Episode 27 - Are You Still Making These Mistakes with Food? | Pamela Windle

Oct 13, 2021
Episode 27 - Are You Still Making These Mistakes with Food? | Pamela Windle


We know that we need to eat a delicious, balanced diet full of fresh produce if we want to enjoy optimal health. We hear it on the news, we read it in blog posts and we understand that what we put into our bodies matters. 

But how often do you make compromises for the sake of convenience? 

How often do you pull that ready-made (and perhaps even organic) pizza from the freezer because you’re short on time, you’ve had a stressful week or you just can’t be bothered to cook? 

It isn’t our fault. We live busy lifestyles and the convenience that these foods offer has changed our lives. 

But by making these choices, we are neglecting our health. We’re needlessly putting ourselves at greater risk of hormone problems, sleep problems, illness and much more besides by exposing ourselves to the additives, preservatives and other chemicals that these foods contain. 

Even adding that quick squirt of ketchup to our organic meal will undo all your hard work. 

In this week’s episode, I’m joined again by women’s health coach, hypnotherapist and personal trainer, Pamela Windle to discuss why we need to open our eyes, reduce our exposure to chemicals and go back to how we used to cook and eat. 

We’ll be discovering how our food choices impact our hormones, mood, sleep and our overall wellbeing and why many of us still choose to use ready-made foods in our kitchens.

We’ll also explore the role of gut health when it comes to wellness, explore the benefits of batch cooking and food prep and share some alternatives for the plastic items we use every day. 

Join us for this episode to learn how YOU can take action and make the change to keep your body healthy as you age.

Eleshia’s Essentials:

  • We need to go back to how we used to do things if we want to continue to boost our immune system, have healthy hormones, enjoy good sleep, and not have inflammation in our bodies. 

We also learned so many lessons from Pamela:

  • You can strip back and go back to more of a natural way, buying all of the herbs and spices individually to make one your own.
  • Convenience was a revolution and it gave women more freedom, which is fantastic. However, it cost us and our children's health because of these toxins from foods that are harmful.
  • We don't realize how these toxins affect our hormones, body, and mood, and eventually disrupt our endocrine system.

Other resources mentioned:

About Pamela Windle:

Pamela Windle has more than 20 years of experience in health and wellness as a certified women's health coach, hypnotherapist, and personal trainer. She understands the unique physical and psychological challenges that modern women face throughout their lives. For five years, she struggled with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and she was forced to quit employment and sell her home.

Despite how hopeless the situation felt, she decided to take matters into her own hands and reclaim her health. By adopting a whole new approach to health and wellness, she was soon on the path to recovery. She is passionate about supporting and empowering women in perimenopause, menopause, and beyond to feel amazing (both inside and out). Pamela is a speaker and also menopause in the workplace consultant. She uses evidence-based practices to combine training and techniques with organisations, individual needs, and senior leaders. So collectively, we change the landscape of menopause for women of today and the future generation.

Connect with Pamela:

Connect with Eleshia:

About the Show:

The Eleshia Show is an exciting new podcast that helps empower female business owners to put their well-being first whilst building their businesses. Tune in every Wednesday as my inspiring guests and I discuss strategies, share stories and experiences and dive into how you can build your business whilst trying to navigate real life. The host, Eleshia Harris is here and ready to share her decades of project management and wellness experience to help you start saying ‘Yes!’ to your business and life. 

Show Transcript:

Pamela Windle: So we just have to control what we can control and not get overwhelmed with it or frightened about it. it's just one thing at a time layering it and with that, then that's when we just ease in that toxic load.

Eleshia Harris: Hi, I'm Eleshia Harris and I am your host of The Eleshia Show. I am also the founder of eleshialifestyle.com, and I'm so excited that you're here with me and I am here with you. I'm also really appreciative. Each week, I'll be sharing strategies and stories, and insights to help you enhance your wellbeing and to build your business while still navigating life. Because sometimes we often try and separate the two, and let's face it, if you are not well, you have no business. So let's try and work with these two things combined because we can, to enhance your lifestyle. Again, I'm really excited to have you here. I have wanted to put together a podcast for over two years, and so here I am ready to share. Let's get into this week's episode.

