Emma’s opening line as she plopped down was, “I need your help I’m feeling stuck, overwhelmed and depressed and I’m done with feeling this way. I’m on my third different antidepressant and I’m not feeling any better, I’m feeling worse.”
I’d heard this comment expressed in many ways over the years. As a pharmacist I’d dispensed endless boxes of antidepressants and very few of the patients had experienced a miraculous surge of happiness.
Emma sat across from me slumped in her chair, pale, drawn with a deep sadness. Downtrodden, lost and overwhelmingly stuck were words that came to mind. I’d seen that look many times before.
She’d just turned 50 and taken a life stock take, that scared the hell out of her. Marriage limping along, energy 3/10 most days and she’d given up work a few years back because of a shoulder injury that wouldn’t mend and her parents needed constant help to desperately cling onto their independence at home. Her two teen boys were testing boundaries in their quest for freedom as they became young men. She was going from crisis to crisis.
After years of experience, I feel antidepressants may push the reset button if you’re in a crisis, for some people and situations but for others it makes them unable to process their feelings, increases anxiety, crashes their libido and dials up their appetite.
I feel the real answers lie in more than a pill. We’re complex being in our own microcosms. Life is a series of choices and some things we have control over, others we don’t.
Real solutions lie in addressing these microcosms and underlying problems we have control over, which may be low energy, diagnosed thyroid problems, relationships problems, poor boundaries, poor self care, bad diet and lifestyle, low iron or B12…..the list goes on.
Emma was sick of her antidepressant merry-go-round and wanted to see what other options were on offer. She wanted results, something that really worked long term. The emotional pain had become so great she couldn’t stay there any longer. She was on a life decluttering mission.
I identified Emma’s problem areas through thorough case taking, blood and salivary hormone testing, life coaching, reviewing her daily habits and patterns. I crafted a plan unique for Emma and within 2 visits I had a beautiful 50 year old woman with energy, hope, spirit and optimism. She had a plan, momentum, tools, energy and a new perspective on life. Yay
Ever reached a time in your life when the pain was turned to a 9/10 and you asked yourself how did I get here? And at that point realized it was a series of choices you’d chosen over time and doing nothing is a choice as well.
Acknowledging you have a problem is the first step to addressing them. I start at the foundations.
Here are 4 antidotes to feeling stuck, overwhelmed and depressed:
Have you come to accept feeling tired and exhausted as normal? Jackie had.
Her doctor had told her being tired was part of being older and a grandmother and she’d do better if she lost the extra 10kg she was carrying, to reduce her risk of getting diabetes. If only it was that easy? Like clicking your fingers….10kgs be gone.
Exhausted? Craving sugar? Sex drive zero? Gaining kilos around your middle? That was Jackie. It’s a common story.
Jackie walked through my clinic with dark circles under her eyes and edged up the stairs slowly with a sigh. She looked like she was dragging herself through the day with gumboots filled with concrete. I could almost hear her say, does life have to be this hard. She didn’t look well.
Jackie had retired from her teaching job one year ago and was busier than ever with grandparent duties. She loved looking after her grandkids but was so exhausted and it was getting worse. Every night she craved ice cream and had a stash of lollies and chocolates in her bag, just in case she needed a boost. Her sex drive was zero, she could hardly make it to bed most nights, opting for the couch since the bed seemed so far away.
Her waist was expanding every month, the numbers going up, up and up.
Have you come to accept feeling tired and exhausted as normal?
Are you sick of feeling flat, exhausted and overwhelmed? Want to bring back your spark?
As a naturopath, I treat people from all walks of life – young, old, all shapes and sizes. Lack of energy, zip, mojo (whatever you want to call it) is the most common problem by far. They’ve lost their spark – their ‘get up’n go’. If that sound like you or someone you know read on. I’ll show you how a combo of naturopathic medicine and life coaching can bring back your spark ASAP.
Most come to see me for the tip of the iceberg, exhaustion, overwhelmed by life, often living on carbs, sugar or caffeine to give them energy for life. As a naturopath, pharmacist and life coach I delve below the surface to find what’s driving the show.
To find out where the problem lies I assess a few things. Number one is your base layer – your patterns of eating, thinking, moving, drinking, sleeping, recharging, these reveal a lot about how you’re showing up every day and have a huge impact on your health. Small things done often tend to do that, which is an “ah-ah” moment in itself.
