Natalie Bourke is a holistic dietitian and nutritionist. She’s a certified fitness instructor, foodie, yogi and a lover of all things outdoors. Nat believes that the foods we eat, how we move, how well we sleep and how we manage our stress all play a crucial role in creating an optimally functioning body and mind.
Tell us how you came to be in the role you are today…
My journey to the holistic wellness industry came from my own struggles with digestive issues, hormonal issues, and disordered eating. There is no better motivator to help others than that of personal experience and struggle. Once I realised that the foundation of good nutrition is simply focusing on eating unprocessed, nutrient dense, real food and avoiding ingredients that our body doesn’t recognise, I knew I wanted to make food and diet my career.
What would be your best advice to someone starting out on the same career path as you?
Stay open minded throughout your studies. When you’re practicing nutrition you have to realise that a) the optimal diet will look different for everyone, and b) you will never know EVERYTHING. A big part of my job is to help people learn how to tune into what their body is telling them and convert those messages into practical solutions to alleviate their symptoms.
How do you relax when you’re not busy answering questions at I Quit Sugar?
I love being outside in nature. I love hiking, exploring, swimming, surfing, and body-boarding. Playing outside like I’m still 7 years old is where you’ll find me on my days off. I also love yoga, reading and eating good food with my beautiful partner, family and friends.
What’s the hardest thing about your job?
Seeing how many women hate their body and how at war they are with food. It is absolutely my mission to change this.
Tell us the most important qualities for someone in your particular role…
Be compassionate, open-minded, curious and intuitive.
What do you enjoy most about working in your field?
Seeing the happiness and gratitude people feel when they realise that real food and some smart supplementation, in most cases, fixes 99 per cent of their symptoms. Being part of that journey is amazing. The other thing I absolutely love is helping women heal their relationship with food and their body. Because, let’s face it, we are all pretty amazing right?
What’s next on your horizon?
I am currently in the process of planning my first ebook and continuing to grow my practice and help as many people as I can. Oh, and continuing to help all you lovely humans who are part of our IQS community, of course.
If you weren’t a dietitian, you would have been a…
Hmm…I think I would have been a chiropractor, a yoga teacher or I totally would have loved to join the circus (if I wasn’t so clumsy).
Why are you such a firm believer in the I Quit Sugar philosophy?
Because you absolutely cannot go wrong with JERF (just eat real food). This is at the heart of what IQS promotes.
The IQS Team are coming for dinner. What are you cooking for us?
Something fun like DIY rice paper rolls or naked burrito bowls with fresh veggies from the farmers market. It’s a great way to get loads of different veggies in, plus it’s fairly adaptable to suit all palates and preferences. For dessert, I would make some Gut Lovin’ Gummies, because it’s all about the gut!
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