RCC 37: How Female Entrepreneurs Can Bounce Back from Burnout with Ciara Foy

Last episode we talked about how to figure out if you’re hustling too hard. Building on that topic, this episode is all about how working yourself into the ground can wreak havoc on your mind, body, and hormones. Getting enough sleep, eating well, and moving your body are critical ingredients for growing a thriving business.

To help me talk about health, wellness, and building a business, I’m joined by Ciara Foy. Ciara is a nutritionist and transformation coach who helps successful women win the promotions they deserve and learn to manage their life, schedule and family with ease—all while getting their energy back and reversing their burnout. She specializes in nutrition, uniquely focusing on the relationship between the foods women eat, their hormonal health and their on-the-job performance. Her new book, Empowered By Food, links inequality and burnout to hormone imbalance in high-achieving women entrepreneurs and professionals.

Ciara and I cover a lot of fascinating ground in this episode, talking about everything from foods that are good for regulating your blood sugar, how to listen to your body better, and why women are particularly prone to hormone imbalance. Ciara and I also talk about the extra mental burdens women often carry and why hustle isn’t the key to success that it’s often made out to be.

Your challenge this week is to practice saying no to things you don’t want to do – whether business or personal – and start identifying and working to repair areas of your life that could use some TLC. This could be getting your sleep schedule back on track, scheduling twice-weekly yoga, or committing to a hike on the weekend. Take good care of yourself!

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Why you need to schedule time for self-care on your calendar, just like you schedule meetings with clients, work time, etc.
  • Warning signs that Ciara often sees in women entrepreneurs who are nearing or suffering from burnout.
  • Why women in particular need to pay attention to cortisol levels.
  • The three things Ciara includes in her daily non-negotiables.
  • How restriction and dieting can negatively impact your hormones and blood sugar.
  • Food and activity recommendations for women entrepreneurs and professionals to get ahead of burnout.
  • Why self-care is truly about setting strong boundaries and treating yourself well every day.

Enjoyed this show?


Welcome to the Rich Coach Club. The podcast that teaches you how to build your dream coaching practice and how to significantly increase your income. If you're a coach and you're determined to start making more money, this show is for you. I'm Master Certified Life Coach Susan Hyatt, and I'm excited for you to join me on this journey. You're listening to Episode 37, here we go.

All right, as always, I'm here to wake you all up and get you going, and I have a warning, because per usual, today's episode has a little bit of adult language. If you've got kids in the car, or sitting on the couch next to you, skip this episode and listen to it when you're in private, or pop your ear buds in, okay?

You have been warned, and don't send me angry emails about it later. I was emailing back and forth with a girlfriend the other day, and she's an entrepreneur like me. She's had an insanely busy year, and her calendar is bananas. Her to-do list is crammed to the max. The deadlines never stop, and she loves her work but she's just dying for some space to breath, some white space on her Gcal. She told me, "Susan, the other day, this was literally my schedule, 8:15 a.m., blowjob, 8:30 a.m., prep for client phone call, 8:40 a.m., phone call, 9:15, and so on." You get the idea, and yes, you've heard that shit correctly. She literally scheduled a blowjob into her day.

She wanted to make her man happy right before launching into her work day, and then, making her clients happy. Okay, so part of me is like, scheduling a blowjob is awesome. Get it girl. Yes. But also, I understand why she's feeling so stressed and pressured. Her schedule doesn't leave any time to exhale. It's just one thing after another, relentless. I've worked with hundreds of coaches, consultants and entrepreneurs over the years, and I've seen this pattern so many times, with so many people. When you're passionate about your work, it can be difficult to leave space on your calendar. When I tell people like, "You got to make room for pleasure." They're like, "I want to keep going. I want to keep working. I got to keep hustling and growing, and building. Yay."

Except sooner or later, yay turns into, "I'm so exhausted. I need to sleep for 100 years. Go away everyone." How can we break out of this burnout pattern? How can we avoid it all together? How can we hustle in a healthy, sustainable way? Well, we're going to talk to my guest today, Ciara Foy, about it, but here are some principles that I follow and this is my advice for you, too.

Number one, schedule self-care onto your calendar just like you schedule everything else. If client phone call goes into your calendar, then, nap or pedicure, or sitting in the sun should go on there, too. If record webinar goes onto your calendar, then, fun with my friends should go on there, too, and so on. Show up for your self-care appointment just like you're showing up for a client.

I could do 5,000 episodes about having the attitude of self-care instead of the activity, but that's for another time. Show up like somebody's paying you $500 an hour to be there. Don't flake on yourself.

Number two, instead of doing 100 different things to find clients and get sales, focus on two to three things that actually lead to results. For example, if you do speaking gigs a couple of times a year, and you always end up with getting three more lucrative client bookings after every gig, boom, you know that's working. Do speaking gigs. Double down. Do a bunch of those, ditch everything else. Maybe you don't need to mess with Instagram, LinkedIn, running a podcast, or doing a zillion free webinars.

Focus on your speaking gigs and rock those. Streamline your business so that you're focusing on two to three things that generate money. Like my friend Rachel Rogers says, "You need to focus on money generating activities and nothing else." Seriously.

Number three, trust that the more fun you have, the more money you'll make. This is my mantra, you've probably heard me say it a million times, and I know this seems hard to believe, but it's so true, when you're making time to relax, to get inspired, to take care of your body and spirit, to travel, to savor your life, you will absolutely dial up. Not just dial up your income, you will blow it up. When you're having fun, and enjoying life, clients will be magnetized to you.

You'll be more productive. You'll get the best ideas. You'll do your best work. More fun equals more money, I promise. Yes, it's great to be passionate. It's great to be ambitious. Lord knows I love ambitious women, and I'm one of them, but we cannot hustle ourselves into the hospital, into a heart attack, or into an early grave, and we can't hustle so hard that we forget to have a life. That's just not acceptable, and as you're making your 2019 second, third, fourth quarter business plans, I urge you to focus on sustainability and self-care first and foremost. Please remember, you are your business. You are your brand. You are the queen of your empire.

