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Feeling a little bit stressed out? Do you often turn to food at times like this? Join Karl Susman and guests on this week’s show as they talk about what to eat and what not to eat when you’re feeling stressed! Transcript to follow.
JIM: Hi, Ramona.
RAMONA FASULA: Hi. How you doing?
JIM: Fantastic. I am so glad to have you. We had a guest on awhile back and he talked about having a wellness coach and I had never heard of that before. In our industry, I’ve heard it said that, and I’m sure it’s kind of common between both of our industries that people will spend all of their health gaining their wealth and then they’ll spend all of their wealth trying to get back their health. Our guest that we had on talked about how important he saw having a healthy lifestyle can play in people’s financial success, especially later in life, so when he talked about he personally used a wellness coach and he used your name, I said, you know what, do you think she’d be interested in being a guest, and he says I’m sure she would and you’re here. I’m so glad to have you, Ramona.
RAMONA FASULA: Thank you so much. I am so excited and, you know what, you said before your health effects every aspect of your life and your finances are no different. The reason that I became a health coach is I watched my dad pass away from complications of diabetes. I don’t want to have to see anybody ever go through what my dad had gone through. It really started to take its toll on my mom who was his sole caretaker and it doesn’t have to be. There are people out there that are educated on wellness and nutrition that are readily available that can help people make the right decisions when it come3s to their health.
JIM: And that’s awesome. You described how you got into be a wellness coach. Now, exactly what is it that a wellness coach does? I’ve heard of personal trainers. Isn’t that just a personal trainer or what do you do that differentiates yourself?
RAMONA FASULA: Well, now, what I do as a wellness coach, a wellness coach is someone who’s very educated on nutrition and our primary job is really to motivate people to get well. People know they have to get healthy but I think motivation is a big issue with a lot of people. They know they need to do it but they just need that extra push to get them there and that’s where health coaches come in. We’re also trained to figure out what the blocks are that are preventing people from reaching their health goals and then we help them to get over that so that motivation and that accountability is there when you’re working with a health coach.
JIM: Is this something that’s kind of new because I’ve been in the business a long time and never heard of this before? Are there a lot of you out there?
RAMONA FASULA: It’s becoming very popular now. I would say health coaches started emerging about, I would say about five or six years ago. We’re fortunate enough that we have people like Dr. Oz that are endorsing how important it is to work with a health coach. There was actually a senator in Ohio that actually recognized National Health Coaches Day in January and he wrote a very nice letter supporting this profession and stating how important it is for what we do and how it’s important to work with coaches to help solve this health crisis that we’re dealing with and it’s getting really scary with the number of people with diabetes going up, obesity, you name it. It’s just really, really terrible and, believe me, I’ve seen diabetes. I’ve seen what it can do to people and I do not want to see anybody having to go through that when they don’t have to.
JIM: I’ve seen the statistics. We’ve had people on before that have shared this with us. The big three, which is cancer and heart disease are both at something like an average expenditure per family I saw was like $180,000 and then long-term care, which can incorporate any number of illnesses, was the number one at $270,000. Not taking care of yourself can wipe out everything that you worked so hard for your entire life so I think it is important. Just as important as picking the right mutual fund is picking the right healthy living standard. I know in my business, I have a coach that helps me see things I can’t see in front of my face. They can take an outside look, give an objective option, and help guide me in the right path with areas I need to fine-tune, and I’ve got a lot of clients that have business coaches that are in business for themselves so why not a health coach. Let’s start out with what are the biggest issues that you hear people complain about when it comes to healthy living? I know, for me, I hate diets.
RAMONA FASULA: Well, you know, believe it or not, the biggest issue that people always complain to me about is the fact that they have no energy. Well, let’s face it. I mean we’re not eating the right foods, we’re stressed out. We’re not getting enough sleep. These are major energy zappers and when you don’t have the energy, you’re not going to perform at optimal levels in anything you do throughout the day. It’s pretty scary. Food effects everything. It effects your mood. It just effects everything so we have to make sure that we’re eating the right types of foods day in and day out and what I do, Jim, I make it super easy for people to get healthy. I have a client who she has a sugar addiction. By the second session, she was off sugar and she said I’ve followed your advice to a tee and I cannot believe how quickly my body responded. The cravings went away. She read my book on understanding sugar and she saw what sugar could potentially do to the body. She’s off sugar now. She’s doing great after only two sessions but she needed that motivation. She knew that she needed to get off the sugar but she wasn’t quite sure how to get the motivation to do it and then someone had referred her to me and, after two sessions, she’s doing fantastic.
