Why You've Got To Check Out Today's Episode:

  • Learn how to become your best healthcare advocate.
  • Discover Work-life harmony



Tweetable Takeaways from this Episode:

“Even though I do not have any healthcare degrees, I know how to organize information, and then provide it to somebody so that they can become the best healthcare advocate for themselves."


Kathi Burns  0:04  
Hi there, I'm board certified professional organizer Kathi Burns. I'm really glad you're here. This podcast is designed for busy entrepreneurs just like you who want to take better control of your business and move forward with less stress and more success. If this is your first time listening, then thanks for coming. The Organized Energized podcast is produced for your enjoyment and show notes are found at ThePodcast@OrganizedandEnergized.com. Come back often and feel free to add this podcast to your favorite RSS feed or iTunes. You can also follow me on Twitter at organizing energy and Facebook. All links are in the show notes. Now let's get into the show. Hi everyone, I'm back with Robyn Pineault. Robyn is the founder of autoimmune thriving and is an MS Thriver. Her mission is in life is to empower those living with autoimmune disease to thrive and not just survive. Thriving includes an online program on healing, lifestyle audits and a treatment fun for those in need of holistic healing assistance. I'm excited to hear about the fun. So thank you for being on the show Robyn, and I can't wait to jump into this conversation.

Robyn Pineault  1:15  
Awesome. Thanks so much for having me.

Kathi Burns  1:17  
Absolutely. So I understand that this is a side hustle, too. So tell me what you do. And tell me how you jumped into this. I know a lot of women out there are thinking about doing exactly what you're doing. So how does it work? And how do you come up with that magic formula?

Robyn Pineault  1:33  
So I work full time in marketing, I've been marketing director for several years now I've worked. Technically, I think it's like over 16 years of my career now is in marketing. And over the years, I get passion projects, and I'm like, let me do this. So in 2014, I was diagnosed with MS. Otherwise known as multiple sclerosis. That became my new health sidekick, as I like to call it. So I spent a lot of time and I still do constantly researching and learning how to take care of myself, I like to say differently, not better than before, because that's discrediting how I was before, but I like to take care of myself differently. And so I shared my entire journey from the day I was diagnosed in the hospital, I was sharing, I was talking about what I was researching, I was asking for opinions, I was asking for resources from different people. I'm so grateful that I did because it's how I found a lot of the information that has helped my body heal and live well with the disease. So as I was sharing, I started getting a ton of questions. Every single time somebody in my circle knew someone that was diagnosed, they were saying like, Can I introduce you?  I was constantly then taking all of my resources, packaging it up for other people. They said, okay, I'm really good at organizing, let me organize some information so I've put together little guides. And that's how it all started with simply being asked over and over again, if I could help other people who are diagnosed with MS or autoimmune diseases.

Kathi Burns  3:17  
Wow, that's a fantastic story. And I think that people can do the same exact thing. You don't have to have an illness to start a side hustle. But you do have to have curiosity. And I think that your curiosity runs deep because you really needed the solutions you needed the other way to look at yourself, and a new way to get on the journey of taking good care of yourself. But everything that I find, don't you think that no matter what you're really interested in, there's 100 people that are interested in the same thing that have more than they can provide to you.

Robyn Pineault  3:54  
Yeah, and for sure. I think when you're getting started in a side hustle, you're going to see what else is out there. You're like, Oh, I can't do it like this person. There is always someone that's going to need your message from you because it will land differently than from someone else. So even though I do not have any healthcare degrees, I know how to organize information, and then provide it to somebody so that they can become the best healthcare advocate for themselves. They can do the research themselves, find the best health care team that they need, and go from there.

Kathi Burns  4:29  
Absolutely. And there's no one way to do anything and I totally agree. Being a marketing expert that you are, I know that we all have our own voice and some people will be appealing to one person in the same exact situation, the same scenario, but you're going to you're going to be attracted to the words and the nuance and the end the voice of a certain person. And that's why I think too, that there's more than enough business for everybody, no matter what you want to get into. Whatever side hustle, don't worry about the competition, because there's so much out there people searching for you, right? They're searching for you and your voice. And that's obviously true with you and what you've done. So talk to me a little bit more about your organizational strategy. So how do you do this work life? I called it balance. What did you call it work life?