If you're so stressed and tired, you can barely function, then, nothing's going to work. That's for damn sure. Take care of you first, not last, first. This can be a difficult switch to make, especially for women, because we're not accustomed to putting ourselves first, but this switch is urgent and non-negotiable, and it will change your life and your business. I'm urging you, flip the switch, put your mental and physical well-being first, first, first, not last. Okay, so now, we're going to get into the pep talk portion, but that just sounded like a pep, right? Your intro was a pep talk, but I've got another one, so here's your two-minute pep talk for the week.

This is the part of the show where I share some encouragement and inspiration to get your week started off right. I try to keep things to 120 seconds or less, but don't time me because it's probably longer. If you just listened to what I had to say, and you just feel like you're too busy to even consider fun and pleasure, listen to me. I have so many real-life examples, and last year, I had a woman email me from the hospital asking for help. She wrote, "Please help me figure out how to take care of my business without killing myself in the process. I can't keep up this pace." My heart broke, I wanted to fly through my inbox directly to her bedside for a long talk.

I'm all about building a thriving business, but if you're working yourself into a hospital bed, honey, no. God, no. IV drip should never be part of your business plan. If you're listening to this and you're a chronic over worker, please, let this be your wakeup call and be sure to listen and take notes during this interview we're about to do with Ciara, be there's nothing more important than how you feel. Nothing. You can make a pile of money, but if you're too busy, and too stressed, and too tired to enjoy your life, what is exactly the point here?

If you're too busy to walk barefoot in the grass, call your best friend, get a good night sleep, eat some real food, watch your kid's recital, or game, or science project, or take a vacation, it's time to evaluate what's going on. If you had a 9:00 to 5:00 boss, who worked you so hard that you wound up requiring medical attention, you would sue that boss for being an inhumane monster. Don't be an awful inhumane boss to yourself, whether you run your own business or not, I urge you to evaluate your life closely, because I know plenty of stay-at-home moms and corporate women who are running themselves rugged, too. The burnout crisis isn't unique to female entrepreneurs.

Tomorrow morning, when the flood of invitations, requests, needs start to flood into your life, like it probably does every Monday, resist the need or temptation to say, "Yeah, sure, no problem." To every single damn thing. Don't respond automatically. Consider each request discernfully. Is it right for you? Do you have time? Do you want to? Do you really? Remember that no is always an option, so let's do some training together and repeat after me. That's a flattering invitation, but no, thank you. I'll be hanging out with my family this weekend. I wish I could participate but I can't. Thanks for asking though.

Nope, I can't reschedule our session for next Monday, because that's when my vacation starts. Actually, no, I don't offer refunds for last minute cancellations. Please refer to the refund policy that you reviewed back at the beginning of our work together. No, thank you, that's not something I'm interested in doing. No, that's not a service that I provide. No, I don't give free consultations. No, I'm not available. No, my plate is full. No, I have other projects that need my full attention right now, but thanks. No, is a magic work that can clear away stress, resentment, and stomach twisting obligations that drain your power and steal your life.

Keep saying no in a million different ways until your life starts to feel the way you want it to feel. Keep saying no until the no's barely above water frenzy of busyness starts to subside. Keep saying no until you can breathe again. I am begging you. Don't miss your life. Don't sacrifice your health. You are too important to the planet, and you matter.

Now, we're moving to the part of the show where I give shout outs to you, my listeners, clients, and all the wonderful people in my business community. Today, I want to give a shout out to Brooke Craven, so Brooke, thank you for this five star review you left on iTunes. Brook wrote, "Susan, host of the Rich Coach Club podcast, highlights all aspects of business, coaching, and more in this can't miss podcast.

The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that's helpful to anyone that listens." Thank you so much. Hey, if you have something to say about this show, send us an email to support@susanhyatt.co, or post a five-start iTunes review, or something on social media, and you might hear your name on a future episode. I just love giving shout outs to you, guys. Thank you so much for the love, and I love you right back.

It's time for an interview, you guys. I am so stoked to interview Ciara Foy today, because Ciara specializes in what I've been talking about, helping women avoid or recover from burnout. You're going to love the conversation that she and I had. We are so aligned in so many ways, because our ideal clients are basically the same. She just helps them with a different facet.

Her women are driven, and high achieving, she helps them understand their health, and prioritize their self-care. She's such a model of this herself. She works out of a private practice office in downtown Toronto, and she has two girls. She provides consultations all over the world. She is such a breath of fresh air. She's a nutritionist, a transformation coach. She's a former attorney. She's owned multiple businesses, and she has a new book coming out called Empowered by Food.

Let's dive into this conversation because it's critical for your income, your health, and smashing the patriarchy. Welcome to the show, Ciara Foy.

Ciara Foy:  Hi, Susan, thanks so much for having me. I'm so excited here.

Susan Hyatt:        I'm so excited to have you. Now, Ciara, I just did an episode on people who hustle to the point of burnout, and I'm so delighted to have you here because you are an expert on how to help women avoid that in the first place. We're very aligned in our self-care messaging, but you're also a nutritionist, and you have a little more science to back you up. I love it when I have people on who are smarter than me, that can use science to back up the stuff I say.

Ciara Foy:  Yes, that's awesome. I'm a bit of a research junkie, for sure.

Susan Hyatt:        Awesome. All right, I work with a ton of female entrepreneurs who are scrappy, and they're making empires out of nothing, and they're pulling themselves up by their boot straps. One of the things that can happen alongside that, and I tell coaches this all the time, like, there's nothing sadder to me than a burnout life coach, because that's not why any of us got into this business. The entrepreneurship side of life coaching is a whole different ball of wax than just the art of coaching. I think a lot of women get into business because they have a heart for helping people. Then, it turns into something that is damaging to themselves.

Susan Hyatt:        What do you notice in your work when you have someone? Let's say I were to come to you and say, "Man, this book launch has just kicked my booty and I don't know what's going on with me. I'm not myself." What are some of the biggest warning signs you see among female entrepreneurs?

