Maddie Race shares how she coaches her community and their families to better health and wellbeing as well as her biggest secret as a holistic health coach.
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Rod: Welcome everyone. Rod from Sports Adventure here and today we continue our fantastic interview series where I interview inspirational people from around the world to share their expert insights on mountain biking, good nutrition and mens health. My guest today started her education in 2015 with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, learning about a range of topics including over 100 dietary theories. She studied with some of the world’s top health and wellness experts including Joshua Rosenthal, Dr. Andrew Weil, and Deepak Chopra. She advises new clients that she’s like a personal trainer but not for fitness, more for your health and well-being. I’d like to welcome holistic health coach, Maddie Rice. Good afternoon, Maddie.
Maddie: Good afternoon, Rod. Thanks for having me and that’s a great intro. It’s a really good insight and capture of what I do.
Rod: Certainly. You’ve done some incredible things. I was reading through some of your history and I’m certainly keen as well as my listeners to hear more about what you’re doing and what you can offer. So we market straight into it.
Maddie: Absolutely. Let’s go.
Rod: Terrific. For you, what’s so good about being a health coach?
Maddie: For me, what I love about being a health coach is that not only do you inspire people to live a healthier and happier life, but it actually keeps you I supposed to practice what you preach and to walk the talk. I really love the aspect of being inspired by my clients as well. So when you’re seeing personal transformations before your eyes and people really getting into their own health and wellness. Yeah. It’s an evolving inspiration. It’s fantastic. It’s an awesome environment to be. Sometimes, you can’t explain it because it’s so personal like you go through journeys with individuals and everyone’s different. That’s what I love the most about. You basically practicing what you preach. It’s unlike any other job where 9-5 do what you have to do and then, come home and forget about it. This one is continued. You live it and breathe it basically.
Rod: Yeah. That’s true. I can certainly relate to a number of those things that you mentioned there. How did you originally get involved? How did you kick off?
Maddie: Well, I suppose when we started from my heritage and from my family background. I was born into an Italian family and everything was all about food. That was something that was ingrained in me and that became a passion. Then, as I became a mother myself, I realized how important it was to notice your family in the right way and then, I supposed I started to delve a little bit further because it was a passion and an interest for me. When I became a mother, I decided to start a kid’s cooking school where I really noticed that as everybody’s lives get busier, we’re starting to lose touch with what’s important and the basic fundamentals of life. I recognized that there wasn’t as many children would spend time in the kitchen with their moms and their grandparents. We live quite a far distance away from my own children’s grandparents. That’s where all this home cooking and inspiration comes from. It’s from families and all that sort of thing. I started this kid’s cooking school from that and then, once I started teaching cooking and teaching kids about cooking and what we should learn about cooking, I noticed that I had to start handing out a bit of nutritional information and all the rest of it. Me being me, I don’t like handing out advice unless it’s an educated opinion. It became very apparent to me that I sort of had to educate myself a little bit further so that’s when I started looking into the health coaching courses and I did a bit of research at the best coaching courses for me. When I found that the Institute of Integrated Nutrition was one of the best ones that I found that would complement what I was currently doing and where I wanted to take it and how I could best serve my community and my tribe. That’s how I got into work.
Rod: That sounds terrific. You mentioned background, helping kids learn to cook in cooking classes and things. For me, I can certainly vouch for the buzz that my kids get out of cooking and they love being in the kitchen. They love doing whatever they can to get their hands in, to get their hands dirty, to teach them a few good nutritional aspects along the way and at the end of it, it all comes out well. [inaudible 7:41-42] is a good thing. It’s a great way that you get started there. Well done.
Maddie: Yeah, it is and it really empowers children to make good choices and not the bad ones. Yeah.
Rod: That’s terrific. Well done. What would be the top things that you would suggest to someone in order to keep on track with a healthy nutritional life?
Maddie: I suppose the biggest thing is connecting to your why.
Why do you want to be healthy?
What is it that’s driving you to this path of I wanna be healthier?
Connecting to a why is so important because that is your one point where you go when it gets too hard or you feel like you’re quitting or you feel like you’re getting nowhere, that is that one point where you go. Well, this is why. Be it that you’ve had a health scare, be it that it’s a weight issue, be it that you want to do it for your kids or your family, whatever the reason why, you really need to really get into that and connect with that. That is probably my biggest, what I always go back to with my clients is why you’re doing this.
