All her life Leah struggled with weight and health issues, digestive issues, extreme fatigue and fluctuating moods. In her early twenties Leah was diagnosed with Hashimotos, an autoimmune condition and thought having this diagnosis would be the answer to all her health issues but of course it wasn't and her symptoms continued to get worse. After the birth of her first child, Leah gained a significant amount of weight, had no energy and did not feel like herself anymore. This led to Leah discovering the Paleo diet and a real food approach to eating. Leah's journey led to her losing 30kgs.
Her newfound passion led her to the NTA where she graduated and now runs a home clinic to help address nutritional deficiencies and restore health back into balance. Throughout her journey, Leah has discovered that nutrient density is a vital key, she is on a mission to help other women suffering the same issues she did.
NTA is encouraging those unhappy in their jobs to re-ignite their career and with registrations to become a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner open now. More information on the course can be found at https://ntaaustralia.com.au/courses/
Question: Can you tell us about your health journey?
Leah Williamson: All my life I struggled with weight and health issues, digestive issues, extreme fatigue and fluctuating moods. In my early twenties I was diagnosed with Hashimotos, an autoimmune condition. After the birth of my first child, I gained a significant amount of weight, had no energy and did not feel like myself anymore. I knew this just wasn't me and my journey led me to discover Paleo.
Question: What does healthy look like to you, now?
Leah Williamson: These days I take a more bio-individual, nutrient dense, real food, ketogenic approach to food and I recognize that there is no one size fits all approach to the food you eat. However, I do believe, that nutrient density is a vital key to all of this.
Question: Can you tell us about what a paleo diet looks like, to you?
Leah Williamson: A paleo diet is a lifestyle free from processed and foods that cause inflammation. It is about getting back to basics and cooking food from scratch. I acknowledge that it is impossible to eat exactly like our ancestors did but we can take ideas from this such as eating real food in it natural form, free from additives and preservatives, eating seasonally, locally and taking into consideration what our bio-individual needs are.
Question: How did a paleo diet change your life?
Leah Williamson: I lost 30kg and never felt better. I was able to start a community meet up group of like-minded people following the paleo lifestyle to help support, encourage and motivate each other on their real food journey. I am also able to help reduce the overwhelm of what to eat and inspire others with nutrient dense, easy meal ideas for busy people with my Brisbane Paleo Family Facebook page.
Question: What was your time like in the NTA?
Leah Williamson: I thought I already knew a lot about nutrition as I had been living a paleo lifestyle for a few years, but I was amazed to learn so much information that was new to me. I enjoyed the study and reading and while it was difficult at times fitting in a family, study and work the course content made it enjoyable. I decided to come back and help out as a Group Leader the following year and I found my true passion in helping others learn through the NTA. I am now an Associate Instructor and following the career path to become a lead instructor. I find empowering and educating students to become Nutritional Therapy Practitioners to then go and help heal the world my life's purpose.
Question: How did this drive your passion to create your own business?
Leah Williamson: Before studying with the NTA, I was a crossroads with what I wanted to do with my life, I always had fallen into jobs that I did just because I was not really sure what I wanted to do in life. After having children and becoming passionate about nutrition, I knew I really wanted help educate people how food as medicine and it does not have to be difficult. We often over complicate things and my message is to help educate busy, time poor parents to make eating real food as easy as possible. You can have a nutritious dinner on the table in 20 mins once you know how to put it together and know where to source foods. I run events around my local area, helping to educate families to make better choices, small group programs to educate families and see clients online or one on one. I also have a podcast Low Carb Conversations where I review, debate; debunk the latest news health headlines so people look objectively at these articles.
Question: How do you juggle your business with being a Mum?
Leah Williamson: I have a home clinic where I see clients or online via conferencing calls. I arrange these during school hours, so I am always available to pick up my children to and from school. My NTA work is perfect for this as I can choose my own hours and take time off on school holidays to spend time with the family.
Question: What's a typical day like, for you?
Leah Williamson: Typically, I usually get up around 5.30am and either do some work, or meetings with the USA, record a podcast, make and have breakfast with the family, take the children to school. Work from about 9.30- see clients; do marketing for the business etc. I try to get some exercise in whether it is a walk at lunch time or some exercise on my rebounder or an online class such as yoga or primal movements. I pick the children up about 3pm and do our after-school activities, prepare dinner. A couple of nights during the week I might work for a few hours, but I do try to have a few nights where I don't do anything. Some Saturday mornings I do cooking classes at local retail stores or the local organic butcher.
Question: What advice do you have for women who are craving job satisfaction?
Leah Williamson: Take small steps to change your job if you are unhappy. Many people think they need to quit their job and they worry about the loss of income. For a few years I worked doing both my job and as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner each year we would reassess my business until I realised I could no longer reduce my part time hours at my job so I took long service leave and after that I realised I no longer needed my job and I could resign. It was scary at first but now I am happy and love what I do. I might have done it much slower than other people, but I made the change with zero risk to the family income.
Question: What's next for you?
Leah Williamson: I am looking forward to being a Lead Instructor so I can empower more Nutritional Therapy Practitioners.
Interview by Brooke Hunter