We all know managing our health and wellbeing is an ongoing journey. We talk to Polly Rea, Clinical Naturopath based here in Byron Bay about the power women have to change the way we feel and how we experience each day through simple choices such as the food we eat and the amount of sleep we get.
Tell us about what you do?
I’m a Naturopath so I dive deep into the unique health story of each of my patients to find the cause of their health issues, then I use nutritional and herbal medicine to treat that cause.
What do you find are the most common reasons women come to you for?
I see a lot of women with hormone related conditions, not just reproductive but also thyroid, insulin and adrenal hormones too. Herbal medicine just works so l effectively on the whole endocrine system.
I also have a real passion for helping people to balance their mood, since mood and behavioral disorders are becoming more and more prevalent. Stress of course plays a big role here, but I can’t emphasis enough how important diet is with this. Seeing people realize the power they have to change they way they feel, how they experience their day by influencing their body's production of all its 'happy hormones’ like serotonin and dopamine with something as simple as the food they choose to eat, is so exciting.
"..it’s very important to know yourself and your body, so that when things change you’re aware of them and can take early action."
Do you have any recommendations for these common causes?
I recommend to anyone who is beginning a new and restrictive diet, to seek professional support from someone who is formally trained in nutritional biochemistry. If you’re removing a particular food or perhaps a whole food group, learn what nutrients you’re also removing from your diet and then supplement those, either with another food source or a practitioner guided product. Nutrient deficiencies have a big impact on the way the body works, and if left unaddressed for too long, can lead to more serious chronic diseases. Noticing and then addressing those early signs and symptoms will likely prevent the need for pharmaceutical intervention later on. So it’s very important to know yourself and your body, so that when things change you’re aware of them and can take early action.
What is some of your favourite health or mindful rituals?
I drink a large glass of water as soon as I wake up. For many years, I would either add lemon juice or apple cider vinegar but I’m so aware of the damage that can do to the enamel of my teeth, so I mostly add chlorophyll or aloe vera juice now. It’s very rare for me to go a day without having aloe vera juice - it’s such a wonderful health promoting plant with strong anti-inflammatory action as well as being a prebiotic which the whole digestive system loves.
"I focus more on nurturing my body rather than depleting it, which applies to what I eat and also how I move my body."
To move the body, what is the activity you enjoy the most?
I love to run. I've always enjoyed heading out for a good one to two hour jog, either along a coastal track where I can see the ocean or in a National Park soaking up the fresh air amongst all the trees. I’m very aware that it's harsh on the body though, so I do less of it these days and enjoy lower impact movement like pilates, barre and yoga. I’ve been so surprised how well my body responds to this kind of movement, particularly after having having three children in the last 6 years. I focus more on nurturing my body rather than depleting it, which applies to what I eat and also how I move my body.
What is one thing you think everyone should know about their health?
The power they have to influence it!
Polly's wellness picks:
You can contact Polly www.feelingdandy.com.au
or follow @feeling.dandy