Episode 41: Food, mental health and stress – with Lindsey Jenkin, Nutritional Therapist and Lifestyle Coach

Nutritionist and lifestyle coach Lindsey Jenkin explains how panic attacks and anxiety led her to study nutrition and how we can improve our mental health and stress levels through the food that we eat.

Today’s guest

Lindsey Jenkin of lindseyjenkin.com

Website: Lindsey Jenkin

Facebook: Lindsey Jenkin Nutrition, Lifestyle and Wellbeing (also check out her Nourish Facebook Group)

Instagram: lindseyjenkin

LinkedIn: Lindsey Jenkin

Contact: lindsey@lindseyjenkin.com

Lindsey Jenkin is a Nutritional Therapist and Lifestyle Coach on a mission to make healthy living uncomplicated and sustainable.

She is a straight talking, results-driven practitioner who believes that good health is accessible to all of us.  Her mission is to make healthy living uncomplicated so you can feel better, be more successful and reverse or reduce the risk of lifestyle-related illness.

Lindsey started experiencing severe anxiety, panic attacks and bouts of depression in her late teens and this went on well into my late 20’s.  At times it would spiral out of control and make her agoraphobic.  She spent many years feeling stuck and held back – I knew I wanted so much more though.

Lindsey was determined to beat it and spent countless hours over the years learning about the relationship diet, exercise, stress and sleep has with physical and mental health.  These were the key areas that helped her regain control and the key areas that she focuses on daily to make sure she stays in control.

Lindsey spent many years working in the fashion and advertising industries.  She decided to retrain as a Nutritional Therapist in 2013 and spent 3 years studying evenings and weekends alongside her full-time job.  She had her daughter, Willow, in her final year and set up her business while on maternity leave.

What you’ll learn in this episode

  • The impact that what we eat has on our mental health and how we feel, and how diet can be directly linked to anxiety and depression
  • The importance of language around the type of food we eat
  • How individual our diets are, and how what works for one person might not work for someone else
  • How to make dietary changes manageable
  • The number one change we could all make to improve our diet
  • The value of eating “seasonally” and learning how to cook

Resources mentioned in this episode

Please note that some of these are affiliate links and we may get a small commission in the event that you make a purchase.  This helps us to cover our expenses and is at no additional cost to you.

To see the resources recommended by all our guests, visit the Resources page.

Episode 41: Food, mental health and stress - with Lindsey Jenkin, Nutritional Therapist and Lifestyle Coach

Jeremy Cline 0:00
Hi, I'm Jeremy Cline and this is Change Work Life.

Jeremy Cline 0:02
Hello and welcome to Change Work Life, the podcast that's all about beating this Sunday evening blues and enjoying Mondays again. Back in Episode 31 we talked with Mio Yokoi about how you look after your mental health. Well this episode covers a particular aspect of that, and in particular how food can affect your mental health. My guest this week is Lindsey Jenkin, who is a nutritionist and lifestyle coach, as well as talking through her story and why she went into becoming a nutritionist, Lindsay gives us some great recommendations about how we can look after our mental health through what we eat. Here's the interview.

Jeremy Cline 0:33
Hello, Lindsay, welcome to the podcast.

Lindsey Jenkin 0:54
Hello, thank you. Thanks for having me.

Jeremy Cline 0:55
Can you start by introducing yourself, tell us what you do, please.

Lindsey Jenkin 0:58
Yes. I'm Lindsay Jenkin. I am a nutritional therapist. And I've added on to that and lifestyle coach as well. So my qualification is nutritional therapy, but because it incorporates more than food, I do some lifestyle coaching as well.

Jeremy Cline 1:13
And what is nutritional therapy?

Lindsey Jenkin 1:14
Nutritional therapy is a very holistic approach to the way we eat and the way we live. So I studied at the College of Naturopathic Medicine. So the way we look at clients is we look at them as a whole person and you treat that person rather than a symptom that they're experiencing. So someone might come to you with say a digestive issue, and my role is to be a bit of an investigator and find out what might actually be the root cause. And that could be multiple different things. It could be a very stressful lifestyle, could be a food intolerance - it's treating the root cause rather than the symptom. The body is a network of systems that work synergistically together - so why are they not working synergistically? So I hope that explains it.

