“When our first little girl was four months old, I decided I wanted something new, and I wanted to know how we could live better lives, but also I wanted to be a better example for them. I sort of made a pact with myself that I did not want them to grow up to feel the pain and illness I had experienced. So, I wanted to do everything possible to help them understand their bodies and grow up healthy and respecting their bodies and looking after themselves.” Tanya Jones
This beautiful soul shares an amazing health story of growing up as a typical country kid in Victoria. She ate a typical standard Australian diet, having things like Nutrigrain for breakfast, hundreds and thousands on white bread and many other everyday so-called typical foods. She seemed to be a pretty healthy individual regardless of the many whispers that were not accounted for. Eventually the stomach pains she experienced hit her so hard that at 18 she was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease.
As a dancer she burnt off the sugar and calories she ate and kept pushing hard through the pain. It was a roller coaster of a ride as she was physically exhausted and clearly had major blood sugar issues. Sadly, she endured seven surgeries after discovering an abscess the size of a golf ball on her bowel and faded away to just 44kgs. She hit rock bottom.
She tried to rebuild her strength and as a young 20 year old was endeavouring to live a normal life that did include a few more surgeries. However, unknowingly she continued to eat all the wrong foods. It was over ten years ago whilst living in Sydney and about to get married she decided to see new doctors and specialists to try to get an understanding of what was wrong with her. They decided the best option was to come off her medications and chop a lot of her damaged bowel out so she could start a family.
After giving birth to her first daughter she was determined for her baby and any future children that they did not have to endure what she had. She decided she needed to learn all she could and even though it took over 6 years to get through her Degree she is now a qualified Naturopath. And even though it felt like a huge hill to climb she is so happy helping people especially in the area of gut health when they may feel like she used to where all hope was lost.
What completely dumbfounded her throughout her journey was that every one of the five gastroenterologists she saw over the years told her that what she ate did not have anything to do with her issues. She knew at a deep intrinsic level though that it did have a lot to do with her issues. And she learned by going down the natural path that her microbiome was badly damaged.
Tanya says it is important to remember there are good and bad practitioners and to keep looking until you find the right one. She finally found someone who spoke into her needs and showed her the power of faecal transplants and how to focus on other things besides drugs and medications.
The key she learned is that nutrition is so important, vital even. We think of food as calories just to fill a space in our stomach and fill a void. We don’t think of the power of food and how it sends messengers to every cell in our body to tell it how to function and work.
Tanya believes it is a bit of the gut driving the brain and the brain driving the gut. It is equal communication and a communication that is underestimated by a lot of people.
Tanya’s philosophy around food is simple. If it is grown on a farm or comes off a tree or is an animal, then that is a real food source. Look at the evolutionary pathway of food. If it comes from a packet then it may not be the best, especially if you do not understand the ingredients, let alone know if they are real.
The way Tanya works with all the nutrients and teaching people to get back to real food is just one step at a time. She is now using a wonderful system called the Precision Health Plan which is very specific to the individual. She dives into genetics, health type and how to understand how different foods affect us bio-dynamically. There are many ways for all of us as individuals to get onto the right pathway according to our needs. A good practitioner is trying to piece together all the bits of the puzzle always looking for the root cause.
Tanya says we have a lot of power and control with our genetics. People may use the excuse that a certain condition runs in the family. But whilst we may have the genetic tendencies it is our lifestyle and environment that determines if those genes are switched on or off. It is remarkable how little attention is given to the lifestyle side of things.
We get to hear the different approaches Tanya uses to help her clients. She knows there is no one golden pill for everyone and that we all react differently. We have to remember that there are also the non-responders to different medications or diets. Tanya wanted something to help the non-responders honouring the individual bio-chemistry of each client and the Precision Health Plan answered that for her.
Tanya believes there is a place for both wholistic and orthodox medicine. Medicine can let us down in the way it goes after one little thing or pathogen or chemical as opposed to a wholistic approach honouring our whole self and our individuality. Nothing works in isolation. She believes it is powerful to use new breakthroughs in science and combine them with the traditional approaches. The key is adaptability.
Tanya shares her family life and how distractions can cause limitations throughout the craziness of this world. She has worked intently around limiting those distractions for herself and her family. She suggests shutting out and turning off the news and be mindful of how much time is spent on social media.
Her definition of Self Love is definitely cutting distractions but at present it is the realisation that it is constantly evolving for everybody. It is about accepting where you are in your self-love journey. It is the acknowledgement that everyone is doing the best they can with what they have right now. It is honouring those micro-moments of mindfulness. It is saying thankyou to yourself. Meet yourself where you are and be kind to yourself.
With regards to the way the world is right now and being a mum she says it is honouring what they hear from friends, teachers or others but telling them it is not necessarily what they think at home. She likes to empower them with the information she has. And to come back to them honouring their own mind and body.
She has a big love of essential oils, candles and rituals and loves how much her two girls know to ask for support with certain oils. She uses her oils every day and appreciates how much they can set the tone each day for everyone.
Her final message to the Self Love Podcast listener is to honour where you are at right here, right now. And to acknowledge you are in the right place by listening to this right now. We are in a world where the people around you may not have been exposed to self-love, health and wellness which can make you feel slightly isolated. If you don’t have those best supporters right next to you then head to podcasts.
Connection is a big part of what is important to Tanya so having that in communities like podcasts meant the world to her. Also having a coach in her corner has been like having someone to look up to and to believe in the power of her. Being around people you adore and admire can keep you motivated and focused away from all the distractions around us.
Her two favourite quotes are:
‘This too shall pass.’
‘To get through the hardest journey we only need to take one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.’
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