Strategy 1: Optimal Food Choices

You can’t fill a car with diesel, when it was designed for gasoline and expect it to run at peak performance.

Our cells, joints, skin, muscles, tissues, etc are all built from the food we choose to put in our mouths everyday.

It is said that every single cell in our body is completely new every 7 years. That means that you are a completely newly built person!

You literally are what you eat.

With this comes a whole bunch of things to keep in mind.

  • Food quality
  • Food variety
  • Your unique metabolism and digestive system
  • Your health and wellness goals, objectives, desires
  • Your energy levels and mental clarity

These 5 bullet points all have huge implications for food choices. 

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Food is more than fuel, it’s the building blocks for:

Healthy organs
Good looking skin
Clarity of thought
Good blood pressure
Ideal body weight
Balanced hormone health
Good response to stress
And much more

When you get it right… life is just so much better!

So let me give you some really good information that you can start using right at your next meal:

If you really want to optimise your energy, brain, and physique (and I’m guessing you do or you wouldn’t have even visited my site), then this is the ideal first step. 

Your body needs a specific ratio of fats, proteins, and carbs (macronutrients) in order for it to run at peak performance.

When you run the body at peak performance you have:

  • Ideal weight,
  • Robust health,
  • An ability to focus efficiently, 
  • And you generally feel really good. 

Since fats, proteins, and carbs all have different effects on the body, and come from different sources, getting to know what works well for you is an absolute must.

Here’s a few good things to know… that will help you right away!

If you eat too much fat and protein during a meal, you’ll notice that: 

  • You may start to feel lethargic,
  • Mentally sluggish, 
  • Feel full but hungry, 
  • Sleepy,
  • Depressed and in a dull mood, 
  • And you may crave sweets, coffee, or tea.

If you eat too many carbs, like an excess of fruit, pastries, cake, rice, pasta, etc, you may feel:

  • Anxious, 
  • Not satisfied and hungry quickly,
  • You may crave fat and protein, 
  • Have a jumpy mind, 
  • Tired but wired, 
  • Or have nervous energy. 

When you get the balance right of ratios of carbs, proteins, and fats, you feel:

  • A great sense of wellbeing
  • Energised
  • Driven to do what you want to do
  • Good blood pressure
  • Can last 3-4 hours without needing to have another meal

I go into this in great detail with my clients who could benefit from this type of coaching. 

Healthy eating can really become effortless when you eat the right proportions of fats, proteins, carbs, and pick the right foods for your unique metabolism. 

Strategy 2: Stress Management

Probably the most mind-blowing thing I had to first understand… when it came to optimising my own health and wellness… was the concept of stress. 

When I first started wanting to optimise my body I had the pretty typical attitude of nearly everyone who has intentions of wanting to look better and feel better… 

I just wanted to get healthy through exercise and strength and conditioning. I wanted to get stronger, to improve how I looked, and how I felt.

The problem was… and this applies to most people who walk into a gym with the good intentions of wanting to improve how they look and feel…. I was not managing my stress effectively.

The truth is that if you’re body is under too much stress:

  • You won’t have a positive reaction to exercise,
  • You won’t have the motivation to follow a program till its end,
  • You may create a bunch of muscle imbalances,
  • You won’t have the energy to want to exercise when you should,
  • You won’t have the mindset to effectively want to continue pursuing your dream/goal/objective.

This just means that any pursuit of heightened health and wellness is going to be ineffective.

The most important thing you can do is identify the stressors in your mind and body; whether they be emotional, physical, mental, or even spiritual.

The key thing to know is that stress summates in the body.

This means that any types of stressors you may have in your life just add up inside of you and accumulate. Like water filling up a faucet. If you don’t have enough resources on board to effectively deal with this (to let the water drain out of the faucet) you can start experiencing the effects of poor stress management:

  • Feeling excessively tired,
  • Poor posture, 
  • Being overweight/underweight, 
  • Poor skin quality
  • Low sex drive, 
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • And a whole host of other symptoms

Stress is known as the cause of all disease and dysfunction.

The person who can handle their stress levels the best is going to enjoy long lasting vibrant health the most. 

A real useful bit of information is to understand how your Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) has two branches to it.

There are two sides to the ANS. The sympathetic branch and the parasympathetic. They both work together and functionally interplay. 

stress management pierre higginson

Sympathetic: Activating catabolic hormones. Too much stress = too much cortisol. Which leads to fatigue, breakdown, depressed immune system, decreased growth and repair.

Parasympathetic: Anabolic hormones: growth, repair, digestion. 

If you’re not managing your stress effectively, you’re currently activating the sympathetic branch too often and not getting enough parasympathetic activation.

Too much Sympathetic activation results in living life with excess stress hormones running through your system.

Getting to the root of this, enables you to live with balance. Which sets the stage to optimal living, health, and high energy

Strategy 3: Movement As Medicine

When it comes to movement, I’m largely referring to how you move your body, and your experience of living in that body.

The body is the vehicle we experience life from. And it needs to be tended to for it run well.

Since our culture’s lifestyle largely revolves around sitting and walking, we are by no means expressing the kind of movement functionality that our ancestors evolved doing.

Our ancestors spent hours every day performing movement tasks such as bending, lunging, squatting, twisting, pulling, pushing, and walking/jogging/running. This variety of movement patterns allows the human body to function optimally.

When you move in these ways, you nourish the body in the way it was designed to be nourished.

This means that the human body would get adequate stimulus for optimal:

  • Posture
  • Cardiovascular Health
  • Strength
  • Body shape
  • Functionality

Our modern way of living has largely made us become disembodied. We reject what it means to have a healthy and functionally fit body. With this comes the unfortunate repercussions of disease and dysfunction.

