What is a primal health coach?

by Helen Marshall

What is Health Coaching?

I am writing to you today to answer a few questions around Health Coaching…for starters what even IS it?

Lets start with a wiki definition:

“Health coaching, also referred to as wellness coaching, is a process that facilitates a healthy, sustainable behaviour change by challenging a client to develop their inner wisdom, identify their values and transform their goals into action.”

What about Primal Health Coaching?

The kind of health coaching I do is based on a Primal Lifestyle, that means getting back to a nutrient dense anti inflammatory way of eating, similar to our hunter gatherer ancestors. Our hunter gatherer ancestors were ripped, lean and ready for action at the drop of a hat. They lived long and dropped dead (once they had survived the threat of infant mortality or predator attack that is).

Are you trying to be healthy but feeling like crap?

Our health as a nation is in utter crisis. I could Google some stats for you, but you already know this, and besides, you know I like to chat to you in layman’s terms! Next time you are at the checkout at the big supermarket waiting in line, just scan the other shoppers, do they look healthy? What’s in their trolleys? Wheat, sugar and dairy products and frankenfoods? I believe it starts with food. The grain based diet and many modern foods, even the ones you thought were healthy, are making you gain weight and get sick.

I would much rather live long and drop dead than slowly disease away with diabetes, cancer or cardio vascular disease, wouldn’t you? I believe this is all possible, simply by changing the foods that we eat. I believe it so much because I healed myself from a long list of chronic, debilitating health conditions and feel so inspired to help others reclaim their health this way.

Sure some of the conventional staples we have grown up on have to go (specifically grains and industrial seed oils) but that’s ok because delicious cuts of fatty meat are back on the menu, including bacon! We will eat a diet based on meat, fish, fowl, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. There is even room for some dark chocolate, red wine and the odd modern world indulgence from time to time, cos hey! Life is for living and to be fun!

Become an expert in you

You could trust others with your health, but truly, no one cares as much about your health as YOU. That’s why I believe you need to become an expert in yourself working out which foods work for you. I will coach you through this and identify ways to spot intolerances. You may discover that you are gluten intolerant or can’t tolerate dairy but can enjoy some cheese now and again. Little insights like this can go a long way to a lifelong healthy relationship with food and your own body.


Exercise is ineffective for weight loss. Most people trying to be healthy are engaged in excessive and chronic workout patterns which inhibit fat metabolism, break down lean muscle tissue and lead to burnout, fatigue and injury. Not what you had in mind hey. I’ll coach you through what movement works best for your body, many of my clients are surprised (and relieved) to see how effective a small amount of exercise can be, and who said a game of ‘it’ on the tramp with the kids doesn’t class as a workout?


Epigenetics are the lifestyle factors which affect how our genes are expressed. I will show you how to tweak your lifestyle to optimise gene expression for more favourable health. Got a family history of low iron or high blood pressure? It needn’t be your destiny. I can empower you with simple lifestyle hacks to improve your health enormously – and no, it doesn’t mean you have to sit in the dark after sunset and stare at a candle, although that’s quite nice too! We will tweak your stress management, sleep patterns, sun exposure, socialisation, rest and relaxation.

What’s my background?

I have always been interested in health and fitness and always thought myself to be healthy, doing the best I could to eat well and move lots. I worked as a Group Fitness Instructor from the age of 14 (!) and went on to qualify as a Personal Trainer, Gym Instructor and worked in some of the most prestigious (and backwater) health clubs around the world. After graduating with a degree in Leisure Studies ( a business degree for the Leisure Industry) I went on to be a successful yet stressed out Business Manager in the city. I worked as a Recruiter, coaching candidates and clients to new careers. Since becoming a Mum I have trained as a Yoga Teacher, Massage Therapist and lately the producer of Paleo alternatives to Breads, Cookies, Gellies and Pizza Bases. My business is called Primal Life and I sell my home made produce into local cafes, pizza shops, health shops and at the community market.

More personally

When I was 39 I burnt out. I had eaten a high carb, low fat diet since I can remember. I have been a gym goer of 3-5 times a week for over 25 years. So why did I feel so crap? I was nauseous, constipated, sleep was rubbish, I was utterly tired but wired, had adrenal fatigue, felt anxious, overwhelmed and had started to develop strange phobias which I knew wasn’t the real me. I had planter fasciitis, a mouth full of ulcers, low libido, always had a cold, hay fever, aches and pains and constant headaches, I used chew through many packets of Nurofen. Yet when I went to my Dr for a full examination they told me I was fine, maybe I would like some anti depressants. I looked down into my bowl of super food cereal one day with low fat milk and wondered out aloud “I am eating super foods! Why do I feel so crap?” I felt so terrible that I would have gladly died.

It’s no understatement to say I have transformed my life just from changing what I eat. Now that my body is fully nourished I feel a deeper sense of purpose and of connection, it all seems to make more sense. I jumped on the primal bandwagon and read every book I could get my hands on and listened to every podcast on the topic! I am a primal nerd! It’s my real passion. I qualified as Primal Health Coach as my commitment to this. Sure you could Google Primal for yourself and buy the book and do it yourself and there are many that do and have success. But I know how much I would have loved a Primal Health Coach when I first embarked on my slightly daunting and very terrifying new journey. Someone to be accountable to, to cheer me on, to motivate and educate me and someone to confide in. Someone to help me navigate the bumpy bits. Someone to inspire me, point me in the right direction and someone who absolutely believed that I had what is takes to make sustainable lifestyle changes.

My clients

I work exclusively with women who have tried hard to be healthy but are sick of the deprivation and willpower that diets require, can’t find time for exercise as they are so time poor and are sure that they could be feeling better than they do today.

My clients may have also experienced burn out, feel constantly fatigued or overwhelmed just with keeping up with the household tasks, let alone a job, a successful relationship and the kids too! My clients are a motivated to make changes in their life that will bring about profound improvements in their life, and if they lose some weight too then that’s an added bonus!

As so many people depend on them my clients know that looking after themselves is a selfless priority and commit to making time for themselves.

I work with my clients to help develop their health vision which helps them get clear on what really matters to them, then we work together over three or six months to bring that vision into reality.

To get started working with a Primal Health Coach, get in touch.

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