Hey, I’m Jake, a certified Master Primal Health Coach, MovNat Trainer, Breathwork Coach and Permaculture Designer. I’m married to Freya, and we live with two little people (not so little now), a dog (confusingly called Bear) and a number of chickens as well as a home and garden full of plants which make up the bulk of what we eat.
I (and we) are passionate about ‘living life well’, stewarding our own health so that we can be of greatest use to those around us, from immediate family, right through to the natural systems that make up planet earth. We do this through working towards living sustainably, implementing permaculure principles on our own patch of land, empowering parents-to-be through Expecting Antenatal Classes and of course though me offering 1-on-1 and group health coaching as well as various workshops and seminars in schools, workplaces and anywhere else that is interested in helping groups of people find optimal health and be the best version of themselves.
Below is a little of my story which is the inspiration that has led me to this point; where I pass on my experience (and training) to you!
Since the age of 7 I had been ‘overweight’, carrying more body fat than is ideal, this led to me feeling like a failure against the backdrop of my own sporting heritage and feelings of shame in a culture of body shaming. To counteract this I trained regularly and developed an exercise addiction. If I didn’t train hard and regularly my mood would be affected. I would be downcast and easily irritated by both myself and others. During this time I felt a strange mix of emotions. I was lonely in my experience. Constantly motivated to change but frustrated by the lack of results when training hard and eating ‘well’.
When competing in triathlons or running I suffered with foot and back pain despite wearing specialist shoes and orthotic inserts for my trainers – this did nothing except damage the bank balance. My flexibility and mobility had always been less than I would have liked, especially by comparison to others doing the martial arts and sports I participated in. I had always bought into the ‘no pain, no gain’ motto and pushed myself to perform well in sports settings as well as training sessions. This, ultimately, led to chronic inflammation, as I went from one guilt tripped, endorphine fueled, training session to the next with inadequate sleep and recovery in between. I was both physically and emotionally battered without even knowing it.
As I got older I became bloated more and more often, even unable to sleep (which I wasn’t good at anyway) or exercise because of the stomach pain. This obviously led to more frustration, more intense workouts (when not bloated) more inflammation and more blaming my genes for predispositions to fat accumulation, bloating, and frustration.
On top of all this I suffered with horrific hayfever, swollen hands and feet as well as continually sweating (nice!).
I first encountered The Primal Lifestyle having come across Mark Sisson’s blog. At first, I applied a few things I had read but didn’t fully switch to a primal lifestyle due to social pressure and other lifestyle influences and habits. I did however recommend to a friend that he should ‘go primal’. He did and it changed his life. He lost a huge amount of weight, became more energised, reduced aches and pains and, ultimately, lived life more alive. After some time I re-discovered Primal Lifestyle and decided to jump right in, recognising that my health needed to be a life-priority and that I was the one who needed to prioritise it, even if those around me would not.
I cut out grains and refined sugars. Started exercising more frequently but more gently; incorporating more everyday movement (mainly though gardening). Switched to barefoot shoes. Got more time outdoors and less time on a screen. Ate seasonal food and grew as much of it as I could myself, knowing it was organic and building healthy habitats. I also took up more time for meditation and breathing as well as intentionally getting some cold exposure.
Making the change had some immediate results. My energy levels were up and more consistent. My exercise addiction faded and my hayfever allergy switched from being debilitating to being an annoyance (although I now believe it is more associated with pollution than pollen!) My hands were no longer consistently sweaty and swollen and bloating no longer interrupted my life. Over time, I’ve lost fat whilst maintaining and even gaining muscle mass. My tastebuds have become alive – which is a great thing both in terms of enjoyment and also being able to detect nasties to avoid in future. Aches and pains are a rare occurrence and I can run happily with no pains! Oh, I also now sleep like a log!
Making the switch to living primally, I know, first hand, the benefits – life feels very different. In essence, I feel more alive and more free. Why wouldn’t I want others to know how that feels? I’ve always been a coach, in many different ways (mentoring, sports coaching, team leading) so why not coach people into how to live life really well? Hence becoming a primal health coach. I see so many people putting up with aches, pains, bloating, extra body fat, skin conditions and chronic inflammation saying “well, thats just how it is”, when it doesn’t have to be – I want to help them recognise that and then take them through the process of learning to live in Whole Life Health.
Having transformed my health through living Primally and changing how we live, as a family, in relation to the rest of the world (nature around us, our land and the people we interact with, both face to face and through our buying choices) has changed how we see the world. We’re no longer confined to go through the motions and hoping to make a difference here or there but to embody an alternative way of living. Knowing that what is currently alternative could and should be the new norm for people, world over. It has become my mission, not only to live this myself but to empower others to do so too. I love living life like this, I’m good at it, the world needs it and I can provide for my needs and my family’s needs through living it.
What really excites me is the big picture of human health as it intersects with the health of planet earth. Primal lifestyles always have been about living in and with nature, not separate from it. I’m excited for clients to discover how they can best look after themselves, help rehabilitate the natural world and help provide whole life health for generations to come.