Rod: I think that’s a good point there. I think today’s nutrition, there’s so many easy unhealthy options out there. We see them on the telly all the time. We see of this stuff in supermarkets. To make a choice that might be a little more time to prepare or something else that we need to think about. We certainly need to come back to your whys, as you said, that keeps us strong and keeps working through for the best option, not the easy option.
Maddie: Yeah. You said three things didn’t you, Rod, yeah?
Rod: Yeah, that’s okay. No.
Maddie: I’ve got a couple more because the other thing I say to people is that they do need to listen to their body and that there’s not a one solution fixes all approach when it comes to health or wellness. We’re all individual and we need to remember that. All too often we self-diagnose and we think that this is the right thing to do for ourselves but unless you’re listening to your body, your body’s an incredible machine. It tells you, it gives you the signals as to what agrees with you and what doesn’t and if you can get in tune with yourself, that is the best thing that you can do and the other thing that I tell my clients and my tribe is that make sure you surround yourself with like-minded people. Really immerse yourself to a tribe that oozes what you want. If you want a healthy environment or you want to know how to feed your kids better, ingrain yourself into a community. There’s so many out there, Facebook groups, all that sort of thing that can really become your supporting group so that you’re continually getting that support.
Rod: I think you’re spot on. In my own circumstance, I had a period of ill health, a long period of ill health and it was a doctor that suggested I try a low cal, no sugar, no processed food diet and it really came down as from our family. They’ve certainly adopted a number of things that I do, not everything. That’s fine. That’s their choice but they support me through and through. I made a lot of decisions on where we ate out and all that sort of stuff just so I can get decent food, which is as you said, that support is so helpful.
Rod: Terrific. What would be the best way to get started? If as you said, someone had a health scare, it’s hit them square on the nose. What are they going to do? What are they going to turn around? How do they kick it off?
Maddie: The biggest thing is that you need to be brave. You need to be brave to take that step and to call out for help. That’s one of the biggest things that I recognize is that when someone sends me an email or drops me a private message and they’re asking for advice and help, that is a really brave step to admit that they’re at a crisis point. That’s what it gets started is be brave and ask.
Rod: Terrific. I agree with that. Spot on. Do you have any real life examples of people that you’ve coached, you’ve helped to turn them around and some of the things, the challenges that they have been through in order to get a new result, a better result?
Maddie: I certainly do and it’s so rewarding when you do hear this real life experiences, especially when it’s a client of yours. Without getting into so much detail, without comprising privacy, I’ll just be very generic. There’d be things like clients with say, [inaudible 13:00] babies for instance. They go to their doctors for their routine check and their doctor turns around and says to them, “What have you been doing? Your blood levels and your sugar levels are fantastic. You’re basically in remission.” To hear things like that is really rewarding and that’s all through basic recommendation of listening to your body, looking at your food, looking at what works for you. It’s not a lot of complex things that we go through but it’s very simple but effective. I’ve had another client where not directly, the program has changed her. It’s also rippled to the family and same thing, husbands go on to get routine checks with certain blood levels and doctors recognize that prostate levels have dropped to their lowest ever and that’s due to the ripple effect of the change that the wife has made to her life. That’s really exciting for me as well is that this is what I say to clients is that not only improving your own health and wellness but it’s a ripple effect that goes into your families and that’s my why of why I do what I do. I really want to create a healthy ripple effect in families. All the other things, the obvious things like losing weight, more energy, better sleeping. All that sort of things. You can basically hear that we can at first couple of weeks of coaching clients, you get that oh wow, I don’t feel as fatigued or wow, I’m sleeping better and I’ve got more energy. I’m losing my brain fog. I don’t have that 3 o’clock slumps. There’s so many. Even for me, on a personal level, I’ve noticed that with my family and especially with my kids. I noticed how their behavior has improved. I look at the way that they’re approaching puberty. The hormones are running rife in their systems and it’s very balanced and composed in our family as well.
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Rod: Terrific. Well done. That’s fantastic. Some great results there. Would you see more men or women as part of your client group?
