#18 Athletic Training & Keeping Your Hormones Healthy - with Caitlin Ficken

The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast


Subscribe to the podcast for FREE on your favourite app!


"The circumstances of your life have a big impact on what type and amount of training might be appropriate to you. You just really need to ask yourself, 'what do I want from my body?' Stop thinking about your body as just a purely aesthetic thing that everybody else sees."

LIKE WHAT YOU HEAR? Help us spread the love with a 5 ⭐ review on iTunes!


In Episode 18 of The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast, Natalie Douglas, Kate Callaghan and their guest, Caitlin Ficken (from Northside Health Practitioners NT) discuss athletic training, CrossFit, and how to keep hormones healthy.

  • Intro to todays guest Caitlin Ficken (dietitian and strength and conditioning coach)
  • Caitlin’s background story
  • Training like an athlete means fuelling your body accordingly (what and how?)
  • The importance of recovery, sleep and hydration
  • Matching your training to your lifestyle, why it is so important
  • Supplementation
  • The importance of listening to your body
  • Tips on building a healthy relationship with your body and MUCH MORE!

Caitlin Ficken
-Dietitian & CrossFit Athlete

Natalie K. Douglas 0:02
Hello and welcome to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast. My name is Natalie Bourke, Holistic Dietitian, and Nutritionist from HealthByWholeFoods.com.au. And with me as always, I have Kate Callaghan, The Holistic Nutritionist, from TheHolisticNutritionist.com. Kate, today is an exciting day because we actually have an extra guest on the show.

Kate Callaghan 0:23
It’s very exciting and we need to stay focused because I would love to use this as just to catch up because I haven’t spoken to her in a long time. So we need to stay focused.

Natalie K. Douglas 0:32
That’s true. I’ll try and keep you in line, but it’s really hard you’re a bit crazy.

Kate Callaghan

Natalie K. Douglas
Alright, so I’m going to read Caitlin’s bio first and then we will start getting into our questions because we’ve come up with a lot for her today because we really love her her approach to nutrition and training. So Caitlin is a dietitian and personal trainer from Darwin, in Australia, just in case anyone outside of Australia are listening which is likely. She currently works full time as a head coach and manager of North Shore Strength and Conditioning, and also works part-time in private practice dietetics. She has a passion for teaching people from all walks of life, new skills, and helping them to realize their body’s true potential. In her nutrition practice, she enjoys working in the areas of sports performance nutrition, pediatric behavior problems and autism, allergies and intolerances, and disordered eating. She has personally experienced with the consequences of an excessive exercise regime teamed with inappropriate and inadequate nutrition. After years of using food as a tool to manipulate her body to look the way she believed it should. She now believes and encourages her loved ones and clients to understand that developing a positive relationship with food is crucial to fueling your body to best support good health and performance. So Caitlin, welcome to the podcast.

Caitlin Ficken 1:54
Thank you. Very excited to be on here.

Natalie K. Douglas 1:57
Yes, well, we’re excited to have you and I guess today, what we want to go through is not only your background story and your approach to nutrition and training, but we kind of want to encourage all of our listeners to realize that you can train at a high level and still have balanced hormones, but it requires you to treat your body with respect and to approach nutrition with as much diligence and love for yourself as you do when you approach training. So we always start off the question, well I always start off the podcast with some random question. And today, I want to know what you ate for breakfast.

Caitlin Ficken 2:37
Okay. What I ate for breakfast. So today, I finished work and came home from clients after I’d done my own training. So post-workout, I’m pretty much a creature of habit. So post-workout, I had a smoothie so it’s got grass-fed whey protein isolate. It’s got a greens powder, which is like spirulina, barley grass, chlorella, all those good things. It’s got coconut cream, water, ice, frozen banana, and berries.

Natalie K. Douglas

Caitlin Ficken
That was my post-workout. Yeah, it’s pretty good.

Natalie K. Douglas 3:11
Sounds pretty delicious.

Caitlin Ficken

Natalie K. Douglas
All right. And what type of training are you doing at the moment?

