Words Liz French, Imges Brydie Thompson
Many of us live with constant stress, juggle career demands and family needs, suffer chronic pain, have weight issues, sleep badly and reach for the wine bottle in a cycle that seems to be on constant repeat. “The new normal,” we sigh.
“It may be common, but it is not normal,” says holistic health coaches Steve and Heidi Jennings, a couple with a passion to prove that good health and vitality is normal, no matter what your age or stage.
The Jennings have coached thousands of people from despair and depression to health and happiness, people who have tried a myriad of mainstream methods to cure their ills, be they physical, emotional or environmental.
It can take just six weeks, and ‘coach’ is the operative word. Steve and Heidi take you on a journey through lifestyle changes designed to change your life—ones that work.
The reason this works is that, first, through consultation, they help you identify the cause and, if necessary, make peace with it. “Forgiveness is vital to remove the barrier to our health and wellbeing,” Steve points out.
He should know. Steve was brought up in Katikati, the youngest of a family of five, his solo mother the victim of debilitating chronic fatigue syndrome. “From the age of ten I cared for my mother, did all the shopping, cooking and housework,” he recalls. “I can do domestic, but I can’t fix a car!”
If that wasn’t enough, Steve was put to the test again when Heidi became frighteningly ill. Steve cared for her and their family and helped identify and address the cause—toxic heavy metal poisoning. The solution involved a plant-based diet.
In trying times, it is natural to seek a reason for it all. Steve had to ask himself, “Why am I being asked to cope yet again?” and Heidi, “Why am I so sick, and will I ever get better?”
The purpose evolved as Jennings Holistic Health Coaching. It is not just their own experience that they bring to their clients. Steve was a competitive sportsperson who, in the role of personal trainer, discovered quickly that the conversations went way beyond lifting weights. He became an expert in performance nutrition. Heidi originally completed a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Japanese and has since gained a diploma in life coaching and another one in plant-based nutrition (from Cornell University in the USA).
But it takes more than certificates on a wall to make the difference the Jennings make.
The Five Pillars of Health
The Jennings ‘reset’ programme is holistic, putting the focus on the whole person, not just the obvious symptom. They coach from the position that five vital contributors to your health must be addressed: nutrition, exercise, gut health, sleep and stress. They provide the tools to tweak your lifestyle till all are in balance. The result is that symptoms disappear and your quality of life improves correspondingly, much to your surprise and delight.
As Heidi points out, health issues that respond well to holistic coaching are those particularly experienced by women aged between 45 and 65, menopause a major factor. “There is no need to suffer during hormonal changes,” she states categorically.
Stubborn body fat is another common problem the Jennings address, with significant and lasting success judging by the testimonials and photos. They also specialise in resolving other conditions that lower quality of life, including chronic pain and inflammation, anxiety and depression, autoimmune dysfunction and sleeping problems.
People are starting to take notice of these down to earth health practitioners. Technology allows Steve to coach clients internationally, notably an American with a medical background who credits his methods as life changing.
Heidi loves to write and in doing so spread the message. Stockholm based Brainz magazine, of which she is a contributor, recognised her in their global awards for her innovative ideas around leadership and mental health. Her book, From Living Hell to Living Well, is due for release late November and she accepts invitations to speak on wellness. If your interest has been piqued, watch out for her column in future Nourish issues.
“Most of what we do is common sense,” the Jennings say of their philosophies. “Our bodies tell us what we need, if we are listening.”