Health and nutrition advisor and entrepreneur Michelle Yandle has written four books, inspired audiences internationally, regularly presented on television and radio, worked with household name nutrition brands, and her health advice has been regularly featured in the pages of a number of high profile publications including Healthy Food Guide and Nadia Magazine.
Michelle’s passion revolves around clearing up confusion around health and wellness. Her grounded approach aims to get the ‘dieters off diets’ so they can feel their healthiest selves without restriction, guilt, or shame.
We caught up with Michelle for an inside look at her personal health and wellness journey. Grab a cuppa and join us for Michelle's inspirational health and wellness journey. Spoiler alert: You can feel great AND eat cake!
Not much has changed for me during COVID-19 as I’ve always worked from home. To stay well during this time though I’m being mindful to be extra compassionate with myself. We all deal with trauma and uncertainty differently and there’s no right way to do this ‘this’.
I continue to eat food that makes me feel good - and I continue to move my body in ways I enjoy too. I love going for walks around my neighbourhood bubble and having silent discos in the backyard. Ha! But if I have a day where I don’t feel like exercising and days where my eating habits might be a bit haywire… I’m being extra kind to myself because there’s no wrong way to do this.
The World Health Organisation defines health as ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.’
I take this one fully and use this definition which is based on ancient indigenous teaching tools as the anchor to everything I teach and understand about health. Health is so much more than just the state of our physical body. Our mental health can affect our physical health and vice versa - just as a lack of social connections can affect mental health etc. Everything is connected - mind - body - spirit- heart and if one is out of balance, they all can be. Taking care of our health is taking care to nourish all four aspects of health.
That doesn’t mean you have to have it all right all of the time, just taking the time to do what you can with what you’ve got where you are is my personal approach to being well.
I’ve been on a health journey for as long as I remember, beginning when I was a little girl in a larger body and bullied and teased at school because of my weight. It was then that I began to play with the idea that changing what I ate would change my body though at the time it was not done in a way that was nourishing and kind - it was simply to become smaller. I was on 12 different diets by the time I was a teenager. It wasn’t until much later in life that I began to learn that being healthy wasn’t a particular look - it was a feeling and that the perfect ‘diet’ was one that didn’t involve restriction, guilt or shame.
I could say that there was so much! That I was worthy, just the way I was, that being smaller wouldn’t change the way I felt about myself, that dieting doesn’t equate health and that dieting, ultimately would lead to struggles with food for my entire life!
BUT, I wouldn’t change a thing because if it wasn’t for my past, I wouldn’t be able to help people the way I do now. Totally willing to ‘take one for the team’. I had to learn these lessons so that I could help prevent others from going through the same struggles I did.
Completely reframing what I thought I knew about health. I had to go on a long journey of tuning out the noise around me so that I could begin to learn how to properly listen to my body again. For so long, what I ate was governed by rules, flash detoxes, diets and ‘healthy eating plans’. I didn’t realise at the time that the mental toll this was taking on my health was bigger than eating a chocolate bickie. Completely relearning everything I thought about health has been my biggest struggle. I’m having to unlearn over 30 years of diet culture! And this is a battle that will no doubt continue for my entire life. But! It’s getting easier all the time.
Being in a place now where I know my body, I know what makes me feel good and I can celebrate the role food has in our culture. I have not been on a scale or dieted for years now and I now know that I can 100% nourish my body without having to give up any of my favourite foods. What a liberating place to be! Where I have energy and good health but can still have any food I want at any time. Saying goodbye to diet culture has been the biggest win in my life and I hope to be able to help others be liberated as well.
A huge part of this unlearning and relearning is to work on my thoughts around food. I will still have moments where I feel ‘bad’ about eating something though they are fewer and fewer. When this happens I have a number of strategies that I use.
One that I find really helpful is to consider the context. No one food has the power to hurt or heal you and so I focus on getting as much nourishment as I can so that when I want what I call, ‘soul food’ it is simply that. A delicious piece of goodness that I can enjoy for what it is.
Intuitive Eating - has been a major cornerstone for me and I continue to use its teachings in my daily life. I have also created tips for what I call Empowered Eating which put my own twist on things. All of these and the support of family and friends have helped me overcome any setbacks - but most of all, compassion has been key.
A healthy day to me involves eating food that makes me feel good, moving my body in ways that make me feel good and taking some time to clear my head and do something I enjoy. As long as these components are in each day, I’d say it was a success. The beauty of this is what constitutes these things will be different for everyone and so by tuning in to what makes us feel great, there will be plenty of great days ahead!
Eating intuitively. Eating intuitively means that I am nourishing both my mental and physical health. It means that I can enjoy food as a celebration as well as knowing what foods energise me and make me feel awesome. Tuning into what my body wants and not a set of rules has been a game-changer for me. I no longer have intense cravings for certain foods, I no longer feel guilty for eating something considered ‘unhealthy’ and I don’t experience binging or overeating behaviours. Win!
My Every Day Smoothie! I have been having this almost every day for at least four years now. I never get tired of it, and it’s a great way for me tick all the boxes when it comes to nutrients.
1.5 cups almond or coconut milk
2/3 cup frozen blueberries
1 tsp olive oil or MCT oil
1 small pinch of sea salt
2 scoops Nuzest Smooth Vanilla Clean Lean Protein Powder
1 scoop Nuzest Good Green Stuff (or a couple of handfuls of greens)
1 Tbsp peanut butter (but who's measuring - really!)
1/4 of an avocado if you like it thick!
Blend in a high speed blender for about 30 seconds and enjoy!
Thanks so much for sharing your health and wellness journey with us Michelle.🙏 You're a healthy living inspiration. We love kindness, and truly believe that you can't live kind, if your kindness doesn't include being kind to you!
If you're keen to start the day with Michelle's delicious breakfast smoothie, use Michelle's discount code MYANDLE to enjoy 20% off all Nuzest products 🙌.
You can connect with Michelle on social at @michelleyandlenutrition or head over to her website.
Till next time friends, take care and stay well! xx
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