We found Naturopath Rachel Larsson through one of our other amazing experts. Once we got chatting, we knew she’d be a perfect IQS expert, too. Her extensive experience and genuine desire to help others achieve their health goals had us hooked!
Tell us how you came to be where you are today…
I have always had an interest in health and nature. I grew up on a farm and remeber making ‘medicines’ out of leaves and flowers. I was always in the kitchen cooking and even wanted to change Australia’s food pyramid! I’ve always had a desire to help others through the sphere of health, so I studied a Bachelor of Public Health (Nutrition).
During this degree, I went on exchange in Hamburg, Germany and had some of the best and (unfortunately) worst times of my life. Despite years of trying to address some long-standing health issues, my emotional, mental and physical health was at rock bottom. It was on my return to Australia that my healing journey projected me into the complimentary medicine world, along with the decision to study naturopathy.
Four years later, I finished my Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy) with a refined set of skills for herbal medicine. I graduated feeling a great sense of excitement (and anxiety) as to how I could achieve my passion for helping others. Six months later, I landed an amazing opportunity to work with Dr Fiona Enkelmann at Narayani Wellness Medical. Narayani Wellness’ pillars of health are very much aligned with my approach; gut health, food as medicine, mental and emotional wellbeing and biochemistry.
What would be your best advice to someone starting out on the same career path as you?
If you are managing others you need to manage yourself. This means listening to and honouring your mental, physical and emotional needs. You also need to accept that you will never know everything. Life is about learning.
How do you relax when you’re not busy answering questions at I Quit Sugar?
I am my happiest and most grounded doing yoga, spending quality time with family and friends, cooking delicious food and listening to music.
What’s the hardest thing about your job?
Teaching patients to be responsible for their own health. As a practitioner, I am there to guide and support them, but they have to do it.
A large component of what I prescribe are lifestyle and dietary changes, which can be difficult to change and generally a lot harder than swallowing a supplement. So, encouraging individuals and promoting patience with their progress is very important. I always tell my patient’s to take the win, no matter how big or small it is.
In five words, tell us the most important qualities for someone in your particular role…
Empathy (my number one), commitment, passion, insight and boundaries.
What do you enjoy most about working in your field?
Every day I am in awe of the complexity of the human body. The way the human body has been made is just mind blowing, how each cell, nutrient and chemical works and interacts with other. I also enjoy getting to know people and am honoured and humbled whenever someone shares their life story with me. It reminds me that we all have our battles and we should always be kind to each other.
What’s next on your horizon?
I am excited to get my hands dirty in clinic. I have a real hunger to be staying current with developments in evidence-based medicine, as it will allow me to use the best resources available for my patients. I also love educating and inspiring the wider community through workshops and talks. I plan on holding more of these around Melbourne this year.
If you weren’t a Naturopath you would have been a…
It’s a difficult question because I really can’t see my life doing anything else (how lucky am I). If I had to choose… maybe stage and performance or in the area of environmental conservation and sustainability.
Why are you such a firm believer in the I Quit Sugar philosophy?
What I find so refreshing about the philosophy is that it is actually supporting basic healthy eating advice, very similar to what I would recommend in clinic. Remove the junk from your diet, know what you are eating, listen to your body, move to whole food sources of food and fill your diet with quality foods packed full of nutrients. It’s not faddish, it’s sensible – hallelujah!
The IQS Team are coming for dinner. What are you cooking for us?
When I think about what makes a good dinner party, it involves sharing, messiness and creativity. To me, that means a smorgasbord of salads in the middle of the table for people to explore. These salads would be paired with good quality protein options like ethically sourced salmon or a delicious organic lamb and something for the vegos.
In addition to a glass of wine (or two), we’d finish the night off with a delicious dessert: something mint and chocolate (IQS approved of course!) and some fresh, seasonal fruit.
Are you ready to transform your life and find food freedom?
Join our 8-Week Program today!