For the past few months I have had the pleasure of working with the AMAZING Emily Davies as her Strength & Conditioning, and Nutrition Coach.
I’ve had so many questions about what I have been doing with her for her to achieve the results she has. The one question I constantly get is;
“What is the ONE thing is that allowed Emily to change her body in such a short amount of time?”
This question actually annoys me…
Long term changes in health rarely if ever just happen by only addressing one issue or implementing one change to diet or movement. This misconception annoys me because it’s a result of the way many fitness and eating programs are mis – represented.
So, there’s not one single thing I did with Emily that was the sole reason for her results.
It was a carefully considered and executed combination of changes.
One of the most important things to know about Emily is that she is incredibly committed and determined. She follows absolutely everything I give her 100%. If I want her to get a test done, she books it in on the day, if I need her to buy a supplement, she orders in then and there, her nutrition is always 100% on point and she puts everything she has into her sessions. She holds onto everything I say and applies it right away. This is one of the main reasons she has been able to get such great results.
In this article I am going to go through exactly what we did with Emily that yielded her results.
Emily approached me initially as she was having immense gut issues. These issues were causing her to bloat after every meal. After our initial consultation I suspected we were dealing with three potential issues;
- A certain level of leaky gut
- A host of food sensitivities
- Possible parasite
Emily’s goals upon approaching me were;
- Fix her gut issues
- Correct hormonal imbalances
- Improve her body composition
Due to the severity of her gut problems. This goal was the number one priority for us. I knew that once we had fixed her gut issues, body composition results would follow. I did not reduce her food at all (I actually increased her food periodically) and everything was designed with her gut health as the number one priority.
Fixing her gut
When I first work with someone with gut issues. The first point of call is to look at their nutrition, are they eating a lot of pro-inflammatory foods? are they getting enough fibre? are they getting too much fibre? are they drinking enough water? is there an electrolyte imbalance? So before even looking at supplementation I want to make sure we are ticking all of the above boxes. With Emily, she was ticking all of these boxes. So we had to get a little deeper.
First, we eliminated a lot of foods I suspected to be causing an issue and placed her on a specific supplementation and nutrition plan based on her individually, her body type and size, lifestyle and schedule, and goals, and changes were regularly made based on her body’s biofeedback. Even though she was eating a healthy diet with lots of meat, fruit, veg etc there was still a lot of foods on their that I suspected were causing a problem for her.
We placed Emily was on a range of different supplements to help heal leaky gut and to irradiate the parasite. Various probiotics, digestive enzymes, specific amino acids and vitamins were used during this phase.
We played around with eliminating and introducing certain foods to see how her body would react. Every week we were seeing small improvements in her gut health. But the bloating was still persisting. She then ordered a food sensitivity test so we could get some hard answers on why this was occurring. She talks about this test and the results here.
We progressed to starting a more aggressive gut protocol for 10-days. This had a notable effect on improving her gut. This amongst everything else we were doing; nutritionally, supplementation and lifestyle changes are what fixed her gut. There was not one thing, one supplement or one nutrition plan. It was a combination of various factors.
It is important to note that nutrition and supplementation are very individual. What worked for Emily may not work for someone else. Emily talks about her nutrition and supplementation through this process in this vlog.
One of the biggest issues for Emily that was contributing negatively to her poor gut health and poor hormonal health was STRESS. I believe that this is actually the root cause for a lot of issues that she was having.
With a history of under-eating, high training load, travelling HEAPS, and running her own business stress was one of the driving forces behind a lot of the problems she was experiencing.
We have worked a lot on stress management. Some of the things we included in her program were;
- Meditation 2 x a day
- Completing a gratitude log at night before bed
- Weekly trips to the beach
- Decreasing the amount of training/work she was doing
- Yoga session 1 x a week
Stress does weird things to people’s bodies. From my experience this tends to be the root cause of a lot of problems in females. If you do not address the root cause, then you are just applying band-aids to the issue and it will never go away.