Wilma MacDonald is an Edinburgh-based registered Nutritional Therapist, speaker, wellness advocate and food enthusiast. She works mainly with busy, professional women with fatigue, fertility, hormonal and digestion issues.
Tell us how you came to be in the role you are today…
In 2001, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease and a few years later I was diagnosed with high blood pressure. I did what I thought was normal – I took the meds and otherwise ignored it. I was thin and that was all that mattered…until December 2009. The night I was meant to be at my work’s fancy Christmas party, I was instead in the Emergency Room begging for some drugs to take the pain away from an excruciating kidney infection. Prior to that night, I was the ‘go-to’ party girl, always up for a night out. I ate on the run constantly, I put work before everything else, I dreaded weekends with no plans and I was spending all my money.
That night gave me the kick I needed. A visit to a nutritional therapist helped me clean up my diet. Out went the double-shot skinny lattes with two sugars and the chocolate croissants (a regular breakfast!) and in came real food. It was a revelation. That was when I started harbouring ideas of studying nutrition myself. I visited open days, researched online and then one day I had enough. I was at my desk at a giant bank, I looked around and thought “there’s gotta be more than this, I can’t do this for the next 40 years”. I called the College of Naturopathic Medicine and paid my deposit. I was in. For the next three years, I juggled work and studying. I worked through my adrenal fatigue, hair loss, anxiety and hormonal issues along the way. Cooking then became a stress release -the more vibrant my food the more vibrant I felt.
I set up Blas Nutrition when I graduated and now work from home and an amazing multi-disciplinary and holistic space in Edinburgh.
What would be your best advice to someone starting out on the same career path as you?
Figure out why you want to be a Nutritional Therapist – this will keep you going when you’re ready to tear your hair out studying. Once qualified, lead by example. Don’t give out advice you aren’t following yourself. Try new things. Keep going and keep learning.
How do you relax when you’re not busy answering questions at I Quit Sugar?
I do boxing twice a week, run, a bit of aerial yoga, read, cook and get comfy on the sofa with my hubby and Graham Norton.
What’s the hardest thing about your job?
Switching off. There’s always client files to update, articles to write, social media to post!
In five words, tell us the most important qualities for someone in your particular role…
Empathy, listening, patience, non-judgement and humour.
What do you enjoy most about working in your field?
I am so enthusiastic about nutrition, it’s unreal. Passing that enthusiasm on is contagious. The best feeling in the world comes when a client tells me I’ve changed their life – everyone deserves to feel fabulous!
What’s next on your horizon?
More workshops, corporate wellness, health retreats, travel and collaborating with recognised partners to deliver completely holistic offerings. I have big plans and the wellness industry is such an exciting place to be at the moment.
If you weren’t a Nutritional Therapist you would have been a…
A lawyer or a florist! Complete ends of the scale and I think both will remain a fantasy.
Why are you such a firm believer in the I Quit Sugar philosophy?
I could talk about this for hours! It truly is a life-changing philosophy. Quitting sugar and adopting unprocessed eating habits was like a light bulb moment for me. My skin, energy, digestion, mood and sleep all improved. My family has a long history of diabetes and digestion issues, so understanding the devastating consequences of both has made me want to share this philosophy far and wide.
The IQS Team are coming for dinner. What are you cooking for us?
I love dinner parties. Slow-cooked lamb, ginger + garlic cabbage, roast cinnamon sweet potato and a giant green salad. There also has to be dessert for guests. Chocolate avocado torte with raspberry compote is my go to winner.
Are you ready to transform your life and find food freedom?
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