Caitlin Ficken 3:17
So, I do strength and conditioning. So it’s a CrossFit methodology that we use at my gym. So, I do my own programming there plus some additional stuff. But basically, it’s lots of strength training bit. Resistance work with barbells, so compound lifting, Olympic lifting, it might just be standard isometric body stuff like pull ups, push ups, all that sort of stuff. And then there is always a conditioning component. So something high intensity, assault bikes, rowers, running, kettlebells, all those good things. And then, there’s a gymnastics element too. So muscle-ups, all those things. So if anyone’s familiar with CrossFit it is very CrossFit-esque.

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan 4:04
How many, how many times a week do you train?

Caitlin Ficken 4:07
So, I train six days a week, generally. Some of those days, I will do double sessions. So, I’ll do like my gym programming that I put my clients through in the mornings, and then in the afternoon, I might do some accessory work or I might focus a little bit more on my Olympic lifting on my own. And then, I’ve sort of have a gymnastics background. So and that’s just something that I really like to do. So I might do some more gymnastics style training. Yeah, and then it just, it really just comes back. Like what, how my body’s feeling as to how much I’m doing each week. But generally, I’m training six days, one rest day where I do sweet FA in terms of training. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to swear on this podcast. Well, it happens. Okay. Yeah, so it really changes all the time but it’s pretty high level. Generally, some days I might have do up to sort of the two and a half to three hours a day.

Kate Callaghan 5:05
Can I ask a silly question?

Caitlin Ficken 5:07

Kate Callaghan 5:08
What accessory exercises or accessory training?

Caitlin Ficken 5:11
So just accessory strength stuff, I guess. So I tried to make sure you know that. All your isolation stuff that you wouldn’t generally do. I guess if we’re doing sort of compound lifts, where we’re working all our muscles, sometimes I might like to do some accessory stuff just for my shoulder strength, a bit of mobility in there as well just because I am lifting so much. So some sessions I might just do lots of mobility exercises with bends or you know, just very lot weights doing some shoulder, shoulder rehab sort of stuff.

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan 5:42
Now what you’ve just said, it sounds like a lot of exercises, but it also sounds I think you’ve also downplayed it a bit. Are we allowed to say your Instagram account?

Caitlin Ficken 5:51
Yes, you can.

Kate Callaghan 5:52
Okay, cool. So I think if anyone who’s listening, needs to go and check out Caitlin’s Instagram account to actually see the crazy shit that she does.

Caitlin Ficken
Like, honestly, it occupies a lot of my time. Too much of my time. Oh my God. What is she doing?

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, totally, I actually stalked it before because I had to get a photo to put up for our podcast, so hopefully that’s okay too.

Kate Callaghan 6:20
It’s @caityficken so CAITYFICKEN.

Caitlin Ficken

Kate Callaghan
The first one where you will see a little Boomerang video of her shaking her butt on the beach.

Caitlin Ficken 6:30
Oh, yeah. Now I’m kind of regretting that I put that up. Yes.

Natalie K. Douglas 6:33
It’s all part of the training.

Caitlin Ficken 6:37

Kate Callaghan
Okay. So that is a lot. All right.

Caitlin Ficken
Yes, a lot.

Kate Callaghan

Natalie K. Douglas
It is.

Kate Callaghan 6:44
So tell us how you support that with food and lifestyle.

Caitlin Ficken 6:50
Yeah, okay, so um, I guess it’s taken me a while to get to finding something that works for me without sort of breaking myself I guess. I have broken myself in the past and it’s just it’s a long road back to healthy and you know, getting moving again. So I guess, I have tweaked and played around with it a lot. I do support it. First of all, I guess I’m talking about lifestyle stuff. So just, you know, I’m not a mother. I don’t have another full-time job. This is my, this is my jam, I guess, except for I do some excess. Some extra stuff with nutrition just two days a week but that is my full-time gig. So my stress level is pretty low in my life. So that’s one thing that I guess you know if you’re highly stressed I would recommend doing that amount of exercise. The other thing I guess is I squared away sleeping. So recovery from sleep is pretty good. I do get up at 4 am every day. So that’s a very early start. So obviously, unless I get to bed around 7:38 I’m not getting all my hours at night so I do do day sleeps as well. Also the laughter because I know I’m 26 years old. But yeah, I do days sleep. So, you know, in between clients because I generally work mornings and then afternoons. I fit in a sleep there. Um, in terms of nutrition that’s another thing that I’ve had to play around with a lot. I have been a vegan in the past when Kate and Nat new me, which I’m ashamed to admit, but I’m putting it out there.