Maddie: Initially, I do see a lot more women because that’s my niche market. I do reach out to women because I’m all about healthy moms, healthy families. But I have had male clients and I’d love to get to more dads, in particular single dads. That would be something that I’d love to get into. The divorce rate is quite high. When we’ve got shared custody of children, this is where I see a huge opportunity in coaching dads that are co-parenting and they want to do the right thing and they find it quite difficult. They challenge us. Education, I feel, would be paramount to both moms and dads and how to as a joint co-parents, how to best look after your children in that environment because it’s not just the physical health that we need to worry about. It’s also the mental health. People don’t realize that connection when it comes to eating food. I’ve got a very holistic approach which touches on the mental health side as well.
Rod: Certainly are some great points there. If you had a secret about healthy living, what would it be?
Maddie: Oooh. Secret.
I think my biggest secret is just get cooking.
Use your kitchen as your own health lab.
Don’t rely on these factories to feed you. We are spending thousands on building beautiful kitchens and yet we probably sometimes only use them four times a week because we eat take away. I just don’t get it. That’s not everyone. I’m generalizing a statement. I just say to people, get cooking. Buy real ingredients. It doesn’t take much to whip up something magnificent from a few ingredients. That’s not a big secret which really isn’t a secret. But yeah.
Rod: It’s a fantastic point and here in Australia, we have so much good produce and chicken, fish, meat, all that sort of stuff. A few bits and pieces you need to avoid but the quality of our ingredients is so good compared to a lot of countries overseas. They’re not be able to take advantage of that, like I said. They buy something in a packet or a can. What’s the sense in that?
Maddie: Absolutely and not only that. We’re supporting this awesome farmers and we’re supporting these businesses that are just so passionate about what they do. When we cook, we transfer love into our food and that love nourishes our families. No different to the farmers. When they’re farming and they’re harvesting or they’re raising their stock or raising their crops, whatever they’re doing, there is so much love and emotion in that food. That’s what we need to connect back. It’s got life, not this dead food that we get on a factory line.
Rod: I like to mention. I come from a family of farmers. I’ve lived that life for some time and it’s certainly a very important thing that we often forget about. We run to a supermarket, fill up the trolley, and we don’t think about the love and the heartache that’s going into producing what ends up in our basket.
Rod: Do you have anything else you can suggest for people to stay on top of their health? You mentioned the kitchen. It’s a great little laboratory that we’ve all got at home. Is there anything else that comes to mind you can share?
Maddie: To stay in tune, did you say?
Rod: Yeah. Stay in tune. Yeah.
Maddie: Yeah. Like I said, mentioned earlier, it’s really important to listen to your body. One thing I do with clients is we do food diaries. We write down what we ate. This is a very powerful thing to do and anyone can do it. Not only are you recording what you’re eating but you actually get in black and white, you get to say what you actually ate in a week and while we do that, I actually get the clients to really connect with how they’re feeling 30 minutes or an hour after they’ve eaten. To say what that food is doing, whether it’s filling their body or whether it’s actually making them feel fatigued, lethargic, bloated, all that sort of stuff. All too often, we write things off and say, oh, it’s just normal or no, that always happens so it’s just how I am or that happens in our family and all that sort of things. But it’s not normal. If your body is telling you something, you do need to listen to it. Doing food diaries really powerful tool. It’s a really, really good thing to do and they’ve been doing it with your families if you’re recognizing that your children are misbehaving or whatever the case may be. Just take a note. Jot it down what they’re eating because you’d be quite surprised because we forget. We’re busy. You ate and we modestly ate. We don’t actually sit down and connect with what we’re doing. We’re distracted by a computer screen. We’re distracted by our television. We all hear people saying don’t eat and watch tv at the same time and there’s a reason for that. It’s because you’re not connecting with your food. It’s not connecting. Your brain s actually not connecting that you’re actually eating. By writing down a food diary, you start to really mentally connect and then, you start to understand a little bit more about the food that fills you, the food that drags you down, and the food that you really should stay away from. How much we overeat or how much sugar we’re consuming, all different elements and complexities.
Rod: I think that’s excellent ideas there. That food diary is a great one. I think after time, we live our life. You mentioned the 3 o’clock slump and that sort of things. A lot of people could be living that life just thinking that’s the norm and that’s the life that they have to live or there’s no change to that. But your diary is an excellent idea. I agree with that.
Maddie: Yeah. Yeah.
Rod: Very good. Would you have any more information about how people can improve their health? Where would someone go to find out how they want to start to make a change and go from there?
