Q: Tell me a bit about yourself and what you do.
I’m Renee and I am a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a Children’s Nutritionist and a Children’s Nurse. My family comes first, always. I have always had such a huge passion for caring, helping and supporting others through whatever is going on in their lives. From befriending the new girl at school to helping a family through the battle of their life, or nursing their sick child. My lifelong dream has been to work with families. Initially, my passion took me to nursing, and I have done that all over the world, always with children. In 2011 I moved to Sydney to study nutritional medicine after my own health improved through altering my perception of health and changing the way I lived. I questioned the way we were treating patients and wanted to do more than what the current medical system has to offer.
Now I have completed my studies and have my own business Dandelion Nutrition, working as a nutritionist to help new moms with their concerns over their babies, helping moms feel energized and encouraging them to dig deeper into their own biochemistry and making sure the body maintains a good sense of equilibrium. I also run essential oil classes, teaching how to incorporate natural solutions into their everyday health, from using for sleep to use for first aid to using for emotional health.
Q: How do you support your clients to achieve their health goals?
Education is key. Explaining to them how their body works, simplifying biochemistry so they can start to understand why this doesn’t work if that isn’t working. For me, this is the path to success. I also like to empower moms with supporting their mental and emotional health. Implementing affirmations, essential oils, meditations, exercise, all without extra pressure in their already hectic lives. I don’t want a mom to feel guilty that she isn’t doing something and then feel like a failure. It is all about nurturing and nourishment.
Q: You have a background in pediatric nursing, why did you decide to transition into holistic nutrition?
I was lucky enough, in 2010, to meet Dr. Libby Weaver and have her guide me through changing my lifestyle, improving my health, my perceptions, my energy…my life simply changed! I was working at the time as a community nurse, visiting sick kiddies at home, and was seeing the increasing frustration parents have with the current medical system. A few conversations with Libby later, I was seeing amazing changes in the patients that asked me for advice, and I made the decision I wanted to know more, to help more. My passion was children with gastrostomy tubes and improving their nutrition. So off I went to Sydney, packing up my newly bought house, which I had lovingly renovated, applied to the Australasian College of Natural Therapies (ACNT), got a job at Sydney Children’s Hospital and began again! I was thrilled that with the support of friends and family, and Libby, I won a scholarship to study! I also still work as a children’s nurse, and love empowering the families I work with by helping them integrate a holistic approach with a medical model.
Q: I also know that you want to change the perception of health. What do you think is the current “perception” of health, and how do you want to change it?
This has evolved so much even over the last 6 years. When I first began to study nutritional medicine, the wellness world was only just beginning to kick off, then with the introduction of Instagram and Twitter, I see it has EXPLODED! So much so, I think that people have an unrealistic perception of health. That to be ‘skinny’ is to be healthy. In my eyes, we need to be healthy to have the body we want. We also need to be realistic about how we want our bodies to be. We need to be accepting of who we are, comfortable in our own shoes. There is so much pressure, and I want to change the feelings of insecurity, and not enoughness.
Q: What’s your philosophy on food and wellness?
I believe we need to slow down, eat food as close at it comes in nature, take the time to rest and restore, and believe in yourself. As Dr. Libby is known to say ‘it’s what you do every day that affects your health, not what you do sometimes’’ this is gold. Small changes lead to big health benefits.
Q: For someone wanting to become healthier, what would you recommend they do and where would you recommend they start?
See a nutritionist. Someone who will give you a personalized plan to meet your health goals. It’s not a one size fits all when it comes to your health. Also, increase your water intake and read ‘Accidentally Overweight’ by Dr. Libby.
Q: What do you think are the barriers are for achieving wellness?
People have unrealistic expectations. Sit down and have a deep think about what you really want, and how can you break it down to reach these goals. Always know you are enough and you deserve to be healthy. Money is also a barrier, give up your daily Starbucks for a few weeks and use the money you save to see a health professional.
Q: What’s your philosophy on supplements?
I believe that with practitioner guidance you can have great success with supplements. There is a place for them as we lack so many nutrients in our soils, therefore our soil is depleted.
Q: You are also an advocate for essential oils. Why do you think they are an important tool?
Emotionally the oils have been a lifesaver for me, and many of my clients. Oils have been used for thousands of years for thousands of reasons. I love learning more about the emotional uses, and increasingly using them for my families health, coughs, colds, bruises, cuts, tummy aches….the list is truly endless. It’s incredible to see people’s reactions to experiencing the oils.
Q: If someone wanted to start experimenting with oils, how do you recommend they start?
Check out my website, and see the Dandelion Essentials page, I’m happy to send out samples or if a class is running near you, come along! Experiencing the oils is magic.
Q: What’s your favorite wellness habit or hack?
Drinking more water. Game changer! Simple but true. Also, practicing gratitude. You can’t be both grateful and stressed at the same time. Before I go to sleep I write down 3 things I’m grateful for, I also find that keeping a journal keeps me grounded and grateful and makes life flow beautifully.
Q: What does “Living Well” mean to you?
Living well means making the most of what life has to offer. I believe in tuning in to what my body needs, I’ve recently given up caffeine because my adrenals are running on empty and caffeine just adds to the chaos. So I take note, for example when I’m tired I need more sleep so I go to bed early. Living well is also about making sure there are plenty of fun times, laughter, wine and relaxing. Stopping to appreciate nature, really seeing the leaves on the trees, the clouds in the sky and appreciating how lucky we are to be on this earth. As I said before, my family is my everything, so making sure they are well, supported and having fun too.
Want to learn more about Renee? You can find her at: Dandelion Nutrition