As spoken to Emma Lodge | June 2017
I love catching up with Janelle, it’s like an escape from the hectic world where I can step into her safe nurturing space, forget all my worries and relish being present for that moment in time.
We’re sitting outside her farm house overlooking the cane fields and mountains, such an ever changing landscape of colours is presented before me. A nice cup of herbal tea and a homemade bliss ball comprising of dates, walnuts, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, maca, cacao, carob and coconut oil, is placed on the table before me. I feel like an ipod that has been placed into its recharging station, and we’re now ready for a chat…
Emma: You were originally a full time school teacher, what made you decide to move into naturopathy?
Janelle: I realised that teaching wasn’t my passion; or rather the style of teaching wasn’t my passion. The teaching environment didn’t focus on the educational elements that I feel kids need such as life skills, emotional intelligence, allowing their imagination to be ignited. It felt quite forced and structured which wasn’t the type of environment I wanted to be in. I have always loved nutrition so I began researching courses of interest while travelling around Australia for a year. I felt I could offer a lot more good in the world, with this area I was absolutely passionate about!
And it still has an element of teaching too?
Janelle: Yes totally, a great way to share my knowledge and information has been through workshops, retreats and of course educating people and guiding them in a consultation.
When did your interest in health & nutrition begin?
Janelle: My mum and I have always shared an interest in health. We shared a journey visiting Naturopaths for my skin condition during high school, doing a Liver Cleanse when I was in grade 9, talking about food and trying different diets, etc. I now know that some of the things we thought were healthy definitely weren’t – so I’m happy I can now share a more holistic view with mum as we continue to enjoy a journey of health together.
I’ve noticed there are naturopaths with different backgrounds, such as science based, or more focused on herbs and I look at you as a foodie naturopath, is that how you’d describe yourself?
Janelle: I believe food is medicine and yes do work a lot of wholefoods and guiding clients with their eating choices. But I equally love working with herbs – making tinctures, using herbal teas, creams, sitz baths, etc. I follow my Nurturing 9 seeds – which I believe are the 9 pillars of health. Self love being a huge underpinning of all of them.
“As you know Naturopaths work towards finding the root cause of the problem, being guided by the signs and symptoms that the body is showing”
Quite often simplicity is the key. We’re quick to delve into pills and supplements when really it could be as simple as putting your feet on the grass, getting out in the sun and drinking more water… we often seem to overlook the most basic things?
Janelle: Yes simplicity is key, that’s a big one for me as a practitioner and for my own life. Not making it too technical so clients feel empowered and confident to get their health back! If things become too technical, then stress enters the picture – which is the last thing any of us need. The theme of simplicity is filtered throughout my entire Nurturing 9 eBook.
Oooh please tell me more about your Nurturing 9.
Janelle: The ebook was developed over a 2 year period as I noted consistent core values in my philosophy. What I have identified as golden nuggets along my journey. It includes information, simple practices, action steps and a space for notes if people choose to print it out and use it as a workbook.
Tyler Tolman has been a big teacher along my journey, combined with my Naturopathy studies and own personal experiences with my health. My intention was to nurture the feminine and cater to women with more of a yin/self-love approach. Keeping things simple and grounding. I want to continue educating women on the important of eating consciously more of a plant based diet – knowing where their food comes from and also understanding the impact toxins have on their hormones. I have experienced amazing things from meditation and fasting and combining this with a Naturopaths huge focus on the importance of quality sleep for good health, created the Nurturing 9.
Image: Janelle with Don & Tyler Tolman
For example, I’m currently working with a client who’s struggling with sleep, I know she’s really wound up so rather than giving her herbs I suggest that she puts her feet on the grass and does some breathing exercises to lower her body’s cortisol levels and really ground and come back to the earth’s frequency. I want people to use the book as an educational guide and manual to develop a strong foundation with their health.
I love the emphasis on nurturing the feminine. As females we are natural nurturers, but tend to give so much of that energy to others we end up neglecting ourselves.
Janelle: Self love is the whole foundation of it. I think as women we are really hard on ourselves, so even though I’ve proposed guidelines and structure to live by, I’ve made sure there’s an element of nurture within, hence the name Nurturing 9. It’s not about beating yourself up if you haven’t achieved a, b, c and d – it depends where you are on your health journey. Health is an evolving journey and it’s essential there is self-love intertwined in there. Doing the best you can on the day, surrounding yourself with supportive people that you can lean on when times are tough, as opposed to expecting yourself to live up to these high expectations which can set you up for failure.
Absolutely, especially with social media these days it’s hard not to compare yourself to others, especially if you’re the type of person with high expectations of oneself. So your Nurturing 9 book is basically a guide for healthy living with easy stepping stones towards health?
Janelle: Yes and I do really step that out in the introduction. I let the reader know that depending where they’re at in their health journey they might choose to focus on one or two of the seeds at a time. They don’t have to expect themselves to encompass all 9 and feel overwhelmed. I really love the concept of ‘adding’, rather than taking away – adding in cleaner food choices, adding in cleaner product choices and setting individuals up for success. For example, making sure water bottles are filled up for the day or encouraging an hour of food prep on a Sunday afternoon. I want people to use it as a health bible, a resource where they have it in an easily accessible place, to keep notes, follow the action steps and keep track of what they’re trying to achieve. Setting a clear intention when starting the book is key. It’s a functional book, not just something to be read and hidden on the shelf.
