Sarah Braithwaite is a qualified life coach, motivational speaker, and gut health expert. After being diagnosed with an inflammatory autoimmune disease, Sarah took an interest in gut health as a means of getting her life back on track. Through nutritional courses and additional studies, she learnt two important things:
- The state of your gut impacts your overall health.
- There’s a significant connection between your mind and your gut.
Eager to teach others about her findings, Sarah started a business, Mindsight, through which she offers coaching, self-help talks, and workshops.
w&h spoke to Sarah about how she improved her gut health to help alleviate the inflammation from her autoimmune disease
“I never understood what a big part your gut plays in your overall health, until six years ago when I found myself in the throes of an autoimmune disease. I struggled with pain and chronic inflammation and, even though I sought advice from doctors, couldn’t find a long-term solution. Desperate for answers, I started doing my own research. One thing that consistently came up was the topic of gut health. I learnt how it can affect everything from your immune system and the levels of acidity in your body to the nerves leading to your brain.
I read how maintaining a healthy gut with an anti-inflammatory diet – where you reduce your intake of processed foods, sugar and gluten, while eating more fruit and vegetables – could eliminate the harmful bacteria that lead to inflammation.
It was tough to follow such a rigid eating plan, but after a few months the pain subsided and I felt like a new person. I had loads of energy and, for the first time in years, felt like I was on top of the world.
At the time, I’d quit my corporate job in recruitment and, eager to teach others about the amazing impact of gut health, I started a new career as a life coach.”
An anti-inflammatory diet helped Sarah realign her gut health
“I qualified as a life and business coach in 2014 and jumped straight into practising. I met with friends and family before word of mouth attracted new clients. Mentoring people felt amazing, but I wanted to improve my offering. I soon decided I wanted to educate clients on how intertwined your gut health, diet, well-being, and emotions are. So, to refine my knowledge, I did a year-long online nutrition course in 2015. After qualifying, I launched Mindsight, helping clients with their physical and mental health. To market my business, I printed flyers and left them in yoga studios and health stores.
As this is a fairly new concept, some clients started off feeling sceptical about how your gut could influence your mental and emotional well-being. Couple that with telling people to try to drink less coffee, and it could be a pretty hard sell! But, I knew the results would speak for themselves. I’d also, through my own experiences, found tasty nutritious food options on the market. This helped me advise my clients on ways to make an anti-inflammatory diet more appealing.”
Sarah felt she wanted to teach others about the mind-gut connection
“With that knowledge in mind, I decided to host one-day workshops where I’d break down the medical technicalities of maintaining a healthy gut and suggest easy ways to adapt your lifestyle to a healthy eating plan. A lot of what I teach has to do with mindfulness, so I brought a mindfulness-based coach on board to help, too. We held the first workshop in November 2018 and it was fantastic.
My clients (some of whom have autoimmune diseases) often tell me how good they feel once they’ve followed my advice. They have more energy and a better outlook on life. I’ve continued to host workshops precisely for this reason. I’m happy to host talks in any environment, whether it’s medical spaces, schools or corporate settings. I’m studying psychology part-time at Wits, too. My goal is to become an integrative psychologist so I can advise clients as a dietitian and therapist in one.”
Sarah is hosting two workshops in Joburg this coming weekend. See below for more information…
Details of the upcoming workshop
These workshops will offer a scientific, holistic and practical guide to mental and physical health, stress management, nutrition, gut health, emotions, lifestyle management, mindfulness and the mind-gut connection. Both events are presented by Sarah, as well as Lindsay, a mindfulness expert.
- Saturday 7 March at the Garden Shop in Bryanston, 08:45am – 01:00pm
- Sunday 8 March at the Farm Table in Linden, 09:15am – 01:30pm
Tickets are from R650 and can be purchased via Quicket.
By Features Writer, Marike Watson