Butler Profile: Nutrition Advice from Dr Sally Horrobin
Our Butlers are the beating heart of Life Butler. It is their wisdom, passion, expertise and experience that provide our guests not only with a personalised service, but a heartfelt one. In this series we get to know our Butlers in more depth, giving you the opportunity to hear their voices and to understand from where their devotion to their skills has evolved. We hope that you’ll finish reading each of these profiles with a better sense of what our butlers can offer you. Here we meet Dr Sally Horrobin, Life Butler’s expert doctor of naturopathy, who shares her inspiration as well as some essential nutrition advice.
“Providing high-quality fuel for our bodies greatly impacts our overall health and vitality,” says Dr Sally. This is a belief that’s not only foundational for Dr Sally’s own life, but for the nutrition advice that she provides to her clients. Dr Sally is an American-trained licensed naturopathic doctor. Her achievements are many: she has presented at top venues on subjects such as gut health; she has run activities and presented nutrition talks for older, vulnerable people; she has been a speaker at numerous Mindful Cooking retreats, and she has spent a decade holistically addressing acute and chronic health conditions.
But what exactly is naturopathic medicine? “Naturopathic medicine uses strategies that promote healing from the inside out,” explains Dr Sally. “My aim is to find and treat the cause of illness, rather than simply treat the symptoms. The therapies I use include nutrition and diet therapy, herbal medicine, lifestyle counseling and homeopathy.”
Discovering a person’s inspiration is one of the biggest windows of their life. So where did Dr Sally get her inspiration to follow this path? “When I was young, my mom went through a ‘health nut’ phase in which she cooked lots of healthy food for us,” she laughs. “Things like carob cookies, dried fruit leather, wholegrain bread, and raw nuts and seeds became a common sight in my lunch box! So eating with nutrition in mind was imprinted early.” It was later, however, after Sally had completed a bachelor’s degree in botany, that she got another awakening. “I was inspired by a medical herbalist on a river rafting trip. She amazed me with her knowledge of the healing power of desert plants. I learned that I could combine these interests by training in naturopathic medicine.”
A Truly Personalised Wellness Plan
Sally works with her clients on a one-to-one basis, crafting a personalised natural health plan for them to follow based on a thorough evaluation of their health concerns and goals. “My aim is to re-ignite and support your body’s own healing ability,” she says with passion. “A wellness plan may include dietary changes, lifestyle advice, menu ideas, nutritional and herbal supplement recommendations, and exercise specifics. In addition, I will suggest laboratory tests when I feel they will help to steer the best treatment solutions for my clients. I encourage regular appointments (in person or over Skype or the phone) so that we can adapt a support plan and maintain momentum in achieving their wellness goals.”
Dr Sally’s approach is highly integrative and can be followed alongside allopathic treatments. “I make sure my nutrition advice doesn’t conflict with medications prescribed by my client’s GP,” she explains, and then goes on to talk about how her methods can work in tandem with conventional solutions. “I have frequently spotted imbalances in certain areas of health by reviewing my clients’ blood tests. For instance, patterns which reveal problems with hormone balance or nutrient absorption. I also work with people going through conventional cancer treatment by advising on diet and nutritional strategies that safely work alongside their chemotherapy. The aim is to support their immune and digestive systems, which are often adversely affected by the cancer treatment.”
Fundamental Nutrition Advice
Moving on from Dr Sally’s methods, I want to know more about why nutrition is so important. We are hearing so much lately about gut health and its vital importance to our wellbeing, so what are the basics? Dr Sally explains, “A diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, lean protein, herbs and spices, nuts, seeds and cold-pressed oils will provide the building blocks we need for energy, maintenance, and repair. The fibre found in fresh produce, legumes, and grains keeps our digestive tract working well and enhances our uptake of nutrients so that our immune system, heart, and brain function optimally. Antioxidants found in fruit and vegetables help to combat toxins from our environment, helping to prevent health deterioration and chronic disease.”
While each illness, health issue and indeed person are different and require a unique health plan, is there any nutrition advice that everyone can follow? “Absolutely! Start by eating from the rainbow, which means more fruit and vegetables,” she says. “Make a switch from white bread, white rice and pasta to whole grains. Try to reduce processed and fried food, sugar, and artificial sweeteners. And aim to drink a litre of pure water every day. Trust me, you’ll feel more energised.” And if you really want to go the extra mile? “Add superfoods such as kale, blueberries, green tea, turmeric, and live fermented foods like kefir and sauerkraut.”
Our digestive or gut health is at the core of our very wellbeing. Life Butler takes great pride in offering our guests bespoke treatment plans with expert naturopaths such as Dr Sally, as well as special gut health retreats designed to kick-start your digestive health. Contact us to discover how Dr Sally can help you, or to discover more about our gut health retreats in Puglia Italy from the 5th to the 12th October 2018.