Ciara Foy:  I think exhaustion is probably one of the biggest ones, and I think what happens when you are a type A personality is that you're exhausted, but you want to make an impact. You don't want anything to slow you down, so you ignore it. That's really where things start to go downhill, because the most important thing that we can do for ourselves is tap into our body, and listen to it. Our body has no way of speaking to us except through symptoms. One of those symptoms is, for you, we both share a love of fitness, but if you get to that point where your love of fitness is being impeded by the fact that you're exhausted, but you're still making it happen, and you're not just adjusting for that, that's a problem.

Ciara Foy:  Because that means that your body is telling you, "I need something a little bit different right now." It doesn't mean you have to drop everything, but it means that you have to take it down a notch for a period of time, and get some more sleep, and make sure that you're recuperating properly. When we start to ignore the little things, like, "I'm a little bit tired. I did my workout, and now, I feel like I want to have a nap." Then, thing start to snowball and that's when we are on that path past to burnout.

Susan Hyatt:        Other than exhaustion, what do you commonly hear your clients complaining about?

Ciara Foy:  A lack of motivation, like not feeling lit up, not really caring about anything. There's definitely an HPA axis imbalance, which is often termed adrenal fatigue, except for that's not really a real thing.

Susan Hyatt:        Oh, say more about that, because I bet half this audience, probably more, more than half this audience will say they suffer from adrenal fatigue, or they have. That's one of the most common things I hear, so say more about it not really being a thing, and what is it really?

Ciara Foy:  Yeah, so adrenal fatigue is this catch all term, but as holistic practitioners, we kind of do ourselves a disfavor if we talk about adrenal fatigue, and we don't really get into the meat and potatoes of what that really is. The reason is because if you went to your medical doctor and you said, "I have adrenal fatigue." They'll say, "Well, that's ridiculous. Your adrenals don't get tired." What it actually is, if your adrenals were at that point, where they could no longer function properly, that's Addison's disease, right? But what usually happens in this whole burnout stage in adrenal fatigue is really that your HPA axis is out of balance. That stands for your hypothalamus pituitary adrenal axis.

Ciara Foy:  The way that we test that is by looking, I use a test called the DUTCH test, which is Dried Urine for Comprehensive Hormones, and we look at a 24-hour dried urine panel, and we look at those cortisol levels. When that goes out of balance what can happen is, you might have ... I see all sorts of different things. You have the people who were in that really wired stage, where they just can't even turn themselves off, and they think they're night owls, and they're going for it all the time, but their cortisol levels are always crazy high. That eventually is going to potter out and that's when you start having less availability to really tap into that fight or flight, and your cortisol levels are not going to remain that high.

Ciara Foy:  When that happens, you might have low to normal levels in the morning. Then, what I usually see is by noon, they just flat line. Your cortisol level should be highest in the morning, and they go up and down throughout the day, and they should dissipate towards the end of the day, because there's an inverse relationship between melatonin and cortisol. If your cortisol levels are high at night, you're not going to make melatonin, which is important, that's your sleep hormone. That means that you're going to be tired and wired and not able to sleep. Then, that becomes its own vicious cycle. That's what's really going on, and there's all sorts of different stages of imbalance, but that's what it actually is, it's an HPA axis imbalance.

Susan Hyatt:        Well, it's so interesting because in my work with BARE I talk a lot about pleasure in the pleasure principle, and one of the benefits of prioritizing pleasure is, yes, it's nice to do nice things for yourself, but there's a real practical application that the body is wired for pleasure. When you give it consistent pleasure, cortisol levels go down, and all systems can operate in the way that they're designed to operate. It's really interesting to hear you talk about cortisol. I got to tell you, a workout that I was choosing to do, gosh, how many years ago was it now, I was doing CrossFit like four, five years ago, for about 14 months, and I felt super powerful while I was doing it.

Susan Hyatt:        All you CrossFitters don't be sending me hate mail. If you love your workout, love your workout. It was not the right workout for me, because what it did was increase my cortisol levels, spike them consistently. My trainer, when I went back to my trainer, after 14 months of CrossFit, he was like, "We have so much repair work to do." Because my body was so out of balance from a workout that was spiking it. I know that there's things, nutritionally, women can do to help that as well, I don't want to jump ahead. Cortisol, I hear it over and over and over again when I'm talking with different people in the health field, that for women in particular, that's something you really have to pay attention to.

Ciara Foy:  Yeah, absolutely. You're right. Your workout is going to depend on what's going on with your hormones. If you are tired, if you have something burning the candle at both end, you don't want to be doing a super intense CrossFit workout, or a HIIT workout. That's not to say that I love my HIIT workouts, but there was a period of time, a little over three years ago, that I found myself with quite a bit of imbalance to my HPA axis, and I had to totally switch all of that. It was like hiking, and long walks, and being outside. Those are the things that take you from your sympathetic nervous system, which is what a fight or flight, and it's your parasympathetic nervous system, which is your rest and digest, which is the same as what you're talking about pleasure.

Ciara Foy:  When we notice joy and we do things that bring us pleasure, same thing, it helps our whole nervous system to relax. It's super important, and that's why some people throw themselves under the bus. They're super stressed, they're putting on belly fat, because they have all this excess cortisol and then, they're killing themselves at the gym, and that actually just perpetuates the problem.

Susan Hyatt:        That's exactly what was going on with me. It's really interesting, and in my work, I talk about body love. Honest to God, like every different phase of fitness, I've been in. I've loved my body, but it's interesting to look at photos of myself from CrossFit time and see like I'm very ... like my chest is very bowed out. My trainer is like, what you were just saying, he used to say parasympathetic and sympathetic to me, and it would just be like, "La, la, la, I don't even know what you're saying." He would say the same thing to me. "These are the kind of workout you need to be doing, not that." It's been really interesting to take care of my body in a different way, like you're saying, depending on what's true for it, where is it right now.

