Health Coach Linda Arrandt Shares Her Best Wellness Advice
- Written By:Alexandra Perron, Managing Editor
Linda Arrandt is an integrative nutrition health coach, pilates instructor, mother of three. And she’s also Bobbi’s sister. Having her join JustBobbi as a wellness contributor was a no brainer — the Chicago-based health coach always offers up a fresh perspective when it comes to wellbeing and nutrition. Her journey started in her 20s, when Bobbi helped her pitch a “weight loss success story” to a magazine. She met with a nutritionist, a personal trainer, an exercise physiologist and a health coach and it changed her life and her career. Below, Arrandt shares more about her work as a health coach, her routines and her wellness essentials.
What led you to become a health coach?
I have been in the health and fitness field for over 26 years. I received my massage license in 1992 and I became certified to teach pilates in 2003. My husband is a chiropractic physician who practices functional medicine and together we help people with lifestyle and nutrition. We saw patients get healthier when they followed our recommendations, and they didn’t need as much therapy. Some would say this wasn’t good for business, however it was really inspiring for us to witness people changing through cleaning up their diets, having a movement practice and adding the proper supplementation.
In 2013 I received my certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. In 2015 I received an additional Health Coach Certification from The Dr. Sears Institute. Once again, I am back in school and have just finished my first year at The School of Applied Functional Medicine. I will be a Board Certified Functional Medicine Practitioner which will bring a different set of knowledge to help my health coaching clients heal underlying health conditions.
What do you love most about the work you’re doing today?
I love that I am helping clients feel better in their bodies. I love the people that I work with. I only take on new clients that are a good fit. It is very rewarding to see how happy people are when they lose weight and feel great in their own skin. I really feel that weight loss is just a side effect when you clean out your gut and get healthy.
By helping people learn lifestyle interventions (like at home cooking prep along with choosing wisely when eating out), their bodies, including their hormonal systems, come into balance. Pain, inflammation, skin conditions, headaches, among other symptoms go away. It’s not rocket science, however change seems to occur best with the right support and community.
The ah-ha moment came for me when I was turning 50 and my boys were in high school, my daughter was getting older and the kids didn’t need me as much. Around that time, we added weight loss programs based on healing candida in our office. We had a group of 12 people doing the program as well as myself. Not only did the people on the 12-Week program lose 30-40 pounds, but they also had reversals of many long-standing nagging symptoms, like headaches, brain fog, and joint and muscle pain.
I am working on launching an online version of my local “8-Weeks to a Healthier You” program. I am currently very focused on my schooling for Functional Medicine — I start my second year in January. I have also been working on editing a video which explains more about the five and 12-week candida program. I recently posted my client Deb’s 50-pound weight loss success story along with an interview from Dr. Linda Nelson, the creator of the programs, on my website.
First of all, it’s what I told my father when he was recovering from surgery after a heart attack: “It’s not about perfect, it’s about better.” The other one is what I tell most of my clients — I have a “good, better, best approach.” At any given time, we can cycle through those three places. We can’t be perfect all the time. It’s important to give into temptation and cravings every now and again, unless you have an auto-immune issue that could create more inflammation and down-stream issues.
I wake up in the morning and start my day with a large class of lemon water. I do a pilates class at least 2-3 mornings a week. I get on my Peloton or cycle another 2-3 times a week as well. I do a lot of food prep in our home and that keeps us eating healthy all week long. I find that if I get up just a little earlier, I will have time for some extra prepping. Having the right foods prepped and creating a plan is a huge key to my clients’ success. One morning a week, usually on Sunday, I plan out my weekly food. I highly recommend Real Plans. It’s an awesome service where you can create a weekly menu and even helps you create a grocery list. I subscribe to the Whole 30 version of Real Plans which gives hundreds of recipes.
At night, I wind down regular activities after my mom and household duties are done. Aside from the occasional TV in bed when I am exhausted, I like to make a cup of chamomile tea and sip it slowly an hour or so before bed. Recently my husband brought home a hemp oil formula that he sells in the office which really helps me sleep better. I don’t take it every night, just when I feel a bit wired from the day. I try to avoid the phone and computer after 10PM, as the light and stimulation keeps me up later.
For years I have been using a product called Formula 303, which is a mix of magnesium, passion flower and Valerian root. It’s by DC Labs. It’s the same formula and packaging as when we introduced it into our office in the mid 90’s. Another product I sometimes use is Calm. It is available at Whole Foods Market. Sometimes I choose to take an epsom salt bath with lavender essential oils prior to bed as well.