Jeremy Cline 1:59
Yeah. Well, I mean, I'd certainly like to dive into that in a bit more detail. But can we first talk a bit about how you got into that? Because you weren't doing that before were you, I think you were doing something quite different. So can you tell us a bit about what you were doing and how you got into this?

Lindsey Jenkin 2:14
I previously worked for a long time in the fashion industry. I moved into the advertising industry. When I left my full time job, I was actually working as an audio visual editor in the advertising industry, so quite different what I'm doing now. Nutrition, exercise, lifestyle, that kind of thing has always been a big interest to me. And I suppose I would have said it was more of a hobby, but it kind of came from actually when I was younger, I experienced an awful lot of anxiety, panic attacks from a very, very young age. And over the years, I kind of worked out there was a relationship between how well I was looking after myself and how severe the symptoms were. And actually I realised that I could manage them very well through lifestyle choices and dietary changes and things like that. And then although I've always been very passionate about food, I'm very fortunate that I have a mother that's a very good cook, so I was always exposed to good real food growing up that I enjoy cooking, but then I realised that food was much more powerful than just a fuel, and I kind of got more interested in the science of it. And the reason that I went and studied it where I did - at the College of Naturopathic Medicine - is because I found it was the way that I was managing the symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks that I was getting was there was no one approach. If I was exercising, if I was sleeping quite well, if I was managing my stress levels, if I was eating well - it was that combination that helped me kind of stay on top of it and being in control of it, not just one thing. So that's why I went down that route of study.

Jeremy Cline 3:50
When you started studying, did you study for yourself for your own benefit, or were you at that stage thinking that this was something you'd practice?

Lindsey Jenkin 3:57
No, I was thinking it was something that I wanted to change career. I enjoyed the jobs that I did, but I wouldn't say I got a huge amount of satisfaction from them. They didn't give me much of a sense of purpose. And I think that's what I was looking for actually. Because before going back and studying, I'd done a lot of self study, I read a lot - and as I said, it was kind of a big interest to me. So I understood quite a lot before I started studying. And then I think I was helping people along the way - you know, people would ask me questions, and 'Oh I'm feeling like this, and this is happening, what would you do?' And I got a huge amount of satisfaction out of helping people to feel better. And that's when I realised, it was a bit of a light bulb moment. I think I never considered that you could earn money and make a living doing something you enjoyed. I don't know why that was.

Jeremy Cline 4:48
I think it's a pretty common belief, to be honest.

Lindsey Jenkin 4:50
Yeah, yeah.

Jeremy Cline 4:51
What got you into the jobs you were doing before you discovered this?

Lindsey Jenkin 4:56
I sort of fell into them a little bit, I think. Especially working in fashion - I came out of university, I studied business and I had friends in the industry and kind of took on jobs and then progressed through companies. I then decided to take a year out. I went travelling, then I came back. And again, I had kind of friends working within the advertising industry and they were environments that I enjoyed being in, I enjoyed the people that I worked with, and didn't have this very kind of focused career that I wanted to pursue. I was looking for environments I enjoyed working within and teams of people that I enjoyed working with rather than the job itself, I think. And then that really changed when I decided that nutrition would be my career and my focus, because now I just can't imagine doing anything else.

Jeremy Cline 5:45
And when did you first discover this whole area of nutritional therapy? You said that you done a lot of reading, a lot of self-study, but going back to the beginning - when did you first discover that it existed?

Lindsey Jenkin 5:58
I think it was around 2013. I was kind of having conversations with a mentor about what I could do and kind of long term dissatisfaction that I had with these jobs that I was doing, and just not necessarily being able to see a future in it. And then I just started researching. I didn't know anyone who did what I wanted to do. I'm quite different to a lot of my friends - they just didn't really have much of an interest in nutrition. I just started doing a lot of online research and just found the course sounded like everything that I wanted to understand more about and how I wanted to practice with potential clients. So in 2013, I went back to college part-time alongside a full-time job and did that for three years. So that was my social life gone! Working, studying evenings and weekends for three years - but there was that realisation that when you're doing something you enjoy, it's very different - and I enjoyed it. It was quite hard work.

Jeremy Cline 7:00
Where had the interest in nutrition come from to begin with?