Susan Hyatt:        Interestingly, not to get off on a whole workout tangent, but my son Ryan, who's 20, just got back from college. He has been doing nothing but eating pizza and drinking beer up there in Montreal, and so he is wanting to get ... All you listeners are going to die when you hear this, he's now saying he wants to become a Navy SEAL. He went and talked to a Navy recruiter yesterday and came home, and is claiming, he's going to get in shape for this Navy SEAL tryout. You have to do this pre-tryout, and if you pass the pre-tryout, then you can go to the actual boot ... I don't even know. He's going right now, while we're talking, Ciara, he is at my trainer who he worked with since he was 11 years old. He's a boxer and a martial arts guy.

Susan Hyatt:        I texted Eli I was like, "Just so you know, you're going to have to talk to him just how you talked to me when I came back from CrossFit, about what's the appropriate thing for his body right now. He just wants to throw himself into putting weighted vest on in the pool and crazy stuff." I think that the work that you're doing is so important in terms of helping a woman assess what's going on with their self nutritionally, hormonally, what's happening in her work life, and how can she set herself up to avoid burnout. Now, many of you may already be in burnout. You may be listening to Ciara going, "Oh my God, that's me, that's me, that's me."

Susan Hyatt:        Ciara, what are some of the things that people can do ahead of time to take exceptional care of themselves to avoid getting in the space, where they're having to repair instead of ... We want people to be proactive, obviously.

Ciara Foy:  Well, I always say to try to have three non-negotiable things that you do every single day that are going to set you up for success. Then, if the shit hits the fan, try never to let more than one of those go. That can be a very basic thing. For me, that's very simple, sleep, nutrition, and exercise. Exercise is the one that will fall off a little bit. I would be doing maybe less exercise than I usually do, but I won't let it completely fall of. Instead of looking at what I can't do, as in, I might not have an hour to work out, I'll look at what I can do and I'll do something with the 15 or 20 minutes that I do have. That's how I look at it, but I really think that sleep is, it's free, and it is ... People do not understand how important sleep is for your mental health, for your hormones.

Ciara Foy:  Your brain just cannot function. When we don't get enough sleep, we're starving all the time, and then, our nutrition totally goes off the rails as well. It's really important. If you have those few things, it's going to help to set you up for success even when you're really stressed because what people usually do is that they say, "I don't have time for any of this. I'm just going to get through it. I'm not going to worry about my nutrition, my exercise, I'm going to stay up late." That's like throwing themselves under the bus, and then, they crash and burn. That's the big problem. Those things are always super key.

Ciara Foy:  Then, the other thing that I talk to women about a lot, and this really ties into a lot of what you're talking about, with the whole, the mean girl in our head is that a shit ton of the stress that is there for most women is self-induced. It is this conversation-

Susan Hyatt:        Say it louder for the people in the back, all your drama, you're all self-inducing that stuff.

Ciara Foy:  Yes, it is so ... The stress that you have at work, and kids, and all that kind of stuff, but nothing compares to the stories that are going on in your head and how you're speaking to yourself, because that is all day, every day, and you don't get a break. That alone can break you.

Susan Hyatt:        Mm-hmm (affirmative). I often joke that. I just celebrated my 12th year anniversary as a life coach. It would have been about 12 and a half years ago that I learned that work, that I learned what you're talking about. What are the stories in your head? What are you telling yourself? Guess what? You're not your thoughts. You can change your thoughts. I felt like I had literally won the lottery, because I was like, "Holy shit, I have just solved my entire exhaustion problem." Because I was walking around all day believing all the mean girl stuff in my head. It is amazing to me how exactly what you're saying, that if I can get clients to pay attention and eavesdrop on themselves, like, what are you saying to yourself all day long and change that dialog alone, then, we can become time creators.

Susan Hyatt:        Then, all of a sudden, the excuse, "I don't have enough time," isn't as relevant. I don't know about you, Ciara, but I feel like when I'm getting my proper sleep, which I'm with you on that, I'm totally devoted to that, if I'm getting proper sleep, if I'm paying attention to mindset, and if I'm just on point, Ryan Hyatt could walk through the door and say, "I'm going to be a Navy SEAL and not go back to college." I'm just like, "Whatever, babe. You're technically an adult." Whereas if I'm not sleeping, if I'm telling myself terrible stories about that, I'm like a lunatic.

Ciara Foy:  Absolutely, absolutely. That's why it's so important, when it comes to women, my mission is to help more women step up in the world, and bridge the wage gap, and really take it on like we should be. We can't do that if we don't get these stories out of our head, because one of the things that I noticed, especially when I became a mom is that there was like a competition on how much you sacrifice yourself. As women, we're supposed to sacrifice ourselves to be a better mom, a better wife, a better friend, daughter, and that is actually what's keeping us stuck. It absolutely drives me crazy that people think that putting yourself first, and honoring and loving yourself is selfish.

Ciara Foy:  I'm like, "What are you talking about?" Because just exactly what you just said, "Hey, if I'm taking care of myself and something's going on with Ryan, I'm cool. I'm good." You're cool as a cucumber. It's when you're not taking care of yourself that you don't have anything to give, and you can't support the people in your life, so what good are you at that point?

Susan Hyatt:        Exactly, I am so with you on this. You know how I am about smashing these glass ceilings. I talk a lot about the invisible workload of women, and I didn't coin that phrase, somebody else did. I wish I could find that article, I'm going to find it and put it in the show notes. It basically talks about how women are doing more than ever in terms of work, and yet, we still have this invisible workload that's not accounted for. All the emotional heavy lifting for the family, what sippy cup to give the kids so don't they don't throw a tantrum, which neighbor's mom just died, who needs to be vaccinated and when, including the pets.

