I am blessed to know so many amazing people in the wellness industry, all with wildly fascinating approaches to tackling health.
Mindset Nutrition Pow Wow's invite Health Guru's that I respect and admire to share some insight into their expertise's and views on Health, Mindset and Nutrition!
Introducing the brilliant CLAIRE HARGREAVES- Budding Naturopath
Tell us a little about yourself…
I'm totally multi-passionate, so I struggle with this question a lot.
I've been interested in health since the beginning of time. And my interest in humans, the psyche and the systems of the body drives my current studies (Bachelor of Psychology & Bachelor of Health Science Naturopathy).
I teach yoga, have a CrossFit box with my partner and have recently starting working as a FIFO active life coach (so rewarding).
My basic desire is to subtly perpetuate motivation in others to adopt more healthful habits, to allow them to be happy, connected and feel love. By prompting others to question everything, they become empowered to make decisions for themselves within their own life, rather than buying into fads or just doing what an authority tells them. Watching this unfold before me is pretty rad.
I love learning, both experientially and academically, and one day hope to tie all this information together to be able to be a significant change agent for humans wanting more, or wanting to rectify tricky health implications. Specifically, anything mental health related is a massive interest of mine.
In what ways can we use natural medicine to assist our emotional health?
Wow, I could go on for hours! The beauty of natural medicine is that you can make subtle changes in your lifestyle to effect big change. I've seen amazing health transformations from adjusting really basic habits.
We can use naturopathy to pinpoint the root cause of our discomfort or illness, to really get to the nitty gritty of what's going on, rather than stabbing around in the dark to try and determine what's wrong or Band-Aid it up with pharmaceuticals that may or may not be right for our problem. From there, we can employ various methods to restore health.
The ideal behind naturopathy is that the body is always chasing balance, or homeostasis. Therefore, over time, if we remove obstacles that are preventing the body from healing, and/or add subtle assistance to help restore its health, mop up toxic by-products of restoration and enhance its function, we'll always have our foot in the right direction.
What is a common habit or mistake you often find people engaging in, that is holding them back?
I have three:
Not believing in oneself or realising how powerful they are, equally not loving oneself
Trying to do things 'right' and be perfect
Not feeling the feels
How can we use natural medicine and food to help us with our eating patterns and behaviours?
I am a strong advocate for knowing your body. It's a bloody incredible object we have at the ready to guide us in the right direction. Our feelings, symptoms, and behaviour all guide us to make decisions about our life (and our health), if we let them.
No plan, guide, guru, diet, program or the like can do what we can do for ourselves.
What natural medicine can do is help bring self-awareness to the forefront and instil empowerment. When you understand yourself and bare witness to your actions, accept your mistakes and know what you truly need to thrive, everything falls into place.
In particular, seeing a practitioner can also help us to determine any underlying conditions that could be barriers to obtaining our healthy habits, a healthy weight and healthy behaviours.
What is the one health myth, you wish would just die?
That breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
What 3 things, foods, actions, natural remedies etc would you encourage health minded people to swap in and out?
I definitely believe there is a multitude of actions humans can take to switch things up in their life to optimise their health (i.e. pharmaceuticals vs. understanding the underlying problem). Though, no two people are the same so specifics won't work here. Instead, I'll propose three general and simple habit-swaps that I believe will revolutionise your life.
Mindless scrolling for meditation (we try fill our time with shit so we numb our feelings. Instead, sitting with our feelings, and our mind, can help us come to terms with them).
Exercise you hate, for exercise you love (movement is beautiful, it's primitively something as a human we are designed to enjoy, just gotta find your fav style—don't pound on the treadmill, if you hate pounding on the treadmill).
Packet for fresh. We're talking food here. Fresh produce. Bonus points for obtaining from your local farmers market. Double bonus points for growing your own (nothing is more satisfying that harvesting home grown veg).
What would you like to see more of in this world?
More love. More genuine support for one another. More play. More connection. More living. More vulnerability.
Can I have some lesses? Less comparison. Less competitiveness. Less scrolling. Less resistance.
What are your top 3 action steps to get started using natural medicine to boost health and wellness?
Spend some time understanding yourself; documenting your daily feelings and symptoms is so handy. Keep a journal—how do you feel when you wake up? What's your hunger level? How long does it take you to wake up? What do you crave? After each meal, what do you feel like? Are you satisfied? How many bowel movements do you have a day/week, what are they like? How do you sleep? What do you think about when you wake up/go to sleep? When do you feel resistance? What really grinds your gears?—This way, if you do start to make changes, it's easy to see the subtle ways your actions are taking effect.
Start drinking herbal tea! I love tea and will be the first one to brew up a pot for all occasions. It's my favourite way to attenuate tummy troubles and to un-wind naturally when I'm highly strung or stressed out. There are so many ways you can play around with herbs for health benefits, and infusing them in a tea blend is a subtle way to soak up their benefits without over burdening the system.
Begin finding ways to be mindful. The mind is your most powerful tool and spending some time allowing it to be still is imperative for health. It's hard, trust me, I know. Though there are so many different ways to find this zen without having to just sit & meditate.
What is your all time fav piece of advice?
I have three (sorry).
'You're exactly where you are supposed to be.'
This is a Louise L Hay quote.
Sometimes shits hard, we feel terrible, overwhelm is inescapable, and we'd prefer for time to speed up. Yet, it's in these moments that we learn to be strong, we grow and we evolve, and we eventually move fourth as a better, more capable human. These are the moments we just need to lax back and accept what is. Knowing we are always where we are supposed to be makes the suffering of life more bearable.
'Will this matter in 5 years time?' I read this somewhere, not sure of the source.
I ask myself this when I feel embarrassed, vulnerable, when I've done something stupid or acted in a way I am not proud. Usually the answer is no to this question. It's humbling and expansive to know that, really, everything we do is pretty insignificant. So, like, who gives a fuck that you just said the wrong word or asked the wrong question or put yourself out there and was rejected or failed something or was in a bad mood.
'Feel the feels.' Taught to me equally by a naturopathy teacher & yoga teacher.
I used to hate feelings. I'm a total empath and soak up every damn thing around me. I feel too intensely and I used to try to block everything out because I didn't know how the hell to deal with these feels, especially the shit ones. Now, I work within my means, understand myself and allow myself to feel the feels and work with them. It's important. It's been one of my most amazing lessons in my late 20s. These feels don't go away and they tend to manifest as something more within the body or come across in our behaviours if we don't meet them head on.
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