Health and Self Love at every size – In conversation with Nutritionist, Dr. Natalie Cooke
Dr. Natalie Cooke is a Medical Doctor who worked at the National Cancer Hospital and later a leading private hospital where she set up the specialties of Plastic Surgery and Oncology. She meets patients and clients who are always looking to change their natural self from skin whitening to nose jobs. Later to this, she joined Vingyana as the Head of Clinical Operations and Practice Manager, where she was introduced to Integrative Medicine and Healing. This is where she decided to continue in Natural Medicine. Now Dr. Natalie uses Food as a Medicine in different forms of juices of fruits and vegetables she uses protocols for treating chronic diseases. Her mission is to empower women to embrace themselves and be mindful of Health at any size.
- Natalie, if you can capture your background and the work you currently do briefly?
I practice a way of life. Integrative Medicine I like to call it. It’s a more Holistic approach to looking at the Human Body and Disease. I treat all Chronic Diseases with Nutrition, Juicing and Detoxification of the Body. You fall sick for three reasons either you are Nutritionally Deficient, you have a toxic overload or it’s your mind. Either way the food you put into your body plays a huge role. My main area is The Mind. You get what you believe in. I teach people to take responsibility for their Life and Health and do what’s right. You are always your best Doctor.
- You meet patients on a day today basis who ask you to help change them in physical appearance. How many actually focus on beauty within and what advice do you have for them?
It’s a handful that look at their body and health and think of beauty. So many girls bring a magazine and ask if it’s possible for them to look that way. There are many patients that had to go through vigorous detoxification programs due to all the tablets and supplements ingested for fairness, slimming etc. It’s sad to see all these beautiful women walking through my doors believing that they need to do a lot more to be beautiful.
- The term Health inclusive of holistic wellness. What are your thoughts on ‘Health at any size’ and how can one make such change.
We all have a body type. Either we are the Carb, Protein or Starch type. It’s important to know what you are and then just take precautions. Starch is just something we need for energy. So if you do a desk job from 8 to 5 that means you can go with a minimum amount of starch a day. As long as you eat Healthy and you are happily doing whatever you are doing that is all that is important.
We need to be physically, emotionally and mentally fit. Physical fitness is all people seem to be believing in and looking for. Its actually quite simple. You eat right and you walk alittle that helps in your physical fitness. It’s the mental and emotional side that actually needs work. We need to be more mindful and live in the Present, be grateful and not take things to heart. That alone is a lot of work.
- It’s often misconceptualised that if you are not in the socially accepted size range, you are unhealthy. What is your opinion on that?
People seem to think that 120/80 is the correct blood pressure, 100 is the normal range for sugar and below 200 is the normal rate for cholesterol. Everyone seems to forget that no two humans are the same. Not even twins have the same fingerprint. If we are so different how can we categorize people and say, what’s right for one should be right for all?
There is a saying that, ‘you can’t make everyone around happy unless you are selling Ice Cream’. Why do we even bother with what people have to say?
There is no correct size.
If a girl has a hormonal imbalance or an issue with her thyroid gland then there will be a fluctuation in weight. Sometimes people take quite a bit of steroids that cause weight gain that is next to impossible to lose. Those are cases for me to fix. But even in those situations you should love yourself. It is the energy we carry within that we portray out. Weight shouldn’t be a measurement on how valuable human life and self-love is. Confidence in ourselves should never change with a change in a weighing scale or color scheme.
It’s actually quite petty.
Eating disorders and its link to mental health has a huge correlation. How can one overcome such scenarios?
Nutrition is everything in life. It’s very important that we eat the right food and get a balanced diet. This is not possible as most people are on various diets that don’t suite their body.
People either don’t eat at all, they eat very less or they eat the wrong food. Eating disorders used to be Anorexia, Bulimia and so on. But now I also need to add Binge eating, the hoax of having to eat 5-6 meals per day, overdoing meat and fat, excessive amounts of supplements, powdered versions of liquid meals, overcooked meals, refrigerated food etc.
Most of the items listed above are actually dead food. It doesn’t nourish your body. When you don’t receive the right nourishment your organs, blood and tissues are deoxygenated one by one. Our blood carries no value to our body. This leads to illnesses. When there is less oxygen in the blood it also passes to our brain. When we are malnourished and toxic, we mentally carry low energy as well.
The answer to all this is, you eat when you are hungry because that’s your body clock. Drink your water, get 15 minutes of sunlight a day, walk 30 minutes, have a well-balanced social life, sleep 8 hours every night and keep smiling.
- What support can you offer to anyone struggling with body image, proper nutrition and building confidence? How can they stay in touch?
First of all, please don’t correlate your body image to your confidence. You don’t have to lose or gain weight to be beautiful. It comes from within. Love yourself no matter what. Be proud of who you are and what you have achieved so far. Love the journey and don’t always look to a destination. Live in the moment and be grateful that you are alive and kicking. There are many who would love to live the life you are living right now.
You can contact me on my Facebook or Instagram pages, Dr Natalie Cooke.