Susan Hyatt:        It's all that part-time job stuff that if we don't start, like you're saying, prioritizing ourselves, and saying no, and giving up this mantle of martyrdom, which I used to say, "Man, I had a PhD in being a mom martyr." When my kids were really little, it was keeping me stuck. I was hiding behind this idea of being like Martha Stewart combined with Betty Crocker. It was so, like, Ciara, honestly, I need to post some pictures with this episode so you can laugh. I was all about ... Listen, there's nothing wrong with that, it just was not my truth, but I was so heavily into that. I need to sacrifice my hopes and dreams because I'm a mom now.

Susan Hyatt:        Working moms, in particular, are busting their butts to prove something instead of it being a family effort. I can't tell you how freeing it is now. Last night, Scott was ... he handed me this form to fill out, and it was something to do with Ryan and his new career as a Navy SEAL. I'm like, "Why would I fill that out?" Years ago, I would have just sat down and filled it out for everybody. I'm like, "Why are you handing that to me?" Immediately, he was like, "Uh-uh, she's going to pop off." He was like, "I'll do it." I'm like, "Fucking right, you're going to do it." Being willing, like a small example like that, like, are you the one doing all the things, filling out all the forms, running the lunches back to the school.

Susan Hyatt:        Anyway, I'm going to be off on my tangent, but sleep, nutrition, exercise, and you have three non-negotiables, and if the shit hits the fan, just get two of them in. For you, you've prioritized sleep first, because that's in your opinion, and I agree with you. If you don't have sleep, you're not going to do any of the rest of it, right?

Ciara Foy:  Yeah, exactly. My nutrition is going to suffer, for sure.

Susan Hyatt:        Then, with nutrition, in my work, I talk a lot about ... I talk about food in terms of power foods and pleasure foods. There's not really a good or a bad, but understanding what foods power up your body for you, and what foods you're choosing just for pleasure. What do you find, though, around this conversation, like, if we're going to set female entrepreneurs up for vitality, and energy, and clear thinking, what do you find to be some of the best advice when it comes to nutrition?

Ciara Foy:  When it comes to nutrition, people always say ... I used to own a couple full-service weight loss clinics, and other nutritionist even would say to me, like, "How do you even deal with the weight loss?" Because it's so challenging, and everything's always changing, and all these diets. I've never played into any of that, and while that isn't obviously my main stick anymore, the most important thing for everybody, and it doesn't matter if you were trying to conserve your energy, reduce cravings, hang on to your cognitive abilities, prevent disease, it's about balancing your blood sugar. That's always going to be the key.

Ciara Foy:  If you want to balance your blood sugar, it means that you have to have a really good understanding of proteins, fats, and carbs, and how they play in together. I'm always trying to help people to understand that fat is not a demon, and neither are carbs. The only thing I guess that hasn't been demonized is protein, it's still always the winner. Really, you need a combination of these things and fat is so important why we had such an issue with the obesity levels went up, and diabetes, and depression, everything else, because when you take fat out, you're no longer satisfied.

Ciara Foy:  Your blood sugars are going to be more difficult to control, because fat will change how the food is absorbed in your system, and whether or not it's going to increase your blood sugar, and therefore, stimulate the insulin to be secreted. Every time the insulin's secreted, it's really, we have to think about a growth hormone. Cortisol is also like that, too. It encourages fat storage, and so, when your blood sugar goes up, and insulin comes in, it tells all of your cells to open up, it takes all that energy. It pushes it into the cells to store it for later, i.e., as fat. It's really important for us to control that, to reduce inflammation, to reduce disease, risks, and everything.

Ciara Foy:  When it comes to women who are stressed, one of cortisol's main jobs is also to balance blood sugar. If you are taking on that responsibility for yourself, and being cognizant about with the way that you're eating, then, that means that you were ... you're putting less stress on your HPA axis, and having to use less cortisol to do so, which is really important. That means getting loss-

Susan Hyatt:        Wait, wait.

Ciara Foy:  Sorry, yup.

Susan Hyatt:        Are you trying to tell me that binging on Reese's peanut butter cups is not a good idea for me later?

Ciara Foy:  Kind of, sorry about that.

Susan Hyatt:        Are you trying to say that my Cool Ranch Doritos might not be a good mid-afternoon snack?

Ciara Foy:  Yeah, that might be true. Although, I have to tell you, I did have quite a few many eggs on the weekend for Easter.

Susan Hyatt:        You know what's interesting? I'm always like, "Listen, have some pleasure eats. Don't deprive yourself." But it is interesting, I also do a lot of coaching around, like, "You're a grown woman. You can make a decision." For me, I'm turning 46 in a couple of weeks, and what I've noticed as I age is that if I have a glass of champagne, I may or may not have night sweats. Or, if I do have Cadbury eggs on Easter, I find that I'm super emotional the next morning, if I have a lot of sugar, a lot of chocolate. I'm making jokes, you guys, but we're not saying, live your life Dorito free. We're saying make choices based on how you want to feel, and what your body can tolerate. My kids can sit there and freebase Pop-Tarts, and mostly be okay, but if I ate that, I would the next day be a wreck.

Ciara Foy:  Yeah, absolutely, and that's the key thing that I tell my clients. It's like, think about how you want to feel. It's really important to do that, because when we're in the moment, if we're not feeling good, we try to push down our feelings and get that instant gratification from the food. When you don't feel good, you're going to be attracted to more things that keep you in that space of not feeling good. Instead, you want to give yourself a moment to think about, how do I want to feel? Then, make the choice that's going to get you there. It's not to say that we can't have these pleasure foods, and I don't restrict myself either.

Ciara Foy:  I always have dark chocolate in the house all the time, but it's really about, if you are really stressed, and you have these deadlines, and you know that you're already asking a lot from your body, don't throw yourself under the bus in that moment. When it comes to alcohol, or pleasure foods, as you call it, I always say, it's better to be having it in celebration not to drown your sorrows.

Susan Hyatt:        Such a good point. Oh my God, I keep interrupting you because you get me so excited, Ciara.

Ciara Foy:  Good.