Hello, and welcome back to The Eleshia Show. We have Pamela Windle back in this episode, and we're going to be talking about the impact food can have on mid-life. It was such a good conversation. And there were things that I hadn't even considered that we discussed. Now, Pamela's been with us before, if you remember or if you haven't, go back and listen to episode 16 titled, The Things We Need to Know About Perimenopausal Belly Fat. That was, again, such an eye-opener conversation for me. And I have definitely implemented some of the things that Pamela and I have discussed previously. Now, let me just give you a little bit of information about Pamela. 

Pamela has 20 years of experience in health and wellness. She's a certified women's health coach, a hypnotherapist, and a personal trainer. For five years, Pamela struggled with chronic fatigue syndrome. And it forced her to leave her employment and to sell her home. Despite feeling helpless, she decided to take matters into her own hands around our health and started to adopt a whole new approach to health and wellness.

As soon as she did that, she started her road to recovery. She's really passionate about supporting and empowering women in the perimenopausal and menopausal journey. So you know that this conversation is going to be reached with strategies that you can start to implement into your life really quickly. I really enjoyed this conversation. I hope you do too. Let's get into it.

Welcome back, Pamela. I am so excited to have you back. As always, I know this conversation is going to be a good one. We're back to talk about the impacts of food. I know we've discussed it briefly before in our last episode. But we're going to dive a little bit deeper into it today, and how it impacts your midlife and some of the things that we need to really consider when we're putting food into our mouths. So welcome. 

Pamela Windle: Thank you. Thank you, Eleshia. Thank you so much for having me back as a guest. I'm really excited to be here. 

Eleshia Harris: Always, always. Okay, so the reason why I want you to have this conversation is that a lot of the time we consider what we're eating, but sometimes we don't consider what we're putting on our food. So I'm talking from a Caribbean perspective. And I remember growing up, there were seasonings for everything. Everything. A lot of the time, they were homemade. And then when we got older and we wanted something more convenient, then the packets started to arrive. Was it like that in your house as well? 

Pamela Windle: Yes, definitely. I remember mom would have all the seasonings and she'd make her own recipe or remedies for our guests. And the time, and the fresh garlic and the onion, and then the other spices that we'd add-in. And then all of a sudden, instead of having twenty, two or three. This for this, this for that.

Eleshia Harris: Yes. So when my mom was still here, I remember going into her kitchen. And as you said, seeing all of these different seasonings and I was like to my mom, why do you have all of these? And she was just like, you know, just makes things easier. And then when she passed, I really took the time to actually go through all of the cupboards. And Pamela, I've got a picture of the amount of seasonings that I just threw away. I remember putting them all on the floor after reading them and feeling disgusted and despair at how many e-numbers that they had in them. And even down to just when I was doing a little bit of research, really recently, I saw a post about the different products that we have in different countries. For example, tomato ketchup in the UK has three different ingredients, versus what it has in the US. Don't quote me, I'll have to go back and look. But there were at least 10 different ingredients. What is this stuff doing to our bodies? And how are they impacting our hormones and our moods and our sleep, and everything in between? It just fascinates me. And I just wanted to have this conversation because, one, I'm fascinated. But also because we need to educate people that we need to go back to how we used to do things if we want to continue to boost our immune system, have hormones that level sleep well, not have inflammation in our bodies, all of that. We need to really look at what we're eating. And we can have organic food all day long, and then put all of those seasonings on top of that, and think that that is okay. 

Pamela Windle: Yes, that’s interesting about it. Even thought about that. But when we're talking about ourselves, we need to look at our families as well. What are we doing to our families? Even to your children. As children,, we weren't exposed to that many chemicals. My mom and your mom, as you mentioned, cook from fresh or bedtime. 

Eleshia Harris: All the time. All the time. And then she got a part-time job in a supermarket, and all of the convenient food came in. 