I am gluten free and mostly dairy-free. Some of my favorite products are Simply Trudy’s bread. It is only available mail order and is worth every penny! It seems like an indulgence as I eat very little grains and the products are grain free. (They have set up a discount for my clients if they use Simpleandwell as a code at checkout.)
I also love the full line of Siete chips, wraps, taco shells, etc. These products are fully grain free and good for anyone who has an auto-immune issues. The products are available at Whole Foods, Target and Costco. When I choose to add grains, I like the square Lundberg’s rice crackers or Suzi’s square rice crackers. I also like the Sesemark brand of small round crackers. I even travel with these items when I go out of town.
Your Biggest Wellness Struggle (and how you’ve conquered it):
My biggest wellness struggle is getting off of coffee. I eliminate it during my quarterly cleanses as well as the one-time yearly candida cleanse I go on, but it sneaks its way back in. I also eliminate all alcohol. I do not drink often, even when I’m not cleansing, however if I do have a drink, I choose vodka or tequila over wine as both are much lower in sugar and do not seem to dysregulate my hormones. When I do drink red wine, I notice that I wake up in the night, feeling totally wired. Many of my older, perimenopausal and post-menopausal clients seem to notice this same effect.
It used to be taboo, but I try to get a colonic when I do my quarterly cleanses. I also love using an infra-red sauna. I wish I had the space for one at home. There are places that you can go where you can buy a package of sessions. They are much better for you than a regular sauna as they help to cleanse you on a cellular level. They are also meditative and relaxing. I’d like to add that service in our office in the future. I think people need to become more educated about detoxifying their body. I also use a non-aluminum deodorant. There are many natural ones on the market. I am liking Smartypits right now. It’s all natural. I also get a massage twice a month. I do not look at this as hedonistic, it makes me feel mentally, physically, and spiritually better.
I cannot live without the EVOLUTION_18 Probiotic stick packs and the Beauty Grow, as it contains vitamin B6, biotin, zinc, copper, collagen peptides, keratin, and L-Glutathione. I feel an increased need for glutathione during the colder months as it offers an antioxidant effect and it stimulates the immune system.
The three main staples that I can not live without in our kitchen are the square Lundberg brown rice cakes, Belle and Evans Chicken Burgers (found at Whole Foods in the frozen section) and grass-fed, organic meats and fish from The Butcher Box. We have a bi-monthly subscription and we always know that we have quality meats to thaw to make a healthy dinner. The convenience and quality are beyond measure.
Best Advice You Ever Received:
I think the best advice I ever received comes from my sister, Bobbi, who by the way recently attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as well and is doing great things to help people better their health through EVOLUTION_18.
As my older sister, she has given me countless great advice, but when I use to call her after I’d had a binge, she’d tell me to flush out my system with good old H2O and get moving. No crazy exercise, just a nice brisk, long walk. This always put me back in order and got me back on track. I rarely have binge eating episodes, but I still do this when I have over indulged, especially on alcohol.
I’d like to share one more piece of advice that Bobbi gave me that I continue to use to this day. When you feel overwhelmed by all of the various aspects of life, she told me to imagine that I had a shelf. On that shelf are several different boxes. Place each situation, thing or person in one of the boxes and place it on the shelf. Take the box down that needs attention or to be worked on next. We can only focus on one thing at a time. This analogy helps me to stay grounded and not get too overwhelmed.
Most Common Question You Get Asked — And Your Answer:
The most common things I get asked about are how to create a more balanced life. I see so many clients who are burning out their adrenal systems with too much exercise. I think placing a focus on more home food prep and meal planning is important.
Many people want to know more about proper nutrients and what the best type of diet is for them, however the concept of the Circle of Life is something that often comes up and most people haven’t even heard of it. We need to look at areas of our lives such as relationships, home cooked meals, self-care, cultivating joy, job satisfaction, creativity, having a spiritual practice, etc.
Probably the most common thing I talk about with clients is having a self-care practice. That may mean finding time to have a movement practice, getting a massage, or finding time to nurture relationships. I practice self-care habits to stay resilient as a coach, mom, wife and friend.
What Makes You Feel Your Best:
I feel my absolute best when I spend time with my family and have time with friends. I feel great when I feel a part of a community. I feel best in my own skin right after I do my cleanses. I feel on top of the world following my yearly five week candida cleanse. I usually do one prior to Thanksgiving. I also make self care time non-negotiable. Getting twice monthly massages is part of my wellness routine. Aside from feeling my best in my own body, I feel my best when my clients are having success reaching their goals and changing their lives! It makes me feel great, both personally and professionally.