Susan Hyatt:        Right? That actually is a great Litmus test. Is it in celebration or is it to drown sorrows? Now, I also was the queen of, "I'm going to treat myself." I was pretending I was celebrating, but it was really just an excuse, but that's a separate thing. If you're going out for ... Let yourself celebrate, but pay attention if you're using it to numb out.

Ciara Foy:  Absolutely, and that's the key. I don't even believe in cheat days, because I don't need an escape from the way that I eat, because I eat in the way that makes me feel great. I might have things that I don't necessarily have all the time, but I'm doing it consciously and not like, "Oh, I deserve this because I had a crappy day." It's really important that we're really mindful of how we use food, because at the end of the day, it's a drug.

Susan Hyatt:        You know what? I have gotten into so many online arguments about cheat days, because number one, I agree with you, I think that even the name cheat day, it's like, "Who are you cheating on?" Number one. The same thing, like, why are you setting up your eating patterns in a way, where it's like, deprive, deprive, deprive, and the light at the end of the tunnel is your Saturday where you get to plow through an extra-large pepperoni, and cheese pizza. To me, that's pathetic.

Ciara Foy:  It is.

Susan Hyatt:        I've had athletes argue with me. Everybody wants to quote Tim Ferriss' Four Hour Body, and all the bio-hacking nonsense, and I'm like, "Listen, if you're coming back to what your body wants and needs, it's not a day long binge ever, I don't give a shit. You're full of it. You're kidding yourself.

Ciara Foy:  Absolutely. The thing is, we need to understand that women and men are different, so even when you get into intermittent fasting and things like that, there are ... scientifically, it works better for men. We have to understand, as women, we are more emotional creatures, and we also are more susceptible to stress. When we do that whole deprive, deprivation always ends up being a binge later, always. Anytime that you are being too restrictive, you are going to end up in a binge. That's why it's really important that women understand that. When we're talking about helping them support their mental well-being and feel more comfortable in their own skin, and good about what they're doing to their body, we can't put them in that restriction mode, because it's always going to back fire, and with that, comes the shame.

Ciara Foy:  Because the binging equals the shame. It's not guilt. Brené Brown talks about this, about the difference between guilt and shame, and shame is when we make it really personal, "What is wrong with me? Why can't I keep eating well? I should just throw in the towel. I guess I'm going to start again Monday." All these other BS. It's really important that we don't go into that restriction stage. I have had maybe one client that I've been doing this for 14 years, that I've never even tried intermittent fasting with, because emotionally, it sets up most women for failure.

Susan Hyatt:        Thank you. Thank you.

Ciara Foy:  This is ridiculous.

Susan Hyatt:        I also think it's interesting to me to see how diet culture pops up with new packaging. All the bio-hacking language and all of the ... which is very masculine, but then, like you're saying, the intermittent fasting, I find that extreme measures like that are places where people who have disordered eating can go hide. It's like, "Oh, I'm not binging and purging, or I'm not restricting. I'm just doing this new bio-hacking thing that everybody's doing." It's like, actually, if you're not eating for 20 hours of the day, that is disordered eating. Any way you want to slice it, I am not sorry. Sorry not sorry. Fucking quote me, send me your hate mail. If you are not eating for 20 out of 24 hours, let me tell you, your hormones are going to get messed up, and eventually, you're going to come back. This little fairytale last six months a year, maybe?

Ciara Foy:  Yeah, exactly. If you're already, like in my book I've talked about that, because if you're already in a place of stress and you're a type A woman trying to get things done, a lot of them do go to that keto, and intermittent fasting because their hormones are out of whack. They are fighting this cortisol that's putting all this belly fat on them, and they're desperate for an answer. What happens more often with women, when they go really low carb, is that they can actually spike your blood sugar. There can be an opposite reaction, and also, you're putting more pressure on your HPA axis. Again, the whole thing just throws you under the bus, and it's going to just exasperate the issue.

Susan Hyatt:        Which is why some of the work that you're talking about, the foundational work is so important so that you can get to know your own body and know what's best for your own body. Instead of just blindly signing up for and following some of these crazy plans. In terms of helping a woman who was an entrepreneur get ahead of this, we have sleep, we have nutrition, we have exercise, what is something that your clients or my listeners might be surprised to hear?

Ciara Foy:  Yeah, other self-care things that I do, journaling and meditation as well, but I will tell you that, and there's a big part of my book that goes into that mindset part, because like I said, it plays into the whole stress piece. However, probably, the most surprising thing that you would find from the nutrition perspective is that I recommend my clients who are super stressed, and not sleeping, and really burning the candle at both ends, to eat their starchy carbohydrates at dinner.

Susan Hyatt:        Nice, and so what are your favorite starchy carbs? My personal assistant, her name is Emily, how dare she got engaged and threatened to move away in a month. I'm going to be looking for a new personal assistant, but she's a better cook than I am, and she's coming over to cook, which gets me very excited. If I tell her to make me and my future Navy SEAL some starchy carbs tonight, what starchy carbs are, you think, amazing?

Ciara Foy:  Yeah, starchy carbohydrates are awesome because they actually lower a cortisol level, and so, that's why they're so great to have at night. It lowers your cortisol levels, you'll sleep better, you'll produce melatonin in. My favorite are always going to be the starchy vegetables. The starchy vegetables are going to be the most anti-inflammatory, and they have the most nutrients, so they're the most reparative. Those are things like sweet potato, and squash, and beets, and carrots. Those are my favorite. They're at the top of the list. Then, also, especially for people who are having challenges with blood sugar, or diabetics, and things like that, the legume family is also really good because they have resistant starch in them.

Ciara Foy:  Which means that they have less impacts on the blood sugar, and they will keep your energy levels up for a longer period of time because of that resistant starch, the carbohydrates are processed very slowly. That's also in there. Fruits are not starchy, although they are carbohydrates. I usually eat those more in the beginning of the day, and grains are the ones that I'm more careful with. Some of my clients will be on gluten free grains. Some of them will be on no grains. It really depends on what's going on with their hormones, and if they have thyroid issues, because there can be a lot of cross reactivity between grains for some people. Also, depending on what's happening with their gut health. That's my hierarchy of starches.