Lindsey Jenkin 7:03
My mum's been quite a big inspiration. My mum worked full-time hours and I have two brothers, but she always found time to cook homemade food. It was nothing fancy, but it was homemade and fresh, and I think she'd got that from her mother. I'd always been around what I would call real food - because obviously, we're living in a world where there's a lot of processed food. And then I really enjoyed cooking for other people and this enjoyment and satisfaction people got from food, and then understanding, like I said, through the symptoms that I got probably before my early teens, how my lifestyle choices and what I was eating, how that was actually making me feel. I'd become quite in tune with my body. So I think that's probably where it stemmed from, quite a young age.

Jeremy Cline 7:50
And what's the biggest challenge that you've had turning this from an interest into a business?

Lindsey Jenkin 7:57
I decided to do it in my final year of study. So I was working full-time, and I was going into my final year and there was quite a lot of work to do. I also discovered I was pregnant! So it was quite a challenging year, but I was determined to get through it. It kind of felt like a now or never moment - I was going on maternity leave, and I felt like that was the time to start this career. It was challenging in that I was navigating being a new mother with setting up a business. I'd never run a business before, I'd always been employed. And I think the other challenge is because I decided to start at a time that felt most convenient. I didn't have an awful lot of savings, so I didn't have that safety blanket either. It was a very challenging time, and a very challenging couple of years. I'm three years into my business now.

Jeremy Cline 8:48
What was the reaction of friends and family to this, I mean seeing that you'd just become a mother and you're starting a business? Did they think that you were completely loopy?

Lindsey Jenkin 8:55
No, I think people kind of admired it. And when I told people my career, what I was moving to, it made complete sense to everyone. So I don't think it came as a huge shock. But actually I have two brothers who run their own businesses. So I have a partner who runs his own business. I'm surrounded by quite entrepreneurial people. Yeah, I think they were just very supportive, actually.

Jeremy Cline 9:17
My next question was, how did you learn how to run a business? It sounds like you already had quite a lot of support there, or did you do a lot of reading as well? Or did you just dive in and learn as you went?

Lindsey Jenkin 9:27
It was a lot of learning. It was helpful having people around me that run businesses, but the way I was gonna set up my business was gonna be quite different. I was providing a service. My partner has a product business, and I very much had to work my business around being a mother. And that was one of the other big reasons that I wanted to work for myself is having a young child and I wanted to be around for her as much as I could - I wanted it all. I wanted to have a career that I enjoyed and was really satisfied but I also wanted to be around my daughter and setting up my business in a way, I could work the hours that I chose to. So actually, I work virtually with my clients. So I do what we're doing now - I use Zoom. So my clients can be anywhere. So I've used social media quite a lot to build up a client base. I've used that as a form of marketing, for the most part free platforms, free tools. So that was something that the people around me hadn't noticed. You know, their businesses were very different to mine. So they didn't fully understand what I was I was doing, so I did very much have to learn as I went along. That was fine. I think that's the best way of learning!

Jeremy Cline 10:34
When you were starting out, where did you first clients come from?

Lindsey Jenkin 10:37
Word of mouth, I think. I can remember my first client was a friend of a friend. They mentioned what I did, and they got in contact with me. And then I started using social media quite a lot. So a lot of referrals. I've tried to be quite consistent on social media, I think it's quite a good way of people getting to know you - that sort of know, like, and trust - over time. I'd been on their radar for sort of a year or two before they actually felt they were ready to invest or a couple of people who were interested in nutrition but all of a sudden got a diagnosis of a health condition, and then they got in contact with me. So people come from sort of different places - some are totally new to me, some are referrals from previous clients or friends or family.

Jeremy Cline 11:21
So what is it that people come to you for? Why do they think, ah, Lindsey can help me?