Robyn Pineault  5:21  
Work life harmony. So I actually hosted a podcast called The alpha female podcast from 2016 to around 2020. I had twins in 2020. So I put the podcast on hold. But I was interviewing highly ambitious women. But my one caveat is that they had to know how to take care of themselves. We talked a lot about work life balance in the beginning, and then I had a guest come on my show. She said, work life harmony, I was like, Oh, that makes so much sense. Because it's how you integrate work in life, there's no equal amounts, you can't actually balance it out. So you get to pick your work hours, you get to pick your life hours. And then as long as you stay true to what lights you up, then you'll have achieved this work life harmony. So that's how I kind of coined it. It's been so important in my life, even before children. I was very adamant about how I wanted to spend my time outside of work hours, and setting boundaries in terms of when I would look at email when I would answer the phone, when I was going to be in the gym training when I was going to be outside spending time with loved ones. So I've always kind of had that sense of organization around my life. And then it just became like, twice as important as I had twins, literally, figuratively.

Kathi Burns  6:48  
Four times, probably.

Robyn Pineault  6:52  
It just became that much more important in terms of how I structure my life, especially when I returned back into the the working world. I think I went back to work. In Canada, we have a year off, but I went back to work around 10 months. Wow. So yeah, it became really important in terms of how I structure my day and how I take care of myself because the stress of having twins on my body with MS was definitely something new that I had to learn. I had to kind of like relearn how to take care of myself. Setting boundaries in terms of what side hustle am I gonna keep? I actually the podcasts they no longer do. I had to say goodbye to that side hustle because other things are now more important than the season in my life.

Kathi Burns  7:37  
Absolutely. So how do you handle your schedule? Do you use a digital calendar? Do you use a paper calendar? Do you write down everything that you want to do? What how's that work? Oh, she has something.

Robyn Pineault  7:51  
Those that are working, are watching the video, like I do paper calendar, and I do digital. So what I'll do on Sunday, I usually do it Sunday nights as I open on my phone, my schedule, and I'll pull up my calendar, and then I'll actually physically write down everything because the act of writing it down again really helps me kind of solidify what's happening for the week.  I'm a big proponent of monthly and weekly goals, and then daily tasks. So I don't let myself do more than three things a day outside of the work environment. So for example, if it's like scheduled doctor's appointment for the twins scheduled play date, like I try to keep it to threes, they seem to work really well for me. So the combination of the digital planner and the paper planner really help and my paper planner is always open on my desk, which is my my side hustle zone as well as my I work full time remotely. So I can always kind of reference that throughout the day.

Kathi Burns  8:56  
Oh, okay. So you work full time remotely to that. That's awesome. That helps you as well, I guess that's how you could come back after 10 months instead of a year with twinsies. And yeah, that's pretty cool.

Robyn Pineault  9:09  
We hired a nanny, because that was really important that someone obviously be taking care of the babies full time. And it's very interesting in terms of the the shifts that I have to make throughout the day like I they just woke up from their nap. So I literally hear them crying upstairs. I usually run upstairs to help the nanny as they're getting up. So I shift in and out of mom and work mode quite a lot during the day.  I think that's the biggest lesson I'm learning right now is how to how to manage that how to allow my nervous system to manage that as well.

Kathi Burns  9:48  
Yeah, and a lot of you know that that's what a many people are facing as remote workers is how do you strike that non reaction when things outside your work zone happening. It is like I hear people walking up above me. I'm like, stop walking. How do we all live together within the same house? And many people are doing dual remote workers. Does your husband work from home as well? Or is he out and about?

Robyn Pineault  10:18  
He does. He's an entrepreneur. So sometimes he's in and out, sometimes he's home. We've started reviewing our schedules at the beginning of the week. We also kind of review the day first thing in the morning before we get the twins up, just to make sure everything is kind of covered. One of the things that I asked for, because I was having meetings always leading up until dinner, was asking him if he could prep dinner. And so like that was one of the things where I was trying to do everything. I was trying to rush upstairs, make dinner for everyone. I was like, I just need you to make dinner for the family. He's like I got it. So he's been making dinner for for the past nine months. I just needed to ask.