Susan Hyatt:        Oh, I'm going to have her make a sweet potato. She's done this before, like sweet potato, potato and carrot roasted with onions or whatever. I'm going to be like, "I just had a podcast interview, and you've got to make this for us. Let's talk about your book, because it's coming, and we're going to put a link in the show notes. Tell us about the book. Tell us what you hope readers get out of it.

Ciara Foy:  Yeah, I'm so excited about this book. My mission is just to help lift off more women, and I want them to feel like they can do it all. We can only do that when we're taking really good care of ourselves. As I mentioned, it goes into many different aspects about our hormones, and lifestyle, our mindset. What they can expect from that is really easy to implement, and really takeaways that will make sense for them. I didn't write it for other nutritionists or practitioners to help their clients with their HPA axis. I didn't make it a nutrition manual. It's really a lot of stories about clients, about my own personal journey, because much of what I talk about, I've experienced myself.

Ciara Foy:  I know what it's like, and that's everything from eating disorder to having a really ... a burnout, and really dealing with the recovery of my HPA axis. As a single mom, and also, a business owner, and pushing myself, and hustling too much, and having 12 staff and two clinics, and working six days a week, I've done all of that. On top of seeing so many women from the legal field, where I started my corporate career, burn themselves out and then feel like they can't make it as a partner, and they give up, because they feel like there's no way that they can take care of themselves and have children, and be a wife, and do all these things.

Ciara Foy:  My book is very much about giving women permission and giving them tools that are actionable, that can really help to prevent the burnout, or to start building them up again. That's really my tagline and mission for all of this.

Susan Hyatt:        You know what? I need this book immediately, because I love it. This is a feminist issue. If any of you listening feel like you're too tired, like she was saying, you're too tired, you're too stressed, you're too taxed to build your business, that's the biggest fear most of the coaches that I work with have. Is that they either don't have what it takes. They don't have the energy. They don't have the capacity to create what they want. You are on a mission to help women dispel that myth, because you know what? We all, we all can expand our energy and our capacity by taking amazing care of ourselves.

Susan Hyatt:        We were talking before we started the recording, and that doesn't mean a bubble bath with champagne, even though that's what I'm doing on the cover of my book. That's fun, and I do do that, but that's not the foundation of self-care.

Ciara Foy:  No, it has to be about boundaries, and how you treat yourself and how you prioritize yourself each and every day. Whether that comes ... Whether that's being in a corporate job, and asking for what you deserve. I work with a lot of very high-level professionals. I have a managing director at one of the biggest banks that I worked for, and she has 100 people that work underneath her, and she runs all of North America. She tells me, it drives her absolutely bonkers, but when it's review time, the women come in and they don't speak up for themselves. The men come in, and they're like, "Hey, this is what I did. This is what this person is getting, and this is what my bonus should be."

Ciara Foy:  They ask for it, but women go in there and they're just like, "Oh, thanks so much. I did a good job. That's great." When she's like, "What do you think that you should get?" They're like, "Oh, whatever you think." It's crazy talk.

Susan Hyatt:        It is crazy talk.

Ciara Foy:  That's also part of self-care, is like being able to speak up and ask for what you want. Also, we're grown woman, say no thank you to things that are not aligned for you and never say yes to somebody else if it's a no for you.

Susan Hyatt:        Exactly, exactly. Amen. No. I'm with you. My daughter's 18, from a young age, I started, even with her little lemonade stands, and different things she was doing, I'm like, "You have to ask, because I can't tell you how many women I've worked with, whether it's sub-contractors or employees, that it's like, 'Ask me, ask me for the raise. Ask me for whatever it might be, because if you don't ask, you don't get.'" I think that women are conditioned not to, which is why I talk so much about making a scene. How can people best hangout with you, Ciara? If they want to go stalk you online, which I know everyone is going to want to do. We'll put it in the show notes, but where do you like to interact with people?

Ciara Foy:  I tend to interact a lot on Instagram these days, also, on Facebook. Those are my two main platforms, for sure. My website is ciarafoy.com. There's definitely lots of information on there, and many of my live streams also get posted on there. They have their little lives, and live indefinitely. That's always a good place for more information, and I do talk about a lot of these topics. Probably, one of the most popular videos I've ever done was talking about skinny fat, why women need to not be afraid to lift some muscle, or lift some weight and build some muscle. Yeah, and just dispelling a lot of these diet culture things, but really a lot about self-care. That is where you can find me, and definitely, reach out. I'm super chatty.

Susan Hyatt:        I love that about you. Now, I have one final question I love to ask my guests, which is the podcast is called Rich Coach Club, which is double meaning. I'm all about making money, but it's also about having a rich life. What's something that either cost no money, or very little money that makes you feel rich?

Ciara Foy:  Oh, man.

Susan Hyatt:        I'll tell you mine, and it might help. It's having Nespresso pods, an overabundance of Nespresso pods, and like a whole pantry full of toilet paper. I feel so rich, I'm like, "Look at all of this glorious supply." Other people have more meaningful answers than I do, what came up for you?

Ciara Foy:  I think probably the number one thing that comes up to me is that I have control of my time and my life, and that makes me feel rich, because I feel like that's the biggest benefit and the driving factor. I'm totally unemployable, but just the fact that I don't have anybody dictate things to me, and I get to choose, and I realize that everything that ... If I want to take the afternoon off to pick my daughter up from school early, I get to do that. The only reason I get to do that is because I have a successful business, and that's really what makes me feel rich.

Susan Hyatt:        I know. That freedom, I don't want anybody telling me what to do ever again. I often say, I'm unemployable as well, I'm like, "What would I do?" Of course, if I had to, I would go be a great team member, but I think about, oh my God, it's been so many years, that if somebody tried to tell me what time I had to show up, I'd be like, "No. I'm going to the gym."

Ciara Foy:  Exactly.