Lindsey Jenkin 11:26
When I started practising, I didn't necessarily have a kind of a particular audience, I would say. Or I didn't have a particular niche that I specified in. There was a couple of areas of gut health. Digestive health is something that's a big interest to me. So I often found my clients had digestive issues. But spending more time with other mothers, with going to mums groups, all of a sudden I was kind of exposed to a whole new audience of people that I socialised with before - and I noticed a kind of common problem that I was seeing, and that's that mums will - especially women who have come from having careers, they have a child - all of a sudden they stop prioritising their own needs. They look after the child very well, but not necessarily their own health and well being. They'd be weaning their children this lovely organic food, but eating a packet of biscuits themselves. And I was just noticing that their energy was very low, their self-esteem was quite low, they weren't feeling great. And to me, it was kind of quite obvious because as I said, I'd introduced this lifestyle myself to manage my mental health, my anxiety, panic attacks that I'd had from a young age - so when my daughter was born, I was very aware that I still needed to continue doing that. I just worked out how to do it in a very short amount of time. And realising that I could help these women who were struggling, and then they'd go back to work full time, even more stress would come on, and dealing with toddlers at nursery and full time quite demanding jobs and your energy is very, very important. Managing your stress levels is very important. So that's kind of become my audience now, busy working mums - helping them to manage or prioritise their own needs, because also we become a role model as well. So it's important. I learnt from my mother, and that's how children learn, I believe. I'd often worked with people who hadn't been taught that from a young age, so they were having to relearn in their 40s or 50s, because maybe they've got a lifestyle related health problems, diabetes, and lots of things. One of the stats is that 80% of doctor's appointments are now stress-related health problems.

Jeremy Cline 13:31
Before a working mother comes to you - describe someone before they come to you. What do they look like? What's going wrong for want of a better word?

Lindsey Jenkin 13:39
Yeah. It really varies. I think some people it's just they have a huge lack of energy and they're just really struggling to stay on top and manage their workload, home life and work life. Anxiety comes up a lot. Then there's people with quite chronic health problems like thyroid problems which are hormonal, underactive thyroid which affects energy and things like that. Diabetes, I've worked with a couple of clients with type two diabetes, which can also be affected by diet, but also by stress. It can manifest in kind of different ways, but it's usually when people have got to a point where they need support, and they need help. And they just kind of hit a wall. Ideally, you want people to come to you when they're still feeling quite good. And then you can stop them from getting to that point, that burnout, hitting that wall - but generally, it's when they're in quite a bad way and they need they need help to find a solution, a long-term solution. The symptoms themselves can vary, but often the root cause can be very much the same thing.

Jeremy Cline 14:41
And how much of that is a result of the fuel that they're using, what they're putting into their bodies?

Lindsey Jenkin 14:46
It can vary, really. Some people need a lot more support than others. Some people really are very confused about how what they're eating, how they're eating, what is - I don't like to use terms like healthy and unhealthy or good and bad. I think the language we use around food is really, really important, and we have to use it in context. No food is good, no food is bad, but how much we're eating of that food is really important. Some people have a better understanding of that than others. So some people I'll really need to support in making some quite big significant changes in the way they're eating. Other people, maybe they're eating quite well, but actually, they've got a food intolerance, although the food they're eating is quite good and quite healthy, actually, their body is reacting to it in quite a negative way, which is giving them some quite horrible symptoms - and common foods, dairy or wheat. If your body can tolerate them, then they're perfectly fine to consume. But some people really don't tolerate them and that can give them a lot of issues and digestive discomfort. So it's not that they're eating a bad diet, they're just not necessarily eating the foods that are right for them. So it's navigating that as well because of this connection that we're more recently aware of between our gut and our brain. So symptoms like anxiety and depression can actually come from the foods that we're eating and I've found that when we've removed some of the foods that are causing people problems, actually, their anxiety is reduced as well as their bloating. It can have a real knock on effect to lots of other things as well.

Jeremy Cline 16:15
So when someone first comes to you, how do you start the process of identifying what it is that they need?

Lindsey Jenkin 16:21
I have asked a lot of questions. And that can go back to childhood. I ask them to fill out a very comprehensive health history questionnaire that asks lots of questions around their health as a child, around any significant events that have happened in their life that could cause stress, any medications. We're very aware of the overuse of antibiotics, sort of understanding information like that - if someone had tonsillitis consistently as a child so they'd taken lots and lots and lots of antibiotics, which could have affected the diversity of bacteria in their gut, for example, which could be causing certain symptoms that we're experiencing now. I sort of call it this accumulative effect - kind of think in terms of smoking if one or two cigarettes probably wouldn't cause you any harm, but if you smoke fairly consistently over 10 years, then you might start running into health problems. And it's the same with the way we eat and our lifestyle choices. This is an accumulative effect that can happen over years and years and years. And then all of a sudden, if you think of your body as a chain with lots of links in it, and then one day one of those links becomes weaker and weaker, and then it breaks - but that could be anywhere in the body for different people. So that symptom, as I said, the root cause could often be similar, but their symptoms could be very, very different. So maybe that's migraines for someone or maybe it's a thyroid problem for someone else, or maybe it's diabetes for someone else. So it's understanding their personal health history, and that's how you really personalise nutrition and lifestyle choices for people.

