5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing: “Exercise the gut as well as the body and mind” with Rachel Shackleton and Dr. William Seeds
Exercise the gut as well as the body and mind — vary the diet. Eating the same foods at each meal every day lead to a lazy gut, as would doing the same exercises each day! Giving the gut a variation, means it has to work to digest the food.
As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Rachel Shackleton. Rachel Shackleton is the founder of Green Key Health and Green Key Personal Development. She is a kinesiologist, naturopath and medical herbalist and specialises in working with individuals to restore health and wellbeing. Rachel also works with organisations on developing and implementing corporate health management strategy and policies.
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?
I started my first company in 1996 in the Russian Federation, and to be quite honest if I had known what I was doing, I would probably not have done it? However, with many challenges and issues along the way, I realised that I need to develop a second, more harmonious way of earning money in my more mature years. Before deciding on what, I had a major health collapse and ended up lying on the floor for three months in great pain, looking at the ceiling due to a prolapsed disc. Not satisfied with the consultant’s response to “why does this happen?” I asked myself the same question, and with time began to understand that a person has a responsibility not only to others, but to yourself as well. Driving my mind and body to ensure all my employees received a salary at the end of each month, dealing with daily challenges and pushing myself physically and mentally was a recipe for disaster! That was the beginning of my health journey and working with others who are in the process of making the same mistakes as I did.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
There are so many interesting stories to tell. One that springs to mind — whenever I get a client who is a complex case with multiple medical issues going on and no real answers, I wonder why they have come to see me? This always reminds me that the universe will not send someone who I cannot assist through what I do, and/or who cannot teach me something.
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?
I am not sure that making mistakes when working with someone’s health can be classed as humourous. However, I did make a call to this particular client to follow up on how she was doing after treatment. Having got agreement from the person that the time was convenient to talk, I went on to asking several questions, such as “Since the treatment how have you been sleeping?” How is your energy? What has changed? Etc. The person appeared to be a little reticent to answer some of the questions and it was only when I asked “What has changed in your toilet habits?” that the line went silent and she asked “Who is she talking to?” As it turned out, I had called another person with the same first name by mistake. This person I had met recently at an event and was not a client!
Lesson: Always double check the full name of the person you want to call before calling, and confirm that indeed you are talking to that person.
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?
Understanding what creates wellness is essential. Nutrition, exercise and movement, good sleep and all the other things we know about are essential pillars to creating good health and wellness. However, understanding your personal patterns from an emotional perspective and how behaviours become a pattern are essential to creating the correct foundation for healing, and correcting habits that are destructive to mental and physical health.
The second vital aspect of health and wellbeing is your soul path. If a person is denying his or her soul path, wellbeing will be challenged. Therefore my contribution is helping the client to increase their awareness of the emotional and spiritual aspects of their health and potential wellness.
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 is not one person who helped me there are several both in the past and in the present day. I believe that each “angel” will come along at the time that they are needed to help you fulfill your life’s mission. I am grateful to them all.
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?
1. The readiness to change — is it the right time for that person?
2. The willingness to change — is the person ready to make the effort needed to remove some things and replace with others, or do they have a vested interest in being ill?
3. Western life style and fear of not being a part of the “norm”
Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”?
1. Carve out “me time” — remove all forms of communication and enjoy that time for yourself in doing what you want to do to create food for the soul. For example: gardening, walking, sewing, pottering etc
2. Live with the seasons — from a diet perspective, eat seasonal foods. Through your sleep regime, be in bed by 1030 pm and up with the sun. Activities — during summer get outdoors and be more active, during winter “hibernate” a little, don’t overstress the body with vigorous exercise and lots of cold foods.
· Fast intermittently — this is good for mind and body. Giving the gut a break by having a gap of 12 or 16 hours before the next meal creates more energy, better sleep and enables the gut to complete the digestion process before the next meal. Some people work with 12–12 others 16–8 or a whole day. Find what works best for you.
· Be aware of your constitution — are you normally a hot person or a cold person? Based on this ensure the foods you eat are neither too warming or cooling. Eating lots of cold foods will cause physical issues if you are a cold person.
· Exercise the gut as well as the body and mind — vary the diet. Eating the same foods at each meal every day lead to a lazy gut, as would doing the same exercises each day! Giving the gut a variation, means it has to work to digest the food.
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?
1. Increases the feel good factor through release of endorphins, therefore assists with energy and creating good mental health
2. Me time — putting time aside to do what you want to do and invest in yourself
3. Social aspect if the sport if a team activity or when you practice/workout/run etc with another person
For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?
1. Stretching exercises to warm up and cool down, but also to build flexibility and subtlety
2. Breathing exercises
3. Variety in the exercise — doing the same every time will not achieve the best outcome possible.
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?
1. Cool down with stretching exercises to limit the amount of free lactic acid in the system
2. Replace electrolytes in the body with coconut water or other natural, non sweetened drinks containing electrolytes
3. Vary the type of sport and activitiy. For example if weight lifting swop between weight and increasing repetitions of a lesser weight.
There are so many different diets today. Can you share what kind of diet you follow? Which diet do you recommend to most of your clients?
As each person is unique I do not recommend any specific diet. There is no such thing as “one diet fits all”. However, intermittent fasting, even though not classed as a diet is powerful and effective in most cases.
Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?
There are so many books that have had impact on me. Having to choose — Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss. Caroline is a medical intuitive and healer. She describes int his book why we gravitate to certain behaviours and actions through her description of the archetypes. This is so true — when you know your archetypes you are able to see your patterns, both good and bad and stand back and laugh! In my archetype wheel is “teacher”, I observe myself doing this with people I have just met. Perhaps they do not notice, but I do!
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. :-)
No one else can “fix” you. You are responsible for your own health. Do not accept a specific diagnosis as being a final outcome. Listening to yourself — listening to your body and what it is telling you when you eat/don’t eat/what you eat etc. is important to hearing and understanding why ill health manifests in the body.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (French idealist philosopher and Jesuit priest)
For me, this quote just sums up what dis-ease, ill health and lack of wellness is all about.
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 :-)
Dr Jeffrey Bland — Founder and Pioneer in Functional Medicine. A phenomenol person who has and continues to contribute hugely to health and wellbeing, especially Dementia related diseases.
Dr Joseph Pizzorno ND — Leading authority on science based natural medicine. Founder of Bastyr University. Wonderful contribution to current day thinking around natural medicine.
What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!
About the author:
Dr. William Seeds is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon and physician specializing in all aspects of sports medicine and total joint treatments. With over 22 years of experience, Dr. Seeds is focused on providing the most innovative results to those seeking to maximize their performance, relieve injuries, and live a healthy lifestyle.