As I do quite a lot, I managed to steal half an hour of Debbie Gallamore’s time to ask her some all-important questions about her, her business, her opinion on fad diets and then the final question I ask all the people I work with – what she’d take if she was stranded on a desert island!!
Debbie set up her Nutritional Therapy business 5 year ago and it’s gone from strength to strength. We now work together in partnership, running 30 day nutrition challenges getting people to reset and refocus their diets and try and instil long term sustainable changes to their eating habits.
So here’s what I asked and her responses:
1 – What’s your name and where are you from?
Debbie Gallimore. I was born in Liverpool and lived there until I was 26 then fell in love with a man from Manchester. Moved to Sale then the rest is history as they say! Sale feels like home and I love the people here.
2 – Tell me some facts about you…
- I have two children called Charlie, aged 11 and Amelia, aged 8. Best accomplishment of my life so far and make me laugh everyday.
- Before becoming a Nutritionist, I worked in Insurance and was the youngest ever Operational Manager in Direct Line at the ripe age of 22. Feels like a lifetime ago!
- I’m a Liverpool fan through and through and very proud of my working class roots. Thankfully we are having a good season this year much to my husbands dismay as a United fan
3 – Tell me about what you do and your business…
I am a Nutritional Therapist and Health Coach and owner of Debbie Gallimore – Nutritional Therapy and Wellness Coaching. I founded my company 5 years ago in 2014 and haven’t looked back since!
I work with women who are looking to reclaim back their health and tackle energy, hormonal issues, weight issues and many more. I work with my clients in a unique way by coaching and motivational strategies to tackle obstacles that get in the way.
My programmes are designed to provide nutritional knowledge and support to stop dieting long term and allowing women to regain control of their health. Thanks to technology advancements, I support clients face to face, Skype, Facetime and have been able to support international clients and those who are time poor and cannot get into clinic regularly.
4 – How long have you been a nutritionist and what made you want to become one?
I trained for 5 years to gain my diploma in Nutritional Therapy whilst working full time and two pregnancies in between. I look back and think “how the hell did I survive that !?” and doubt I could do it again now I’m that little bit older. My passion and drive came from my love of coaching.
At the time I was an Operational Manager with a team of 67 staff. My love of people and passion to support others to be the best they can be was always my main driver but I had no passion for Insurance.
My interest in Nutrition has been with me since a child and watching close family members battle chronic health issues – some unfortunately terminal, drove me to want to ensure my health and those I love is as strong as it can be.
What we eat, our decisions in lifestyle and nutrition is the foundation to longevity and optimum health. Coaching my clients and seeing first hand how feeling good about themselves changes every aspect of their life is the most rewarding job to have and I feel truly lucky to be a part of that process.
5 – What motivated you to set up your own business?
There is so much misinformation out there with regards to nutrition and dietary models that promise solutions when in reality they are quick fixes that don’t work long term.
In my twenties, my relationship with food was poor and I was sucked into every claim that I needed to ‘diet’ to lose weight. I was stuck in a cycle of yo yo dieting for 7 long years and my health suffered as a consequence. Low energy, poor sleep quality, irritability and low concentration formed part of the cycle.
Once trained in nutrition, I began to eat a varied diet without cutting out food groups and realised how good I felt and my weight stabilised without a ‘diet’ in sight. I was lucky that I had the right knowledge.
What’s missing for most women is their understanding of what drives them to make the choices they do. 99% of women have emotional connections with food and this drives behaviour and habits. That is why they get stuck in the diet trap.
My programmes are designed to tackle all of these areas through coaching techniques whilst teaching them how to eat to balance blood sugars which support energy, mood and weight. It is a sustainable solution that works long term and gives control back to women.
6 – What’s the best bit about your job and why?
Being apart of someone’s health journey is by far the best part of my job! A typical client is one that is struggling with a health symptom or issue such as weight, energy, hormonal issues or digestive issues with an understanding how this negatively affects their day to day life. Watching the transformation and how this impacts positively on their quality of life is truly magical.
7 – What’s your top tips for new Mums who are getting back to healthy eating?
I remember the days when I had a toddler and a baby and was utterly exhausted most of the time with little energy or time to focus on me and my needs. Reaching for the biscuits at the 2am feed was my issue – It’s not easy and I salute any new mum!
