Monday, January 29, 2018

Living A Healthier Lifestyle with Healthcoach by Laya Healthcare ♥

 *This is a collaborative post in association with laya healthcare.

Back at the end of August last year I embarked on a new, healthier lifestyle, making an effort to exercise to and eat better - goodbye beloved sweet things! Whilst I've kept up with the exercising, making the effort to go for a daily walk/jog, albeit for Beau's benefit just as much as my own (being a staunch campaigner in the fight to make sure my children as much fresh air as possible), I've fallen on the wayside with the nutrition side of things at times.

Don't get me wrong, I want to eat better, I want to prepare meals from scratch and enjoy them, but my goodness, the time, effort and preparation it takes has always been hard for me to keep up with - and this is why I always found myself turning to the convenient and rather unhealthy foods instead.

So when laya healthcare contacted me about their new Healthcoach service and app - which is available to all Laya customers at no additional cost, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to get some guidance on all things health related and to get a valuable insight into my body, the parts I need to work on and what I've already improved through my own efforts. I was ready to take the good with the bad.

WHAT IS HEALTHCOACH BY LAYA HEALTHCARE? 
Healthcoach is a new service by laya healthcare which provides personalised health programmes to laya healthcare customers at no additional cost.

There are face-to-face and online consultations available, which then allow your Healthcoach to tailor a plan suitable to you and your health needs and goals - your plan will then be available via the Healthcoach app.

Healthcoach is supported by Ireland's largest team of qualified health professionals and is a 360, all encompassing approach to health care - including fitness, nutrition and mental health.

HOW DOES IT WORK?
Firstly, you'll need to be a laya healthcare customer and be registered on the laya healthcare site. This will allow you to complete the insights questionnaire for a face-to-face Healthcoach consultation or to fill out the online consultation form.

Via the laya healthcare website you will also be able to book your Healthcoach consultation - choosing an appointment time, location and a Healthcoach.

You will then meet your Healthcoach, all of whom are friendly and knowledgable about all things health, you will go through a height check, weight and body composition check and other non-diagnostic health assessments such as a lung function check, blood pressure check, a fitness test and a glucose test. Your Healthcoach will also talk you through the goals you want to achieve and will give you advice on how to achieve these.

After your consultation your Healthcoach will then tailor a personalised health programme for you and your health goals and needs. This will be available to you via the free Healthcoach app which incorporations meal plans and recipes, fitness challenges and videos, goal-specific podcasts and relevant articles and resources to help you achieve your health goals.

Healthcoach will continuously monitor your progress, allowing you to add in what you've ate in a day, your exercise and even your step count - although you'll have to have your phone on you for it to pick up this. The Healthcoach app provides mentoring, motivation and even rewards along the way in your health journey.

MY MEETING
Least to say I was quite nervous before my Healthcoach meeting, I mean, after all, I was meeting with a stranger who was about to tell me how unhealthy I am, but it was okay and I had really nothing to be nervous about at all.


My Healthcoach is Dan, who is friendly, knows his stuff and he immediately put me at ease, explaining each test before we did it and telling me how my body was composed, what I had going on positively and what I could improve on.

I was surprised to learn I have more muscle than fat and that my bone density, lung function and glucose levels are all okay - room for some improvement but not awful. I really need to work on getting my BMI and visceral fat levels down though and this is my main goal throughout my Healthcoach experience, as well as losing weight of course.

NUTRITION
The nutrition section on the app has really inspired me meal-wise and there are some great, easy-to-follow recipes on there (so important for me because I hate when things like this are complicated) that really are delicious - the turkey bolognase being one I've really enjoyed.

One aspect to the nutrition side of things I'm finding hard though is meal prepping. Before I would always prepare my meals on a 'if and when' basis, but eating healthier means having to prepare in advance and making things from scratch, which all of course takes some time - time not being something I have in abundance! I've been making a conscious effort to meal prep though, even if it's just one of the meals I need in advance - dinner for example. I make things in batches of threes so it's still relatively fresh when I'm consuming it and also a manageable amount to prepare in one go.

I'm on a 1500 calorie a day plan, which I have found to be tough going - obviously I was over-eating in the past and my stomach has to get used to the smaller portions still, but I've found serving my food in a bowl instead of a plate helps me to feel as though I'm still having a good amount and I'm eating things which I would have previously shunned so that's great too.

I've been having beetroot, mixed leaves, tomatoes, apples, turkey - all foods which I wouldn't have gone for before and I think it's great that the Healthcoach app has inspired me to try some new things.

EXERCISE
This is the one area which I'm pretty confident I'm doing okay in. I try my best to get out for a morning walk/jog each day with Beau in his buggy and now that I've joined the gym, there are some days where I'm doing almost two hours exercise.

I'm glad to say that I'm motivated with the exercise side of things and this is something I was able to discuss with my Healthcoach Dan.

My Healthcoach app also features exercises I can do at home and these are handy for the days where I didn't get out for a walk or just couldn't face the gym, but for now I haven't had the need for them.

MENTAL HEALTH
One of the areas I really need to work on in regards to my mental health is overcoming anxiety. It's an issue I've had to deal with since my pregnancy with Tyler and it's something I have to face everyday.

My Healthcoach app features an 'Overcoming Anxiety' section put together by a clinical psychologist, featuring various articles, podcasts and videos to help me deal with my anxiety, to understand it and overcome it.

I'll be writing an update on how I'm getting on with Healthcoach next month, but for now, almost one week in, it has inspired me to eat a lot healthier - not a sugary treat or processed food has touched my lips! I feel as though I have a lot more energy too. The app is a motivator for me and the recipes are such a valuable resource for me.

I'm sharing my new healthier living journey over on my Instagram @dollydowsie, mainly via my Instastories, if you'd like to follow along and if you have any questions regarding Healthcoach and how it's helping me to achieve my fitness, nutrition and mental well-being goals feel free to get in touch.
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14 comments

  1. Wow the food looks delicious and it's good to know it's all nutritious and balanced! I like the sound of the HealthCoach App as a way to stay inspired and on track :)

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  2. never come across this before, but this looks like such a great idea and something I'd definitely be interested in looking into more. I especially like that you can fit it or even include the kids in the exercise part of it.

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  3. This looks like a really great comprehensive way of getting a personal MOT addressing everything. I think it is a great idea

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  4. It's the time and energy level that prevents me cooking from scratch. I buy it all in and make a menu plan, and then run out of steam by the time it comes round to cooking my own dinner.

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  5. Oh I so need something like this! I always do really well with my nutrition for a week or two, then it all falls apart - and my mental health could definitely use a little TLC too! This app sounds perfect!

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  6. Hope it goes swimmingly for you. The app looks fantastic - really helpful!

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  7. I need to increase my exercise levels, it's something I want to work on this year. It sounds like you're doing great.

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  8. i could do with this as I lack motivation. Great to know that you are healthier than you think though

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  9. How absolutely amazing to have a health coach in your pocket I love what a 360 degree approach this takes....no looking back now!

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  10. This app sounds so cool! Good luck with everyting, I am sure the app will help you to stick to the new lifestyle! And cooking from scratch only sounds scary at the beginning, soon you'll get used to it! x

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  11. This sounds like a great all-round way to get healthy. I like that several things are amalgamated in one place and that you get to see someone face to face but also the app as an ongoing tool x

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  12. I enjoy cooking from scratch but finding time is oftrn difficult!

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  13. This sounds absolutely brilliant - love that it covers so many aspects of health. I could definitely do with the meal inspiration!

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  14. Wow what an incredible app. I love the sound of it and how much it covers. I could do with this for the meal side of things as well and to keep me on track with exercise.

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