Anke Johnson: Holistic Wellness Visionary

In this beneficial episode, Anke Johnson, a functional nutritionist and equestrian, discusses the healing power of holistic wellness and emphasizes long-term lifestyle changes in functional nutrition.

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Hi and welcome to the You World Order Showcase podcast. Today we have with us a special guest Anke Johnson, functional nutritionist and equestrian. Even though she said she's not really incorporating that into her practice right now, I think it's an important piece of who she is and she's here to talk to us.


The question.


All about all things forward and up, Wellness. Welcome to the show again Anke.


Thank you so much, Jill. Great to be here.


So how did you get started in all of this, and how did the horses fit in?


Yeah, well, the horses did fit in at one point. Absolutely. And I think they will. Again, I think like many people who are in any kind of the healing arts is that they start with their own journey. And I think without getting too deeply in depth with it, that's really where I started.


I have always been more of what? What I was called a sickly child, especially with a with a bad stomach. In the 1970s you could never put me in the back of the station wagon, because otherwise there would be a.


Mess so.


I really grew in my late 30s to look for and search for answers for health and healing because I wasn't really getting them from.


Where I was looking in the medical community and I want to be very clear that I think the medical community is fantastic and every area has its own purpose.


And I do believe that we are.


Very empowered to.


To be able to do our own healing and that's really where it starts because we're with us 100% of the time and not the 1% of the time that you are potentially with somebody else with a, with a doctor, for example. So yeah, it really.


That everything for me really took off when I was in perimenopause and my menopausal symptoms.


Were absolutely horrific. Maybe I'll get into those in detail later on or not. We'll find out and the horses fit into it to into all of this healing in that I've been a lifelong equestrian for 52 years. I started when I was seven years old.


And I've had a horse for the last 30 some years and they are incredible beings that.


Provide so much for us in terms of reflection and being able to look into deeper into ourselves and really understand what we need from a healing perspective.


And I think for the general public.


The horses really come into play when you look at.


Something that we're all familiar with, which is stress and stressors, and they are really good at pointing us in the right direction when we are in a stressed state that is then going to be affecting our health.


So that is what's that?


So that's interesting. How did they do that, I mean.


I have a little experience with horses.


By little I mean very little.


Yeah, I mean, so when you think about a horse from the physical sense, they're just such big animals and there's many people who are very afraid of them, but they are.


Actually very, very sensitive and this in somewhat fragile beings, even in their physical size, but it's in their sensitivity where they.


Being a herd animal, they're the kind of animals that that communicate for the most part, silently. So it's the twitch of an ear. It's the twist of the tail. It's how they either want to approach you or stay farther back from you. So for I guess, an example that that everybody could probably relate to.


If you walk into a room and you have a crowd of people, there are certain people who you're going to want to gravitate toward and certain people who you're going to be repelled from, they say.


They and the horses give you that either attraction or repelling. Very clearly, when you walk into their space, so they will, they will either come into you.


Or they will look at you. They'll take one look at you and they'll say hot mess. No walk the other way. And so if you are open to that kind of communication.


There is a lot that you can take away from that, especially if you're just coming into their world after you've been in your business world all day long and they walk away. That's a great time for you to reassess yourself.


Take a lot of deep breaths and figure out.


Maybe you need to do something a little bit different before you go.


And catch your horse.


That's really fascinating. I have. I have two, two kind of short stories about horses that.


We walk by horses every day. When we walk, there's a one horse that's on the first part of our journey and then a couple horses on another part of our journey. And then more horses and other places. I live in the country. So And this isn't a neighborhood neighborhood. We have horses. We have cows.


Hope so.


We got goats. We had Peacock.


So sometimes the horses will come up to the fence when we go by, and sometimes they're just like, no, you're not. You're not doing. I'm not dealing with you today, so they'll be far away. Think it's kind of interesting. And I.


Can think about, you know, my thoughts at the time so.


I'll be watching that. And then my sister had a horse when she was a teenager.


We lived in Las Vegas and they went to Nebraska on vacation and I had to stay home because I was working. So I got volunteered to take care of this horse and I knew nothing about. And in one day this was the only day I took care of the horse because he.