Jeremy Cline 17:51
Can you give me an example of someone who came to you, what came out of their history and what was your recommendation once you went through that process, and what was the result?

Lindsey Jenkin 18:01
Sure. Someone who I've worked with recently - a lady, a mother, one child - and for want of a different word, the breadwinner in the family. So she has quite a demanding job, and they're very dependent on her salary. And she's definitely someone who is very driven, and her career is very important to her. Over the years, she's pushed herself very, very, very hard to kind of get to the top of the ladder in her career. She was someone that as a child did experience actually a lot of tonsillitis and things. Infections. So she was taking lots of antibiotics, and didn't really prioritise the types of food she was eating, didn't really exercise, was one of those people that survived on four hours sleep a night, also liked to socialise. So then, at early 40s, she kind of hit a wall and for her it was something called Hashimoto's thyroiditis. So her thyroid - essentially it's an autoimmune disease, so your body's attacking itself. You could see kind of how this situation into potentially occurred, but I think her body was just sort of saying it just wiped her out. One of the symptoms of that is chronic fatigue, just feeling like everyday you're walking through treacle. And so trying to work and having a child about five, and life would become very difficult, but I think the body does that. It just almost kind of stops you from being able to carry on the way you are. And we work together, I tend not to work with clients for just one consultation, because I'm sure by explaining, you know, this is something that manifested and occurred over a long period of time so you can't really resolve a problem within an hour's consultation. And actually, the information you would need to give to someone would probably be quite overwhelming and for them to be able to implement that themselves if it's someone that's already very stressed or very tired. So there's kind of the coaching side almost that's where I support people and hold their hand through the whole process which we did, we worked together for six sessions so I could kind of drip feed her these changes that she could make which were quite manageable. And with autoimmune diseases where your body is attacking itself, there's various different kind of protocols you can use. But for her, we decided to eliminate quite a lot of foods from her diet for a period of time - this isn't a permanent thing - for a period of time to try and reduce any inflammation and stop the body attacking itself essentially. Use some supplemental support, adding in some really kind of nutrient dense foods. So she's really giving her body everything it can to help heal, repair itself. And then we did that kind of quite slowly, over a period of time. And it was quite difficult with her because she was tired. She was really tired and to be thinking about all these things and to be cooking and having to change. She was still trying to do some exercise. Actually, we went the opposite way and we took that out and just tried to do some gentle stretching rather than any kind of form of exercise which is using additional energy. And then setting where she's at and how she's feeling at the beginning of each sessions and kind of tweaking it as we went along. Because some of the changes just aren't manageable for people, and if that's the case, even though I know it could be beneficial, if they can't implement it, then we need to find an alternative solution. And so that's what we did with her, and then by the end of it, she was coming out the other end, and she's messaging me now saying, she's going for runs and her energy is back. She was signed off work for a long time, for at least six months. She's back at work. She's socialising again. It was seven months we worked together. So for some people, it can take a really long time, and it's navigating that together. I work with my clients. I'm not just there to deliver the information. I hold their hand through the process as well.

Jeremy Cline 21:47
What sorts of things were you suggesting that she took out of her diet initially?

Lindsey Jenkin 21:51
As I said, each client is very, very individual. I will always tailor it to that individual client. This isn't recommending any kind of dietary advice to people.

Jeremy Cline 22:00
No, I was just curious, in this case, what sort of changes you'd suggested.

Lindsey Jenkin 22:03
A lot of grains. So kind of carbohydrates. And gluten-containing grains for her seem to trigger her, so wheat, rye, barley, things like that seemed to be creating inflammation in her body and then without going into too much detail that could be an issue with her gut microbiome, this community of bugs and bacteria that live in your gut and not being able to actually digest and absorb these foods sufficiently. So we removed some things like that while we worked on improving the integrity of her gut health and her digestion, and then we could you know, things like beans and legumes, lentils, things like that, which are usually really super healthy foods that I eat a lot of myself I would recommend to people - for her and her particular situation, they were causing her some problems. So we took a lot of things like that out. And then as I said, yeah, worked on some things to improve the way her gut was functioning, and then slowly we were able to start introducing things back in, and she was much more able to tolerate them at that point. That's quite hard because they're easy, quick, go to foods, they're cheap. And so, you know, your food bill can go up a bit sometimes, unfortunately. But again, it's not permanent.