Maddie: I suppose this. If they want to improve their health, I would do that in a way that depended upon the scale and the level of where they’re at. If it’s a serious issue or they’re seeing a doctor or anything like that, stick to the professionals. Don’t self-diagnose or don’t try self-educate. If you’re just a person that you’re sick of feeling tired or you’re not sleeping well or you’re putting on a little bit of weight, you reach out to people. There’s so many help among us, experts in this work. Well, in Australia, there’s Hates. Like I said earlier, you call out to people or you start to educate yourself through groups. You can get to a point where you sort of know where your issues are and then, you really drill down on that. You start on one thing and it’s not, like I said earlier, it’s not a one fix all approach. You really need to say, okay well, this is a really big issue in my life right now and it’s causing. I’m not sleeping well so it’s causing me to be cranky and frustrated during the day and I’m reaching for sugar because that’s what the chemicals in my brain are telling me. So if that’s the issue, just attend to that issue and start to what I call, crowd at all the worst offenders, in your say, health regime. If you want to get rid of that, start to look at things that can replace in a healthy sense. Say for instance, if you want to give up sugar, start to make some healthier alternatives like bliss balls. Focus on one thing and work on that for a couple of weeks and then once you get into the habit. The habit forms within 21 days of doing something consistently and so once you fall in the habit, work on the next thing. You just need to be patient. It doesn’t happen overnight.
Rod: I think that’s a very good point. I speak to a number of people that came to make a change. They believe it’s going to be this massive life-changing turn around to everything I do. I really feel for them. Their heads heading in the right direction but it’s so hard to make such a massive change instantaneously and stick to it. It only lasted a couple days, a week at best, and then, the old habits creep in and it’s all over. Best intentions but it’ll all goes to order unfortunately. But I think your suggestion’s a great one.
Maddie: And just not to be overwhelmed by everything. Don’t think of it as it’s not a diet or it’s just a slight lifestyle change. Like I said, go back to why you’re doing it and keep it visual thing on your fridge so that you can always look at that guide. This is why I’m doing it, be it that it’s a photograph or a word or something like that. That way you’re sort of keep realigning when it gets too hard. Don’t start things on a Monday and go on the weekend and eat so crazy and go, I’m starting on Monday because this is the diet of change. No.
Rod: It doesn’t work.
Maddie: You’re just setting yourself up [inaudible 27:56] because you’re mentally challenging yourself. Just go, today, I’m just going to have a cup of green tea or I’m going to drink an extra couple of glasses of water or I’m going to have a salad instead of going to buy [inaudible 28:17] or I’m taking food for lunch. I’m taking my food instead of buying it. It does not have to be enormous. It’s all about being realistic and yet keeping it real.
Rod: You bet. A bit of preparation and you’re on your way.
Maddie: Yeah. Yeah.
Rod: Terrific. How can people get in touch with you, Maddie? I know you got a great website with a stack of information there.
Maddie: My website is www.maddierace.com.au. On there, I’ve got blogs, weekly blogs and recipes that I pop up. You can also find me on Facebook. Just search up Maddie Race Health Wellness and you’ll see me. If you like a bit of what they call food inspiration or food porn, whatever you want to call it, check me out on Instagram. That’s where I do a lot of recipe development and I snap my creations and see what the engagement’s like. To see whether recipes or where they’re writing up. So that’s sort of like a daily snapshot of my life and what I ate. So yes. Social media is the best. On my website is where you can contact me direct. My email addresses are there. My phone numbers are there. I’m very open to anybody contacting me. Anyone can pick up a phone and ring me and I’m happy to talk to them so I don’t keep any of that a secret. I don’t make it hard for people. So yeah, that’s where people can find me.
Rod: Terrific. That’s great. Thank you, Maddy. I’ll include all those links at the bottom of the post and we can probably wrap it up there. I’d really like to thank you for your time.
Maddie: No problem.
Rod: We’ll have to speak again in future.
Maddie: Yeah lovely, thanks so much for having me and I hope all those tips are helpful to your tribe and good luck with everything that you’re doing. You’re doing a great job.
Rod: Great. Thanks very much, Maddy.
Rod: Thank you.
Maddie: Thanks. Okay. Bye.
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About The Author
Like any sport, bicycling involves risk of injury and damage. By choosing to ride a bicycle, you assume the responsibility for that risk, so you need to know — and to practice — the rules of safe and responsible riding and of proper use and maintenance. Proper use and maintenance of your bicycle reduces risk of injury.