Pamela Windle: Yes. I have to say, I'm a little bit older than you, so yes. I think the convenient food public came into my household definitely in the 80s. I think that's when it came in where the ready-made, season all. Every house has got season all, doesn't it? And the ketchup, and then the pizzas, the frozen pizza. So there were 4 in a box, and they had plastic wrappers around them. Individual wrappers. And then the chips that you put in the microwave... 

Eleshia Harris: And just even the microwave, when we got that in our house we were like, wow.

Pamela Windle: I think part of it gave women more time. So there was a benefit for women to give them more time. It didn't have to be in the kitchen as long. Everything was much easier. My mom used to, on a Friday night, she was preparing some Saturdays' food which is a lot of preparation. And then on a Saturday night, she'll be preparing for Sunday dinner. 

Eleshia Harris: Yes, my mom was soaking peas. 

Pamela Windle: Yes, soaking peas, washing the rice, and washing the chicken. Even the chicken, getting it all ready to cook on Sunday morning before she went to church. 

Eleshia Harris: Yes. And that pot went on in the morning. I think for me, my mom would get really annoyed because I wasn't here to help in the kitchen. I was getting ready to go out on a Saturday night. And when she was up in the morning, getting ready to put the pot on, I was coming in. 

Pamela Windle: That's hilarious. 

Eleshia Harris: Yes, it was just interesting times. And I was a lefty, so my mom didn't always have the patience to teach me to do certain things. But she loved cooking. That was her thing. Whenever she would cook, there would be enough for everybody. She would cook for everybody. Just in case somebody knocked on the door, there would be plenty of food. And I've got one aunt, and I'm not going to call her out because she probably listens to the podcast. But it was like she knew what time my mom had finished cooking. And within that 20 minutes, the doorbell would go, and she's like, I'm just passing by. 

Pamela Windle: Brilliant. My mom was similar as well. She would cook enough food just in case somebody did pop by. And we always had it on Monday as well. 

Eleshia Harris: Yes, leftovers. 

Pamela Windle: It was the best thing for Sunday dinner on Monday as well. 

Eleshia Harris: And it tasted better sometimes. 

Pamela Windle: Yes. So they spent a lot of time in the kitchen, washing clothes, and all household chores. And so, convenience was a revolution. It gave women more freedom, which is fantastic. However, it costs us and also for our children as well as these toxins from food are really, really harmful. 

Eleshia Harris: Do you remember that program, You Are What You Eat? It reminds me of that. And as you just said, we're not here to bash the convenience of processed food or anything like that, because we understand that everyone has a life. And I'm not here saying that I cook from scratch every day because I don't. I don't. Sometimes there are things that I buy that are ready-made. But what I want to address and educate is, we need to just be conscious of it. 

Pamela Windle: Yes, and there are better options out there. So if you started off this conversation talking about those seasonings that you get in the bottle, the cracking agents are in there. And then when you look at it, the amount of turmeric comes in, and the salt in those products as well. And yes, it tastes good. I said if you want to do the jerk chicken, or you go season your fish. There's a fish in there as well. It will taste good. It will taste really good, so you're buying more.  And obviously, you eat more. And then your taste buds alter as a result of that. And then you want more of that kind of food when you strip back and go back to more of a natural way. Buying all of the herbs and spices individually makes your own, or we can make your food in advance. You season your food. We like it seasoned. You'll notice that it tastes very different. And then when your pallet changes, you want more of that because then that just doesn't taste right. 

Eleshia Harris: Exactly. And it's funny because that's exactly what I did. I looked at the back of the ingredients label and I just bought what was on there. I just bought what was on there, and that's how we season the food now. Is it always convenient? No. But does my food taste better? Yes. And I know what's going on. 

Pamela Windle: Yes. We don't realize that these toxins affect hormonally, and it'll disrupt the endocrine system. So you'll have more oestrogen in your body. And along with more oestrogen, you're going to have painful breasts. You're going to have heavy periods. You're going to gain that fat around that belly. If you're struggling with hot flashes and night sweats, that's certainly going to get worse. But it's also going to alter your gut microbiome. And so the gut microbiome is really, really important for your immune health. 

