Angela Foster is a Nutritional Therapist and Health & Performance Coach and host of the High Performance Health Podcast. She is a former partner in a large law firm who left the world of corporate law after suffering burnout and recovering from a serious illness in 2014. As a mother of three young children, Angela is on a mission to inspire and educate others on how to stay healthy and energised, while meeting the demands of combining a successful career with a vibrant and healthy family life. Join me as I interview Angela about how we can all improve our performance and overall health.
What the High Performance Health Podcast is All About
Everything about total human health optimization, with the lens of performance. All sorts of high performing health is about longevity and business and life. Any area that will impact your longevity, whether that is in your physical health, mental health, spiritual health, social health or in your financial health. It’s all about increasing performance. We have people on the show ranging from hormone experts to people who specialize in brain health and different biohacking technologies.
Everyone has a different goal and there are seasons in life. In different stages, we’re going to be wanting different things. In my 30’s I was very much focused on my family and that was a huge goal – to be an energetic mom who is fun and adventurous with my kids. As they’ve grown into teenagers, I’ve been able to focus on myself a little more and my career.
What I found in my profession as a lawyer was that I was really burnt out and it took an impact on my mental and physical health. I also suffered terribly with postpartum depression which led to burnt out and hospitalization for pneumonia.
During this time I was really trying to get my health back on track but didn’t have every aspect of my health in line. It made me think, “How do we combine these things to achieve that longevity both in our business, our professions, and in our lives?” So I went on a quest to figure this out. I realized that if you do want longevity then your health is the foundation of that in business as much as anything else because you don’t have the capacity to stay at it long term unless you have that mind, body, spiritual optimization. That’s how that concept of high performance health was really formed.
The Starting Point of Angela Foster’s Coaching Journey
My starting point is to take a health history from them and determine where the best place to start is. Oftentimes that is sleep because it is the one that makes everything else easier, whether that’s your physical health or your mental health. It has profound effects and was what really set the stage for me in terms of the burn out that I experienced.
With your mental health, it’s not just about the mindset piece. If we’re not really managing our thoughts and our expectations and controlling what we want to think and actually programming our subconscious mind, we’re going to end up with results that we didn’t expect or anticipate and we can’t understand why. It’s very hard to course correct if we don’t take a look at our thoughts and mindset.
Then, there’s also the brain itself. Similarly with the brain, if we’re not cleaning it out regularly by things such as proper sleep…if we’re not looking at these key components, which I think are very overlooked areas of health, we can find that we’re not performing at our best because everything is controlled by our mind and our brain. It’s such an important part of our health that I think a lot of people overlook.
** Prefer To Watch? Check Out Our Livestream, High Performance Health with Angela Foster Here!**
Action Steps to Take for Mental Health
I’m a big believer in a morning routine. I had to go inwards with my postpartum depression which was very very difficult. But as I was able to do that, I was able to be more conscious with how I lived my life with meditation and gratitude, which I encourage people to do in the morning.
It doesn’t have to be the same exact routine every day. Whatever we do each morning, we have to find a way of finding that alone time with ourselves on a daily basis.
When you are in a state of clinical depression, your thoughts are so negative that you have to course correct. I had to replace them with something more positive. You may be wired when you wake up to think in negativity but it’s your responsibility to reprogram your mind. That’s something I’ve had to work very very hard at and I have done over time.
I was told I would be on bipolar meds for the rest of my life and I’ve been 3 years now free of medication. But it was a journey and it was a process. What I found is that my performance improves the more I work on these patterns and behaviors, and that’s the kind of stuff I work on from a mindset perspective with my clients.
The Power of a Morning Routine
In my opinion, the first hour of the day should be for you. If you’ve got to compress it, that’s fine but for the most part, that first hour should be for you. You want to dedicate that hour to the mental, physical and spiritual optimization.
In the mornings I look at what I’m grateful for. I truly believe that what we are grateful for appreciates in life so the more energy we can put out, the better.
I really believe in looking after our physical health. But with that, we don’t want to elevate cortisol levels too high at this time in the morning. Ideally, you want to do something more gentle while still getting the body moving and blood flow to the brain. It could be 10 minutes of yoga, a stationary bike, a sauna, some foam rolling. It not only helps wake you up but it helps the brain as well.
Having a glass of water first thing with trace minerals really helps with brain function and helps with the moisture we’ve lost over the night.
Then, I’ll sit down and read something that is in alignment with the work that I do.
Whatever you can do in the morning whether it’s listing what you’re grateful for as you walk to the bathroom or doing one stretch, do something. Start small and build from there. Motivation comes from action. You don’t need to feel motivated to take action. What’s in motion generally stays in motion.
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Biggest Mistake Made in Nutrition
The biggest mistake that most people make is that they assume that a diet plan that works for their friend or partner is going to work for them. We are all very different. We have different gut bacteria and different genetics. Before you do any diet, you need to look at what you want to achieve.
For me, the key is to achieve metabolic flexibility. That’s going to give you the most diversity. How you do that really depends on your starting point. With some people, doing the ketogenic diet can be a really good way to develop metabolic flexibility but with others, fasting would be a good way.
The diet that I’ve found to be the best for most people is a moderate to low carbohydrate version of the mediterranean diet.
Angela Foster on Instagram angealsfoster