Kathi Burns  11:00  
Yeah, yeah. Because people are willing, if they know what you need, and they don't know what you need, until you know what you need. So I applaud you standing back and just saying, Okay, this is what it's gonna take, for me to feel well, to feel whole and to give my best back to my family. My job and my side hustle, and all that sense. You have a lot going on with that for sure. Your're a gal after my own heart as far as looking at your schedule and planning your week before the week begins. And also having a certain amount of tasks throughout the day. We're all different on how many tasks we can handle because you're working full time and doing anything, and you're a mom and a wife, you know your limits. I think that's so very important for us all know how many tasks is if can I do a day I can do 15 tasks a day is stuff gonna happen. But how many can I do? Maybe I could do five, maybe I'm at three, maybe I could do one big thing. This is a big thing I'm going to get accomplished on Monday. So I think you're right in. You're right on task, you're organized girl.

Robyn Pineault  12:08  
I'm also according to human design, I'm a generator. So if I'm working in my passion, I will generate endless energy to get that thing done, which is also technically detrimental to my health. So this is kind of a little bit of a segue into autoimmune thriving. I'm a big proponent of what I call the six pillars of health. One of them is stress management. And even if you figure out the other ones, so there's nutrition and supplementation and sleep and reducing your toxic load. I think stress management is something that you're always going to be working on it. There's so much information around the nervous system and the vagus nerve, and how it regulates our gut health, and how we react to stress. It's so important because if you're not getting your tasks done, or you've given yourself way too many tasks, or if you're generator and you're working, working, working, you've got that workaholic mode on, you're not taking care of yourself, and that stress management is just not a pillar of health. That's the area that will always suffer for me because I can get into workaholic mode, and I can just  continue, and then I'm like, oh, it's five o'clock, I'm gonna run upstairs. I didn't have time for like a quick five minute meditation before switching into mom mode like. So those are the things that I think are just so important. I will be the first to raise my hand and say like, I still don't have it figured out and I'm still working on it.

Kathi Burns  13:43  
Still working on it. We're always still working on it. So what else can you talk to me about as far as thriving with auto immune, what other tips would you like to give listeners here?

Robyn Pineault  13:53  
So one thing that I did is, as I was kind of researching all of these, because I have this like workaholic, generator energy, I will do all the things all at once. When someone was approaching me after a diagnosis, they're like, I have to change my nutrition, I need to find a naturopath to work with to find the right supplements for my based on my blood work. I need to get enough sleep, I need to reduce my stress, I need to reduce my toxic like it's a lot and it really overwhelms people. So something that I constantly find myself saying over and over again, is you have to start small, like you have to start with baby steps. Because the person that tries to do everything is usually the one that will get get overwhelmed. That was me, I had a list of all the things that I needed to do.  I would beat myself up if I didn't do it. So it's so key in terms of figuring out what's the like the low hanging fruit, what's the area of your life that you know you'll have the great, greatest chance of making changes in. And then that will make you feel really successful. You'd be like, Okay, I've got this, I'm now sleeping eight hours a night. This is great. Now let me tackle nutrition. Usually, I recommend nutrition first, because that's where people have the most impact in their lives. So that's usually where I recommend people start, because that's from my personal journey. That's where I had the most impact in terms of changes. But I've started to learn that not everyone has my generator energy. So start small, small, start with one area, and then tackle the next and then tackle the next and then tackle the next.

Kathi Burns  15:42  
That's really good advice. And I think if you do more than one modality at the time, anyhow, you don't know which one's really helping you or benefiting you, do one pause right? And then see, see is that really working? Especially with nutrition. I know nutrition has a lot to do with autoimmune and a lot to do with our health. Definitely.

Robyn Pineault  16:01  
Unfortunately, I don't think it's as easy as just figuring out one thing, I truly believe that we have to take care of ourselves holistically. So even if we have really great success, with nutrition, if we're not tackling our mental health and how we handle stress, then even if we're eating a really, really clean diet, our nervous system is going to be at war. So unfortunately, I do believe that like life changes and holistic changes all work together.

Kathi Burns  16:33  
Absolutely. So throughout this well throughout your life, what do you feel is the most valuable piece of advice anyone's ever given you could be about life, or it could be about business. What's the one aha moment that you've had that you're like, I'm gonna keep that one forever.

