LEARN IT FROM THE BEST: TRUE INSPIRATIONAL HEALTH STORIES.

Meet Inês Pimentel: a true inspiration for all of us! Her personal struggle with a terrible disease called Graves inspired her to become a professional holistic coach and yoga teacher, and to dedicate her life and career to an admirable cause: helping others heal and become happier, healthier, more balanced and glowing.

In this interview we talk about her personal health struggles, her vocation in life and the nature and guidelines of her practice as a health coach and motivator at Be Natural with Inês.

2HB: What was the reason you decided to initiate a healthy way of eating and living? Tell us about your personal story and struggles.

I: It all started back in 2011 when I was struggling with my own health. I was diagnosed with an auto immune disease called Graves that affected my thyroid health and consequently all areas of my life. At that time, I had to take 15 pills a day and suffered from weight gain, hair loss, absent periods, lack of energy, tremors and anxiety, all along walking was the only exercise I could do.

Two years later I moved to London and by coincidence I started working in the health food industry and connecting with amazing people that were changing their lives through food and a healthy lifestyle. I started doing yoga and meditation every day and researching day and night about the power of whole foods. Gradually I started listening to my body and giving it the best nutrition I could. I adopted a plant-based diet full of organic and fresh products and in six months I reduced my pills from 7 to 1 a day.

Now I truly love and respect my body every day! My disease is controlled and I have energy to run 10km followed by a yoga class. My weight is stagnant, my skin, hair and eyes glow from inside out and, more importantly, I found my balance and my purpose in life!

2HB: What made you wish to turn your hobby into profession and vocation in life?

I: Working in the health food industry in London and going through the process of naturally healing myself I realized that my mission was to share my knowledge and experience with the world and inspire people to take control of their health and happiness too. It was then that I found the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, the largest nutrition school in the world, and I immediately felt that this was the right place to expand my knowledge and contribute to a healthier and happier world. And because I believe health is holistic I also became a certified Yoga Teacher.

2HB: Tell us more about your practice as a holistic coach? What are the basic rules and guidelines that you follow and impart to your clients?

I: As a Holistic Health Coach for the body, mind and soul, I offer knowledge, tools and guidance to live a happier, healthier and more balanced life. These are my top 3 basic rules:

Self-love — Everything you do for yourself and your health needs to come from a place of love. Eat healthy and move your body because you love and respect your temple, not because you hate it. You don´t need calorie counting, dieting or deprivation, you just need to love yourself more.

Bio-individuality — I believe that health is not one size fits all. What works for me may not work for you and what works for you may not work for any of my clients. Everyone is different and that´s why we are all so special. As a health coach my purpose is not to tell you what to do, rather is to help you figure out what works for you while teaching you how to tune into your beautiful body.

Holistic approach — My approach is holistic which means that to reach optimum health, we need to understand the root causes of your health issues and to address your stress levels, sleep, physical activity, relationships and work environment.

2HB: What are the most common mistakes that people make when it comes to healthy nutrition?

I: I think the most common mistake people make is trying to deprive themselves completely. Deprivation increases body stress and leads to binge eating or over eating which then leads to a vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting. Healthy eating is about eating whole and real foods that nature has to offer without calorie counting, dieting or deprivation!

2HB: What is your opinion about the occasional small guilty pleasures? Dos or don’t’s?

I: I totally think small guilty pleasures are super healthy! Being healthy is a lifestyle so we need to have space for the occasionally guilty pleasures. Perfection doesn’t exist and it is totally fine! We need, however, to quit the “all or nothing” mentality, it´s not because I eat something unhealthy today that I need to eat badly for the rest of the day. Balance in all things!

2HB: Vegan, vegetarian, raw vegan, paleo? What is the type of diet that you follow and is there a universal diet that works for everybody?

I: I don´t believe that there is a universal diet that works for everyone because we are all so different and we all have completely different lifestyles. And what works for us now, may not work for us in one year. I do believe, however, that we all need to eat more natural and plant foods and these need to be the major part of our diet. But if you want to incorporate occasional meat, fish, eggs or be totally raw vegan, vegan or paleo is completely individual and you can be healthy following any of this diets. As for me, I feel my best following a plant based diet, but I don´t consider myself vegan because I consume bee products and eat occasional vegetarian meals, specially when travelling.

2HB: Let’s talk about yoga. In addition to being a holistic coach you are a certified yoga teacher. How do you use yoga in order to heal your clients?

I: I teach a few group yoga classes, but I use it more as a complement to my health coach practice. I really love to work holistically with my clients so if they are suffering from anxiety or have digestive issues I give them therapeutic yoga sequences as a complement to their diet and other lifestyle practices.

2HB: Is meditation something that you advice your clients to do on a daily basis? What is the magic of meditation and why do your think that it’s so powerful?

I: Yes, totally! We all live super stressful lives and end up being so disconnected from what really matters in life. Meditation has been life changing for me and I think we really need to connect deeper with ourselves if we want to live our best life. A few minutes of practice per day can make a dramatic difference on how you feel. You just need to start with 5/10 minutes every day simply by focusing on your breath, repeating a mantra or listening to a guided meditation. Find what works for you and start now!

2HB: What is the one thing you tell to all of your clients in order to motivate them to start leading a healthy and balanced way of living?

I: Living the life of your dreams and being the happiest and healthiest version of yourself is your birth right and it only depends of one single person, YOU!

Welcome to ‘Learn It From The Best: True Inspirational Health Stories’: our new series where we will be interviewing inspirational health and wellness coaches and motivators from all around the world and will be sharing with you their secrets, health tips and personal stories. For more health, wellness and yoga inspiration download 2 Health App now!

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