Kate Callaghan 8:15
You don’t have to be the ashamed to admit it. That was your thing and it works for you at that time.

Caitlin Ficken 8:21
Yeah. It was my thing. And you know, I still I work with clients that are vegan, and I’ve got friends who are vegan, and I guess, you know if if that works for you, then go for it. If that’s, if you can make that work. It didn’t work for me probably a lot to do with what I was doing at that time in terms of exercise but now I do follow a paleo approach. I’m not 100% strict paleo by any means. So I do have additional carbs through white rice, quinoa. I will eat some dairy that I can tolerate. I don’t tolerate dairy too well, but sort of hard cheeses like Halloumi, bit of full-fat Greek yoghurt from time to time, or if I go out, you know, and there’s delicious gelato or something there, I’m going to eat it. So yeah, I just sort of go about it. Trying to keep it as whole food as possible. I do do sort of, I like to control my own food intake. So everything’s fairly unprocessed. I have been so I tend to make all, you know, my stocks and tomato paste and everything. Yeah, little bit fancy, but it just saves a whole lot of time. And I like to make all those things for myself. Um.

Natalie K. Douglas
Do you do any, do you do any calorie counting? Did you do any calorie counting or macro counting or anything like that?

Caitlin Ficken
So in the past, I have. I’ve gotten to the point now where I guess I’m, you know, one dietetics background gives me a pretty good food knowledge. So I don’t feel that I have to track things. From time to time, if you know if I’m having issues with recovery, or if I’ve made a few changes in my diet, and I’m not 100%. So I might do a bit of like a MyFitnessPal day of tracking things bit more closely. Just to get my head around where I’m at. But generally, I probably eat between sort of 2,200 to 3,000 some day calories.

Natalie K. Douglas

Caitlin Ficken
Yeah, and you know, carbohydrates. I generally don’t get on to that 200 grams per day mark. So I’m more around the 200 to 250. Some days, it might be 300. Protein, it’s pretty high sort of protein, maybe 150 to 170 or so grams.

Natalie K. Douglas

Caitlin Ficken
And then fat, I’m not by any means restrictive of the fat. I just try to sort of partition it around my training, but I’m sort of sitting moderate to a higher fat sort of 50 to 70 grams per day. So yeah, I don’t necessarily, I don’t by any means count calories. But I’m sort of unconscious of what I’m eating and to make sure that I’m getting enough but it’s purely performance-related. I’m not at all tracking it for aesthetic value, I guess.

Natalie K. Douglas 11:06
Yeah. No, that’s, that’s good to know. And look, I actually think that sometimes, especially if you’re in the world of performance, and performance nutrition, it can be really helpful to occasionally pop it into something like MyFitnessPal and just get an idea. And I guess more so for the point of making sure that you’re eating enough and maybe pinpointing.

Caitlin Ficken

Natalie K. Douglas
Or, hey, I’m not recovering properly and it might have something to do with I’m not having enough carbohydrates, or not having enough protein, or not having enough energy overall. So I think that that’s perfectly appropriate. And I would, I do recommend that to a lot of kind of CrossFit athletes that consult with me. So I think that’s a good idea. And I like that, you know, your calories aren’t sitting at 1200 and trying to train six days or weeks because I know, we’ve all seen that in clinical practice before.

Caitlin Ficken 11:58
Yes, yes, we have.

Kate Callaghan 12:00
Do you see that in your clients much in your CrossFit clients? Do you ever talk to and say, hey, wake up to yourself, otherwise, you’re not going to be able do this.