Right now, we live in this COVID time so that's something to think about. But then also it increases toxicity, so it's going to affect your brain. What happens in your gut? So brain fog, it's going to be worse because of that, and the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's. And as we age, anyway, we're moving into a more insulin-sensitive time. As our oestrogen levels start to withdraw, and testosterone changes and progesterone. We basically have more insulin and cortisol available as a result of the change of hormones. And so that means that we're heading towards insulin resistance, so sensitive to insulin. So insulin resistance is one end of that continuum, that's type two diabetes. And then at the end, you've got sensitivity. This is perimenopause and menopause. We're sensitive to insulin. We were on the fast track to developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

So having a good microbiome will eliminate or reduce the risk, regardless of whether it is hereditary or not. You can reduce the risk or avoid it altogether. So, stripping out those harsh chemicals, it doesn't have to be every day that you would have to cook from scratch. But if you're doing it five days out of seven, that's a hell of a lot of toxins that your body processes.

Eleshia Harris: That's such a good point because sometimes we just do it from, as I said, convenience without even thinking about it. 

Pamela Windle: And I'm sure, like for children, because we weren't growing up with that. We won't bring up things like that. But I'm wondering because ADHD and all of those things are relatively new conditions in children. And is it really, or is it the fact that we eat those foods, got pregnant, give birth to unhealthy babies already. And then where I didn't need food for the young people, the children, as you say age. 

Eleshia Harris: Yes, because I remember once reading that you can find over 200 toxins in the umbilical cord. That scared me. And that's one of the reasons why before I got pregnant, obviously, we did some work together. I made sure that I did work on my diet, my mindset, and so forth because I wanted to give the baby the best chance that I could. Obviously, I didn't get my umbilical cord tested, and I didn't feel the need to. But when I read that information, I was like, wow. That's huge. 

Pamela Windle: It is. And I think recently, there's been a placenta that has been dissected and they found particles of plastic in there. 

Eleshia Harris: What? 

Pamela Windle: Yes, that's recent. Last year, I think it was. 

Eleshia Harris: In the placenta? 

Pamela Windle: In the placenta, they found particles of plastic, because our food is wrapped up in plastic. Our food is wrapped up in plastic. People drink in plastic water bottles. 

Eleshia Harris: It's a lot, isn't it? It is a lot. So you have to do what you can. And again, as we discussed in our previous episode, just trying to change 1% at a time. You're going to reap the benefits. 

Pamela Windle: Yes, for sure. One thing, focus on one thing. And I always say, is to focus on the thing that you do the most, it's going to have the biggest impact. So if you drink out of a plastic water bottle every single day and swap that for stainless steel instantly, you'll reduce your toxic load quite constructively. If you have those things that we've just talked about and you're having it every day, then by all ingredients, make your own in a glass container. Get ready there. That is just like the one that you bought off the shelf, but it's got your own ingredients in it. 

Eleshia Harris: You know what's in it.

Pamela Windle: Yes, just look on the back.

Eleshia Harris: Exactly, minus the e-numbers. And again, you touched on plastic and I've noticed that plastic has crept back into my house a little bit more with other Elessandra. Because it's hard to have all of her toys in wood. But also, when I'm buying her drinking bottles and so forth, it's hard to have glass ones because little people drop things. But I found some stainless steel ones from all the research. I found some stainless steel ones and she's got bamboo cups and plates that we use quite frequently. And yes, she does have some plastic ones as well, but I usually go for the bamboo. Ones over the plastic ones first when we're in the house. And then we just use the plastic ones when we are out, because I have to, sometimes. 

Pamela Windle: You reduce her toxic load by doing that, but it is really frightening. We talked about toxicity from food. We talked about plastic. But even what you cook in pops on your pans, so toxic. So when you're heating on a non-stick, if you look at the research, it's frightening. Really frightening. 