JIM: Now, I’m really busy. I go back to back to back meetings. Sometimes, I barely even have time to have lunch or even dinner for that matter and I know I’m probably not eating right or at the right time. It seems like the way most of us are living, we’re running a million miles an hour, barely have time. How would we even find time to engage a coach like you? I’m sure it’s a time consuming thing that people have got to invest in. How do you overcome that?
RAMONA FASULA: It’s an investment in yourself so it’s not like you’re investing in a mutual fund or a stock. It’s an investment in yourself and, to me, that’s the most important investment. You’re worth it. Do you know what I mean? You’re worth it so just taking time throughout the day. Put it in your schedule, going to the gym, and I always tell people this. You have your planner. You know what meetings you have during the day so, as you’re planning your week out, plan to go to the gym. Say, if you’re a morning person and you like to get up early, 6 a.m., Monday, Wednesday, Friday, I’m going to the gym. You see it on your planner, you’re going to do it.
JIM: It’s kind of like in the investment world. We always say pay yourself first because, if you pay all your bills and do everything else and then whatever is left you save, you’re probably going to have a very meager retirement savings account so it’s probably the same thing with your health. If you don’t invest in your health first, you won’t live long enough to enjoy whatever it is that’s dragging you around a million miles an hour. Would that be a safe assessment?
RAMONA FASULA: Exactly, exactly. Like I said earlier, Jim, health really does affect every aspect of your life. It effects your work, it effects your moods, it effects your relationships. It’s just really scary. I mean I see on a daily basis what people are eating and I understand the effects that food, both good food and bad food, have on the body but I tell people you know how you feel. When you eat that candy bar, you know how you feel afterwards. Your body is going to tell you whether you’re putting something good into it or whether you’re putting something bad into it so listen to your body. It’s going to tell you exactly what you need and you know when something is off. You absolutely know when something is off. Listen to your body and just talk to someone like a health coach that can work with you and help you figure out what’s wrong. That’s what we do.
JIM: Hey, we’re going to take a short break and we’re going to continue to dive into what it takes to have a healthy life and how having a wellness coach can really help you achieve your goals. Please stay tuned.
JIM: Welcome, as we continue to visit with Ramona Fasula who is a wellness coach and author. She’s a certified holistic health coach and is the owner of Wellness by Ramona. Before the break, we were talking about what’s different about having a wellness coach versus just having a personal trainer. It’s really having someone on your right shoulder kind of saying, okay, you need to do this, you need to do this. If nothing else, maybe being accountable and also having a plan that’s workable for you and is right for you so let’s talk a little bit about stress. Ramona, I think all of us are feeling stressed. It’s a rat race today. We have sometimes people working two jobs or working two jobs for one company, people working a lot of hours, and I hear a lot of people talk about how they don’t have time to deal with their finances, people don’t have time to deal with their health and, some day, they’re going to get around to it. I’ve seen somebody hand those out, these round tuits, or a little round chip that said TUIT on there and, unfortunately, people aren’t getting those so how do we deal with all of this stress and how do we fit in being well at the same time?