Spraying my hand stepped on my foot.


Ran me into the barrels and rolled over while I was cooling them down because my sister, my younger sister, told me you got to make sure you cool them down, so you got to walk him around and he rolled over.


Like a dog, I.


Thought he was dead, told my dad. And no, I'm done. I'm injured now. I have to go work at this fast food restaurant.


My hands hurt and my foot hurts. It's just like I'm over this horse.


They will. They will help bring out a lot in you if you if you if you want to listen, that's a that's a big piece.


I'm sure that he was just like you are a hot mess girl. I don't want you anywhere near me. Go away. Here, let me help you not want to be near me cause I'm right. Right. Right.


Already know you.


So as a functional nutritionist, how do you help?


Nicely like cause just good segue. Great.


So actually you can think of it, you can connect it and segue it from the equestrian part to functional nutrition. So when we think about nutrition, we can think about it from the rote manner of you know, well, I'm going to create a meal plan for you and that meal plan is.


Going to have 5.


Meals a week and it's going to have snacks in it and it might be low.


Because maybe you need a low glycemic diet.


And that's one way of being a nutritionist. A functional nutritionist is one who looks at the big picture, who looks at everything, who looks at how things, how your whole world, the persons is interconnected, and that goes from how are you sleeping, how are you moving?


How are you? How are you eliminating? How are you pooping? What? What? What is going on with your metabolism? All of these types of things, lifestyle and nutrition related and so in.


And pooling together all of that information, we get a much clearer picture of what may have happened to you individually as.


You were growing up, or as you moved through life and we kind of call and not we I call that upstream. So what has happened to you upstream in the river that might be affecting you downstream now?


Where you might have certain issues that that you would like to change so that could be in my case, a horrific menopausal transition with all of the beautiful symptoms and that were that were there, it could be weight loss resistance, it could be.




It could be that you're diagnosed with cancer or another type of disease. It could be as and I'm putting this in air quotes for you who cannot see me. It could be something as simple as I cannot sleep.


You know I'm sleeping two and three hours a night or I wake every single night at 3:30 in the morning, and then I cannot get back to sleep. And then I'm just completely trashed for the next day. Moodiness. So all of those things are not normal.


But unfortunately, in our society there's a lot of those things that we have actually put a normal label on because there's so much of it. It's so prevalent. So from a functional nutritionist side.


I'm looking at that whole picture and more importantly, I start to dig my hands into the soil or the terrain of what makes up your root system, if you will. Where are you growing from?


So that we get a really good picture of what do we need to do in that terrain, that foundation, that root cause?


To help you grow and flourish from what we might see above the root system.


Do you use medical tests for diagnostics? Do you?


Is it more on the intuitive side?


How does that part work?


I know some functional nutritionist to use.


Some test diagnostic tests too.


Start with so.


And I think that's going to vary with the practitioner that you that you choose and you work with. I do work with a lot of different medical testing. So I will look at your existing serum lab tests. If you have other tests as well that I feel competent to give my opinion about, I will do that.


Not being a licensed professional, I cannot give you a diagnosis for things, nor can I prescribe anything. But again, I'm going to take that whole. I'm going to take all of that information into that.


Brain, the other thing that I do and I order for people is I will order urine tests, saliva tests, fecal tests that give us information about how your gut is functioning, what is happening with your endocrine system and all of your hormonal.


Systems so that when people do have imbalances in those areas, we can get a lot more clarity and really kind of pinpoint and target things.


So they were not guessing.


Yeah, that I think that's really important. Yeah, I know. Everybody does think slightly different but and that again is where you know the having a connection with the allopathic community really does help.


Make the whole process come together in a way that really serves your clients best interest.


Absolutely. And from that intuitive place so. So I'm also a Reiki master. I also do EFT, which is emotional freedom technique, tapping work on my.


Indians. So. So I definitely have a woo factor that I think to call a woo factor but I do work a lot with intuition because there is there is an absolute scientific connection between what you are feeling.


In your gut, where the majority of your nervous system, I mean, there's a lot of nervous system in there. There's a lot of immune system in there and you can take that from a practitioner standpoint and then apply it to your clients, yeah.


