Welcome to my Friday Foodie series where I get to feature my favourite foodies and wellness experts.
For today's Friday Foodie, I am featuring Nat Bourke, who is an holistic dietitian and nutritionist, certified fitness instructor, speaker and podcaster.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your family, what you do and what inspired you to lead a healthier lifestyle?
Well first and foremost I am a girl with the most beautiful family, loving friends and the best partner in the world (maybe a little bit biased!).
I am a University qualified holistic dietitian and nutritionist, certified fitness instructor and work with women in clinical practice. I specialise in the areas of gut health, adrenal fatigue, thyroid conditions, female hormones and helping women to build a healthy relationship with food and their body.
I also work part-time in a technical education/support role for a leading Australian nutraceutical company, where I help other health care practitioners treat a variety of conditions using targeted dietary and supplementation protocols.
You can also find me over at I Quit Sugar as a contributor to their blogs and as an 8-Week Program expert. For those of you that prefer audio learning, I run a fortnightly podcast called The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast with my lovely friend Kate Callaghan. Sometimes (always?) I give you hints of my absent-filter approach to talking, which you may or may not find mildly amusing as a bonus to the awesome nutrition and lifestyle content we throw your way.
Beyond that fancy pants title I am simply a small woman with a big heart and an even bigger passion for health and wellbeing.
What inspired you to start Health by Whole Foods?
My passion, like many of us in this industry, was born out of my own health struggles and the frustrations that I had in finding good advice.
I have a long history of multiple health issues, ranging from an eight year long battle with an eating disorder, to parasite infections, infertility issues, weight fluctuations, thyroid issues, adrenal fatigue, IBS, food intolerances, hypothalamic amenorrhea and depression.
I don’t tell you this to win sympathy votes because, let’s face it, we all go through our own battles in life right? Big or small it all feels overwhelming at times. I tell you this because I am grateful for my struggles.
Not only have these experiences made me the informed and knowledgeable practitioner that I am today, but they have made me genuinely aware of the emotional toll that any and all of these conditions can have on us as women (and as humans!).
I started Health By Whole Foods because I didn’t want to see more women going through the same struggles after the medical system had failed them. I am determined to find these women relief from similar issues as I have managed to do so for myself. It is also my mission to inspire and empower women to build a healthy relationship with food and their body.
What exciting plans do you have coming up for the summer and 2017?
LOTS! Which I am super excited about.
At the moment I am about to release an amazing bundle deal of consultations to all of my existing and new clients. This is a must if you are suffering from any of the health conditions or symptoms associated with my specialty areas listed above.
Just in time for Christmas I will be releasing an amazing e-book on all things gut health. I wrote this e-book for people who have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or who have ongoing gut issues that they just can’t seem to get to the bottom of. It is a comprehensive roadmap of all the different reasons why they could be experiencing these issues and guides them in how to seek appropriate treatment.
I also give some awesome gut healing and rebuilding recipes, a 30 day elimination diet template and lots more great information on supplements, lifestyle, sleep and movement hacks to help heal their tummys!
What tips would you give to someone who is just starting to make changes to their health and wellness?
Be kind! Be patient and know yourself.
What I mean by this is that if you are someone only takes an “all or nothing” approach to health then know that it is OKAY to step yourself slowly towards healthier choices. Be patient with the process and be open to change along the way as our body is dynamic and we must be willing to listen and act accordingly.
I’d also encourage seeking the help of a qualified health professional that you resonate with to save you time trying ‘all of the things’ and get you on the right track for YOUR body ASAP.
Also surround yourself with a supportive environment both in terms of healthy food and the people you choose to hang out with.
Lastly, BUY YOURSELF A SLOW COOKER! They are lifesavers, seriously…it’s pretty hard to ruin a slow cooked meal, plus who doesn’t love coming home to a dinner already prepared… and with leftovers for days!
Do you have any tips for eating well on a budget?
I think it is super important to apply food budgeting strategies as today’s cost of living is so expensive, but then so is the expense that comes with being sick! I don’t think you have to be a high roller to eat a nutrient dense diet and therefore remain illness-free. Here are a few of my best go to’s:
- Buy in bulk e.g. nuts, seeds, grains, meat etc…anything that will keep well or that you can freeze.
- Shop at farmers markets and buy in season
- Buy meat/seafood etc. that is on special and freeze it
- Buy the cheaper cuts of grass fed protein sources and don’t forget the organ meats! These are cheap but incredibly nutrient dense
What healthy dinner options would suggest to someone who is time poor?
Oh goodness aren’t we all! I have had to become a master at this in recent years so here are some of my favourites:
- Eggs, avocado, haloumi and some kind of leafy greens. A one-saucepan meal right there!
- One-pan salmon and asparagus cooked in butter
- Any leftover protein combined with whatever salad veggies you have on hand
- Wild caught canned salmon with some avocado and tomato on some good quality sprouted gluten free bread
- Slow cooked meals that you’ve pre-prepared over the weekend and frozen
What is something that you enjoy doing when you have some ‘me’ time?
I love ‘me’ time because I am an introvert at heart. I also LOVE being outside in nature. Without a doubt my favourite things to do are ocean swimming, bush walking in the national park, yoga and chats with my yoga friends after class, reading outside, and spending time with my partner who also happens to be my best friend. We love going on new outdoor adventures! I have the WORST sense of direction, though but luckily he is all over it so usually it all pans out just fine.
What is your favourite recipe to cook?
Oh goodness just one? I will have to just think of my favourite one recently or I will never come to an answer #foodieproblems
I made a delicious Spicy Prawn with Beetroot and goats milk cheese salad the other day and I was very impressed if I do say so myself. It was fast, fresh and really tasty. It’s coming into Summer and I love eating fresh seafood so I think this will become a regular!
Spicy Prawn with Beetroot and goats milk cheese salad
For the salad...
- 1/2 cup goats milk feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 cups rocket
- 5 small beetroots, peeled, boiled and sliced into cubes
- 1 large tomato, cut into chunks
For the dressing...
Simply combine 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar with 3 tbsp. of olive oil and shake together in a jar- dressing made!
For the prawns...
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil for frying
- 2 tbsp. red Thai curry paste
- 1kg of prawns, deveined and peeled (or you could buy them having this done for you already!)
- Salt and pepper to season
Prepare all salad ingredients as specified, keeping the feta out until the end
Heat coconut oil in a medium fry pan and add the Thai curry paste until and allow to cook until the pan is sizzling with curry bits starting to attack you (be careful, its hot!)
Add in prawns and cook for 3-4 minutes or until prawns are pink and cooked through
Remove from heat and plate up. Adding the salad and dressing as desired
Crumble the feta over the top, season with salt and pepper and voila! You're ready to be nourished
A little more about Nat and where she can be found
Nat is a holistic dietitian and Nutritionist, certified fitness instructor, speaker and podcaster. She runs an online nutritional consulting business where she helps women overcome issues in the specific areas of gut health, adrenal fatigue, thyroid disorders, hormonal imbalances and loves inspiring and empowering women to build a healthy relationship with food and their body. Nat uses functional medicine and a holistic approach to get to the bottom of your symptoms to provide lasting results.