Eleshia Harris: And again, we're not here to fight with you. We are here to point these things out so you can make your own informed decisions. These are the things that we want you to know that you should be looking at. 

Pamela Windle: And when you're aware of some things, and you can take action, and then we use the toxic load. And you might think, well, I don't need to reduce the toxic. I'm fine as I am. But the bigger picture, if you could be developing some cancer as a result of that, because of all of those toxins, they will increase your oestrogen. And when oestrogen is out of balance with progesterone, that's when oestrogen is harmful. So your body has to eliminate oestrogen from the liver and then also from the colon. So if you're adding chemicals in from the food that you're eating, that's going to change your gut microbiome, which means you're not going to be able to eliminate the unwanted oestrogen from your colon. Your liver's going to be struggling as well as a result of that. 

And so then you're reabsorbing all of this oestrogen back into your body. And your progesterone level and your oestrogen suddenly imbalanced. Suddenly, you're experiencing all these horrendous symptoms. And so really, really simple thing to do is start with one thing, search for it. Just like you have researched, Elessandra's eating utensils and everything. But it could be for yourself. Research what water bottles are best and what filters best. Just one thing, one thing at a time. You can't do it all in one go. But your body will really thank you for it. It's a simple thing. You don't have to do any crazy diets or any crazy detoxification things or restrictive things that are detoxing your body. 

Eleshia Harris: Yes, and that's a really great point, Pamela. Just starting to look at what you do on a daily basis to start off with, and doing your own eliminating cleanse from your house. So I always choose glass or stainless steel over plastic for myself for water. I'm a little bit clumsy, so I've broken many glass bottles. We also have a filter at home that filters through our water. We use the Virgin pure one, and they've got coconut filters in them as well, which is quite nice. It's those little things. But again, you can't get away from your food being wrapped up in plastic sometimes. 

Pamela Windle: Sometimes, yes. Sometimes I buy food from the company online and they actually do their best to reduce the plastic. But some things, so in my grocery box that's probably one thing, it is usually spinach that's in plastic. But the rest of it is in paper, recycled paper, or cardboard boxes. So I love that. 

Eleshia Harris: And your meats as well. 

Pamela Windle: So meats are in plastics. So yes, that's difficult. But when I'm batch cooking, I store everything in the fridge in a glass. And I've just invested in some new pans as well. 

Eleshia Harris: I loved the way that you got really excited about that. Your face lit up and you were like, I've got new pans. Tell us about the new pans. And also, who do you use for your fruit and veg? 

Pamela Windle: Okay. So I use Riverford. I use Riverford because its values are in line with my values. And one of the things I like about Riverford is that you can buy a cow or some chickens for a family in Africa. 

Eleshia Harris: Oh my gosh, can you? 

Pamela Windle: Yes. 

Eleshia Harris: Wow. That is amazing. I'll have to check them out because I wasn't using them previously. But I love that they do that. 

Pamela Windle: Yes. Yes. 

Eleshia Harris: Oh, wow. 

Pamela Windle: They're really conscious about sustainability, and fairness. So I really like Riverford a lot. There might be a pattern. It's an investment because they are not cheap, and I've slowly built on them. But for me, it's really valuable because you use them every day. And so for me, that was the next thing to change was what I'm cooking my food on. And they are all ceramic pans, and that's so good. They're amazing. Cooking is different. Food cooks evenly. So in the frying pan, it just cooks evenly wherever the food is. You don't have to keep moving all this round just to get this on this side or whatever. Washing up, nothing sticks to it. It's just so easy. 

Eleshia Harris: Pamela, I need those. I need those in my life. We're going to link the information in the show notes. 

Pamela Windle: Yes. So the green pan there, that's company. She tagged them into a post on Instagram recently as well. But yes, I loved them. That's fantastic. So the coconut experience is very different. Post-cooking, the washing-up experience is very different. And then the fact that I'm not exposing my body to toxicity from those nonstick pans is really really helpful.