Caitlin Ficken 12:09
Yeah, so I do run. I’ve run paleo challenges before at the gym. So we do like a month paleo challenge where we’ll run like, I guess they, they sign up and they get sort of a month-meal plan, they get a recipe booklet, they get some little cheat sheets about how to sort of roughly calculate how many calories and macronutrients they should be aiming for depending on their training load. And then we do seminars, we do like meal prep. So with a chef that runs like a health food cafe that’s associated with the gym, we do meal prep and stuff. And the number one thing that yeah, I see just particularly females, is just that they’re completely underestimating how much food they should be eating. And, you know, we’ll go through sort of their training regime, and we’ll talk up, you know, put out a day in front of them of what they typically could be eating. If they’re on that particular plan and they’re like, shocked. And yeah, I don’t know. And if I tell them how much I eat they just did their faces, just like what? Are you serious?

Kate Callaghan 13:06
So 2,200 so that’s kind of the what I get my HA girls to aim for without exercise. And a lot of struggle to get to that level. So to eat 3,000 per day they’d be like, what, no way. But I love that you are eating that much.

Caitlin Ficken 13:26
Liquid food like all this, like smoothies or I’ll do like pretty. I call them fat smoothies, they’re just like a whole lot of calories in one. Particularly, I guess if I am trying, I guess that’s the that’s the other hard part is if I am training twice a day. Meal timing in order to not be full. I cannot do CrossFit on a full stomach, I’ve never understood those people. I’m like, there’s something wrong with you. So, in order to like getting the calories that I need around my training, but not be you know, sort of full and lagging heaps when I go back for another session, that sort of where those liquid food comes into play. And I know like, you know, it’s definitely liquid foods, not something we’d recommend for everyone. But in terms of recovery and getting something in nice and quick, it’s pretty good so.

Kate Callaghan
That is actually what I recommend for a lot of my HA girls in the course when they just can’t get this amount of calories. And I’d say, have smoothies, liquid calories are the easier way to get a lot in.

Caitlin Ficken

Kate Callaghan
If I had a weight-loss client and say don’t have liquid calorie.

Caitlin Ficken 14:25
Yeah. Avoid the liquid foods. Yeah, yeah. It’s all about where you at so.

Kate Callaghan
Exactly. Yeah, definitely.

Natalie K. Douglas 14:32
And how has your view of your body changed since we kind of all first met back in the uni days? And you mentioned before that you very much have an approach to nutrition based on performance goals? But has it always been like that? And how has your relationship with your your body changed since back then?