RAMONA FASULA: Well, you know what, Jim, everything I do centers around food. I firmly believe that food is medicine. When you talk about stress, okay, yeah, it would be great to take a yoga class or to do meditation. I believe in all of that stuff. I think it’s wonderful. It should be part of everybody’s routine but, also, I look at food when it comes to stress so there are foods that aggravate stress and there are foods that actually help to alleviate stress and I just think this is so, so interesting. I was talking about sugar before. Sugar brings on stress. There’s a lot of people out there that have sugar addictions. You know I mentioned one of my clients earlier. Sugar leads to fluctuations in blood sugar and, in turn, that’s going to lead to mood swings. That places a lot of stress on the body so trying to stay away from sugar I would say is the number one thing I would recommend to everybody. It causes chronic inflammation, which is going to bring stress on as well. We’re hearing a lot now about gluten so gluten negatively impacts food and brain health. It also effects the gut. There are transmitters like serotonin, which are found in the gut as well as the brain. These control your mood, it controls depression, and it controls aggression, believe it or not, but these types of things we really need to look at. These things are going to aggravate stress. We’re eating a ton of processed foods. They promote irritability and bad moods so, in processed foods, you’re getting gluten, you’re getting sugar, you’re getting MSG, you’re getting Trans fats, which we’re hearing a lot about, and all kinds of artificial sweeteners as well. These are things that we need to be staying away from. People don’t realize these type of things bring on more stress in the body. We have enough stress in your lives, right, but if you’re not eating the right type of foods that’s going to add another layer of stress as well.
JIM: Let’s talk about one other issue and that’s sleep. I’ve talked to a lot of people, they’re barely sleeping through the night. They’re dragging through the day. They have their eight cups of coffee to keep them going. Comment on that.
RAMONA FASULA: Well, nearly 50% of Americans say that they’re sleep-deprived and sleep is another major cause of stress on the body and, again, as I said before, I relate everything to food so there’s actually foods that help to induce sleep and I’ll name a few for you right now. My favorite, cherries. Tart cherries, they have significant quantities of melatonin, which is a hormone that influences the sleep process. Cherries, who would have thought that, right, Jim?
JIM: Absolutely. I have never thought of that.
RAMONA FASULA: Yeah, things like nutmeg. Nutmeg is a sedative so how about before you go to sleep, make yourself nutmeg tea. Crush some nutmeg in hot water for 10 minutes and drink it right before bedtime. Nutmeg is a great sleep inducer. Things like yogurt and figs. A lot of times people are having trouble sleeping because they have a magnesium deficiency so, if you have a magnesium deficiency, eat things like figs with yogurt. It’s great, great, great for inducing sleep. Things like bananas as well. Bananas, the B6 that’s found in bananas converts tryptophan into serotonin, which is a mood relaxer, which will help you get to sleep faster. People don’t realize that these foods can help you sleep quicker and better.
JIM: Let’s talk a little bit about the solutions then. I’m hearing all of this and, if I’m somebody listening, it’s like, oh my god, I’ve got to learn so much stuff. How am I ever going to get started? Take us through the process. What do you do? If someone reaches out to you, what do you recommend? How do they get started? You said in just two sessions, this one gal had a transformation. What kind of time commitment does it take and do you build up to something or how do you do that?
RAMONA FASULA: It’s going to vary. My website is www.wellnessbyramona.com and what they would do is go to my website and just contact me, send me an email, and then the first step in the process would be to set up a consultation. In that consultation, we’re really going to look at what your goals are. Everybody has them. Everybody has goals, financial goals, wellness goals. We all have some type of goal. We look at what the goals are and then we look at your health history. We look at the health history of your parents as well because that’s something that’s super important. If heart disease runs in the family, you may not have it but it needs to be something that you need to look at. I really make sure I cover all the bases. We talk about everything and, really, I want people to get to know me and feel comfortable with me because just like with a financial advisor, you have to feel comfortable with the person that you’re working with so I take an hour and I really get into a great conversation with them and get to know them, get to know their health history, what their goals are, and then I kind of put a plan in place from there. The length of the program is entirely up to them. I will not push them into anything. If people have chronic conditions, I usually recommend they work with me for a six month period so we would talk twice a month and I either meet with them in-person, we could do a phone session, we can do a Skype session, and we can even do a session via email. What I like to do also in between sessions, I do accountability phone calls or emails so, if someone had a rough week and they maybe fell off track, then I work with them to get them back on track but they need to know that I’m always there for them. Even when the program ends, if they have questions for me, I’m always there for them. I have clients texting me at 11 o’clock at night. Some people text me from the supermarket. Hey, I’m looking at this label and I’m not sure if this is healthy for me to buy. Do you mind taking a look at it and letting me know? If it’s okay to buy, then I’m going to toss it in my cart right now, and I’ll get back to them right away, so I really make it a process where I hold their hand throughout the entire process because I think that’s so important. They’re not alone. I’m there for them. I’m there to help them reach their health goals and, by the end of that period, I will help them to reach their goals. I have gotten results with every client that I’ve worked within the past six years. I love what I do, Jim. I love what I do. I think that passion motivates people and everyone can tell just by talking to me how passionate I am about health and wellness and how passionate I am about getting people healthy because I just don’t want to see people suffer and there’s millions of people in this country that are suffering and they don’t have to.