Image: Nurturing 9 by Janelle Twine
There’s so many dietary books around it can get so confusing if you’re just starting out.
Janelle: I’m really passionate about not using labels around food. Whether its vegan, Paleo, gluten free, dairy free, raw or whatever it might be, I think they all have a place but when people get attached to the labels I find it really restrictive and possibly doesn’t serve them long term.
“It can be really supportive as a stepping stone towards better choices, but I think boxing yourself into a label thinking you only belong in that category can be really damaging and stressful”
I use elements from all ‘labels’ when guiding individuals in a consultation, however the bottom line is that we need to eat A LOT MORE plant based wholefoods and less dairy, wheat, meat and processed foods. Adding in goodness is the best way to start.
And the requirements your body needs may change over time as well as it evolves and adapts to new eating plans, or even seasonal changes?
Janelle: Yes definitely. I completely agree! Raw can serve a purpose while cleansing but can be quite hard for some people’s body to maintain 100% of the time. It can be quite cold and not supportive to the Vata dosha in Ayurveda or during winter. I try and take all of these elements into account during a consultation. Bodies definitely have different needs at different times – especially when creating a baby.
Conscious eating is something I’m really passionate about. Another name for it is simply clean eating. Why I chose the term Conscious Eating is because if you choose to eat meat, for example, buy the best source of meat possible (ie. organic) and eat less of it if there’s a budget concern, then fill your plate with veggies and salad. This also incorporates getting to know your farmer, knowing where your fruits and vegetables come from. I understand organic isn’t possible for everyone’s budget, but you can still make the best choices possible, be it local produce or soaking your fruits and veggies in apple cider vinegar in the sink before you put them in the fridge to remove pesticides and toxins.
You’ve always had a particular focus on women’s health and I hear that you’re taking a new direction. Can you share some details about that?
Janelle: Yes I’m so excited about this next chapter! I’ve always had a Holistic Self-Care Revolution philosophy with to Seeds of Health, however it’s now becoming more specialised focusing on women’s pre-conception. I want to spend more time educating women on how to cleanse their bodies in order to support their mood, emotions, liver and gut health to name a few. If they then choose to fall pregnant they’ve got the perfect environment that supports both them and the baby.
“The gut health of the mother massively impacts her baby’s health and therefore our next generation”
If mums gut flora is abundant and healthy then this positively impacts the child improving their gut health, mental state, mood, behaviour and learning abilities. Food not only plays a part in this, but also products that are being used on the mum and in the home environment. Chemicals massively disrupt our hormones. So Holistic (pre) Conception has become my new passion and focus.
I love that! I really wish I had that knowledge when I first became a parent, because I can now see how it really does impact the next generation and their quality of life. As a school teacher you would have firsthand experience of the impact poor gut health and processed foods is having on kid’s behaviour, attention span, allergies and other childhood issues. I guess it must feel like you’ve come full circle, seeing it from a teaching perspective and now having the knowledge and tools that you can apply at the first step before conception.
Janelle: Yes massively. There is a direct connection and it is very obvious in the classroom when I observe what children are eating and their temperament and learning abilities. I want to work with women 3-5 years before they intend to fall pregnant because this gives us time, together, to make changes to their diet and lifestyle, choose cleaner beauty products and household products, support their gut and liver, all to provide the best environment for their child but also a more enjoyable and energised pregnancy for mum. This positively impacts the next generation.
If a cleaner lifestyle is maintained, then women in their later years of life will cruise through menopause with a lot more ease because they don’t have a toxic load in their body.
So, although I’m focusing very much on the pre-conception phase it can enhance all women’s lives because we all want balanced moods, more energy, better sleep and a more peaceful temperament.
I hear of so many women these days struggling through menopause and having a really rough time; it’s not supposed to be that way is it?
Janelle: No, but many people believe that it is normal. The body is showing these signs because the hormones are out of balance. This can be triggered by many things. What really clarified and cemented the decision for me to specialise in pre-conception was a movie I recently watched called A Plastic Ocean. It had a very powerful message about the impact plastic has on our hormones and the scary state our oceans are in and how that is impacting everyone’s health. The message was already a part of my philosophy but I have stepped into a stronger place of certainty to be the spokesperson for living a plastic free life, be it sanitary items or educating women about the plastic in the ocean which is also in the fish we eat.
I want people to feel like they feel equipped with the knowledge – through the education I offer. I provide kitchen detoxes where I go into people’s homes and clean out their pantry and fridges, educating them on labels and suggesting storage solutions like glass jars for a more functional kitchen. Making things functional makes a healthy lifestyle a lot easier.
I also offer moon cups, Anion pads, Norwex cleaning products and educate clients around organic beauty because these external harmful toxins play a big part in our internal environment, wreaking havoc with our hormones. Within my Naturopath consults I offer hair mineral analysis and iridology – where are can gain a greater understanding of the individual person. I also offer BARS treatments which supports mental wellness, not only dealing with stress but also the metaphysics of disease and bringing the mind onboard to help heal whatever is going on for my client.
And I hear you’ve got an upcoming retreat too?
Janelle: Yes I’m running a 3 day retreat in October at Mission Beach called Harmonise. It will be held at the Sanctuary in a beautiful environment and provides a chance to step away, ground and harmonise ALL the cells in the body through lots of juices and plant based foods, yoga, time at the beach, bushwalking, sound healing etc.
Sounds wonderful think I’ll be needing that after Bloom! Thanks Janelle!