Practitioner Q&A – Suzie Wylie
Suzie is a Nutritional Therapist with previous experience as a personal trainer and a professional Muay Thai fighter, Suzie also has training and certification in sports nutrition, holistic lifestyle coaching, eating psychology and mind body nutrition.
What brought you to nutrition?
My first degree when I was 19 was based around food and nutrition as I had a personal interest in health and fitness. At university I was diagnosed with IBS and provided with medications to control it. It wasn’t until my late 20’s, and early 30’s, that I noticed I was tired all of the time, struggling with my mental health, with anxiety, depression and panic attacks, and my IBS still felt out of control. At that time, I was also working a 9-5 career that I didn’t enjoy, and I was lacking a sense of purpose. I knew I had to make some different decisions, so I made the decision to quit my law career and enter the health and fitness arena.
I retrained as a personal trainer, studied to become a holistic lifestyle coach, and worked with a functional medicine practitioner and naturopath. This was life-changing, as she helped me to understand my body and the connection between all my symptoms. At that point, I was also Thai boxing and fighting. I moved to Thailand for four years to train and fight and in my last year in Thailand I completed an eating psychology coach training. On my return to the UK I completed a Masters in Nutrition Science and Practice with a view to setting up in practice to help and support others.
What are your areas of interest in health and nutrition?
My areas of interest in health and nutrition include supporting digestive health conditions like IBS, IBD, autoimmune conditions and brain health issues. I also enjoy incorporating coaching around supporting behaviour change. I believe behaviour change is so important as our day-to-day behaviour is directly linked to our biology and the onset of ill health. It’s important to help people understand their behaviours, and where they come from, which includes exploring a client’s mindset, in effect their thoughts, feelings and emotions that drive the behaviour. This can then lead to real sustainable change, new possibilities, and freedom from debilitating and returning symptoms.
What can clients expect from a consultation with you?
Clients can expect understanding, compassion, and a real interest in their story about their health, their symptoms, history and onset. I thoroughly explore a client’s history from birth until the present day, getting clear on a client’s goals and then putting together tailored doable nutrition, lifestyle, testing and supplement recommendations. I like to help clients understand their body and how it functions, and what has contributed to their symptoms, to empower them to be able to support their own health once we have helped their body to rebalance.
What is your favorite health and nutrition book?
I can’t say I have one particular favourite as there are so many great ones out there, my current favourite area of knowledge to read and learn about is how the body and mind are affected by stress, and early life trauma. Some great authors include Gabor Mate, when the body says no, Peter Levine, waking the tiger and In an unspoken voice, and Dr Amen, The end of mental illness, to name a few.
Favorite on-the-go snack?
Some go-to snacks include a protein bar or protein smoothie, which would normally be after training, if it was over an hour and a half until a mealtime, otherwise I tend not to feel the need to snack between meals.
Favourite form of movement?
My favourite form of movement is Thai boxing. I have been training for around 15 years and have spent time in Thailand training and fighting.
When you feel a cold coming on you….
Dial-up the self-care and support my immune health. My usual go-to in terms of immune support is echinacea and vitamin C. I also make sure I check in to see how I have been living, so my allostatic load, in terms of my work life balance, training load, how I have been eating, sleeping and recovery time, and whether that has contributed to me getting a cold by doing too much, stressing my system, and compromising my immune response.
One lesson you will take from the covid-19 pandemic?
As a practitioner, one lesson from the covid-19 pandemic is the importance of supporting your own health and immune function and maintaining a healthy work life balance.
If you could give one piece of advice it would be…
That everyone’s body is individual and there is no one diet, or one supplement that will fix chronic illness or symptoms, imbalances have often been ongoing for quite some time before decompensation starts to occur and symptoms show up. Returning to optimal health takes time and patience and also often involves changes of behaviour and mindset and how you show up and do life.