Let’s dig deeper into what we’ll cover together
The foundations program is made up of 1 private initial consultation, 1 private follow-up consult at the half-way mark, any appropriate individualised testing, and then 4 modules, each with 4 two-hour classes. That’s a total of 16 classes, delivered over 8 months, and they’ve all been carefully planned to give you everything you need to be able to take responsibility for your body, your health, and, ultimately, your lifestyle. Even though it feels like your illness calls the shots right now, when you know the rules of the game (a.k.a. how to make a body healthy), you have the power to change that!
The Private Consultations
At the start of the program, you’ll complete a detailed medical questionnaire which we’ll go through together on a comprehensive one hour call, just you and me. It’s a safe space where you can tell me everything – and know that I’ll listen. During this call, we will be filling in your Functional Medicine Timeline together to map out your health history. This helps us to map out your path to health!
Having this consultation at the start enables me to get a clearer picture of where your health is currently, what symptoms you’re dealing with, and where to place the most focus through the 8 months. This might be a group program, but the guidance is still tailored to you as an individual.
Functional and Investigative Testing*
Once we’ve had our private consultation, we’ll discuss any functional health tests that might be helpful to undertake (these range from stool analysis, to nutrient testing, to food intolerances). Whatever your results are, I’ll explain exactly what they mean and what the next steps are.
Module 1 - Food
Foods are literally the building blocks of the body. Your whole body is assembled from food, which is broken down by the digestive system and used in different ways for literally every structure and function that your body has. The foods that your individual body needs in order to function optimally will differ from the next person.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to diet, which is why there will be personalised food plans, which may involve elimination and reintroduction, created for you based on the work done and information gathered in module 1. You’ll then be grouped with a few other people on similar plans so you can support each other through the changes you’ll be making. Changes can be hard, but they’re always easier when others are going through them with you.
In this module, we’ll transform your relationship with food to find the balance between using it as a tool and eating for pleasure, which is a very important part of long-term health!
Module 2 - The Gut
How’s this for a blow-your-mind fact: more immune activity takes place in your gut in one day than takes place in your internal immune system in an entire lifetime. Translation? If your gut isn’t working properly, you won’t be able to make positive changes to your health. This is the case even if you don’t have any symptoms in the gut itself.
The gut is the place where you digest and absorb food, so if you’re not able to transform food in the way your body needs to function effectively, that’s going to have a huge impact on the way you’re able to live your life. You won’t have the resources to build new tissue, to repair damaged tissue, and to make energy to perform all the tasks you need to perform every day. That’s why all foundational work includes the gut. The gut is really the ‘heart’ of the body.
You may never have thought about this, but your gut is also the major exit for the stuff your body doesn’t need. Of course, that’s obvious if you think about it, but you may not have considered that if you’re not ‘going’ every day, then you’re not taking out the trash. And when this happens – especially if it’s a long-term problem – all that waste needs to be stored somewhere and it ends up getting recycled into your system.
Together over the course of this module, we’ll look at the 5 ‘Rs’:
- Does anything need to be removed from your gut, e.g. a parasite or bacterial overgrowth?
- Does anything need to be replaced in your gut: e.g. digestive enzymes, bile support, or nutrients to support digestion?
- Does your gut wall or organ function need to be repaired?
- Does your gut need to be reinoculated with healthy bacteria to restore the microbiome?
- Does your body need rebalancing on the whole?
Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with these terms yet – I’ll be explaining everything simply and clearly.
Module 3 - Sleep, Stress + Self-care
Self-care isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. Believe it or not, the topics covered in this module might actually be the ‘deal-breakers’ to you being well, even if your diet is perfect! In this module we look at the practical side of taking care of your body, paying particular attention to sleep and stress. You can take all the supplements in the world, but if you’re stressed and sleeping badly, your health isn’t going to improve.
Life provides infinite numbers of stressors but your body only has one stress response: using stress hormones. Even when the stressors are different, your body can’t distinguish between them. This means that every time your stress hormones are triggered, they override all your other bodily functions – like digestion! Remember how it all comes back to the gut?
The more stressed your body feels, the less able it is to do its job properly. We’ll look at how to reduce stress, improve sleep, move your body to promote healthy function, as well as several strategies to ensure that you have the right mindset, lots of joy in your life, and you’re giving your body the best chance to heal.
Module 4 - Detox
In medical terms, this means how your body takes out the trash. Many of the waste products your body deals with every day are actually internal. Spent hormones, old red blood cells, metabolites from the bacteria in your gut, and of course the foods you eat all need to be processed by the liver and eliminated. On top of that, we are constantly taking in external things that need to be “detoxed,” too. This might include prescription and over the counter medications, or unnecessary things like perfume or traffic fumes. Your body has to be able to remove the same amount as it’s making AND taking in, or it’ll end up with a surplus.
Having a surplus is common for people who are sick, especially if they have had long-term gut problems. This is not about the magazine and health spa “detoxes.” You’ll learn the role foods play in the different elimination pathways in the body (liver, kidneys, lungs, and skin) and how to support each pathway to optimise this process. We’ll also be taking a good look at the environment you live in to identify and reduce exposure that might be adding to the burden your body is dealing with.
*Functional tests and supplements are not included in the cost of the program.