As we grow older it’s only natural to get a bit comfortable with where we are in life, but with that often comes a sense that we have to be responsible now so we can live a little later. Life is happening right now and while it might be smart to have a nest egg for the future, that doesn’t mean you can’t live a little (or a lot) right now. Stop making excuses about why you can’t go on that big trip, volunteer in another country, or do that seemingly crazy thing you’ve always wanted to try. Life is a journey to be enjoyed, embraced, and explored and what good is it to wait to do all of those amazing things if you are too old to enjoy it? Don’t wait, do it now. – Huffpost
“Change your patterns, change your life” – Julie Smethurst
Once you’ve addressed your foundations you look for imbalances in your body. Signs, symptoms, testing, intuition and experience help me to dig these up. This where my 28 years of experience in health industry kicks in (yes I started when I was 5yo!). Here you may find a variety of problems ranging from digestive issues, gut infections, nutrient deficiencies, food intolerances, autoimmune diseases, thyroid problems, hormonal imbalances, adrenal fatigue and the list goes on.
Now, it’s time to step back and construct a masterplan to suit you. This means knowing how different systems affect each other and seeing the big picture of what needs to be done and in what order. The art is in assessing where you are now and knowing the path to get to where you want to go. I guide you along step by step coaching and teaching you what needs to be done.
Ultimately my job is to empower you by teaching and guiding you along a path tailored to your needs, so you arrive at your desired destination. From here, amazing things will happen. I’ve seen people finally take that job, go out on that date, declutter what’s not working in their life and bring in what does.
It makes me smile all over every time I see a transformation from hopelessness to hope, with a spring their step and a sparkle in their eye. All I know is the world needs more people who’ve come alive.
They live longer happier lives. Having their spark back allows them to love bigger, live brighter and contribute more to making the world a better place. Who could ask for more than that!
Bring Back Your Spark Case Study – Treating Symptoms of Low Energy and Weight Loss Through Naturopathic Medicine
Here’s Lisa’s case study:
- 44 year old female
- Presented with low energy 3/10 and couldn’t lose weight even on a restrictive 1200 cal/day.
- Poor stamina, weak muscles, could only manage walking once a week for exercise.
- Bad PMS symptoms, heavy, clotted, cramping periods
- Bloating after every meal and prone to constipation
- Had an itchy rash that comes and goes on her forearms
- History of glandular fever as a child that took 12 months to recover from
- Diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis 10 years ago and was on thyroid medication prescribed by her doctor.
- Family history of autoimmune disease Lupus
- Presents as exhausted, dark circles under eyes, dragging herself along…lost her spark
- Goals – lose 13kg, increase energy
- Ran a new set of blood tests at GP
- Tested for food intolerances
- Salivary hormone testing
- Increased water intake to 2.5L/day
- Reduced caffeine drinks to ideally 1 per day
- Green smoothie 1/day
- Reduced alcohol to maximum 2 drinks on weekend
- Daily deep abdominal breathing 2 minutes
- Gave nutrients to maximise energy production
- Blood tests from GP revealed low iron, B12, MTHFR (needing activated B’s)
- Food intolerance results revealed problem digesting dairy, eggs, some grains
- Started detox & gut/ liver reset programme
- Salivary hormone results revealed extremely high cortisol on waking & extremely low after midday, explaining the energy crash after lunch and treated with nutrients, herbs and lifestyle recommendations
- Low progesterone, high oestrogen detected via salivary testing and treated with nutrients & herbs. Addressing liver/gut and adrenals makes huge positive impact here.
- Continued with anti-inflammatory diet
- Swapped to sublingual bioidentical thyroid medication and titrated to most effective dose, now Lisa’s able to exercise daily without muscle soreness and has loads of stamina.
- Spark is totally back in her eyes, dark circles have gone.
- Periods are lighter, no PMS and sugar cravings, feeling emotionally more balanced
- Fluid retention has gone, feeling energised and alert
- Lost 5kg to date
Now Lisa’s body has been rebalanced by addressing her gut and hormonal imbalances (adrenals, thyroid, sex hormones, blood sugar) she is all set to repeat the new skills I’ve taught her often. Super easy now her energy’s back and she has great patterns of eating, drinking, moving, thinking, recharging and being.