Yeah, it's our second brain. The VAGA nerves, is it? It's like what you feel in your body.


Is A is part of what you're feeling in your head, and we've gotten to the point as a society where it's just like.


Life only exists up here, right?


This is just like for carrying us around.


Don't look under the cloth, but it's.


But that's where it really we're designed to be like a whole being, not just ahead floating heads. So yeah, it's really important that people understand.




To be able to tune in to what their body is telling them right, it's not. That's a process for people.


Yeah. And I would say so from the way that I prefer to practice.


I work with people who have been chronically unwell and so that can that can be a wide breadth of things.


And in working with people who are chronically unwell, you cannot expect, you know, a quick fix change. And unfortunately, in our society again and definitely on social media, most of the things that you will see are these quick fixes. And that's not where I work.


I work for long term sustainable change for people and that's the type of change that requires the individual to be able to look at their lifestyle, to make conscious decisions around how do I want to.


Feel better for the long term so that in in my case that I can be 80 years old and still ride my horses and have fun and do all the outdoor physical things that I want to do instead of being so bloated and gassy that I can't move off of where I'm at. But that's the kind of things that that I think is really important.


It's long term and so we do a lot of things small steps, but that takes time, but then it's long term change.


And it's the little steps that help people to make big changes instead of thinking that, you know, I've been really ill for a long period of time, and tomorrow I'm going to suddenly feel better. And, you know, if you. I watched television for the first time in.


Many, many years, and I was astounded. I think I made it for like 30 minutes.


And about 15 of those minutes were pharmaceutical drug commercials. How people.


Get that immediate.


In the way they're feeling. But that's not sustainable. You know it and it's gonna.




All of the side effects include death. It's just like that's just how it is and they have to tell you and you can hear it on the commercials. So, you know, maybe you need a drug to help you function. And I totally get that. And there are some drugs out there that.


Really can't help you even longer term like metformin. I've seen people use that and I've.


I'm not a doctor and I'm not dispensing medical advice, but it seems like it's one of the kinds of things that it's been around for a really long time. They know what it does and it really does help as far as regulating blood sugars. But some of these other things that are new.






Experimental and people get on them and they.


They're not.


They're not consistent about following up with the testing to.


What? It's what's going on, how it's really affecting your body and then they end up, you know, 10 years down the road and they're in big trouble because they didn't address the underlying cause of the problem to begin with. And now 10 years have gone by and they're experiencing all of these side effects.




Right. And so that's, I mean there's a couple of things in there. So when I look at things from a functional perspective, I'm looking at what's called clearing the Muddy Waters. So what you just described are Muddy Waters. So you can go in and temporarily make a change that is a Band-Aid.


That will help you to feel better and in certain cases. Again, I'm not a medical professional. I want to be just very clear.


From that, in certain cases it's actually really good to be able to kind of give you that jumpstart. Maybe with that Band-Aid so that you can actually move past certain things. So for instance, that will happen frequently when I'm working with somebody who has chronic pain issues, if they if they have chronic pain issues.


And they cannot move and they are constantly in this cortisol.


Stress or state because of this pain, can we relieve the pain long enough so that they can start to make some moves forward to clear those Muddy Waters to start to help you know, clear that terrain that we talked about, that's where it's, that's where it's good. But we don't have a deficiency.


Pharmaceuticals from our Wellness perspective. And so when we're looking at creating.


Any kind of a deficiency and moving it to a sufficiency to where your body is functioning better you.


The pharmaceuticals are not necessarily part of that. Nutrients are things that your body can actually use to heal. And so that's where again looking at that bigger picture uniquely to the individual because we are all unique, everything in our body.


Was interconnected as we were just talking about the vagus nerve and the brain and the gut.


You cannot look at any of these things.


In isolation, and that is unfortunately when you look at some of the things that you were talking about with the pharmaceuticals, some of those areas are looked at in isolation and that does not help. So you have a compounding of issues.


That prevent us then from actually becoming well and for some people, Jill, I think this is really important to share. For some people, they're happy with that. That's what they want. And so by all means, I don't ever prescribe to.


