Here at Natural Super Kids, we have a growing team of health practitioners ready to support you. One of our practitioners, Susan, is an amazing online naturopath, nutritionist and wholefood chef.
Susan’s additional studies and qualifications have given her a unique approach to working with mums and kids. If you’re looking for great tips and tricks in the kitchen, Susan is the practitioner for you.
Watch the video below or keep reading to learn more about what Susan has to offer and her approach as an online naturopath & chef.
Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you become a naturopath and a wholefood chef?
When I’m not working as an online naturopath and wholefood chef at Natural Super Kids, I’m a busy mum of 3 girls.
Growing up, I always loved food and cooking. I knew that I wanted to work with food in some way. My family was quite conservative, so natural medicine wasn’t something I knew much about.
I started studying dietetics, but I became disenchanted with the course. It felt like the dietetic approach disconnected me from the food I loved.
I first came across naturopathy when I was working at a pharmaceutical company and met someone who was studying it. At the time, I didn’t have a great relationship with health and food. But when I looked into naturopathy, I knew it was for me.
Studying to become a naturopath changed my whole philosophy. It gave me a new holistic approach to food and health.
It took me a little while longer to find my path to becoming a wholefood chef. I stumbled across Jude Blereau, the original Australian wholefood chef, while I was studying.
Wholefoods were a new concept to me. Honestly, I found it overwhelming, but I read through the book and slowly taught myself more. It was a gradual process over a few years.
You went on to train as a wholefood chef in New York! Tell us what that was like and how your training has influenced how you work with clients?
It was a lucky situation – my family was able to move over to America. We ended up staying there for about 6 years.
As I had a chance to learn from Jude, I often heard her talk about Annemarie Colbin. Annemarie is a leader in the natural health and food as medicine space. She founded the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, which is the oldest natural food cooking school in the US.
When I heard about the Institute’s program, it sounded like a dream opportunity! I spent a year learning about wholefoods, food as medicine, sustainable eating and plant-based ingredients. The course included time working in restaurants and even pop-up restaurants.
Studying at the Institute taught me key cooking skills – how to be efficient and how to prepare foods to make cooking less overwhelming. It became easier to add extra nutrition into our everyday meals. I also became much more inventive when cooking with plants!
Many of these skills are simple, so they can be introduced into any home.
Do you have any good recommendations for recipe books?
I own a lot of recipe books – my hubby makes fun of me for it! But it depends on what you’re looking to cook. My collection includes some simple books, and others that are more chef-orientated.
If you want to introduce more wholefood and plant-based recipes to your kids, you can’t go past Jude Blereau’s collection. Her recipes are simple and nourishing, and she explains why she uses different ingredients.
For vegetarian meals, I love the Cookie And Kate blog. They’ve got a great variety of recipes.
When I’m cooking with the kids, you’ll find me pulling out a Donna Hay – Basics to Brilliance Kids has some great nutritionally balanced recipes.
Even recipe books that aren’t necessarily ‘healthy’ are easy to tweak. Switch out ingredients to make them a bit more nutritious – think olive oil instead of canola oil, or spelt flour over white flour.
You’re offering online naturopath consultations and kitchen coaching sessions. What are your areas of interest as a practitioner?
I’m fascinated by gut health – the science behind it, and how it influences disease. The gut-brain axis is incredibly important, particularly for our children.
You also have a passion for working with mums – tell us more about that.
This stems from being a busy mum myself – I’ve learned about what is important for my own wellbeing over the years! As I’ve worked with kids with health challenges, I’ve seen problems arise in their mums as well.
Mums are often drained, exhausted, out of balance and struggling day to day. This is often due to hormonal imbalances, thyroid conditions and gut health issues.
The good news is that these are problems that can be addressed – I see some great results in my mum clients with just small changes!
As a practitioner, what is your philosophy when it comes to supplements?
Food and lifestyle are always the most important pillars for me. You’re not going to leave a consultation with 8 different supplements!
Supplements can help in the acute phase, but they are really just the icing on the cake. You need to manage your concerns long-term, and the way to do that is with food and lifestyle.
Something I learned during my training is how to use food therapeutically – not just as a general diet. It can make a huge difference because it’s something we all do multiple times per day.
What does an online naturopath consultation with you involve?
The best part about offering online naturopath appointments is that it makes it much easier on you as a client! You don’t have to strap the kids into the car, pack their favourite toys and drive to a location. Your kids can play in their own safe environment, and you have more time to share your story with me.
It’s also common for a client to mention an ingredient or supplement, and then go and grab it to show me.
The first time a client comes to see me, we’ll have a two-part appointment. During the initial session, it’s time for you to tell me your story and what is going on. After that session, I can take away what you’ve shared and consider the best approach for you.
In the second appointment, I can give you in-depth and specific advice based on your case. This gives me the time to explain what I’m recommending and why, instead of just giving you a list of what to do.
Just because I’m a wholefood chef doesn’t mean I expect you to be in the kitchen cooking all day! As a mum of 3, I know that time is precious. My experience allows me to make it easier for you to feed your family well.
Do you have any tips for mums who want to boost up their family’s nutrition?
It might seem simple – but the more you can cook at home, the better.
Cooking from scratch feels like a bit of a luxury these days. But you don’t have to be a Masterchef when you walk in the kitchen – even I don’t cook chef-standard meals at home!
Like any habit, cooking at home becomes easier with practice. You might feel overwhelmed with new ingredients to start with. That’s where working with a naturopath can help guide you – particularly if they have a chef background!
Even if you stick to simple ingredients, cooking at home is better for the whole family. It’s not just about the food – it’s the scent, it’s your kids watching us cook and experimenting with food. Cooking at home fosters a healthy environment and relationship with food.
Susan offers online naturopath appointments, as well as Kitchen Coaching sessions for clients who are new to wholefood cooking or need some help to get organised in the kitchen.
Are you interested in working with Susan? Click here to book an appointment.