The importance of Nutrition | With Naturopath and Nutritionist Erin
Is there such a thing as a typical day for you, and what does that look like?
Not really, most days are different because of my teaching and clinic schedule. I am SUCH a morning routine person though, so I always try to make my morning routine something along the lines of: Wake up, have a big drink of lemon & apple cider vinegar water. Then I will usually look at my diary and see what I have planned for the day, have a coffee (long black with a dash of almond milk), and then either head to the gym, go to yoga or take the dogs for a big walk. This can be anytime from 5am or if I am lucky, I won’t get moving until around 8:30am.
Then I will usually shower, work from home doing Skype consults, following up emails and bookings for my retreat business, or going over client’s notes and blood tests. If I am in the clinic, I will usually go in an hour or so before my first client to do some prep work.
I will usually schedule in a lunch break, try and meet my husband for lunch or make something healthy & delicious at home.
Once I have finished work for the day, I will usually get out for another walk, or walk to the shop to get some extra food for dinner if I need to, I do sit down most days so I try and make a conscious effort to get moving once I’ve finished work!
As an advocate for healthy living, do you feel more pressure to strive for perfection, and how do you stay balanced?
Not at all, no one (including myself ) is perfect; I am most certainly about balance. Some days I won’t even get to walk the dogs, and some days all I really feel like oding is watching a movie on the couch with some Loving Earth chocolate! It’s really important to cut yourself a little slack from time to time, because it’s very easy to create a negative attitude around food and ‘healthy’ living. Some people certainly do push it too far, so I always try to give myself a break from time to time. In saying that, I really don’t eat junk food because it makes me feel horrible, instead I indulge in things like vegan slices, home made protein balls and dips.
Can you share with us a time in the past when your lifestyle has challenged your health and well-being and how you have overcome this?
I used to do modelling when I was younger, and this was certainly a challenge in terms of weight. I remember going into my agency and getting my hips measured sometimes twice per week to try and hit a goal weight/size to be able to go overseas and sign with an agent in New York. I very quickly realized that the negative and unhealthy attitude that surrounded that industry wasn’t for me, which funnily enough lead me into the career I have today! I prioritized my health, and spent years at university learning why food and herbal medicine was so important and vital for optimal health and wellbeing.
Why do you need Golden Grind/Turmeric in your life? And what’s your favourite product?
Turmeric is like the new holy grail of the health industry, and it should be! It’s such a fantastic anti-inflammatory, an excellent antioxidant and is even beneficial for lowering cholesterol, improving insulin sensitivity and enhancing liver detoxification pathways (just to name a few).
I use turmeric in my cooking almost daily, and will regularly have the turmeric and ginger tea whilst I am at work – that’s certainly a staple in my diet; and I also can’t live without the face scrub!
Any fad diet trends around at the moment to be aware of?
Where do I start?! YES!
There are so many diets and people out there advocating certain diets/lifestyles when they’re not even properly educated. So many people fall victim to this advice, and then end up seeing me in clinic as a last resort…often to only say “if only I’d seen you years ago!”.
The Keto diet is certainly something to be warey of, it certainly does not suit every body, and their genetic makeup, and it’s extremely important that anyone on a keto diet is closely managed by a qualified practitioner – bad ‘keto’ diets can be very dangerous for people with thyroid disease, cardiovascular disease and a family history of each.
What are your thoughts on Keto?
Well Keto isn’t the devil, if it’s done correctly it can be an extremely effective weight loss strategy. However I much prefer to implement a lower carbohydrate, higher fat and protein diet. With Keto you miss out on a lot of important nutrients through fruits and vegetables, and I am not about restricting so much vital nutrients. Any form of ‘diet’ needs to be a sustainable long term change, and I don’t believe that Keto is healthy long term, nor sustainable. In saying that, any dietary advice is completely individual, it’s hard to give blanket advice or comments because one ‘diet’ certainly doesn’t suit everyone and their healthy goals or challenges.
Explain to us what Gut health is and why it is so important?
It’s the centre of all health!
When you’re in utero, your brain and your gut are actually formed from the same neuronal cells; one becomes your gut and one becomes your brain, which are linked with a particular nerve called the Vagus Nerve. So yes, that ‘gut feeling’ is a real thing! We also have more bacteria within our gut, than we do cells in our body, so it’s so important that our gut is functioning as best as it possibly can, for the rest of our body to be at its best. Our gut is also the site of absorption of most of our nutrients from our food, our whole gastrointestinal tract is the barrier between the inside and outside world, and forms the majority of our immune system. Gut health is something I specialize in, and regularly do a functional test called complete microbiome mapping, which assesses bacterial diversity in your gut, parasites & worms, bacteria associated with auto-immune disease, as well as inflammatory markers, enzymes, gluten sensitivity and leaky gut.
Tell us about your wellness retreats?
I run a business called 215 Mt Buffalo Retreat, which is a 26 acre property located in Bright, North East Victoria. I wanted to create a haven for people to come to for yoga and wellness retreats, without having to travel overseas to do it – we have SO much beauty in Victoria. We have 3 houses on the property, an oversized mineral pool with spectacular views over the mountains, a purpose built hot yoga studio & gym, and lots of paddocks for our pet alpacas.
At the moment there are 4 yoga retreats locked in for 2019, and I plan on hosting another toward the end of the year with more of a natural health and education focus; so keep your eyes peeled!
You have some deliciously healthy recipes on your blog, what is your go to?
My Buddha Bowls! They have got to be my favourite meal in the world….maybe alongside an acai or green smoothie bowl. They’re so simple, all it is it pick a heap of your favourite vegetables (aim for a minimum of 2 cups worth and don’t overdo the potato), a good serve of protein (which could be plant based or animal) and then a good serve of fats! My favourite dressing which really makes it is apple cider vinegar, tahini and nutritional yeast.
How do you run two businesses and stay balanced?
It is quite hard sometimes, I find myself often sitting down to finally relax and then I get an email – I always try to answer them straight away because whilst I have so many things on, I forget to respond to emails if I don’t do it then and there!
Last year I had a lot of focus on business and our wedding, however this year I am definitely opting for more of a work/life balance, and scheduling in some me-time, whether it’s yoga, going for a walk, going shopping, hanging our with my husband or simply just relaxing at home.