Susan Hyatt:        Awesome. All right. Well, you are a delight. Thank you so much for being part of this today.

Ciara Foy:  Thank you so much. My book will be launched June 6.

Susan Hyatt:        Yes.

Ciara Foy:  You have the presale link coming out soon.

Susan Hyatt:        We're going to put the presale link in the show notes, everybody, so you can gobble this book up, because it's amazing.

Wasn't that awesome? We've been talking about burnout, and I have a little extra something, something for you. You guys know I'm extremely vocal and outspoken about many things, politics, feminism, body positivity, business, and of course, the Instapot. All right, you may be like, "What the hell is an Instapot?" I'm about to tell you, it's a high-pressure cooking gadget that has transformed my life, no joke. It's no exaggeration, just ask my family. They see me in the kitchen sometimes, and they're like, "What alien invader has entered mom's body? What are you doing? Is that a carrot? Are you cooking?"

Yes, mom is cooking, and no, it's not a reality show prank. Thanks to Instapot, I make a lot of homemade meals now on the regular. A miracle of biblical proportions. Seriously, Instapot ought to hire me as their brand ambassador, because I've probably recommended their product a thousand times in the past year. Dear, Instapot, you're welcome for all the advertising I've given you. Feel free to mail me a check anytime.

The other day, a client told me the funniest thing. She was like, "Listen, Susan, I'm tired of Instapot energy." She really was tired. She's like, "This year, I'm all about Crockpot energy." We both cracked up over this, and it got me thinking about these two devices, the Instapot and the Crockpot, and how they relate to running a business.

Instapot energy, that's like high temperature, high pressure, high intensity, fast action, cook things in a very short span of time. In terms of your business, this feels like a busy launch period, where you're doing Facebook Live videos, and blasting out daily emails, and fielding tons of questions from potential clients. Short time frame, big progress, high voltage, go, go, go. Or, it could feel like a content creation day, where you clear your schedule completely, and focus on things like writing your newsletter, or podcast scripts all day long, high intensity, focus, sprint.

It might feel like a big power move, like emailing the CEO of a company, to introduce yourself, and pitch your services. It only takes a few minutes to send off that email, but the rewards could be huge. Or, the Instapot attitude. This is scary, this is brave. This might even be a little crazy, but fuck it, let's do it. It's go time.

In contrast, Crockpot energy, low temperature, lower pressures, slow simmer, cook things over the course of several hours, or even all day long. This feels like in your business. Patiently strengthening relationships with your fans, subscribers, customers, and clients in an old school way. Handwritten thank you cards. Gifts in the mail. A voice mail or email with no sale pitch, just to check in and say, "Hi."

Building your reputation slowly and steadily over time, no frenzy, no rush, do excellent work and impress your clients. Consistently, month after month, and trust that people will talk about you over time, word of mouth buzz well built. Working on a project that requires a great deal of research, reflection, thoughtfulness, and plenty of time. Like writing a 70,000-word book manuscript. The Crockpot attitude, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Slow and steady, quality over quantity. I don't have to accomplish everything today. What's the rush? Which is better? Instapot energy or Crockpot energy? I believe we need both types of energies at different times to reach different kinds of goals.

Of course, as with most things in life, it's all about striking a balance. Many entrepreneurs swing too far to one extreme or there other. I've seen people operate in Instapot mode 24/7, 365 days a year, and then, they collapse due to adrenal fatigue and emotional burnout. Conversely, I've seen Crockpot people who plod along at a snail space, and struggle to reach their revenue goals even after being in business for five years.

When it comes to your business, what are your biggest goals right now? Do you need to tap into some fast acting Instapot energy, or slow things down to a simmer and embrace Crockpot vibes? I want to hear it. Share this episode, and tell me which type of energy you need in your life right now, Instapot or Crockpot?

You might win a prize, I'm serious. What's the prize? Obviously, an Instapot or a Crockpot. Yeah, I want to be your pot dealer. This concludes my kitchen appliance TED Talk, thank you for listening. No, seriously, I've been in major Instapot mode lately because it's book launch season for me. Hair, make up, media appearances, non-stop flights, book parties, and signings, it's all systems go. Listen, hey, order my new book and come say hi at a book launch event, and bring a friend with you. I will see you on the road.

Thanks for listening to today's episode. I hope you're feeling a little more empowered about how to avoid burnout or start repairing burnout mode.

Definitely go back to earlier in this episode, and do, and practice the exercises that I suggested. To refresh your memory, I gave you a bunch of different ways to practice saying no. Then, also, I want you to think about the wisdom that Ciara shared and see what you can do in your life right now, to repair your sleep, your nutrition, and whether or not you need some Instapot, or Crockpot energy. Do these things, these quick exercises, and also make these changes, and you're going to start to see your life get better and your business get more profitable. All right, thank you so much for listening to Susan Hyatt's Rich Coach Club.

If you enjoyed today's show, please head over to susanhyatt.co/rich, where you'll find a free worksheet with audio called, 3 Things You Can Do Right Now to Get More Clients. You can download the worksheet and the audio. Print it out. There's a fun checklist for you to check off. Just three things to do, check, check, checkity check.

This worksheet makes finding clients feel so much simpler and not so scary. Head to susanhyatt.co/rich to get that worksheet. Over there, you're also going to find a free Facebook Group you can join especially for coaches. Bring your coaching practice and your income to the next level at susanhyatt.co, that's S-H-Y-A-T-T dot com. See you next week.


A Never-Before-Seen, 6-Month Mastermind with Susan Hyatt 

Go BEYOND what you thought was possible in your life & business. Reach BEYOND what you believe your goals “should be” by thinking bigger & bolder. Stretch BEYOND what you’re here to do, let pleasure lead the way, and live your life in complete fucking delight!

Our mission is to help you feel confident, powerful, and mentally and physically strong so you can help others do the same.

If you want to shatter glass ceilings and make history, the BARE Coach Certification was custom-made for you.

Share This Episode