Caitlin Ficken 14:54
Yeah, massive changes on that fun? And changes that have taken a really long time I guess. So yeah. When I was, back in the day, when I knew you guys, I was a vegan. So I went vegetarian when I was in high school, probably maybe 9 or 10. And then I sort of upped the ante and decided I wanted to be a vegan. I probably you know, it’s one of those things. I know, I know, a lot of vegans will go vegan for you know, ethical reasons or they don’t like meat or whatever. I was 100% just a cover-up for what I now recognize as disordered eating. So, when you go to a party with your friends, and you’re like, I can’t eat that everyone will automatically expect, like, you know, assume that there’s something going on with you in terms of disordered eating. But if you’re like I’m a vegan, they’re like, oh, she’s a vegan she can’t eat it. It’s like, nobody sort of bats and eyelid. So I think that I did use it as a way to really sort of cut out both food groups that I knew were going to give me a lot of energy. So I pretty much was just eating, I was eating, still eating grains and things, but mainly just veggies, fruit, some nuts, and things. So at that point in time, I also was doing sort of lot of running. I started running a lot when I was in high school after I quit gymnastics. I went to running and I was sort of doing I get up and run 5K before school and then I come home. And in the afternoon, I might do another 5K or, I was running a lot. Lots of running every day, I got shocking ITB syndrome from it, my body was pretty much broken. I had podiatrist and chiro’s like asking me how I was even walking the low and continuing to run. So yeah, it was a pretty full on time. After I started uni I was still vegan in the first year of uni, but then probably a lot due to meeting, Kate actually. Probably a lot to do with you. So thank you for that. But I guess just also, you know, delving more into studies and getting not necessarily University study by any means, but doing my own research about things sort of became aware of paleo. And really, that I was very drawn to the concept of, you know, I guess vegans do generally eat whole foods, and you’re all about that sort of unprocessed. So then the two of them are quite connected through that. So I feel like I was quite drawn to paleo. And I knew, I just knew that my recovery was shit. I knew that I was feeling like shit. I wasn’t necessarily that skinny anymore. I guess when I first went vegan, I was quite skinny. But then, you know, I feel like I was always bloated. Like I always looked like I was, you know, two months pregnant or something. So it was a bit ridiculous. So I thought, you know, how about I changed this up, get myself more protein. At that time, I also was transitioning away from running and doing more weight training. So it just seems logical to increase a bit more protein. So I guess during that time is probably when my, my approach to my body, my attitude to my body started to change a lot. I sort of went from, you know, being so conscious of my food is just as way to sort of control my weight, and what was my weight doing in that, dictated what my food had to do. To being like, what am I actually doing? What am I trying to achieve in the gym? How do I want my body? I also sort of, I guess developed an appreciation for a more muscular-looking female body. I guess back in the day, you know, you look at those models that are stick thin. And I see oh my God, I want to look like that. And now I look at them and I’m like, oh, someone gives her a burger or something like. So I don’t know, it’s just, it’s different in terms of what I thought it was attractive and what I wanted to achieve performance-wise. Now I guess it is very performance-focused, I’m really not conscious too much about weight or anything. I never weigh myself. You know, about how my clothes feel. But generally, I can sort of maintain pretty good body composition just through the training. I’m doing, but I’m not so much, you know, aiming my nutrition towards that. But yeah, I definitely feel like, I love my body now for what it does not how it looks. So, you know, I still like body comp, yes, it’s pretty good. And I still like that I, you know, look good naked, and my partner is attracted to me and all that sorts of things. But at the same time, it’s like, that’s I’m not conscious of what other people think of my body. And I know for some people now the way it looks is they don’t like that muscular aspect. But I’m like, I don’t really care what you think, like, I could squat w on my back. Like, I don’t really care about that. So yeah, I love now what it does. And I love that, you know, lots of people, I’ll get clients that are coming in, and they’ve sort of since they’re a kid, then as an adult, they haven’t really done any training. So they’ll be my age, and they’ll come into the gym, and they’ll just, you know, they’ve lost sort of all the body strength that you have as a child and things. And I love that I’ve sort of been able to maintain that. And if anything, I think there’s things that I can definitely do now that I wasn’t even doing when I was younger in terms of strength than pushing myself. So definitely changed in how I view my body and what I’m trying to get from my body, I guess. And a bit more, I’ve got so much more respect for my body now. And I realized that this is the body that I’m going to have for the rest of my life. So if I trash it now, it’s going to be a pretty sad life so.

Kate Callaghan 20:02
It can do some pretty cool things.

Caitlin Ficken 20:04
It can do some very cool things so.

Kate Callaghan
Watch it on my own as I waddle around.

Natalie K. Douglas 20:12
It’s funny because it’s true.

Kate Callaghan 20:19
I’m gonna do those fourteen springs into burpee one day.

Caitlin Ficken 20:21
Oh, yeah, for sure. Maybe don’t try that. I should’ve put a disclaimer. Do not try when pregnant.

Kate Callaghan 20:27
Oh, I suspect the baby and fall out.

Natalie K. Douglas
Too soon.

Kate Callaghan
So good.

Natalie K. Douglas 20:37
And what about supplementation, do you take any supplements to support your training at all?

