraints can have a huge factor on it as well. So actually, spacing those meals is a really good way of balancing your blood sugar levels, balancing your energy levels and ultimately supporting overall health and sleep. So don’t be snacking at 10 o’clock at night. Okay,

Amber Hawley 41:49
yeah. Yeah, and I’ve heard that from some other people as well, that it’s like the blood sugar regulation is a big piece of it. And I think that’s what’s so hard for a lot of people. I mean, I see this with a lot of entrepreneurs, because they’re working so hard, and they’re just all in. But especially with ADHD, there are times where we’ll all of a sudden be ravenous, like we’re not hungry, we go from nothing to ravenous, because we realized, oh my god, it’s five o’clock at night, and I have not eaten yet today. Like that happens. And so, you know, we’re obviously not regulating our blood sugar.

Wendy Hill 42:25
Yeah, exactly. And then and then you’re starving. And so you probably do what I do, which is you eat while you’re prepping? Because you’re like, What can I put in my mouth right now while I’m chopping this vegetables to make my lovely curry, but I’ve eaten three chocolate bars before.

Amber Hawley 42:39
Yes, or I need to eat like, like another like not meal but like something at like nine o’clock at night, because I haven’t eaten all day long. And, and yeah, so that makes sense. And then you’re saying like, that’s gonna throw our hormones off even more, which that means it will impact our sleep.

Wendy Hill 42:55
Exactly. And then that impacts our cortisol, which impacts has been able to get out because it’s not just about how well we sleep. It is about how sometimes the reason we’re not sleeping particularly well is because we’re not getting up in the morning. So you know, this whole kind of like setting the alarm and snoozing it. And I know you said you’re not a morning person. But I think you’re managing that and saying, you know, I don’t I don’t have the energy in the morning to do those things. So that’s fine. But if you’re having to get if you’re having to get up and go go to a job or getting you know, go for appointment, and you set that alarm, and then you snooze, and snooze, and snooze, it actually that’s really not doing very good you should do like you do as you which is you let your body naturally wake up if you can. And if you can’t, and you set an alarm, get up, get up. Because if you’re gonna keep going on off on off with a cortisol, it’s a natural circadian rhythm and your body just it’s like it just know what it’s meant. It doesn’t know what it’s meant to be doing. Because you just you keep messing with it all the time.

Amber Hawley 43:51
Yes, no, that’s a great point. Yeah. And I do feel I’m so grateful that I I’m able, you know, 99.9% of the time, I don’t ever have to set an alarm and I just wake up naturally now. Whereas back in the day, like that wasn’t the case. And it’s really hard. You know, but But yeah, being aware that the snooze, you feel like you’re getting an extra 10 minutes, but it’s impacting you hormonally, not that might be enough for somebody to say, Okay, I have to understand, like what I’m doing right now is going to be impacting me later on tonight. And sadly, kind of

Wendy Hill 44:23
Yeah, you’re not getting 10 You’re not getting 10 minutes now. You’re probably getting an hour less later.

Amber Hawley 44:29
Right, right. Yes. Okay. Well, this is awesome. I mean, you know, lots of lots of good nuggets of wisdom and you know, hopefully for people some some thoughts about understanding the bigger impact of haul all of this stuff interplays with one another. So if people want to find more information, listen to you more because you know, the lovely accent as well. And if they want to listen and get more information from you, where are the best places to find you

Wendy Hill 45:00
So I also have a podcast and obviously I’m baby, we’re on that very soon. So my podcast is called Are you really going to eat that? The answer is often Yes, but maybe in moderation. And then I hang out on Facebook and Instagram and my handle is @hill starts nutrition on base.

Amber Hawley 45:19
Wonderful, wonderful. We’re we’re gonna have everything in the show notes, including your website for people to connect with you. But thank you so much Wendy for coming on.

Wendy Hill 45:29
Now. It’s been a delight been good friend. Thank you.

Amber Hawley 45:31
Thank you.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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