Robyn Pineault  16:50  
So, at the beginning of my MS journey, I was recommended to go to a healing center in Toronto, he no longer exists, but the owner, he had, he has an amazing journey. But the reason why he had created the center is his wife was diagnosed with cancer. He went around the world to find all of these different healing modalities so that he could help her heal. Unfortunately, she passed away before he was able to actually create this center. So he's made it his mission to really impact as many lives as possible. And he sat me down in my first session, he looked at me and he said, you know, you can heal yourself. And I was just like, oh, yeah, I can heal myself. And I was like, Oh, I can heal myself. And he spoke that belief into me.  I think that was the most valuable thing, because so much of taking care of ourselves is mindset based. And when we approach things from a positive perspective, and that doesn't discount grief, I truly believe that we need to grieve, especially when going through a health challenge, but it's been what do you do with that? Those feelings after, so there's no negative feelings, anger, sadness, those aren't negative feelings. It's what we do with those feelings. It's how we process them that can be negative. So the fact that he spoke that belief into me, and I was just like, Okay, I'm going to be the best healthcare advocate. I'm going to assemble this huge healthcare team around me, I'm going to go to this person for this this person for this, it was just like this reinvigoration of energy that I needed to be able to tackle my healing process.

Kathi Burns  18:39  
You can heal yourself. Reminds me so much. I keep thinking Louise Hay, as you're saying that heal your life. Love that. Yeah, that's huge. And you're like, Oh, sure. Then you're like, wait a minute. That's true. I love that. That's the aha moment. Right? Yeah. So talk to me about there's a fund for those in need of holistic healing. So talk to me about this fund. It sounds like a passion project for you.

Robyn Pineault  19:06  
Yeah, so I started autoimmune thriving, I would say 2019. And so in 2019, I held a few yoga retreats. So I had just gotten my yoga teacher certification. Another another side hustle. I thought this was a perfect way to bring a community of people together in my local area. I live in Ottawa so I taught really slow, just nourishing yoga class. We had a curated lunch, following the autoimmune paleo protocol. I had a guest speaker as well. So I held a couple of these retreats, and then I took 10% of the proceeds and I put it towards this fund. And this was actually very interesting for me because I was like, I'm gonna put together this fund and then offer it to people that don't have benefits. Because here in Canada, we technically have free health care. But if you are self employed, for example, and you don't have a benefit plan, then you have to pay out of pocket for acupuncture, naturopath, stuff like that. So I wanted to be able to offer that to somebody who didn't have those means. I put out a post and I said who wants this, you know, these funds like I would like to pay for. I started small, I was like, let me pay for somebody massage. Nobody raised their hand. And literally, like I couldn't get anybody to say I would like that money. So I ended up doing is, at this time I was getting my eyelashes done and my eyelash Tech was talking to me about how she is dealing with a new autoimmune diagnosis.  I started asking her a couple of questions of like, Have you been able to go to like, a massage therapist just to like de stress? And she was just like, No, I can't afford it. I was like, Can I pay for massage? She was like, really? I didn't even tell her it was from the fund. I just said, can I pay for your massage, she said yes. And then afterwards, I told her that it was paid for by the yoga that I hosted. And she was just like, Thank You God is so kind. So that's kind of like the hope it hasn't grown since then. Because COVID then happened and all yoga retreats have been bogged. But now that I've launched these lifestyle audits, every single time I sell a lifestyle audit, I'll be taking some proceeds putting it away in the fund. When I have enough for an acupuncture treatment or massage therapy, then I'll be putting the offer back out. So that's how it's kind of starting very, very small.

Kathi Burns  21:54  
Oh, that's fantastic. What a good give back. So definitely keep this in the mill on when that happens. Talk to me about a valuable free resource, what would you like to give the listeners and because we're gonna put links below so that you can so that you can connect.

Robyn Pineault  22:10  
So I put together an autoimmune thriving healing guide. And it's basically a roadmap. So it covers the six pillars of health. And it gives you kind of questions. So I'll ask you a question. So you can think about oh, like, this might be something I might want to do. Oh, I haven't really found a naturopath. I haven't looked at my blood work. Okay, this is something so it kind of gives a little bit of a roadmap. So if you go to autoimmune thriving.com Yes, I bought the.com. And it's right on the top page, so you can download that guide for free there.

Kathi Burns  22:46  
Oh, that's fantastic. Is there anything that I should have asked you about your work and about your mission and your passion that we haven't discussed yet?

