Each week we are going to be putting the spotlight on one of our Product Partners so they can share their stories and inspiration behind their business. We will also be asking them a few questions around their challenges and successes.
This week we meet Dr Harriet Holme, the healthy eating Dr.
Dr Harriet is passionate about the facts and the science behind what really is the right foods for us. Her goal is to help all of us make the right decisions about our nutrition and not just follow the fads. It really is fascinating talking to Dr Harriet, she is a font of knowledge and her years of research and science backed information will have you thinking differently about which foods you eat.
The old adage ‘we are what we eat’ has never been more important. With a wealth of contradictory information published about the latest ‘superfoods’, or what not to eat, how do you navigate a path to find what is best for you? Do you feel overwhelmed by contradictory and conflicting information? Unsure who to trust?
Instead of following restrictive diets, detox drinks, and lots of supplements,
I am a great believer that food should be enjoyable and not overly restrictive, while benefiting your health. There are healthy choices that you could be making now which mean a rich array of tasty nutritious food, that may improve the quality of your life and reduce your future risk of disease.
I studied medicine at the University of Cambridge and have over a decade in academic clinical practice as a paediatric doctor. In addition, I have a PhD in genetics from University College London. I now use these uniquely developed skills for the benefit of my clients and students, exclusively consulting as a registered nutritionist with the Association of Nutrition and lecturing in culinary science and nutrition. I was commissioned to write a cutting-edge degree combining culinary, nutrition and health, the first of its kind in the UK, and I’m also involved in teaching the chef’s and doctors of tomorrow about nutrition.
Your health is fundamentally linked to your diet. Optimising your health is more to do with what’s on your plate than what you do for exercise. Start one of my video programs today and I will guide you to realise your health goals. For more personalised advice, book for a skype consultation with me. As with improving physical fitness with a personal trainer, I recommend repeated consultations to continue to review and improve your food choices.
I experienced a series of life changing events connected in part to the birth of my first child. The effect of those experiences still resonant as strongly now. I felt that there was so much more potential in proactive health optimisation than in reactive traditional medicine. My spark of curiosity became a passion. I read, I learnt, I added fuel to the fire. I used the skills I had accrued as a clinician and researcher to then dive into the details. I recall being surprised that despite some powerful evidence and recommendations, how the benefits of food were poorly represented. The World Health Organisation have said that an unhealthy diet is the largest modifiable risk factor for disease. I left the NHS after over a decade as a paediatric doctor, and decided I really wanted to educate clients, doctors and chefs of the future about the importance of nutrition. Everyone should know what power they have over their own health through eating.
I had thought that it was going to be challenging to start and develop my own business, but that element turned out to be an unexpectedly happy venture, made all the easier by my incredible clients.
So my biggest challenge has been the corona virus pandemic and the initial inability to interact directly with clients. But, much like stoic philosophy, from the discomfort comes growth. Instead, I’m now working more with skype or zoom and it has been a perfect time to launch an online course. It has been really inspiring to see how people can transform their way of working so quickly and particularly their attitude to video calls.
3. What has been your proudest moment?
With a husband and two children, my family provide me with an equal measure of laughs, pride and sometimes quite the opposite. However, in the context of work, my proudest moment was being awarded my PhD in cancer genetics at 36 weeks pregnant, just before having my second child.
Although on face-value this academic moment is rather simply portrayed in a single sentence, it is the cumulation of a sustained period of original research at a world class laboratory. I learned and developed not only as an academic, but also laid the foundations for my career in nutritional consultancy, while juggling being a mother.
I feel like there have been so many starts or new chapters to my life and I hope there will be many more. Each one has had what seemed at the time an envelope of difficult decisions and not a small smattering of anxiety, questioning whether or not the task ahead of me was achievable. However, from starting as a medical student in Cambridge, starting at the foot of Mont Blanc, starting as a paediatrician, to starting my own business, the truest advice would be to block out the negative, amplify the positive and let that drive your perseverance. Just take the first step with confidence, then grit your teeth and build the habits necessary to ensure that your objective moves from an idea to reality. I am delighted by any new client that comes to me seeking change for the better. They’ve taken that first step, I’ll help them take the next. Together we can literally change their lives though optimised nutrition.
My mantra and ethos is ‘knowledge is power’ but that has to be ‘evidence based’. I really think that trustworthy information based on rigorous research is key. However, of more importance than what I stand by, is how I work. My unique professional background as a doctor, scientist and registered nutritionist, means that I bring a credible ability to translate the scientific evidence into an approachable, simple, and sustainable way of eating healthily for life, while still enjoying food.
I genuinely love all my products but if I have to pick one, it will be the nutrition course for expecting mums. This is a worrying time for the mum-to-be and there is a lot of misinformation out there as to what they should be eating. My course is full of practical and science backed information that will help them through this with an easy to follow nutrition checklist.