I believe one of the most important relationships we can have is with the food we eat.

Therefor I wanted for you to all “meet” Pauline Hanuise. Her warm smile lights up the room (and she is the only person I know to have a neon bag to rival mine). Pauline is an expert on the topic of eating disorders and is a wealth of information as a health coach and a recovering bulimia sufferer herself. This week, in an interview, I am sharing her story and hopefully some tips to help you build a more peaceful and healthy relationship with your food. 

Please also enjoy some delicious and nutritious food inspiration from Pauline while you read… 

Briefly describe yourself and your coaching business. 

I am a certified Holistic Health and Recovery Coach.

Having recovered from 15 years of struggles with full-blown bulimia, I am now dedicated to help people making peace with food and get a better life. Through my website paulinehanuise.com and my latest project: Make Peace With Food, Change Your Life, I give free resources and videos to empower people to live a better life.

What is an eating disorder? And what role do you take, as a health and wellness coach, in the recovery of your clients?

Eating disorders are much more than anorexia and bulimia and can appear in many different ways. After recovering from my lifelong battle with bulimia I was able to realise that EDs are any relationship with food that are not allowing you to experience life at its fullest.

Chronic dieting, calories counting, overeating are all issues that have a heavy impact on people’s lives and wellbeing in general but are almost never addressed in our societies.

I deeply believe that when you start understanding how your body and brain work, you are able to heal from these destructive behaviours. As a Health Coach, I am here to guide my clients to understand what they need and to re-build a natural and peaceful relationship with food and their own body.

Unfortunately it appears that the eating disorders are on the increase with males and middle aged people now very commonly affected as well record number of young women. Can you briefly outline your own experience with an ED?

Yes, eating disorders are not only effecting teenage girls.

They can be developed at any moment of your life. These issues are probably much more wide spread than we could think.

As soon as food becomes a source of worries and struggles, as soon as your body image becomes negative, you know that something is not quite right.

On my side, I’ve started dieting very strongly when I was quite young and developed bulimia when I was 13. I tried many things including years of therapy and anti-depressants but that didn’t quite help me. It is only now, after years of personal researches and self-experiments that I have finally managed to recover.

I learned how to heal and re-nourish my body, I learned how to re-wire my brain and get rid of this addictive and destructive behaviour.

It is only when I recovered that I realised how life was supposed to be and that I truly had the power to create what I wanted for myself.

If recovery was possible, anything was possible!

It was also when I realised that I had to help others who were still stuck in a destructive relationship with food.

If you want more details about my story, you can find it here.

Can you explain what you mean when you talk about a relationship with food?

By relationship with food, I mean how you manage your food intake. Nourishment should be totally natural to us. We all know instinctively what we need and what’s best for us to be at our healthiest weight and perform at our best.

We all came into this world with a peaceful relationship with food. However, when growing up in our societies, most of people are intellectualising this process, thinking too much about what they ‘should’ eat or ‘should not’ eat.

Your relationship with food is referring to this. How are you on this scale?

Have food and nourishment became an intellectual decision or is it peaceful and natural?

What are some practical tools we can equip ourselves with to maintain a healthy relationship with food?

I know this sounds cliché but listening to your own body and it’s needs are the keys. However I know this is easier said than done. Eating nourishing whole foods is great as it will help keep your body nourished and avoid deprivation.

Keep yourself in-check and always ask yourself if your relationship with food is peaceful and natural. Chronic dieting, binge eating, overeating, restriction, calories counting or worrying about what you going to eat are clear signs that something is not quite right.

What role does cooking from scratch and healthy whole food play in living a happy and healthy life?

For me, this is super important.

First of all, I LOVE cooking. This is such a grounding and creative experience.

Choosing whole and top quality food is important to give your body what it truly needs to stay at its best.

This will impact not only your energy levels but also the way you feel, the way you think and the way you see the world.

To me, nourishment is the number 1 priority if you want to live a healthy and happy life and it’s so much fun! Life is so much nicer when you feel good, right?