After experiencing first-hand the struggle to maintain a high standard of wellbeing while on the corporate wheel, Natalie Louise Burrows decided to take action. Now a qualified Nutritional therapist, Natalie Louise not only improved her own lifestyle but now helps her clients improve their own health and wellbeing. She talks to The Industry Leaders about why sleep is so important and tells us how she switches off every evening.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
I spent a decade working in the corporate world in the City of London and saw first-hand how the pressure and stress of work was underpinned by poor nutrition, lack of sleep and stimulants. Colleagues, through no fault of their own, were surviving rather than thriving.
Being part of this environment, I experienced a decline in my wellbeing. With metabolic conditions on the rise, I knew this lifestyle wasn't conducive to good health, so I took charge of my destiny by focusing on my own health concerns. I qualified as a Nutritional Therapist to support others in their journey to improving theirs.
What kind of work does your role involve?
My first step is always to get a thorough understanding of a client's health history and symptom presentation to paint a picture of the biochemical pathways and mechanisms at play that are contributing to their symptoms or health conditions. I do this through 1:1 consultation, and I carry out tests where necessary to dive deeper into what is occurring within the body.
Using this information, I provide nutrition, lifestyle and supplement plans that guide clients towards homeostasis, ultimately improving how they feel.
I also offer corporate workshops to promote and support wellness within the workplace.
What gets you excited about your industry?
Functional Medicine is being used more and more as we continue to see a holistic approach get results for clients – not through symptom suppression but by resolving the imbalances at play within the body.
Naturopathic approaches are often 10 years ahead of Western medicine, and when we see Western Medicine adopting the theories and practices, it's really exciting. I hope the integration of Western and Functional Medicine continues, but it will take time. In the meantime, I'm inspired by the great results that we can achieve for people from a holistic approach.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Wake up every day excited for the difference you're going to make.
What, or who inspires you?
Dr Rangan Chatterjee – one of the first GPs to step outside the norm, started looking at health holistically and considering protocols beyond a 'pill for an ill'. He has championed Functional Medicine and what we do as Nutritional Therapists, which is very welcomed as he is a respected GP.
Also, Dr Ben Lynch. His dedication to uncovering how genetics play a role in our health and what we can do about it from a nutrition and lifestyle perspective has been game-changing. He's also inspiring for how he champions what he feels is right, even when it pushes against the tide.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
Continuing Professional Development is a big part of life as a Nutritional Therapist, with 25 points required annually to remain a member of our industry's regulatory bodies.
I join events and webinars with expert speakers, and I follow the latest peer-reviewed evidence to keep up to date with the science that can support my clients.
I also read reputable monthly magazines, usually on a slow Sunday morning with a coffee in bed.
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
This has to be fears around COVID-19, which no one could have been fully prepared for. People have been looking for lots of answers that just aren't available due to how novel the virus is. We're still learning so much about it.
Additionally, I have some clients who are still presenting with long-covid symptoms a year after contracting the virus. Their symptom presentation is so vast, therefore the protocols are not straight forward. We're seeing that COVID-19 is the virus that 'breaks the camel's back', so the client's health history gives us vital information to identify the support the body needs.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
That's a nice challenge to have! Firstly, I would create a stable life for my family and friends, and then I'd continue the work I am doing to help others but without the need to make money from it.
I want to reach so many more people, especially those less well-off who also need nutrition and health support. I plan to create courses in the future to offer support at a lower cost, and I do get invited to speak at wellness retreats and events that I love because it's a chance to share my knowledge with more people for free.
How do you switch off after a day at work?
All the Bs: Bath, book, bed.
In the morning, I focus on preparing for the day ahead, but after work, I want to dial down the nervous system and ensure I have a good night's sleep.
Sleep is so important – it's a vital eight hours for our bodies to repair and restore. Plus, I love learning, and if we don't sleep, our brains can't store the memories or information we have taken in during the day.
I also journal before I go to bed to get my thoughts down on paper and note what I've achieved and learned from the day.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
As I've mentioned, I'd love to see complementary therapies integrated more with allopathic medicine. There have been pilot studies within the NHS, and I hope these begin to accelerate as the results shine through. The patients come first, and they are the ones who will benefit if we can integrate the two practices. It's people like Dr Chatterjee, one of my inspirations, who will help that become a reality.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
'Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker. We spend a third of our lives asleep, and Matthew Walker dedicated over 20 years to understanding why. What he uncovered shouldn't leave anyone in any doubt that protecting those eight hours a night should be a priority for us all.
This book was a game-changer for me when I read it three years ago, and it continues to inspire me today. I love working with clients to support their sleep – the difference it makes to them is huge!
How should people connect with you?
Via my website: www.natalielouisenutrition.com
On Instagram - @natalielouise_nutritionist
On Facebook - Nutrition with Natalie Louise
I'd love to hear from you!