Jeremy Cline 23:24
Is that the way it usually goes, that these are usually temporary changes, and then people can kind of manage themselves back to - for want of a better word - a normal diet?

Lindsey Jenkin 23:32
Yeah, in some of the more extreme cases, what I would refer to them as is therapeutic diets. So you're putting someone on quite a specific diet, specific way of eating for a period of time, and then some foods people won't ever really be able to tolerate very well, but I don't think we were all designed to eat the same food. I think there's a genetic factor in there as well - what our ancestors were eating and how well our body deals with certain foods or what it gets from certain foods. Sometimes when I remove foods from people's diets, I always make sure I'm replacing them those nutrients that we've taken out. So for example, if someone did have a dairy intolerance, I would make sure that calcium and nutrients like that were being replaced through other foods - you always have to be very mindful of replacing what you're taking out, the nutrients that you're taking out. And the idea is that you put things back, but for some people, they feel better without those foods and as long as they're getting the nutrients elsewhere. Part of my job is empowering people to understand how their body works, the types of foods that work for them, so they can actually navigate that long term. So I leave them in a place where they're confident in making food choices long-term.

Jeremy Cline 24:44
A word you used a couple of times was manageable. Now I'm imagining someone who is at a bit of a low ebb, they're feeling tired. They're extremely busy with job and family life and social life and everything like that and you're coming along and saying, right, you've got to make blah, blah, blah, this change that change, the other change. And they're just thinking, I don't have the bandwidth to make these changes, I just don't have the capacity to start doing something else at this moment. How do you make this manageable for your clients?

Lindsey Jenkin 25:17
I think building a relationship with them so they're comfortable talking to me about what is manageable and what isn't. And I wouldn't want anyone to say 'No problem, I can do that,' and then in reality, they actually can't. So building a relationship where they're comfortable in being honest about what is doable and what's not. And then just finding what, because I cook, I understand food very well. I kind of shop in a variety of places. So I'm not going to say to people, you've got to go to Planet Organic or Whole Foods where everything's organic and very, very expensive. It's kind of working out where is your local supermarket, is it just a Tesco Express. I lived in London for many, many years. They don't have a car. They don't do necessarily a weekly shop, but they'll walk past Tesco Express on the way home from work. So I know what's in there because I scan supermarket shelves, I can find that solution for them. Okay, I want you to increase your vegetable intake because you're not getting enough fibre in your diet, you're not getting enough colour, you're not getting your nutrients - but in somewhere like Tesco Express, you can buy pre-packaged chopped up veg that you just chuck under the grill. And if that's the best they can manage, then we find that solution for them. So you could buy some new potatoes, pop them onto boil for 10 minutes, put your pre chopped vegetables under the grill with a piece of salmon and you've got a very nutrient dense healthy meal in 10, 15 minutes. So it's just finding a solution for that person. My job isn't to judge or criticise anyone, it's to help them feel better. And I would never judge or criticise any of my clients.

Jeremy Cline 26:53
I'm going to ask you a question which I suspect is horrendously general. Are there any trends or habits generally that you see with people that you can sort of say to the audience now, okay, this is something that a lot of people do, but you might want to consider doing something else - cutting this out, cutting that out? Anything that people can take away from this and think okay, so maybe I'll start changing that.