  • Obesity and being overweight
  • Poor posture
  • Chronic tightness and inflexibility
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Chronic pain and aches
  • Chronic use of medical drugs
  • Low energy and caffeine addiction
  • Back, shoulder, and leg pain

pierre higginson holistic health

So what can we do?

We can invest in ourselves and make a movement practice a daily requirement!

Depending on your specific and unique needs: you can move your body for a specific amount of time every day and in specific ways in order to promote optimal health.

Ask yourself: 

What do I need to do as a human being in this modern environment, so that my body can work effectively and not progressively downgrade and become a nuisance to me? 

Take into account:

  • Your posture
  • Your working environment
  • Your goals/objective/dream 
  • Are you overweight or underweight?
  • Do you take part in specific sports or activities?
  • Are you in pain anywhere in your body?
  • Are you low on energy?
  • How does your dream body look?

As a general rule of thumb, each of us needs about 45 mins of functional movement a day minimum. 

pierre higginson blog holistic health

This means walking around, bending down to pick stuff up, lifting things, twisting the body, etc… The kind of stuff you’d do if you were gardening, getting into your car, or playing with your kids. 

This is an absolute baseline minimum.

If you work at a desk all day, you’d want to consider a specific program that enhances your ability to be in that environment without creating poor posture for yourself.

With my clients, I go through a thorough physical assessment that allows me to create a bespoke program that enhances

  • Posture
  • Flexibility
  • Mobility
  • Conditioning

With this, you can be the driver of a vehicle that is functionally fit and allows you to do anything you want to set your mind to. 

Strategy 4: Dream Direction

Health is a funny thing. When you have it in abundance, everything is great. But when you don’t, it’s the most important thing that you have in your mind to achieve again.

The thing that many people forget all too often is that health is highly connected to our happiness and sense of fulfilment. 

If we lead a life that doesn’t fit with our core values and doesn’t fulfil us, every facet of our life can become a burden. 

Why exactly is this?

The less your current lifestyle fits with your core values, the more frequently your fight or flight system is active. If you take part in too many actions that activate your fight, flight, freeze reaction, this branch of the Autonomic Nervous System will be far too activated than is healthy for you. 

You can’t effectively exercise, eat, and live healthy if you are under chronic stress.

When you’re under chronic stress, this is where disease, dysfunction, poor sleep, and a whole myriad of problems can begin to occur.

dream direction pierre higginson

This is where the idea of Dream Direction comes in.

It’s the most impactful step you can take for increasing vitality, decreasing stress, and getting the body of your dreams.


Because change takes A LOT of energy.

You need to, deep down, really WANT to upgrade your health and wellness to effectively get it done. Because no coach, book, or friend can get inside of your brain and operate the body of yours.

Establishing a clear objective/motive/dream does the following 5 things:

1. It establishes something you want to achieve that is MORE important to you than your current state of being.

Example: "Jamie’s dream is to lose 10kg and get stronger so that he has more energy during the day, feels confident in his skin, and can play with his kids longer"

Getting on the right page gives you a clear sense of drive of why you should make positive change.

dream direction pierre higginson

2. Having a dream creates an emotional bond between the tasks needed to achieve your dream and your desire to perform them. 

How many people do you see saying "I just need to eat better to get my dream body and level of wellness…" but they never actually do it… It’s because they don’t have an emotional bond with the tasks needed to achieve their dream, so they simply don’t do it. 

Everything we do is related to emotions… Having them work with you instead of against you is key.

dream direction pierre higginson

3. Having a dream establishes an end goal for a program. 

Let’s take Jamie as an example again. For Jamie to achieve his dream, he’ll need to make the diet, lifestyle, and movement changes necessary to get there.

This would include, learning how to eat right for his unique needs, moving his body in specific ways to stimulate fat loss, and an energising movement program to experience more energy and less fatigue. All of which would turn his dream of losing 10kg, having more energy, being more confident, and having the ability to play with his kids longer, a reality.

(Appropriate guidance is very useful for this step.)

4. Having a dream creates quicker and smoother results!

A labor of love is so much easier to do than a labor without love. Think about how tiring and annoying it is to do something that you don’t want to do… Compared to something you know will lead to greater happiness, fun, and excitement! 

There is so much science behind how getting a clear positive motive for a task drastically changes your ability to do it with more success.

5. Having a dream creates certainty in an uncertain world. 

Being clear on your dream gives you much greater clarity on what you need to do to avoid living life with uncertainty. 

  1. Establish a dream
  2. Formulate a plan to achieve it
  3. Get the right information needed to execute the plan effectively
  4. Do you need help and guidance?
  5. Do the work
  6. Achieve the dream

If you skip any of those 5 steps leading to number 6… you are living with uncertainty and your dream is more than likely to not be realised. 

You can’t effectively eat right, move right, or rest right, if you don’t have a specific motive or dream that will contribute to your happiness.

dream direction pierre higginson

The science of behavioural change is all about this. You need something that you want more than your current predicament in order to make the change. This all starts with the question:

What’s Your Dream?

Your dream is personal to you and gives you direction as to why you’re going to start eating differently or exercising or resting. The dream qualifies you for success. 

Your dream could be anything from wanting to get out of pain so that you can play football with your friends, or could be fitter and have better posture so that you can play your music longer and better, or it could simply be to have more energy so you can play with your kids and follow them around all day. 

Without a dream or motive, the process of change is going to be much harder, and can feel near on impossible. That is why Dream Direction is a key pillar of health!


Pierre is a CHEK Practitioner, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Nutrition & Lifestyle Coach based in London, UK. He helps people increase vitality, decrease stress, achieve optimal posture, and more.

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