And I do kind of play on that word prescribed to saying that there's a one-size-fits-all approach. There's not because I think the majority of the.


Population, which is why you see as much advertisement on social and on commercials, things like that that are geared towards more of the quick fix.


Healing the other way, healing from a functional perspective, from a slow as fast perspective as I say, is one that is going to take effort. It's going to take time. It's going to take work. It's going to take investment so.


And making different decisions. You can't just like randomly eat whatever you want and drink whatever you want and expect.


Something to happen differently in your body and you know.




Different things affect different people in different ways, and sometimes it's a matter of trial and error to see what The thing is that's triggering your body to cause the disease in your body.


Right. And from a it's also a.


A commitment or a an agreement, rather with yourself, from the mental emotional perspective, knowing that you are going to be what I call recycling. So it is it's moving forward and then it's.


Having what we what we again would call a failure. I don't call it a failure. It's an experience. It's an experience. And that experience has led you to maybe the path that you don't want to.


Go. And so that recycling comes back to, well, where was it in that process?


That I kind of lost sight of my actual goal or I went on a different path that took me into a different place that I don't really want to land in. And so that recycling is really, really, really important and, you know, being kind to yourself through this whole process.


Was probably kind and loving and seeing yourself worth. That's that in and of itself is a huge journey and that's where the that's where the coaching comes in.


Yeah, I.


You can't heal just like you can't think that you're going to heal your body without healing your mindset and your soul and the trauma that you've gone through in life because it's all connected and it, you know.


There's some evidence that you store your trauma in your organs. If you haven't processed it and you, you know, you're not going to heal until.


You get.


Through that.


Just the way it goes. So do you mostly coach people, one-on-one or do you do groups?


Well, great question. So in the evolution of my business, I am currently right now only doing one-on-one, but I am going to be and in fact I'm building.


The information to do not group coaching per se, but more. I guess what we call Evergreen programs. So if somebody is not ready to do one-on-one coaching or they really would like to kind of experience a little bit of what functional work might be like, but they're not 100% sure.


Then an online self-directed program that is shorter in length can be a good.


Option for them and that is one thing that I'm building and then in my two to three-year plan, I'm looking at having private retreats. So where you fully immerse yourself for you know five to seven days somewhere like in the Dominican Republic or Costa Rica.


Or something like that, where you really can focus 100%.


On yourself with yourself and have that experience to either.


Compliment one-on-one coaching or to even launch you forward toward one-on-one coaching.


It sounds like a terrific idea just to.


To let your body and mind have a reset away from all of the stressors and triggers of everyday life. Because it's really hard to change habits and a lot of it just comes down to habits, our decisions become automatic, and that's how habits.


Are formed when you're. When you're in the same situation without removing yourself. Sometimes you can remove yourself and have another experience. Then when you go back, you can consciously make choices.


Around what it is you're going to do.


Right. And you see things that you didn't see before, so mentor of mine.


She uses an example of putting on red glasses and when you put these red glasses on everything that you see is red no matter where you look. You're always going to see some hue of red and if you can, if you can.


Take those glasses off like you said for that brief period of time. Even if you come back and you've got those red glasses on again, maybe you might start to peek over them at times. Or maybe you'll block one of the eyes, you know, whatever. You know, you'll be able, like you said, you'll be able to see things.


And it really gives us that.


More primal opportunity to really dig back into who we really are as beings. I mean, we are animals, so if we are constantly in, in, in a state that doesn't allow us to ground.


And pull into that primal need or all of these different primal needs. Then. Yeah, that that will bring us into kind of what I call head in the clouds where we just can't see the forest for the trees.


Yeah, and it's.


You just get caught up in everyday life and it, you know, you do the same things and you make the same decisions and you have the same thoughts every day and not changing, having the ability to look at your thoughts to begin with and then start to change how you think about your thoughts.


And how you let them run wild in your head or take control of them also plays into how you're going to make changes in your life.


If everything starts in your.


Head it does well and kind of circling back to the horses, you know, equine, equine assisted coaching, which I don't do formally or equine therapy for example. This is why.


