Holistic Healthy Eating

For years I listened to my clients bemoan their weight gain and talk about their health problems with interest. I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome for years before I eventually figured out, by myself, that I was eating too much of one type of carbohydrate â€" wheat. It turned out that I was intolerant to it without realising that the tiredness and bloating was due to several balls of dough expanding beautifully in my digestive system. Lovely! So in collaboration with Sportsco, the ESB’s Leisure Centre the Weight Management Programme was born. Every week I take 15 brave hardy souls through an hour of Body Sculpting (using light dumbbell weights) incorporating Yoga warm-ups and Pilates. Then after this class for half and hour I talk through the Healthy Eating section so at the end of the course everyone knows the effect of what they are eating on their system. I feel it is imperative that your motivation & self-belief is strengthened as you learn what works & what doesn’t work for you food-wise. It’s all about balance, organisation and building up natural energy.

Over the years I have had many brides-to-be on the Programme. We even produced a couple of white veils for two girls in the same class who were getting married the same week. They had to do the entire class with them on! By the end of the course they both looked radiant. One said that she now felt prepared for married life because of the programme, as she was happy that she could feed herself, her fiancà ©e and hopefully any children they might have.

Here are some simple Weight Management Techniques from the Programme to help you prepare for your BIG day.


1. USE YOUR SENSES. Look at the food you are about to eat & savour it, smell it then slowly taste it. By that stage you will find yourself eating slower so your body has time to tell you when it is full. Remember all the pleasure is in looking, smelling & tasting once the food goes past your mouth ALL the pleasure is gone so eat SLOWLY.

2. HEALTHY EATING CALENDAR. Eat healthily five days a week then have the weekend for Treats. Get a calendar & mark a big O every day you eat healthy & a big X every day you have a treat. At the end of the week you should have 5 O’s & 2 X’s. A VERY visual reminder of how you are doing.

3. DON’T EAT ON THE GO. If you are eating as you work/travel you are gulping in too much air (bloating) & upsetting your digestive system. Sit & eat slowly, put your knife & fork down between each bite.


1. LOVE YOURSELF AS YOU ARE NOW. This is a tough one. We always think I’ll be fine when I’m x stone, that might be months away and not in time for your wedding. Remember your fiancà ©e, friends and family love you as you are now!

2. VISUALISE A THINNER YOU. We plan holidays, homes, and careers with military precision but when it comes to our weight we can’t even look at point A never mind see point B. So it’s the â€Ëœol slim photo on the fridge door or the too-tight jeans on the wardrobe where you can see the visual reminder of how you will look or what you will fit into.

3. IS IT WORTH IT? When you look at ANYTHING you put in your mouth that is not good for you, ask yourself is it really worth it? Distract yourself for half an hour & then if you really still want it, eat half & balance later with more fruit, vegetables or water.


1. BLESS YOUR FOOD. Ever wondered why every religion in the world has some form of blessing their food? To give thanks, to pause & relax before eating, to allow digestion to occur, to chew & not wolf it down.

2. ASK FOR HELP. Now this might seem a bit weird but let me explain. Whatever you believe in God, Saints, Angels, Nature when you are experiencing difficulty or cravings ask for help. It’s there, just listen & wait for the coincidences & serendipity.

Karen Ward is a Holistic Therapist, which is an umbrella term for the number of different therapies she practises in her own Rhiannon Clinic in Smithfield and in Sportsco, Dublin 4 (open to non ESB staff also). For details of her classes, Clinics, Yoga Holidays and course log onto http://www.karenwardholistictherapist.com