Eat Mindfully (this one will change everything): When I talk with clients that are dealing with digestive issues from reflux, to bloating, gas, IBS, etc, the first question I ask is how they eat? I want the details! Chewing, being focused, and enjoying your food not only makes a huge difference with your overall weight but how our body digests and absorbs important nutrients. Slow down, focus, chew, enjoy.
As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jayne Williams, C.H.H.C, A.A.D.P, N.L.C
Jayne is a Certified Integrative Health and Nutrition Expert and long-time advocate of health and nutrition. Having suffered for many years with gut and stress related issues, Jayne empowered herself to learn everything she could to get healthy and, in turn, has made it her life’s work to help others to do the same. She now helps her clients improve their health in a clear-cut attainable approach, by gradually introducing healthy eating habits and living practices specific to their body and lifestyle. Most importantly, she works with each client to create a personalized plan of action that supports both their short and long term health goals.
Jayne is a former fitness instructor, journalist and served as the CEO of the American Red Cross in South Central Connecticut overseeing various health care programs and classes. She received her training from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner through the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. Jayne is currently pursuing her Masters of Science in Nutrition and Integrative Health from Maryland University, is ACE Trainer Certified, Nutritious Life Certified, and has an additional Certification in Gut Health.
Originally from Connecticut, Jayne now lives in Orlando, Florida with her daughter and husband.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?
Thanks so much for including me! My story goes back to my childhood when I was 5 years old. My parents went through a messy divorce and I became an amazing “bottler.” I was the kid who was sunshine on the outside, working hard to keep the peace, but a mess on the inside. That mess manifested into horrible gut issues throughout my 20’s. Between poor eating habits, not knowing how to deal with stress, and major IBS I was in a downward spiral. After an emergency visit to the ER and a colonoscopy, I was placed on prescription medication to “help” ease symptoms…..at the time I thought it was going to be a “quick fix.” But after 1 miscarriage, 3 years of infertility treatments, an incredible desire to have a child, and being tired of always feeling bad I decided I needed to empower myself to get healthy and kick the perscription meds. That’s when I discovered nutrition school, my passion for holistic health and wellness, and my desire to learn all I could around the idea of what it actually means to be healthy and nourish my body.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
I think it was more life changing than a story for me. Having dealt with anxiety and gut issues most of my life up to that point, I really didn’t know you could actually “feel good” in your skin. I lived in a chronic state of falling apart on the inside and smiling on the outside. When I made that shift and empowered myself, tapped into my intuition and made changes to heal my body and my life…..the world looked completely different. It was then that I realized and felt a responsibility to share my knowledge and empower others to do the same. I knew I was not alone, and I knew with every fiber of my being that this was what I was created to do.
Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?
Oh my, there are so many! I did a smoothie demo for a pretty sizable crowd when I was just starting out and was multitasking between using the blender and speaking. I didn’t realize that the top wasn’t completely on the blender, turned it on, and let’s just say I was wearing more smoothie than people could drink! I learned to just relax, go with the flow (no pun intended) and just be real! Mistakes happen and you just need to roll with it. It actually ended up being a great ice-breaker and warmed up the crowd.
Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?
I love to learn! I am constantly challenging myself to uplevel my education and business. I sit for at least 1, if not 2 new certifications a year. I think my unique contribution is the fact that I walked my own journey to wellness. I empowered myself to make the changes, focus on gut health when it wasn’t a “sexy” thing to talk about the gut, and know that I made the changes and decision to get off pharma that wasn’t serving me. I believe we don’t need to make health complicated and that’s how I teach. Simple steps equal huge rewards and it all starts in your gut.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There are so many!! I have met so many incredible women (and) men who are working in this industry that I have learned from, who have helped me to improve my skills and have empowered me to rise both in life and business. One woman in particular is Brooke Thomas. She has been a true bright light and mentor in my life. It was her guiding nature that helped me to shed pieces of my story that had been holding me back from building my business. She taught me to walk in faith over fear and to walk boldly both in business and in life. She is a true cheerleader, a dear friend, and a sister to me.
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?
Love this question as this is where I always begin with new clients. Goals, Outcomes, and Action. We innately know the steps we need to take to eat healthier and live healthier, but so frequently we don’t take them. Why? It starts with Mindset and organizing your own goals, outcomes and then taking action. Our Goals get us to our Outcome. We so frequently just want to jump to the outcome without putting the steps (goals) in place to get there. Once we prioritize what those goals or simple actionable steps are to reach our desired outcome, then we can take action. Without a plan, there can be no action. This is true for life. This is where a coach/mentor is so vital.
Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)
- Drink more water: So often we confuse hunger for thirst. I talk with more women who aren’t drinking enough water every day. One of the first things I encourage my clients to buy is a 32 oz water bottle (plastic free) and for them to fill it twice with water throughout the day. If you are exercising you may need more. Water is so important, beginning with cellular function to helping every organ in your body do its job. It is a vital resource for our health. A simple tip: get a 32 oz glass mason jar and fill it before you go to bed, put it bedside so when you get up it’s the first thing you do! Starting hydration when you wake up helps prime your body for great digestion throughout the day.
- Eat more greens: I know we have heard this before, but greens provide a heavy dose of necessary fiber to our daily diets. They also are micro nutrient-rich (lots of important minerals) and provide vital resources our bodies need to function well every day. I also love greens for their water density. This provides even more nutrient absorption into our cells and helps us combat free radicals (aka) the bad guys that cause inflammation.
- Eat Mindfully (this one will change everything): When I talk with clients that are dealing with digestive issues from reflux, to bloating, gas, IBS, etc, the first question I ask is how they eat? I want the details! Chewing, being focused, and enjoying your food not only makes a huge difference with your overall weight but how our body digests and absorbs important nutrients. Slow down, focus, chew, enjoy.