Involving the horse in these things is so fantastic because they don't have any.


Any tie to an outcome they don't need to have a certain outcome. We do. And so when we are with them and we are in that state, it allows us, they give us the gift of not maybe responding in the way that we would expect or want them to respond.


And the more that we push for something like that, the more apparent it becomes what it is that we actually need to be working on. So it's very grounding. It's very, very grounding to be able to work with them from that perspective.


Do you think your retreats will include horses?


That would be.


Yes. Yeah. And that's one of the things I would love. I would love to include the horses. I would love to include movement modalities, things like yoga and meditation, but also obviously really good.


Access to just really vibrant live foods, so nutrition that brings life and doesn't take life away.


That's going to be a big piece of it. Sleep, rest.


Introducing people to yeah.


Is a big thing.


Yeah, introducing people to real food live food is and helping them to.


To understand that it can be delicious.


This because I think people look at vegetables and they're just like, ohh, gross and you know, to be fair, a lot of people grow up, grew up on canned vegetables or vegetables that are frozen. Yep, and not prepared particularly well. And, you know, they can be really bland.




And kind of gross but.


You know, drowning them in ranch up as we call ranch, dressing around here, yeah.


It's not a solution because that's just like a whole bunch of chemicals that you're adding to.


Your body that really doesn't.




No, no. And I mean our pallets change as we as we grow up. So you know a child's typically their taste buds are not developed in a certain way. So that they yeah they may they may not like certain foods but then lo and.


Old, you know, at the age of 18, they're eating. I don't know. You know, 50%. Yeah, they're eating sushi or some of these things that they weren't eating before. But yeah, it's I think one of the most fascinating things for me, Jill, is. So I meet and work with a lot of people.


The Constipation issues and Constipation is, you know, it can be not being able to go, but it can also be that whole spectrum of going too much. So diarrhea or what we think about with Constipation. But what's interesting is I introduced them to what I what I call a microbiome.


And it's basically 10 to 15 different types of vegetables that could include mushrooms. It could include sprouts. It could include all kinds of different things. And really, you want to have it seasonal.


But basically the purpose for this is to feed the bacteria in your gut in your microbiome, which then has many other.


What I always find very interesting is that even my.


Firm non veggie eaters. I can convince them initially I'm like just give it a try and so they start eating it and within typically anywhere from 48 to 72 hours I get some kind of a some kind of a response back from them that says.


I feel incredible or I slept so well last night or I finally pooped, you know, and that's always yay. So you know, it's fascinating to me how.


The body will.


Heal and utilize the things that it needs, and it has this inherent wisdom.


And if we give it just a little bit of what it needs, what it actually can do for us, it always fascinates me.


That there's there are some building blocks that we're designed to consume so we can keep our bodies healthy and we've just like.


Of the Jules.


Absolutely, absolutely.




So how can people get in touch with you and?


Where? Where would they go?


So the best place to reach me is through my website and that's obviously www.forward and up Wellness. So all one word, we're all together rather and the and is A&D.


So forward and up and through that website you'll be able to see.


The a lot of different information about who I am, what functional nutrition is all about. And then there are. If you go to the resources section, there are a whole bunch of really good educational pieces, videos, links to all kinds of different things. So you can have a lot of fun.


Playing in that area.


And that's all free to you.


Awesome. We'll be sure and put the links in.


The show notes thank.


You. So what's the one thing you.


Want to leave the audience with that? You hope they take away from our conversation.


Today, well, there would be many, but I think the one thing that I would love for them to take away just associated with me and that is slow is that.


Test so working in in a in what in a way that you feel might be slow, so not going for the quick fix is actually going to heal you much faster and it's going to be a permanent change and that's going to give you the things like joy.


And choices and light and doing the things that you want to do and giving you the ability to do them. So that's what I'd love to.


Leave everybody with.


I couldn't agree with you more.


Triple water will wear away a rock overtime.


Yeah. There you go, beautiful.


I love that. I love that.


Thanks for joining me, Anke.


Well, thank you so much for having me, Jill. I really, really appreciate coming on and yeah, thank you very much.

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