Robyn Pineault  22:57  
No, I think it's just a little bit more around becoming your best healthcare advocate. And this is something that I learned in my journey. I truly believe in holistic health care, I believe in the allopathic system. I also believe in alternative health care, and not one person is going to manage that for you. Like you have to manage it for yourself. I don't think people really understand that until they start dealing with the healthcare issue. You have to know who you go and see for what I go and see my family doctor to get blood work done. I go and see my naturopath to get supplements based on my bloodwork. I go and see my acupuncturist for right now I'm dealing with some liver enzyme issues, and I'm going to see them to reduce my liver enzymes. I go to see a registered massage therapist, to reduce my stress and take care of my body. I go to see an osteopath. So like you have to know who you're going to go to how you build your healthcare team. And then you have to keep track of it. So I have a I have a massive binder of every single bloodwork that I've had since my diagnosis. Because I can you know when I go to see a new practitioner, and they ask a question, I can be like, Oh, here's the history over the past three years of this so that you can then help me with this issue. So it's just knowing that like, it is overwhelming, it can be exhausting, but it also can be very empowering. So when you take it from an empowering standpoint, that's when the magic happens.

Kathi Burns  24:34  
I totally agree with that and keep a notebook or running notebook going is a great suggestion. Because it's so complicated. And there is going to be no one is going to look at your your overall life of medical care and then any kind of care really besides yourself, you're the one that's there every single day. And having keeping track of it I think in a notebook is brilliant, especially if you have I have a lot of different people helping you from a lot of different modalities, then because people what I don't understand, I don't know about Canada, but in the US doctors do not talk to other doctors. It's really kind of crazy. Like, I went to the dentist and, and I went to a specialist and the dentists hadn't even told the specialist what I was there for. Only because I had a note what they were talking about, was I even able to get care because it was like crazy. It's like, didn't they tell you? No, they just referred me out, so who's gonna be in charge of your care besides yourself? Right?

Robyn Pineault  25:32  
What was the show, it was like a spin off of Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice. And it was this place where all of the doctors talk to each other. And I was like, I remember watching it and be like, Oh, this is amazing. Like, why can't this exist everywhere. And I believe that there are other private clinics that exist not only in the US, but also in Canada. Obviously, they're there, you have to pay for them, which Canadians are not used to. But like that, I remember watching it on TV and be like that doctor, talk to that doctor, and they figured it out together and like, why here, that's crazy. I know. So that would be really great in the future. So healthcare industry get on the Hollywood bandwagon.

Kathi Burns  26:14  
Seriously, or at least at least have some kind of network organ, they can read each other's reports but because of HIPAA, I think that's been a thing. You're not supposed to disclose anything, but within the community, they really need to get themselves organized and streamline if he asked me, I totally agree with that. And that's, that's really good to know. So take that away, you guys be your own advocate and keep your own journals and know who you're using for what modality that is really, really good. Really good. Okay, cool. I don't know if there's anything else that we need to cover? Do you feel like we've missed anything? I know that you're a huge resource for those and I love the fun that you're that you're putting together. That's brilliant, especially and I think would that reach out to anybody in the United States for the Canadian fund?

Robyn Pineault  27:08  
No, because what I can do is I can Pay Pal the amount or I can pay practitioner directly if they want to invoice me. So I think it can be much larger, and I'm educating myself on crypto right now. So technically, this should be something that could be much wider than just North America. But the one thing that I will say is in terms of the lifestyle audits that I'm offering, this would be for somebody that is a little overwhelmed with their journey. So they're doing X, Y, and Z. And they don't know how to incorporate ABC. So what I'm really good at is organizing and I'm really good at mapping out days. So what I do is I sit down for an hour, I send them a questionnaire ahead of time and then I literally send them back a report where they can it literally says like tackle nutrition first tackle supplementation second, so I kind of map it out for somebody that wants a little bit. I'm kind of like a healthcare tour guide. I love to explain it. Yeah.

Kathi Burns  28:08  
I love it. I love it. Love it. Love it. Love it. Okay, so absolutely reach out and click the links below to learn more. And I so appreciate you having me on the show. Thanks so much. I am so impressed by you and all that you do. So good luck.

Robyn Pineault  28:24  
Thank you for having me.

Kathi Burns  28:27  
 You're very welcome. And good luck with your journey. Thank you.

Hey, thanks for listening to this podcast. I hope you enjoyed this episode. And if you want to hear more, feel free to subscribe on the platform of your choice. Also, if you feel so inclined, I would truly appreciate a good rating from you, to me. Have a stellar day.

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