- Move EVERY day: If we want things to flow well in our body, we need to move well for our body. It can be as simple as going for a brisk 20 minute walk to a full out cardio piece, to a mindful yoga session — just move! Don’t look at it as a luxury you need to fit in but, a vital part of your overall health.
- Don’t Eat Until You’re Full: This is a trick I taught myself that helped me to lose 20 stubborn pounds in my 20s and has served me well throughout my life. If you eat until you feel “full” you have overeaten. Instead you want to eat to where you are “content”. On a scale of 1–10 where 10 is really overfull, you want to be a 5. Everyone is different as far as where this number falls, but if you are eating mindfully — chewing, engaged in your meal and not your phone, tv, or some other distraction — you will intuitively know where that falls. I also like to buy 6-inch wide bowls that help me be mindful around the amount I am eating. It’s a great simple tool that helps you keep yourself in check. The more you practice this, the better you will be at it and quickly learn what feels best.
As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?
- Better Sleep: Studies have shown that people who exercise daily have better sleep “quality” at night. That’s the deep sleep that we all need to “restore.” You need to test the time of day that works better for you and your body. Some people do well with an evening exercise routine and others do better in the morning. Just 20 minutes of exercise a day can make a huge difference in your sleep quality.
- Better Digestion: It’s been proven that moving your body every day helps your body with better digestion. When we exercise our muscles in our gut especially help create that downward flow, aiding in better digestive health.
- Better Mood: Exercise actually raises our endorphins (those feel good chemicals or “mood lifters”) Studies have shown by exercising daily we you can actually decrease anxiety and depression.
For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?
- Squats: Our abdominal muscles are the core of our body. We require them to sit, stand straight up and lift. They are so important for overall health. Simply using a chair that is a bit lower and practicing standing out of a sitting position with no assistance is a great place to start. As your muscles get stronger you can use something lower.
- Walking: 20 to 30 minutes of a brisk walk (one that will raise your heartrate) is a perfect place to start for your cardiovascular health. It gets our blood pumping, helps with digestion, sleep and overall body function. It’s wonderful to do on your own, with a friend or even your whole family. Making it part of your daily routine while eating a healthy diet will change the course of your health.
- Strength Training: As we age we lose muscle mass. Strength training is an excellent way to keep those muscles functioning properly and prevent early aging. An easy functional strength training movement is to sit on the edge of a chair with your hands next to either side of your body, gripping the edge of the chair. Slowly lower and raise your body, with your knees bent for 10 reps. As you become stronger you can go lower and even outstretch your legs for more intensity. It’s a great arm and core workout.
In my experience, many people begin an exercise regimen but stop because they get too sore afterwards. What ideas would you recommend to someone who plays sports or does heavy exercise to shorten the recovery time, and to prevent short term or long term injury?
- Hydrate Frequently: When you aren’t properly hydrated injuries happen. Our bodies and cells become depleted of vital nutrients. It’s important to make sure that you are properly hydrating your body throughout your exercise routine.
- Replenish your electrolytes: After a hard workout you need to assist your body in replenishing those vital minerals that you have lost. Frequently, we feel ok initially but then we hit a wall and feel terrible. Coconut water is an excellent, natural way to replenish those electrolytes. I recommend doing so directly after exercising and not waiting. If you don’t like the taste add a bit of flavor — natural juice is ok as long as it’s not full of added sugar.
- Epsom Salt Bath: Many people find that soaking in a warm epsom salt bath after exercising can help tremendously with recovery of sore muscles. It is believed that the magnesium and sulfate penetrate your skin to help break down the soreness.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?
I love The Mind-Gut Connection by Emeran Mayer, MD. This book was eye opening around the ideas that our bodies and overall health are impacted by our mood and our food choices. For so long I saw my body in silos, if I was having a gut issue…it was just in my gut. After reading this book and understanding that we have an “information highway” of neurotransmitters that run between our brain and our gut, that influence both our mood and physical state, the way I viewed medicine completely changed. The story is a portrayal of my own health journey. Recognizing that my gut issues were really a brain/gut issue and addressing it as a “whole” through mindfulness, mindset, nutrition and movement changed both my health and well being.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
My Movement is called “Your Nourished Body” and involves living a life of joy and good health through intuitive mindset and eating. The Nourished body begins with Mental Wellness. When we change our mindset around food, life, relationships with others and ourselves, everything changes in our life. Living a Nourished life is living in alignment and getting away from the idea of constantly balancing. Life is constantly changing, but when we are in alignment with our bodies everything changes. Mental Wellness IS the new Physical Wellness. When we change our mindset, tune in and take action, our life and our potential are limitless.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” Steve Jobs.
This quote has played true so many times in my life. Every job I have had, every challenge, every experience has connected me to where I am now. It has created such a belief that just like our bodies everything is interconnected, even if we don’t see or understand it at the time. Every experience, every challenge is part of the beautiful tapestry that only you have. I believe everyone was created to share their beautiful, unique gifts with the world. We just need to tune in, leap and grow our wings on the way down!
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)j
There are so many empowered women that I love to follow who share their gifts to empower others every single day, but if I had to pick one it would be Sara Blakely. She is just so real, worked her ass of to build what she has, constantly empowers women through her foundation, speaking and real life shares. She has amazing energy and strength of character, along with such clarity of who she is. I wouldn’t even try to change her Cheez-it obsession ……lol.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
They can reach me at my website: https://www.jaynewilliamswellness.com/
On Instagram at: https://www.instagram.com/jayne_williamswellness/?hl=en
Or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/jaynewilliamswellness/
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!