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As our retreat manager, Bethany is the first contact for our guests. Here's a chance to get to know her before you attend!
Tell us a bit about how you became interested in food and where you nutrition career has taken you?
My interest in nutrition started when I was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) aged 30. The doctors told me there was nothing they could do and I had to learn to live with my symptoms which included extreme fatigue, muscle pain, brain fog, headaches and digestive problems. I refused to accept this prognosis and sought help from holistic practitioners. By changing my diet and lifestyle I have managed to overcome all my symptoms and feel healthier than ever!
As part of my own recovery journey I decided to retrain as a Nutritional Therapist so I could help others improve their wellbeing. I used to think I had a fairly healthy diet before I got ill, but now I know I was using caffeine and sugar as a crutch to get me through every day and wasn’t giving my body the fuel it needed to function optimally!
I love working with people and helping them find their healthiest selves.
What does your retreat job involve?
As retreat manager, I’m to go-to contact for all guest questions and arrangements. I speak to everyone via email or phone before they arrive to make sure they know what to expect, answer any questions and get a better understanding of what they want to get from the retreat so we tailor it to suit their needs and tastes.
I’m also onsite during many of the retreats to help support the guests on their detox journey and answer questions. I also run workshops on stress and fatigue and do cooking demos. I make sure it all runs as smoothly as possible so the guests can focus on relaxing and getting the most out of the experience.
Stress is your specialist subject, why?
Stress played a big role in the development of my illness and I’ve now made it my specialist subject! Stress is something that affects everyone and its impact on our lives is more widespread than ever. Burn-out is becoming increasingly common and I believe there needs to be a big shift in how we manage stress in our lives and how we fuel our body to be more resilient to stress. The truth is we’re never going to get rid of stress from our lives, we just need to learn how to manage it better.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to make their diet better?
Don’t try and change everything all at once or expect symptoms to improve over night. Make small, sustainable changes and you’ll start to reap the benefits long-term.
Start with something simple like drinking more water or adding a side of green vegetables to your dinner plate - both changes most people will benefit from Then move on to more difficult things like reducing caffeine or swapping that daily chocolate bar for something healthier like oatcakes and nut butter.