'Everything is too complicated': Wellness coach reveals the best way to improve your health in 2020

confused woman eating food
If January is the time of year you start a complicated, stressful diet - this one is for you. Photo credit: Getty.

As a new year - and new decade - approaches, everyone you know is setting resolutions for 2020. There's a good chance many of these resolutions probably involve food - commonly eating less of it. 

January is typically the time where people take on intense and often complicated diets: giving up carbohydrates, fats, excess sugar, animal products...even some fruits and vegetables.

It's these strict and often unscientific diets Phillippa Cooper says are overly complicating our idea of food. 

The personal trainer, wellness and mindfulness coach is also the director of the Bay of Islands Health Retreat in Kerikeri, where she helps educate guests on nutrition and fitness. 

Cooper says the key to better health is keeping it simple. 

"Coming down to basics for people, everything is too complicated now," she told Newshub. 

"There are too many diets. We just need to become healthy from the inside out. Don't focus on weight loss, develop a joy for food." 

Cooper's ethos is not about pushing food away from people, but educating guests about how food affects the body while encouraging exercise at a level they can enjoy. 

She says there's also a number of overlooked factors going into overall wellbeing like mental health, lifestyle and experiences. 

Cooper says the key is to keep things simple.
Cooper says the key is to keep things simple. Photo credit: Supplied.

The former bodybuilder recommends anyone on a journey to better health go on a nutritional course to find out more about the value of a meal. 

She adds it doesn't matter what type of genetics a person comes from "we're all in charge of our own health". 

Cooper has always been interested in helping and motivating others as they navigate barriers in their lives. 

"There's always a way around it," she says.

She says was inspired by her father who was into health foods before they were trendy. It wasn't long before it turned into a passion for helping people with weight loss. 

"I realised pretty had a connection between what they were eating and how they were feeling when it comes to depression and anxiety for instance," she revealed. 

Cooper and her husband eventually bought their Kerikeri property, turning it into a health retreat seven years ago. It currently boasts enough accommodation for up to 12 people. 

Cooper and the team at the Bay of Islands Health Retreat.
Cooper and the team at the Bay of Islands Health Retreat. Photo credit: Supplied.

"The people that come through feel like family and we just care about them so much. You just want all the best for them. Everybody seems to come back which is a good reflection of what we're doing is right."