Caitlin Ficken 20:43
Yes, I do, definitely do. Like I said, I’m, you know, I’m very conscious of Whole Foods first. So, I always sort of talk to clients about squaring that away but when you exercise I guess gets to the point where perhaps you’re not getting, you know, at least a 12-hour recovery period between workouts. I definitely think that supplements have a place. So I try to keep it pretty minimal in terms of supplements. So I do a 100% whey protein isolate, which is a grass-fed formula, which just has that and nothing else in it. So it’s unflavored, it doesn’t have any fillers, any flavors, any artificial sweeteners, or anything. So I have that post-workout, try to get that in sort of ASAP after finishing sort of within that first 15 minutes mark even. Those greens that I mentioned before, so I use a Super Greens formula. I, I find that I take that just for a bit of a top-up in terms of trace minerals, vitamins. I do feel like it does improve my skin integrity as well. I could do notice when I take it that I do feel that my skin is a bit clearer. Just a bit of an antioxidant boost as well. I take magnesium glycinate. So, I live in the tropics, obviously. So I am sweating like you know it’s 80 to 100% humidity here, all-year round pretty much apart from these dry season months. So I guess with sweat losses from working in out in a warehouse twice a day. Plus even when I’m coaching, I’m hot and sweaty, and moving around and everything. I do drink obviously heaps of water but in terms of electrolyte replacement. I’ll take a magnesium formula sort of in the morning, I take it twice a day. So I do a dosage in the morning after our training and then I also take another dosage before bed just to sort of help with that calming down my CNS and helping with muscle recovery. So I take that twice a day, they’re probably my main three that I take in terms of probiotics that I take, that I do make my own kombucha. So get some probiotics through fermented foods. Occasionally, recently, I did a job in my wrist. So my forums were really inflamed and like all through my wrist was quite inflamed. So from time to time, if I do feel like I have a high level of inflammation happening, I will supplement with a bit of fish oil, but that’s not an ongoing thing. And I generally eat a lot of fish as it is. So yeah, that’s just the main sort of things that I would supplement with.

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan 23:20
Do you still eat nose to tail?

Caitlin Ficken 23:23
I do. I do still do that, which sickens my partner but he’s slowly getting on board. Slowly, we made, I did like steak and kidneys to the other day. It’s so funny as well because I love those foods when I lived in a cooler climate, you know, when it’s like cool, and you have those and they warm you up and have a glass of red wine. But here it’s like 34 degrees constantly and ridiculous humidity. So we just sit there, sweating, looking at each other. I was like, let’s prank the air we’re going to pretend that we’re in a cold climate. Like, you get it baby I’ll put it on a scene. It’ll be great.

Kate Callaghan 23:59
And if anyone’s, if anyone’s wondering what nose-to-tail eating is, it’s pretty much eating. Well, as the name suggests nose to tail. So all of the things of the animal. So, you know, all the organs, but whose skin everything. Which I think is the best way to eat it not just nutritionally but also from a respect.

Caitlin Ficken
Waste perspective.

Kate Callaghan
Yeah. Waste and respect for the animal as well.

Natalie K. Douglas 24:24
Yeah, definitely.

Caitlin Ficken

Natalie K. Douglas
Now, you mentioned before that you have previously kind of burnt yourself out from training. So, how do you approach that these days? Like, I know, that’s happened to me personally. And in the past, I had just pushed through it and got to the point where I couldn’t. I just couldn’t train anymore. Do you, are you much more mindful of that, of warning signs of that now? And if so, what do you do?