Lindsey Jenkin 27:17
Probably a couple of things. Our sugar consumption is huge. And I'm not saying I don't consume any sugar. I think that's absolutely fine. Sugar isn't just in sweet foods. It's added to a lot of savoury foods and we get caught out very easily. If you start looking at labels, start reading labels of food, and you'll see that sugar is added to bread. It's added to soups, it's added to sauces. I even picked up a packet of precooked chicken the other day, which had sugar. Why you would add sugar to chicken I don't know, but it is added to everything. And actually I kind of understand from my advertising days, there's actually a term for it and it's called the bliss point where manufacturers pay scientists in labs a lot of money to create food that tastes so good, we can't stop eating it. And there's usually a combination of fat, sugar and salt in those combinations. There's a reason why when you start eating a tub of ice cream, you just can't stop. You can't put it down. And the food is designed to do that to us. It's denormalizing sugar, because it's all good and well if you choose to have a piece of cake, you expect there to be sugar in there, you know there's sugar in there. And especially with children - okay, I'll give my child a piece of cake. And that's absolutely fine. But if you don't know all the other sugar in the foods that they'd be eating through the day, then actually they could be eating way more sugar than is recommended on a daily basis. And I think it's educating people to look at food that they're buying, and if there's any added sugar in there and just try and avoid things. I got really caught out the other day actually with a tin of soup. I was very busy, I was at my mum's house, she was looking for my daughter for me, and it was just some tomato soup and I just had to eat something. I'm actually pregnant so I get very nauseous if I don't eat so I just needed something - thought I'll just have a bit of soup and it was a tomato soup. And I warmed up and had a mouthful and I thought 'that tastes really sweet'. And I expected to see some sugar in there. And when I looked at the tin, it actually had - the daily recommended maximum amount of sugar for an adult is about 30 grams of sugar. That's not what you're aiming for. That's the maximum you should eat regularly to avoid any health problems - and this tin of soup had 28 grammes of sugar in it. And even I was like, wow, gosh that's shocking - the amount of sugar that was in there. So if someone's eating a tin of tomato soup, and some bread that's got some added sugar in there, and then a couple of biscuits and then a bit of fruit, which, although there's lots of good stuff in fruit, there's also sugar in there - so you can see how people can really really over consume sugar. So I think it's about reading labels, is something we can all benefit from, because we're probably eating more than we should. And there is a huge increase in type two diabetes and things like that. And this is probably why - we're unaware of what we're consuming. And the other kind of tip I would give people is diversity in their diet. We don't eat a huge amount of diversity anymore, because we can get the same foods all year round. We used to eat seasonally, and we would naturally eat what was available to us in that season, so the vegetables we're eating would change, different foods throughout the seasons - whereas we kind of eat the same food on rotation really, and because it's our supermarket shelves change very infrequently. And the benefit of eating seasonally and eating a varied diet is that there's there's a couple of things, there's different coloured foods - so fruits and vegetables mainly - contain different nutrients and those nutrients they're called phytonutrients or phytochemicals. They are very beneficial to the plant, they're what protects the plant from predators. But they're also very protective to us within the body. And all these different colours contain different phytochemicals, which do different things within our bodies. So just eating that diversity is really important. And all the different fibres that those foods contain. So if you can try and eat with the seasons, that's a really beneficial thing for anyone and everyone to do. So an easy way of doing that is getting a local veg box delivery, which is what I do. And I don't see that as being any more expensive. In fact, I think it's cheaper than going to the supermarket. I think I get a big family box, which is enough for four people, of fruit, veg and salad - and that 16 pounds a week, and I don't think I'd get that cheaper in the supermarket.

Jeremy Cline 31:43
So you mentioned that you've got a young daughter, and you've mentioned you've got one on the way. So in terms of your business, I don't know whether you make five year plans or 10 year plans or anything like that - where do you see or where do you hope that your business might go over the next few years?

Lindsey Jenkin 32:00
Baby number two is due in about a week! So quite imminent. So life is going to change somewhat and I'm trying to be as laid back as possible. It's quite difficult to plan in my business at the moment when I don't know what the next few months are gonna be like for me, but what I find most satisfying is I can tell people the what and the why - this is why you feel like this is possibly what's causing it - but really what people need to know and want to know is how they do that. And I really like to encourage people to cook. I think that's something that I want to do more of within my business is actually providing recipes for people. From our conversation you probably realise that everyone's needs are quite different, but there are some kind of common things that everyone can be doing to improve their health. So I think doing more kind of group coaching, that's a little bit more generalised, but really teaches people the basics and the foundation because I think the health industry has become very complicated, very confusing. There's lots of fads, there's lots of trends that people jump on. But actually healthy eating is isn't that complicated. It shouldn't be that complicated. Just really kind of teaching people and groups of people about the basics, the foundation, the simple stuff that everyone can do because I find that if you become overwhelmed, you tend to do nothing. Or people fall in the trap of yo-yo dieting or jumping on the next trend. Group coaching is what I'd like to do. So I think I'll do that. And that makes it more affordable, obviously working one to one with people, you do pay a bit more for it. So making it a bit more affordable for people. So doing that through virtual kind of teaching, but also face to face. I've moved around. I was in London for 13 years and since having my child and the next imminent child, we've moved twice. I've not really been able to build a local business so I would quite like to be doing some more teaching around food, kind of face to face as well. Although my business plan is a bit loose at the moment while I kind of settle into having baby number two - they're kind of the longer term goals, teaching people how to actually implement and get people back into cooking. Because apparently it's I think two generations they say now don't cook, haven't learned how to cook, have no interest in cooking. And I think it's hugely empowering. So encouraging people to do it again, whatever budget they have, however much time they have, I think we can achieve it.