Eleshia Harris: Yes. That is amazing, and I forgot about that. I forgot about my pans. Some of them were inherited from my mom. And you know when someone passes, you don't always want to get rid of things. They're sentimental. But yes, I will definitely look into the pots because again, there's no point in me buying all of this expensive organic food. But it's the truth. And this is the thing, I used to get really annoyed when somebody would sneak. Again, I'm not mentioning any names, but I would buy organic chicken and then someone would season it with the convenient food, and I'm like, this is not working for me. This is not working. 

And again, it's because I've worked so consciously to change my habits in this way. Especially because my mom died of cancer, and it was multiple myeloma. So it was a rare form of cancer. Oh, my gosh, I can't. That's the first time that I've said that in a long while. And so, it was key to me. There are some things that I have to be okay with them coming in plastic, but trying to do the best that I can on the other side. As I said, some things I know I have to go for convenience because I'm a mom of a young toddler. Sometimes I have to do it that way. But I also know the benefits of batch cooking. I know the benefits of prepping, and sometimes yes, that does fall to the waste side. But knowing those things that I am quick with, and knowing that I can go back to it. That's the important lesson here, isn't it? 

Pamela Windle: Definitely. And I think many of these toxicities are everywhere. You only have to go outside on the streets and be amongst the traffic and the fumes from that. So there's toxicity everywhere. There's toxicity in the home, your carpets, furniture, foam, paint. It's everywhere.  So we just have to control what we can control, and not get overwhelmed with it or frightened about it. It's just one thing at a time. Layering it, and with that then that's when we just ease in that toxic load.

Eleshia Harris: Yes. I told you guys it was going to be an up and a good conversation. Is there anything else you wanted to add? 

Pamela Windle: No, I think that's good. 

Eleshia Harris: I think we have. So Pamela, just remind the listeners where they can find you. 

Pamela Windle: So you can find me on my website which is smarterchange.co.uk. And then Instagram, @pamelawindlehormonecoach, and LinkedIn. You can also find me there at Pamela Ann Windle. 

Eleshia Harris: Okay, brilliant. I will link all of Pamela's information into the show notes. And is there anything that you've got coming up that you would like to share with the listeners?

Pamela Windle: So November, the doors will reopen for the Flourish and Thrive, which we're really, really excited about. It's an online program for women in midlife. And it's a great program, real sisterhood, and a whole host of recorded information in there for you. So if you're struggling with anything from anxiety, brain fog, struggling to lose weight around that middle in that midlife as well, from sleep problems, and all sorts of stuff. So come and join it. So the doors will open in November which I was really, really excited about. 

Eleshia Harris: Amazing, and I can add to that. I'm a member, and there is a wealth of information in there. So get on the waitlist now, for the doors to open in November. Thank you so much, Pamela, for joining me again. As always, that was a wealth of information. I have a few things that I am going to implement straight away. I'm definitely changing my pots out. And just need to percolate on all of the other information and just make sure that I am doing the best that I can for myself and my family. But as always, thank you. 

Pamela Windle: Oh, thank you too. 

Eleshia Harris: See you next time. Bye.

Pamela Windle: See you soon. Bye. Thank you.

Eleshia Harris: It's always really nice to have guests come back and share more of their expertise. I really hope you enjoyed this episode. And if you know somebody who needs to hit some of the information that we shared in this conversation, then please go ahead and share this episode and the podcast with them. And if you haven't already subscribed to the podcast, please go ahead and do so. A new episode drops every Wednesday, so you can enjoy listening to me wherever you listen to your podcasts. And I just wanted to say, thank you so much as always for continuing to support me. We have now been listened to in over 36 countries. And yes, I just want to give a shout-out to all of the people that are listening from the US. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you enjoyed this episode.

Thank you so much for listening to this week's episode of The Eleshia Show. If you know somebody who needs to hear the conversations that we are having, please share it. Take a screenshot and send it to them. Also, I would really love for you to rate and review the podcast as this really helps, and I'd love to read your comments. Lastly, remember, you need to invest in yourself first because you are important and amazing. Take care. Until next time. Bye-bye.


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