Bring Back Your Spark – Mission accomplished! And I’m still around if she needs a reset or tune-up.
Is it time to bring back your spark? You only get one go in this body so you may as well make the most of it. CLICK HERE to book online to get started today. Appointments available in person or skype.
Julie xx (Naturopath, Life Coach, Pharmacist) Feeling Great Health Solutions, Mt Martha Ph: 0438 593523
Struggling with sugar cravings or is it an all-out sugar addiction? You’ve decided it’s time to slay the sugar monster.
I see it often, gorgeous people like yourself, deciding to take the stand to dial the sugar meter down and the health meter up. After all, you want to enjoy your life and retirement, not have your wings cut by health issues and crazy travel insurance premiums from ill health.
What does being 65, look like for you? I do know you can’t buy your health back. Time to put a preventative framework in place.
Ok….now you’ve made the declaration, “I’m not eating sugar anymore”! Almost instantly you can’t get sugar out of your head and you’re sabotaging yourself all over the place….petrol station, supermarket, coffee catch up..
How did this happen? Firstly, your brain, god and your subconscious doesn’t hear don’t. All they hear is what you say after it.
Never, ever make a declaration in the negative. Like, ‘I won’t eat sugar anymore’. Instead, say ‘I will eat mostly vegetables, fruit, meat, nuts and seeds for the next 30 days’. Ahhh….that feels better already! Not even a sniff of the word sugar in that declaration. It sounds doable and sustainable……and dripping with success.
Now you’re focused on vegetables, meat, fruit, nuts and seeds. Time to clear the house out of everything that isn’t in those food groups, such as lollies, chocolate, soft drink, alcohol (yes it’s a sugar) and refined grain products, such as bread, cakes, doughnuts, pasta.
Now here are 3 hot tips to kicking sugar cravings and addictions for good: (more…)
Hormones and Weight Gain After 40 – Don’t Give Into Fat, Frumpy and Grumpy
Hormones and Weight Gain After 40 – I was inspired to write this week when I came across a recent social media comment, that really shocked me – ‘I think for women in 40-55-year-old age group we’ve given up on being able to lose weight, with metabolism & hormone changes through menopause…’
Wow….really! I was totally horrified by the collective acceptance of that comment. It gave me instant visuals of lying on a train track, ready to get severed in half and saying it’s my destiny.
There’s no resignation to fat, frumpiness and grumpiness on my watch!
Hormones and Weight Gain After 40, It’s all so fixable. I do it multiple times a day five days a week – fix, tweak and rebalance hormonal issues. It’s so doable. Having a background in pharmacy and naturopathy, with 25 years experience under my belt, makes it all second nature. And of course, being in this age bracket myself, I do have an appreciation for what this wonderful lady was expressing.
But generally feeling and looking less than great is not OK, nor is it simply a normal sign of ageing. Your hormones are just out of balance and in need of a little TLC or a reboot.
Hormones sweepingly refer to many endocrine organs, which are essentially your thyroid, adrenal, pancreatic and sex hormones.
Here are some signs that will point you in the right direction. And yes, you can often have multiple imbalances….since they are linked in many feedback loops….and we’re not that simple that it’ll be just one thing. Plus, I don’t want to get bored!
Sluggish thyroid problems, often show up as fatigue along with constipation, thinning hair, weight gain you can’t seem to shift, depression, brain fog.
Adrenal problems, involving DHEA, cortisol, often shows up as fatigue and difficulty sleeping, anxiety, weight gain around the middle, craving sugar, irritability, night sweats.
Pancreatic problems or insulin resistance often shows up as expanding waist line, brain fog, dry mouth, variable energy.
Sex hormone problems, involving oestrogen, progesterone, testosterone often shows up as low libido, menstrual changes, hot flushes, PMS, dryness, fibroids (heavy bleeding), irritation, moodiness.
Hormonal serum blood tests, from your doctor, won’t always pick up the problem. Since blood tests only test for total hormones, bound and unbound. We’re interested in unbound hormones since these are the active ones. That’s why salivary hormone testing is a better option for adrenal and sex hormones.
CLICK HERE to get salivary hormone testing done today. It’s not super expensive and is an integral way to getting to back to feeling and looking great.