THIS week, we spoke with Bernadette Bohan, a successful Malahide author and health guru that has been communicating the message of her 'change simply' philosophy across the globe in recent years.
It is the philosophy that she believes helped her to conquer her own brush with cancer and now she is sharing it with the world. Two books and a DVD later, Bernadette is now communicating her recipe for healthy living one-to-one to people in her three-day wellness programme which she runs on a beautiful estate in County Cork.
She talked about her philosophy with Fingal Independent reporter, John Manning and explained how making one healthy change in your life can set off a chain reaction that leads to a much greater transformation. You can find out more about the Malahide woman and her programme by visiting the website, www.changesimply.com.
Put simply, what is your ‘change simply’ programme all about?
It’s about giving your body the tools to stay healthy. Fresh vegetable juice, clean water, foods that fight disease and not spraying chemicals directly on to your body in the form of deodorants, perfumes etc. To be honest it really is just common sense.
How did you stumble upon the philosophy?
My books ‘The Choice’ and ‘ The Choice Programme’ go into this in more detail, but basically when I was going through the cancer treatments I really felt there had to be another way.
I was given a gift of a book and it really opened my eyes. After that I sourced every bit of information I could get my hands on about natural healing. When I found the research and science behind this way of healing it confirmed I was on the right path.
Is your own health the best advertisement for the programme?
Thankfully I enjoy exceptionally good health. The fact that I have had no cause to visit my doctor in nine years speaks for itself.
I lead a very active lifestyle, however I feel strongly that you should not take your health for granted. It’s down to you to give your body the tools to stay well.
Do you believe your programme should complement or replace existing medical treatments? This programme is designed to boost the immune system. The immune system is our greatest defence against disease it is the cornerstone of good health.
I believe that this important fact is all too often overlooked when it comes to healing. The body’s natural defences help us heal cuts, bruises, broken bones and can also help us overcome more serious conditions.
It would take a whole book to fully explain the extraordinary features of the immune system and of course there are multitudes of ways that people get sick. Immunodeficiency diseases are areas of intense scientific study but the bottom line is that the elaborate and dynamic network of this inbuilt healing system can restore well-being if we give it the correct ammunition.
This is no surprise to the countless people who have recovered from life-threatening illnesses. What treatments people decide is very much an individual choice but I encourage them to make informed decisions. Some people use it as a complementary therapy others want to move away from the existing medical model, it is a matter of choice.
How far across the globe has the ‘change simply’ message gone since the publication of your two books and DVD?
Well although both the books have been bestsellers it still amazes me when I get requests for advice from places like Tasmania.
If you check my website you will see that I have helped people in South Africa, India and just today I spent some time with a lovely couple from California.
Many of these people have exceeded my expectations in changing their lives for the better. Beyond a shadow of a doubt their best incentive is the physical improvements they are now enjoying.
What has been the feedback from people who stick to the programme?
The response has been phenomenal and again this can be viewed on the website. Ordinary people like you and me who gained the power to turn their lives around, simply by being receptive to change. Their commitment to live a better life has given them a life without pain, disease and health problems. Real health is not rocket science, it’s common sense. You don’t have to be an expert to improve your health.
You have recently embarked on a series of three-day wellness programmes. What happens during those three days?
I have set up a threeday wellness programme in response to the evergrowing need for further information.
Every year, many of us make the resolution to get healthy and stay healthy but lack the discipline and know-how. This programme is designed to cultivate a healthy lifestyle in a unique and permanent way. It focuses on losing weight, overcoming cancer, defeating heart disease and relieving depression using a nutritional approach.
It introduces a way of living that leads to weight loss and sustainable good health. The combination of a nutritional diet of organic vegetarian foods, health education classes, food demonstrations, yoga and meditation allows a deep experience of wellbeing. This programme with teach you what real health feels like. The setting for this wellness programme is the beautiful Grove Health Spa nestled amid 100 acres of rolling countryside in the small village of Shanballymore, Mallow, Co Cork. The informal and tranquil atmosphere provides not only the ideal location to totally unwind but also will create the ideal environment to focus on improving your health. Overall health and wellness is the essence of this comprehensive programme in addition to indulgent spa treatments where you can forget the stress of every day life and soothe away your troubles.
Can you really change the habits of a lifetime in three days and set someone on the path to a healthier life?
Breaking away from old habits gives you an understanding that you are in control. Change is very liberating and once the process has begun, you are no longer imprisoned within old conditioning and limiting ways.
I encourage my students to make one change it is better to make one change rather than do nothing at all. At least it’s a start.
One change paves the way for another especially when you begin to notice and enjoy its benefits. Change creates its own momentum, when you pile one success on top of another you soon realise that every step makes a difference.
When you first put pen to paper about your philosophy for a healthier life, did you ever think it would become your full-time occupation and spread the way it has?
No, I had no notion that so many people would come to adopt it. Don’t forget I originally set this programme up for my own well-being.
But I believe its common sense approach has been why it has been so successful and let’s not forget that the food tastes delicious.
What has been the most satisfying thing for you in this area since the first book was published?
The increase in the amount of people achieving good health. When you see someone recover it is like a tonic.
I have a young child of seven that I have been helping for some months. He was sent home with no hope of recovery. His tumour markers have returned to normal and he is back playing with his brother, his parents are over the moon.
How is that for job satisfaction? Any downside to the path you have taken in recent years?
No, it can be time consuming and I have a young daughter that I need to make time for but I find it very fulfiling.
Has living in a beautiful place like Malahide had any influence on your philosophy?
Yes, it is a beautiful place and I consider myself blessed but no matter where you live you can make health a priority. After all, your body is the one place you must live for the rest of your life, so take care of it.
If everyone reading this interview could make one change in how they live their life - what would you advise that single change to be?
Get into juicing fruits and veg, it is a sure-fire way of improving your health. The nutrients are absorbed quickly by the body and it tastes good too. All the details plus some delicious recipes are in my books and DVD.