Jeremy Cline 34:26
Do you have any resources either in the subject area in which your practice or which have helped you with your business, anything that you can recommend to someone?

Lindsey Jenkin 34:44
I have to stay very up to date with my learning, so I'm often going to lectures and listening to online webinars and things like that. So I wouldn't say there's any one tool that I use there. But in terms of my business, I found joining groups, kind of business groups - some of those are online, I've attended some locally - that's been really, really helpful. Kind of being part of communities where you can ask people questions, because when I started out, I really didn't have a clue. Just about what's the best accounting software? If you wanted to start a podcast? How would I do that? And people are very happy to give free advice to each other and are really, really supportive because everyone's in the same boat. So there's Facebook groups that I'm a part of, communities that I've found really, really supportive. They've been great. Two in particular, there's a lady called Helen Pritchard who is a bit of a LinkedIn expert. So I'll do some bits on LinkedIn, because actually, that's quite a good audience for me, because it's people in careers, balancing work life and family life so that's kind of a good platform for me. But the other thing that I found really helpful is Canva, which is software that helps you create marketing material. Because things like that when you start out, most people don't have the budget for it. So if you need to create a poster or a banner for your business page on Facebook or little flyer, they have amazing templates. So I've used that loads and you can create really professional looking marketing material for free, and then get 50 printed for 20 quid. So I find kind of designers and things like that, sometimes you really need them, but they're very, very expensive and if you don't have the budget for it, so Canva's probably something that I use constantly and it's completely free. So that's probably one of my best finds.

Jeremy Cline 36:31
And where can people find you?

Lindsey Jenkin 36:33
So they can find me on Facebook and LinkedIn mainly is what I use. So I have I actually have a free group in Facebook called Nourish, where I just give people information that I think they will find beneficial. It is mainly community of mums, but I don't exclude anyone. My dad's in there! Single people. that's a community, and if people just want to kind of see more of what I do, I use that quite a lot. LinkedIn I use quite a lot, and it's just under my name Lindsey Jenkin, or my website, LindsayJenkin.com.

Jeremy Cline 37:07
I'll link to all of those in the show notes. Lindsay, best of luck with your imminent arrival and with your business. And thank you so much for joining me.

Lindsey Jenkin 37:16
No problem at all. Pleasure. Thanks for having me.

Jeremy Cline 37:19
Okay, hope you enjoyed that interview. Everyone knows the importance of eating healthily. But it's people like Lindsey who really helped us work out what's right for us individually, and the importance of exploring that link between diet and energy, mood, mental health, and all that sort of stuff. There's already been a lot in the press about how generally as a society, we eat too much sugar, but even so what she was saying about sugar content in food, I thought was a real eye opener. As always, the show notes for this episode are on the Change Work Life website that's at changeworklife.com/41 for Episode 41, and you'll find there links to all the resources we mentioned, and also how you can get in touch with Lindsey. Whilst you're there, it would be great if you could leave a review on Apple podcasts. I've had some fantastic reviews on there and it really does help others find the show. So if you get a moment to go on to Apple podcasts or whichever podcast platform you use to listen to, then if you could go on, leave a review, an honest review. Yeah, I kind of like five star honest, to be honest! But anyway, if you can leave a review for me, that would be absolutely unbelievable. There's another great interview coming down the track next week, and I can't wait to see you there. Cheers. Bye.

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