Caitlin Ficken 24:53
Absolutely. Um, so yeah, I was just saying basically, yeah, it just got to the point where I knew that I was definitely able to, and I’ve done it since running as well. I’ve done it when I got into the CrossFit thing. You know, it look, you start drinking at the CrossFit Kool-Aid when you first get into it. You’re like, all these people train like three times a day, and I’m going to look like Brooke Ence and I’m going to train as much as Brooke Ence. It’s like, Brooke Ence doesn’t have a full-time job, she doesn’t have anything else going on. Like she has a whole team of people supporting her. So you just got to have got to accept where you’re at. I think it has a lot to do with. Yeah, what else you have going on in your lifestyle. So even up until I sort of took on this job full time. I was working in another job as well for gymnastics Northern Territory. So I was doing, so when I do that three days a week, they were full days. But I was doing PT and CrossFit coaching in the morning, and then a little bit in the afternoon. And then I’d have my nutrition days. And so, even when I was in sort of that swing of things, I wasn’t able to train as much as I am now just because I would get to work if I’d done a training session and been up since for coaching. And then I’d be at my real job, as I called it, and I was like falling asleep at my desk. So you definitely have to know what’s going on in your lifestyle. It’s nothing that sort of saddens me more as then when I have like someone that’s really driven comes to the gym, particularly like mom trying to work off baby weight or something. And I’m like, I’m, I love that you’re here, you’re so passionate about this, and you’re wanting to improve your health. But, you know, you’ve slept three hours, and now you’re here at 5am to do a beat down of a workout, like, you know, you’ve kind of got to pick your timing and not to say that it’s, that sort of training, like intense training isn’t for you. But maybe, you’ve just got to look at where you’re at currently. So yeah, I definitely take that into account. The other things I think I think about is that I didn’t do before is that I listened to my body now. So it’s a strange concept listening to your body because, you know, usually it’s like, I train that many hours that’s just what I do. It doesn’t matter if I feel like shit, it doesn’t matter if I have a fever or you know, you just go. So I think now it’s not, I look at my training, like, I don’t have to be here. So I’m not, you know, these are the times that I train. If I started work out like I’ve. You know, I’ve finished, clients have gone and it’s my time to train and if I started work out, and you know, have sometimes you know, it takes you a while to get into the rhythm of things. And then you start feeling it, you get that little adrenaline boost, and you get the endorphins. If I don’t get that, if I literally get sort of, I’ve started the session and I feel like shit and I’m that unmotivated. I think that that’s my body telling me, this isn’t your day like it’s just not happening today. And I just know that that’s probably because I’ve been going pretty hard in the last couple of days, or maybe my sleep hasn’t been so good, or maybe I just haven’t been refueling, as well as I usually do. So I definitely listen to my body. Other day, some weeks, you know, like I said, before I train six days a week. If I hit that sort of five-day mark, and I feel like shit, I’m not going to train that next day. Like, I’ll take two, I just had two days off over this weekend and came back to training Monday and I felt awesome. So it’s not to me anymore. I think what it is for a lot of people is it’s not a way to burn off food. So I’m not looking at like, I’ve got a train to burn off food. It’s like, no, what am I trying to achieve? Okay, I’m trying to get stronger. I’m trying to be fitter. It’s, it’s not about just a deficit for food. So yeah, I think they’re the things that I’m trying that I’ve seen differently now is just what it means to me what I’m trying to get out of it, how I’m feeling. Some days, I might, you know, instead of a workout, it might just be purely sort of a yoga mobility style session where I’m just basically doing lots of stretching. Just because I feel like, you know, my body’s really sore or certain muscles are quite tired, or you know, I might just go see a physio and get a massage or something. So, yeah.

Natalie K. Douglas
That’s awesome.

Kate Callaghan 28:48
I think in terms of, I think in terms of looking at exercise like that, I think we should all look at exercise like that, really?

Caitlin Ficken

Kate Callaghan
To be in a healthy mindset.

Caitlin Ficken 28:56
Yeah, a lot of people sort of definitely don’t, it’s like, oh, better get back to the gym. I had a lot this weekend. It’s like, is that how we should be looking at the gym?

Kate Callaghan

Caitlin Ficken
Is that all it is you?

Natalie K. Douglas 29:05
Yeah, I completely agree. And I think that’s a really, all that is really good messages for our audience in particular, because I think the message that Kate and I are really trying to get across with this podcast in particular is that, you know, it’s, we aren’t against high-intensity activity, by any means, but we are against it when it’s combined with inadequate nutrition, and also when it’s, you know, it’s contraindicated for your particular lifestyle situation at that time. So I think that’s a really really good point to make. And I’m so glad that you pointed out that the way in which the circumstances of your life have a big impact on what training and amount of training might be appropriate to you because I think for Kate’s clients that are going through HA, they’re obviously training six days a week and doing some double sessions is not going to get their hormones back on track. So for that time, it’s not, not the answer. And likewise, if you know, I’ve got a lot of gut health and really low thyroid functioning people. And it’s also not, not the best time but if you’re treating it as you are, and you are looking after yourself and truly listening to your body, not just telling yourself that you’re listening to it, but really pushing through. I think that it can be definitely a good approach. So thanks so much for sharing all that with us.