My top tip would be to start with small simple changes and not over complicate it. For example, if your drinking 3 – 4 cups of caffeinated tea/coffee per day then start by reducing by half. Caffeine spikes blood sugars which can disrupt energy balance and hormones. If you’re not drinking enough water, then consciously monitor so you are at 1.5 litres minimum per day and always start your day with a breakfast that has protein and carbohydrates such as porridge with seeds and berries or scrambled eggs with 1 slice of wholemeal toast and 1/2 avocado. This will leave you feeling fuelled for your day and less likely to reach for sugary snacks to pick you up.
8 – Tiredness is obviously one of the hardest bits about being a Mum…any handy hints on how to stop grabbing the sugar fix to get through the day?
I here you! Reaching for sugary fixes feels like the solution when in fact it creates a rollercoaster effect on blood sugars. When blood sugars spike through high sugar foods, you get a surge in energy. This surge doesn’t last long and your blood sugars come crashing down in a short space of time leaving you tired, lethargic and with a lack of concentration needed that surge again and reaching for sugar …. rollercoaster effect!
I recommend eating little and often so effectively 5 mini meals a day to keep blood sugars steady and energy more consistent. Eating every 3 hours, 3 main meals and 2 snacks, can help keep you feeling in control and stop those peaks and troughs in energy. Replace sugary snacks with nuts/seeds/a piece of fruit or a couple of oatcakes with nut butter which will ensure that you keep energy levels steady and less inclined to reach for sugary snacks.
9 – What’s your best piece of advice to new mums who are having body confidence issues?
Such a relevant topic considering the body positivity movement. Mums especially have been through such a physical change coupled with hormone surges, no wonder we feel a little unconfident!
Pregnancy and birth are by far one of the biggest challenges your body will ever do from a physical, emotional and hormonal standpoint – how kick ass are women !
If I could give one piece of advice it would be to carve out some time each day to do something for you. Doing something you love which is just for you is absolute paramount to your mental health and wellbeing. It could be going for a 15 minute walk with your favourite music, reading a book in the bath or seeing friends without the kids. When you start to do the things you love it feeds the soul and you more inclined to start to nourish and look after yourself organically.
10 – There are obviously hundreds of crazy/fad diets out there. What’s your thoughts on them?
There are 100’s of fad diets and will continue to be as we live in a world who want quick fix solutions. I am dubious of any fad diet or gimmicky product that claims they will fix your weight issues. Any diet that puts you in a calorie deficit for long periods of time can have an impact on your metabolism long term. Take the Cambridge Diet as an example. This diet reduces calorie intake to approx 600-700 calories a day by having shakes and soups predominantly as your main food supply. Taking how difficult it is to comply for overall lifestyle and how miserable it makes most women as your body is devoid of energy, it can be supportive of quick weight loss.
However, what I see in my clinic is women who have lost vast amounts of weight very quickly, put the weight back on just as quick as soon as they go back to old eating habits. What makes it worse is that all of a sudden they are putting more weight on as their metabolic set point (calories required for their body) has reduced to avoid starvation. Hair loss, energy issues, hormonal imbalances are also affected.
I hate the word diet and teach my clients that there really is no need to diet at all! As soon as you know how to eat, and were talking all food groups here: carbohydrates, proteins and fats in the right way, you will lose weight and feel amazing!
11 – Whats your favourite dish and why?
What a great question ! I love simple dishes and ones that fit easily into family mealtimes. One of my favourites is chicken tray bake as its simple, easy and my children love it to !
12 – if you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?!
Hardest question by far Becca – ha! Can I say 3 or is that cheating? (it was definitely cheating but I will let her off!!)
- Salmon – anti-inflammatory, full of essential fats to feed my nervous system and brain.
- Mixed nuts & seeds – anti-inflammatory, high protein and essential fats. They go everywhere with me and would be lost without them
- Green veggies – anti-cancer properties and full of nutrients for a happy and healthy body
13 – What can’t you live without?
My family& friends … cannot imagine a world without my kids, husband and wider friends and family
14 – I feel most at home…
…sitting in the garden watching the kids play with a glass of Prosecco chatting to my husband. That to me is bliss
15 – How would your friends describe you?
Warm, honest and always there if you need me
16 – If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 things (not people!!) would you take and why?
- Kindle for books
- Avocado’s as the mixture of fat and protein would keep me alive !
- My journal to help keep my mind occupied and write experiences, thoughts, ideas down