It was wonderful to chat with Orlena and find out more about her unique path and creations that she shares with other women.
Orlena uses her experience and expertise to support women and their families develop healthy habits and lifestyles.
Orlena’s podcast Fit and Fabulous shares inspirational stories and ideas on how to create and maintain health and wellbeing.
Orlena offers one-on-one and group coaching for busy mums feeling stressed and overwhelmed to find healthy routines, habits and systems. Orlena also hosts a Healthy You Healthy Habit Challenge for mums to create family habits that fit in a busy, hectic life.
Episode 24 of the Authentic Tea podcast features Orlena.
It's absolutely wonderful to be joined today by Orlena. Orlena uses her experience and expertise to support women and their families to develop healthy habits and lifestyles. Orlena's podcast, Fit and Fabulous shares inspirational stories and ideas on how to create and maintain health and wellbeing. Orlena offers one-to-one and group coaching for busy moms who are feeling stressed and overwhelmed to help them find healthy routines, habits, and systems. Orlena also hosts The Healthy You Healthy Habit Challenge for moms to create family habits that fit into a busy, hectic lifestyle. You're welcome, Orlena. It's wonderful to have you today.
Thank you so much for having me. It's an absolute pleasure.
It's great to reconnect with you and we've been talking about how we were both at university together, and now years on, we are following slightly different paths than we were then. Is there a point in your career, in your own life when you started to recognize the importance of good nutrition and how making changes to food and the eating patterns that we have could impact both our individual and also family health?
That is a really interesting question. I think when I was doing clinical work, I was working as a pediatric doctor and I was aware obviously that how we eat really impacts us. Typically, as a pediatric doctor you're seeing a lot of kids with tummy pain and a lot of that tummy pain is constipation due to not eating vegetables. At that time, pre having kids, I would glibly say to parents, "Oh, you just need to eat more vegetables. It's really easy." Which, on one level it is, but now as a parent, I've realized that it's not quite as easy to get our kids to eat vegetables as we want. I think for me, that realization that I could do better, that I could take more care of myself came when I had kids.
For me, I've got four children. So, I had four children under the age of four and a half, which was, as you can imagine, stressful, full on, lots of big emotions. It was a few years later on, but I really started to see that I wasn't being the mother that I wanted to be. I was feeling stressed and this would manifest as snapping at the kids, feeling tired at the kids, and just not being the person that I wanted to be, and taking a good, hard look and thinking, "Okay, so what's going on here?" Obviously, it wasn't something that happened overnight that I came up with. "Ha ha I've got these four pillars."
Now I teach four pillars, but I developed them over a period of time by looking and thinking, "So what is important to ask?" Partly from looking at the research that shows us what a healthy life is and how do we lead a long and healthy life, but also, it shows us how we can feel fabulous. Basically, when you're leading a healthy life, you do feel fabulous. You do have that energy.
One of the questions that I like to ask people is, "Out of 10, how much energy do you have every single day to do the things that you want to or have to do?" And very rarely do people say 10 out of 10. But I can genuinely say I have enough energy to do everything I want to do every single day. Okay. I'll give a little caveat, not when I'm unwell, but other than that, 10 out of 10, every single day. I think so many people are so close and they just don't realize it.
That's an amazing way to measure your energy levels. I love that. I think that's a really nice way. It's also a nice way to check in on yourself, isn't it? How do I feel? Where am I on on that scale? You were just sharing there about your own experience of becoming a mom and having four children and very small little children at the same time. Now when you look back, where were your energy levels on that scale and was there a point where you really thought, "Gosh, this is something I need to really change. I want it to be 10."?
Yeah, definitely. When I look back now, I would say probably my average was around eight but I would definitely say there were times when it dipped to three. For example, on Sunday morning, I'd go to a beautiful market and buy loads and loads of vegetables. And obviously, I have to come home and unpack them. But there would be times when by the evening, I just hadn't done it because I would come home, plunk everything on the kitchen table, and then the twins would need feeding or nappies changing and all of that stuff. I just wouldn't get to this job until the evening and just thinking, "Oh, I just don't have the energy to do that."
I remember reading to my children at their bedtime, seven o'clock or so in the evening, and just sort of lying on their carpet and thinking, "Oh, it's so nice just to lie down and be horizontal." I'd think, "I'm just going to lie here for a little bit to recuperate my energy before I start this other job." So, thinking they were really dips in it and thinking how did that transformation happen to me?
I think what I first recognized was this snapping, this being cross and grumpy. First of all, recognizing that it wasn't helping the situation in any way whatsoever. It was just exacerbating and making everybody else cross. Secondly, thinking this isn't how I want it to be. Thirdly, thinking, this is a symptom of a bigger picture. What do they say? It's like having a light on your dashboard saying showing that something else isn't working.
I teach four pillars which are nutrition, exercise, sleep, and emotions/mindset. For me, the big pieces or the ones that I started were emotions and mindset and really thinking about how you can get stuck in this negative way of thinking. You know, it's normal for us to be negative. We're sort of negatively wired, but with self-awareness you can overcome