Caitlin Ficken
All right.

Natalie K. Douglas
We are coming out of time. So, Kate, was there any final questions you wanted to ask?

Kate Callaghan
Oh, they could be so many.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah. I know, that’s right.

Kate Callaghan
Best tip for boosting body image.

Caitlin Ficken 30:51
Boosting body image, okay.

Kate Callaghan
Or developing a better relationship with your body. You’ve got 30 seconds go.

Caitlin Ficken 31:05
Oh, Jesus. Um, okay, I think that.

Kate Callaghan
I’m kidding.

Caitlin Ficken
You. I think you just really need to ask yourself, what you want from your body? So stop thinking about your body is this just a purely aesthetic thing that everybody else sees, but as something that you use, and it’s like, you know, your CrossFit isn’t going to be for everyone. Maybe you’re, you know, you’re into yoga, you’re into other things. But all of those things, if you’re constantly stressing, I remember how much time and effort I used to focus you’re like, expand on purely just thinking about my body and that it wasn’t right. And it’s like that, that time could be such better spend it. So, I think that you need to decide. I think it is good for everyone to have sort of something that’s active. It doesn’t have to be CrossFit. It can just be walking or whatever. Just decide what you wanting to use your body for and really think about how your body should look for those things. How it should perform? Yeah, and just I think it has a lot to do with just trying to stop stressing so much about what other people think. I think that’s half the thing. It’s not even about what you think. It’s just how you think other people perceive you. So, focus more on the performance side of it. If you’re not really into any type of, you know, you’re not really doing any sport or activity. Obviously, we know for health, you probably should be doing something. So maybe try something new. Just stop stressing about it. I think that would be my number one tip.

Kate Callaghan 32:30
Go and get inspired by Caitlyn’s Instagram account.

Natalie K. Douglas

Caitlin Ficken
And don’t hurt yourself. I’ll take you know.

Natalie K. Douglas
And do not hurt yourself.

Caitlin Ficken

Natalie K. Douglas

Caitlin Ficken
Yeah. I’m not insured that’s okay.

Kate Callaghan
Don’t try those kids at home.

Natalie K. Douglas 32:45
That’s it. All right. Thank you so much and we will be back in a fortnight’s time with another podcast. As always, guys, if you have ideas, comments, feedback, feel free to contact us via our websites, and we will get your topics covered or your questions answered. Thank you again, Caitlin, and I will talk to you guys soon.

Kate Callaghan
Thank you.

Natalie K. Douglas

Caitlin Ficken 33:09
Thank you. Bye.

Kate Callaghan
Thank you, Caitlin.

Caitlin Ficken




The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast - with Natalie K. Douglas and Kate Callaghan

Welcome to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast!

If a professional, polished, well-edited podcast is what you’re after…then we’re not for you!

But if you love unfiltered banter, unedited bloopers and authentic heart sharing then we are your ladies.

We also have the most practical tips on holistic and alternative health care too 😉

Have a question that you want answered on the podcast or want to be interviewed? Get in touch!


Natalie K. Douglas | Thyroid Healer

Natalie K. Douglas | Thyroid Healer

Natalie K. Douglas shows women with Thyroid problems how to heal themselves in less than 30 minutes a day. Guaranteed.

Over the past decade, she's helped treat over 10,000 Australian women, trained more than 5,000 health practitioners.

Her clients say she’s the right girl to see if you’ve tried the conventional approach and nothing has worked.

Kate Callaghan | The Holistic Nutritionist

Kate Callaghan | The Holistic Nutritionist

Kate Callaghan is a Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and Lifestyle Coach who specializes in women's hormone healing.

She recognizes that there is no “one size fits all” diet or “magic bullet” which is going to cure all illnesses.

She focuses on having a thorough understanding of your personal goals, needs, likes/dislikes, support networks and lifestyle in order to create a food and lifestyle approach that suits YOU.


Spread the love!

puppies are fun! wacky thyroids aren't 😭

Get a personalized Thyroid health check with my fun, 3min quiz!