I have always been interested in psychology and the brain. It's dominated my studies and life experience. I studied Psychology as an undergraduate, and completed a masters in Clinical Neuroscience as a post graduate. I've always found the mind and the brain incredibly fascinating, as our bodies most mysterious and least understood organ!
I took a somewhat unusual pivot toward corporate career after my studies. I was lucky enough to find a job in London that allowed me to use my understanding of scientific research and apply this to financial decisions. I was still spending a lot of time reading and understanding about life sciences and mental health. During this time, I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I was sleepless, restless, and deeply unhappy. I began the traditional route of medications and talking therapy. They both certainly helped, and I recovered slowly over the next year.
After a number of years of working in London, I decided to take a bold step and move to Hong Kong to gain more professional and life experience. After surviving the initial move, and finding my feet over the next few months, I decided that I felt well enough to take myself off my medication. It's really essential I stress right now: please do not come off your medication without consultation and support of your prescribing doctor. This was, really, a dangerous move.
Shortly after fully stopping the medication, I had a really strong anxiety attack. I was stuck in the disabled toilet at work for about two hours. It was awful. After this, my anxiety was just through the roof and wouldn't come back down. As a result, I had to be signed off work, take sedatives to get through the day and night. I was really struggling to eat as my anxiety made me feel really unwell. This continued, and worsened until I realised it was time to come home.
Luckily, my psychiatrist, upon receiving my emergency email, knew they would be admitting me to hospital. I travelled back to the UK and went straight to the hospital. I spent a few weeks resting, recovering, stabilising on medication and in intensive therapy. I was so fortunate to be able to access this resource, as it was life-saving. After this, I was at home, recovering. I got better but plateaued and wasn't anywhere near as well as I was before this.
Sometime later, an aunt learned of my illness, and she had studied nutritional therapy. She suggested I change my diet. In all honesty, food was a chore still (because of the anxiety), and I had never ever been interested in eating healthily or cooking much either! But I humoured her, because she explained the science of how nourishing your brain cells helps them work. I started with a simple smoothie (a recipe I will of course post!). I then discovered almond butter (in my top 2 favourite foods).
In the mean time, I started taking short online courses on nutrition to understand the basics. I still experienced ups and downs but it was unmistakable, I was getting better. I experienced less anxiety and anxious periods and my depression eased too. I was able to be more independent and enjoy life again. Honestly, before long, I even begun to love salads (but that's obviously not the only thing that you can eat that's healthy!), start taking some real exercise, and eventually start working again. I decided to explore working in the nutrition industry to see if it was for me.
I worked my way up from working in a health food store, to working for health and supplement companies. I undertook the rigorous and evidence-based training at the Institute of Optimum Nutrition (ION) and am delighted to be a Registered Nutritional Therapist, with an absolute mission to help clients experiencing stress, burnout, anxiety, depression and sleepless nights feel more positive, balanced, and full of life. I want you to be feeling mentally well and full of energy to reach the goals you have for your life.
I don't want the principles of eating for your brain health to be fully restrictive. Everyone's needs are very individual, and I want to help you find the balance within your life. I want you to find the joy in eating well and looking after your mind and body, because they are very interlinked and what makes you, you!
If you have any questions or anything, please feel free to get in touch - I'd love to hear from you!