*the podcast will be changing to every other week during the COVID-19 outbreak due to my interviewees busy schedules*

Justine Dowd, PhD is passionate about empowering others to heal themselves wholistically. A dedicated researcher, she has always been fascinated by the psychology of behaviour change – which led her to complete a PhD in Health Psychology.

Justine found an unexpected muse when she discovered that she had celiac disease immediately before she began her doctoral studies. The diagnosis would not only influence her lifestyle but shape her future. Justine focused her work on the dietary behaviours for people living with celiac disease, which earned her a number of research awards early on in her career.

Justine made the connection between life experience and professional passion again after both her and her husband struggled with “undiagnosed infertility” for over two years. During this time, Justine was inspired by the teachings of Kristen Neff and Bréne Brown where she learned about self-compassion and found the courage to be vulnerable. After cultivating greater empathy for herself, Justine was motivated to help others do the same through her popular Healthy Gut Seminars and Wholistic Fertility Retreats where she shares personal experiences, scientific knowledge, and loving support to help others find natural solutions for their gut health and fertility challenges. When she’s not spending time with her family, Justine enjoys wine and soulful conversations with an amazing group of women she’s blessed to call best friends. Justine lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with her husband, two sons, and furbaby, Callie.

Justine Dowd and I chat about

  • Her experience with celiac disease and fertility
  • How her experience shaped her approach to a wholistic approach to care – focusing not just on disease treatment but the role mindset plays
  • How to connect the mind & body through mindfulness
  • How ‘making friends’ with your digestive health problem can change the outlook of your disease and help aide in getting better
  • Self-compassion to help with management of digestive struggles
    • Her published research in this area looks at how self-compassion directly (and indirectly) predicts better quality of life and adherence to the gluten free diet among adults with celiac disease
  • Gut-brain connection the science of how the vagus nerve influences digestion, and how self-compassion & mindfulness can help
  • How exercise influences our digestive disorders – Justine’s research in this area (published, in press/under review) – MOVE-C , 12 week HIIT exercise training program – improved resting heart rate, changes in microbiota, quality of life, gut symptoms, and self-compassion
  • Practical nutrition tips to manage digestive disorders & how self compassion plays a role (especially during COVID)
  • Sleep & digestive disorders

Justine’s Books:

You’ve Got This Mama, Too & You’ve Got This, Healthy Mama – for people interested in our journey to conceive (celiac disease & infertility; first book) and using self-compassion to cope with health struggles (second book).

You can buy these books on Amazon or by emailing Justine at guthealthyyc@gmail.com

To Join Justine’s FREE Coping during COVID 4 week workshop starting May 11th 2020 – email Justine at guthealthyyc@gmail.com

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