Carola Becker – Life is Good
Very Healthy, Hoping to be Wealthy and Already Very Wise!
So last month we went to visit Carola in sunny Willand, Devon. Not only was it in a different county but we went without cake! Shock, horror! But could we really have taken sugary morsels to interview a nutritionist? We decided against it, which was just as well as Kim and I are healthy eating and Carola, it turns out, is unable to eat wheat. Phew, so that was a good call. Carola told us the story of her business over mugs of steaming coffee.
20 years ago Carola developed a rare form of arthritis which took a long time to diagnose exactly what type of it was. Initially Carola came back from the gym one day and her wrists were hurting, she ignored it, like we all do at times, but over the next 2 weeks her hands and feet swelled up. Her GP had no idea what was causing it, but after a couple of weeks it disappeared, so she put it down to water retention. After a while it came back with vengeance and stayed for about 18 months. This time she couldn’t move her hands, open a water bottle, comb her hair, or open a window. She had lost her grip strength. Carola visited various doctors, tried many different medications and blood tests were taken but nothing showed became of it. Acupuncture helped to alleviate the symptoms for about a year but Carola decided that she need to take more control.
She admitted to being a comfort eater and by that point she was either eating or sleeping, and was miserable as she couldn’t exercise because of the pain. She had no idea about nutrition professionally at that point. Along with the pain, her symptoms were awful tiredness, low mood and a weight gain of 3 stone. She wondered if it might be related to something which she ate, so she kept a food diary and started playing around with foods. Turning almost vegetarian, she also stopped eating wheat and dairy which managed to help control her symptoms somewhat. She lost the excess weight and got back on track again.
It wasn’t until Carola, came to England, from her native Germany, she was finally diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis by her GP. It was at this point Carola started to study foods further and started a nutritional therapy certified course of 12months online whilst working full time.
Carola stresses that nutrition can be one of those subjects where anyone can do a short course and then call themselves a ‘Nutritionist’. So you need to be very careful who you see and ensure they are correctly qualified.
Her own story was the start of her developing a real interest in the subject and studying it. At that time, a colleague of hers a girl of 23years old had developed high blood pressure. Her doctor had prescribed her medication, however, she was overweight, had an almost completely sedentary lifestyle and rarely ever cooked with fresh foods. Carola offered to try help her reverse her high blood pressure through nutrition. At that point Carola was studying high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes on her course. So she offered to help her colleague, for free, as she hadn’t by this point qualified in her course. They worked together for about 3 months and in the first 4 weeks her colleague lost a stone, her blood pressure returned to a normal level and she was able to come off medication. They lost contact after Carola left that place of work, so she doesn’t know if the girl was able to maintain the weight loss and keep her blood pressure stable but at that time she was on the right path and super motivated to continue. Carola was hooked and realised that she could do this as a profession, to help people, possible reduce or stop some of their medication and help them to control their health through food and nutrition.
Life is Good was launched in 2015. Life is Good is a nutrition programme which is personalised and based on latest nutrition science. There are several things which are replicated throughout different plans she delivers, but it is personalised to a certain extent to an individual, especially when it comes to nutritional deficiencies that they may have. In January 2018 she started nutritional coaching which is a completely personal 1-2-1 programme.
The main difference between the two is that the Life is Good plan (which contain about 80 pages) will be delivered in one document. The client receives all the information they need to make it a success for them. Carola is always available by email to answer questions and help with any issues the client faces.
The Nutrition Coaching is an intense 3 month programme with regular consultations (personal or via skype), taking one step at a time to make life-changing shifts. It takes all aspects of wellbeing into account: nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress, psychological factors, mental wellbeing, medical history etc.
She has also studied for Sports Nutrition and has complete a Clinical Weight Loss Advisor course, which addresses the psychological side of weight loss. Emphasis being the psychological affects for a person who gains weight without wanting to gain weight, change and support the new habits. She teaches different approaches to help people to reflect on their habits and change their behaviours for a new life. She explains that people often have ‘road blocks’ which affect their journey on their weight loss, not only with their own problems, but often other people around you can make it more of an impossible challenge. Often your nearest and dearest can try to hamper your attempts to lose weight, as your change can make them feel awkward.
Carola often gives talks and offers workshops to corporate companies for staff health– the topics are mainly centred on stress and wellbeing and how nutrition and lifestyle strategies can make a difference.
Carola stresses that she does not necessarily help people to lose weight, she is not a ‘slimming club’ as such. She is more concerned with their future health. She explains that it’s very important to understand that if a person is overweight they are not necessarily unhealthy. One of her clients is a lady whose blood pressure and cholesterol levels are perfect, all of her test results are fine but she is simply overweight. However, she does accept the fact that in the future, a health issue could occur based purely on the fact of being overweight. This doesn’t necessarily happen, but the chances are higher.
She remarks that our society is to blame, that often people who are overweight are often viewed to be lazy or have zero will power and that is often not the case. There can be many factors involved. Carola first finds out what the ‘motivating factor’ is for that person to lose weight. This can be so different for many people and the need to address the ‘road blocks’ which can cause people to often fail are vital.
Carola tells us that her main goal is to help people. So setting up Life is Good as an online business she is able to help as many people as possible, no matter where they are. It works perfectly, people can either see Carola for consultations or not, their personal choice. Carola is hoping to expand her business by way of franchises over the next two years. There were two reasons for setting up an online business: Helping more people than the limited number who want to see her for personal consultations and she wants the freedom to be able to work anywhere in the world.
Carola enjoys being self – employed, she loves working on her own and on her own terms. She likes being responsible for her own decisions and being busy. She can also regulate the temperature in her office the way she likes it lol.
Carola says that networking is by far the most helpful way of marketing her business. Health and Healthy Eating are very personal and she understands that most people want to meet her when they are considering working with her. Generally she is not a fan of women-only networks because of the possible jealousy and rivalry that can take place. However, Somerset Ladies in Business is the only women’s network she visits because the members are genuinely supportive, friendly and the Facebook Closed Group gives our ladies the opportunity to let your guard down and ask openly for help and advice, which is given freely.
Carola is continually inspired by her client’s sustained successes and the changes they go through. She says that it’s great when they are able to come off certain medications (with their doctor’s approval) because their health has improved or when they are able to keep their weight down after years of yo-yoing! Carola emphasises that she knows that it’s not an easy journey because she went through it herself, but it is worth it.
We are all worth it!
Carola’s Top Tips for our Health.
- Find your very own motivation to change. She recently started working with a lady in her 70’s, who said she wants to see her granddaughter walking down the aisle. It’s never too late to look after yourself. Willpower only may not work, but making a decision and changing your environment will.
- Get active. Forget about 10,000 steps. Whatever you do at the moment, do more and get your heart rate up. If you go to the gym 3 times a week, start running. If you have a sedentary job, start walking during your lunch break. If you run half marathons, start training for the full 26 miles!
- Forget about diets – ask yourself “can I eat like this forever” and “is it healthy to do so”? If the answer is no, forget about it.
- Eat vegetables, download a food calendar and eat the veggies that are in season.
- Be curious, try new recipes (Carola is happy to send you some, you just need to ask her!) and incorporate foods you have forgotten or never tried before. Don’t get into a boring rut with food.
Phone 07772 184168
The Nutrition Coach
Phone 07772 184168