For some, both big and small decisions can feel like they weigh a ton. But we all have a built in system that can alleviate this pressure. It’s called our gut. Trusting your gut, your intuition - or whatever you call it, is the ultimate example of trusting yourself. Spur of the moment decision making is easier, and you have zero regrets when it comes to the big decisions.
Robyn Youkilis is an AADP Certified Health Coach, author, speaker and leading expert in holistic digestive health. She has first hand experience with this gut instinct in both the physical and emotional sense. It was a gut instinct that led her to fulfill her passion of teaching others about the importance of really paying attention to their gut, and has her on a lifelong path to health and wellness.
Robyn took some time to share with us just how life changing gut instincts can be.
How did your career path lead you to become a certified health coach and expert in holistic digestive health?
I got into health and wellness purely out of a love for food! When I was in my mid-20’s, I found myself in a job that I didn’t love, wishing to be anywhere else but there. My friend knew I was obsessed with food and told me to check out this nutrition school. I had no idea what nutrition school really was (is there math involved?) and I had never even stepped into a Whole Foods.
But everything in my body said YES. I felt light, bright, happy. Like anything was really possible.
I immediately figured out how to pay the tuition in full and move myself and my brand new boyfriend at the time (now husband) across the country to attend. It sounds bananas to uproot your whole life for an idea and I had no idea what I was doing or where it would lead, but I decided it was time to really start following that voice inside me. So I kept doing the next best thing. I just kept going with my gut.
What was finally feeling comfortable, confident and energized in your body like?
My biggest shift in body, weight, and mind happened when I focused on nourishing my gut and taking care of myself from the inside out. When my husband and I began talking about starting a family, I shifted my focus from “How skinny can I be?” to “How can I create the most ideal ‘home’ for my future baby to live in?” And then I had an aha moment: Our bodies are our homes—this is where we live. Shouldn’t we treat them right?
I let go of trying to look a certain way. I slowed down even more at mealtimes and chewed my food completely. I began to focus on the foods (and the activities) that made me feel my best. And it turns out the foods that made me feel (and eventually look) my best were those deeply nourishing foods, the foods that feed and balance your gut.
A healthy gut knows exactly what you need to feel your best. It’s your connection to your intuition, your unique gift that directs your best choices in this life.
Listening to my gut is about knowing what I need in order to feel good now. It’s about identifying my “hell yeses” and “no thank you's”. I am continually checking in and affirming “this is what I need today.” I’ve gotten clearer and clearer on what I want in my life and my business and really moved from that place of intuition.
How did changing your lifestyle change your frame of mind, and in what areas of your life did you gain the most confidence?
As I’ve connected deeper with my intuition, I’ve been able to keep out a lot of the “noise” and that’s allowed me to create my most successful, six-figure grossing coaching program to date. People thought I was crazy for designing a program that required me to show up live every single week and teach new content. But instead of focusing on what everyone else was doing or suggesting, I got quiet and connected to what the women in my practice and I just knew this is what they needed in order to get to the next level of their own lives.
As women, we often wear many hats (and we've noticed you dig accessorizing your wardrobe with hats, too). What hats are your favorite to wear (personally/professionally and as an accessory)?
All of them! I genuinely love my work. I love being a mom. I’m a Libra through and through so I’m always looking for balance in all the ways.
As for accessories, my hat obsession was born out of a need not a trend. I have super poor eyesight (-9.5) which makes any glare or bright light really harsh on my eyes. Once I realized how fun they were for fashion, they became my go-to accessory. We tend to think of hats for special occasions, but I like that I feel festival ready pretty much all the time!
What are the top 3 things you're mindful of doing daily to support your daughter and help her find the right path for her?
Validate her feelings. Most of us just want to be seen and heard (children are no exception!) - we don’t always need someone to provide us with a solution, we just want our emotions and experience to be validated. “I see you’re upset right now.” “I hear you.” “I can tell you’re feeling things.” These phrases are powerful beyond measure.
Set aside unstructured play time where she gets to lead and explore. I try to minimize distractions so I can be fully present during this time, encouraging and admiring her along the way.
- Involve her in my day. Navy knows when I’m working out or when I’m meditating. Not only does this help create boundaries during those times, my hope is that my being a living example, that I’m able to support her own healthy habits she’ll have one day too!
Robyn Youkilis is an AADP Certified Health Coach, author, speaker and leading expert in holistic digestive health, and is the Founder and CEO of the global health coaching practice, Your Healthiest You. For nearly a decade, Robyn has helped clients shed both physical and emotional weight through her straightforward yet supportive coaching style. She is the author of the best selling books, Go with Your Gut and Thin From Within and has been featured by The View, The Today Show, E! News, The Cooking Channel, The Wall Street Journal, Health, Mind Body Green, Well + Good, The Chalkboard Mag and more.
Robyn currently lives in New York City and Los Angeles with her husband and their daughter, Navy. She enjoys traveling, music festivals and eating dessert at fancy restaurants, one bite at a time.
To learn more about coaching with Robyn and to join the #YourHealthiestYou community visit www.RobynYoukilis.com