We're very excited about this guest blog from one of out lovely local customers, Kelly. Kelly is a naturopath practicing in Bedford. Here's her story of how she has worked hard to pursue her dream job; with a few handy tips for healthy living too!
I grew up in Bedford but moved to London when I was 19 to pursue a career in media. After making copious cups of tea and running so many errands that I knew the West End as well as any black cabbie, I bagged my first job as Beauty Assistant on the coming-of-age teen title Sugar Magazine, and within a few years I’d worked my way up to be the youngest Beauty & Wellbeing Editor on the block. I had a contacts book stuffed with the numbers of London’s top hairstylists, facialists, make-up artists and wellness experts, a bathroom over-flowing with more products than your average branch of Boots and my new-found passion for natural health and beauty started to grow.
A school-girl pact that my best friend wouldn’t let me forget saw me swap lipstick launches for LonelyPlanet itineraries and sealed the fate of my Ford Fiesta as it was exchanged for a round-the-world ticket from STA Travel. The sights, the sounds and oh the smells of the wider world were more mind-blowing than I could have ever possibly imagined but what really resonated with me were the tastes. Mmmmm how we ate, and more often than not it was locally grown or reared, seasonal and fresh. I also couldn’t help notice that this simpler, stress-free, outdoors way of life was itself food for the soul.
As flight BA10 from Bangkok returned us home with a bump, new-found dreams of returning to Australia to study naturopathy were put on the back-burner as I started work as a PR Director for an agency specialising in natural wellbeing. In March 2004 my Dad died suddenly and with life’s fragility thrust in my face I enrolled at the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London to start a five-year course studying Naturopathy and Nutritional Therapy. At the same time I signed up for a diploma in Reflexology at The London School of Reflexology.
Working full-time, getting married and having two children made studying far from easy but I was fascinated by all that I was learning and I graduated two weeks after my second son was born. We’d made the decision to leave London when I fell pregnant the second time, and with a pros and cons list Kirsty herself would be proud of, we embarked on the relocation challenge and after a long search, headed back to Bedford!
Once we’d been back here almost a year, and the re-plastering dust had finally settled and wiped away, I felt ready to start thinking about how I was going to turn five years of hard study and into a new career. I decided on calling my business 'Kelly the Naturopath' because I thought it had a friendly, local feel to it and because a Naturopath is a health practitioner who applies a number of natural therapies, which encompasses what I do. My specialist area is Nutritional Therapy, which means using food to optimise wellbeing, but I also look at my client’s lifestyles, sleep patterns and emotional wellbeing. In addition to dietary and lifestyle changes I might recommend nutritional supplements, tissue salts, flower essences, herbs or a touch therapy like reflexology.
Everyone has their own reason for seeing a Naturopath, for some it may be to get support if they’re trying to conceive, for other’s if they’re suffering from an illness. Some people want help with weight management whilst others simply want to learn how they might maximise their long-term wellness or reduce the feelings of anxiety and stress. For each client I put together a personalised treatment plan to meet their individual needs and then support them whilst they achieve their health goals.
I’ve now been practising for a year and work most Thursday’s and the first Sunday of the month with the lovely Lord sisters at Lords & Ladies on St Cuthbert’s Street. Skype and at-home consultations and treatments are both available upon request based on the needs and circumstances of individuals. Any Mum will know juggling work and kids is never simple but I feel very privileged that I’m able to work around my family doing a job that I am passionate about and find hugely rewarding.
Kelly's Local Health and Wellbeing Tips
* Go for a walk outside – sunlight increases serotonin production to create more positive moods and helps to trigger vitamin D synthesis in the skin which is needed for calcium metabolism and neuromuscular and immune system functioning. Just choose a green space and go!
* Eat a Mediterranean Diet – rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, olive oil and wholegrains, using herbs and spices instead of salt and limiting red meat to a few times a month whilst enjoying fresh fish a couple of times a week, with the odd glass of red wine if you choose; the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet are well documented. The secret ingredient… eat leisurely with friends and family. Try local delicatessens Foods of Italy and Andaluz.
* Eat cake if you want to – just maybe not every day, and make sure it’s freshly baked and therefore not bulked out with preservatives. Depriving yourself of a little bit of what you fancy isn't good for the mind or soul (see below). Personally I can’t get enough of The Kiosk’s Super-Seedy-Flapjack.
* Be happy - being healthy is more than just eating the right food. In studies looking at people who live the longest there is a common trait, happiness. Think about what would help you have a more fulfilled life and do it.
If you'd like to get in touch with Kelly (and she comes highly recommended, one other Kiosk customer described her as having magic hands!) - you can visit her website, or email her: email@example.com