JIM: That’s awesome. Now, I’ve got a tough question for you. I’m from Wisconsin and we’re known for beer and cheese. Does that mean I’ve got to give that up?
RAMONA FASULA: Interestingly enough, I’m glad you mentioned cheese. I don’t really eat cheese at all anymore. There’s a lot of saturated fat in cheese. However, there are vegan cheeses that are on the market. In fact, interestingly, there’s a woman who started a company. She was actually on Shark Tank and that’s one of my favorite shows. I love Shark Tank. She’s got a company called Heidi Ho because her name is Heidi. It’s vegan cheese. She became a vegan. She had a lot of health issues and she became a vegan and she started this company and she’s doing amazing with it and they’re expanding throughout the company but try it. I’m not sure if they have it in Wisconsin yet but I know that she’s launching it around the company but there are always healthy alternatives to things that may not be healthy. As far as beer, it’s okay to have a drink every now and again. I’ll admit I’ll have a glass of wine every now and again but in moderation. I don’t ask people to give u things that they really, really like.
JIM: So you don’t have to give everything up. It’s just give up some of the bad stuff and you’re going to enjoy your health and your wealth in retirement. I make that comment to my clients all the time. You’ve got your health and your wealth, go out and enjoy it, and that health thing is usually pretty fleeting for people in retirement so if you’re not taking care of it now, get on the horse and start taking care of it so you can enjoy your grandchildren. Hey, Ramona, I know you mentioned to me before we got on the air that you’ve got some resources for people. I know you published a book. Can you share with people what that book is and then you’ve got some eBooks as well.
RAMONA FASULA: I do. I love to write as well. That’s one of my passions and I’m going to be writing more books and e-courses and eBooks. I’m really excited about that but my first book is called “A Health Coach’s Guide to Heart Health”. It’s available on Amazon. Heart disease is still the number one killer of men and women in this country and it’s largely preventable so I take you through 11 steps to prevent heart disease so that was my first book. I also have some eBooks that I recently launched. The first one is Healthy Food Shopping 101, Healthy Living for the Busy Professional, and also Understanding Sugar and Its Effects on the Body. You can go to www.store.wellnessbyramona.com to purchase any of those books and I also have a special offer for your listeners. If they’re interested in my coaching, I will give them a free copy of any eBook of their choosing so there’s three out right now and I’m actually getting ready to launch a fourth one on Living Well with Diabetes so the choice is theirs and I’d love to talk to your listeners and learn more about what their health goals are and talk about how I can help them.
JIM: One more time, if they want to reach out to you, they can do that by email or by phone.
RAMONA FASULA: Yes. They can go to www.wellnessbyramona.com and I’m going to spell my name because everyone spells it wrong. My name is R-a-m-o-n-a. If they want to email me directly, they can email me at email@example.com and I’ll get back to them right away.
JIM: Well, Ramona, this has been awesome. I really appreciate you sharing. I know this is a little bit off the normal financial topics that we have but health sure plays a huge role in someone’s financial wellbeing. I really appreciate you taking the time to visit and teach us a little bit about something that I didn’t know existed until just a couple of months ago. Frank spoke very, very highly of you and you’re his personal wellness coach. I look forward to you helping others and I’m sure that if someone reaches out, then you could help refer them to other wellness coaches as well, right?
RAMONA FASULA: Absolutely.
JIM: That’s awesome. Well, thanks again, Ramona.
RAMONA FASULA: Thank you so much, Jim. Have a great day.