Award-winning Natural Health with experience, science & intuition
Charlotte Watts was recently interviewed for the Graduate’s Corner section in Optimum Nutrition Magazine in 2012. This is the magazine for the Institute for Optimum Nutrition where she trained 10 years before and regularly contributes to. The following article appeared in the summer 2012 issue:
Deciding to study nutritional therapy was my ‘Eureka!’ moment and I remember it clearly. I had been ill for many years and getting myself well through dietary changes alongside yoga and sitting in a nine to five job I hated, wishing I could find a passion, I suddenly connected the dots. I signed up with ION that day and found the missing link I’d needed – to apply my mind and motivation to something that truly inspired me. I couldn’t believe that this information wasn’t known freely and as an important part of daily living; I still can’t.
I was keen to change my life and in those days students were granted a Licence to Practice in the 3rd year of training, so I dived in alongside a part-time job before graduating in June 2002. Private consultations simply weren’t viable financially full-time so I took a job with a company setting up a nutrition business providing consultations alongside Hair Mineral Analysis, gaining valuable experience with much time spent researching and writing. I soon realised there were endless possibilities around natural health and loving variety, after this job naturally ended I created a life with the constant change I so love. I was a tutor for the Institute for Optimum Nutrition for three years, as well as Year 3 Programme Leader (job-sharing with the fantastic Jules Cattell from Equilibria), worked on luxury retreats for In:spa, wrote and was editorial consultant on health books for Ivy Press, TV work as the presenter/expert on BBC’s Freaky Eaters and GMTV, wrote for various magazines, developed an online nutritional assessment called My Natural Wellbeing, did corporate work and consultancy, as well as seeing private clients.
Alongside all this, six years ago I decided to train to be a yoga teacher at the Vajrasati School in Brighton. This was intense 500 hour training and part of my motivation was to meld my nutritional practice with yoga teaching and find ways to offer more rounded whole life help to clients. Yoga had helped me so much that I felt that recommending dietary change without considering breathing patterns, mindfulness, movement, posture, restoration and body connection was missing a vital part I knew to be so intrinsic to good health. This interest in where nutrition and yoga meet and a long-term exploration of the particular continual psycho-social stresses modern living provokes, lead me to write The De-Stress Diet (Hay House 2012) with the health journalist Anna Magee. I gave Anna a consultation eight years ago and we have been talking stress since, she is also yoga teacher trained and we developed an interest in hunter-gatherer diets, lifestyles and seeking to live life as we evolved whenever we can within this modern context.
This book has my heart and soul in it and I am now exploring ways to translate that to working with clients, creating the online support system De-Stress Your Life, as well as De-Stress Yoga & Health Workshops to help people truly feel what they need and De-Stress Clinics to find workable and affordable alternatives to private consultations. I really feel I come alive when teaching and talking so more recently I have gone back to lecturing in nutrition at the College of Naturopathic Medicine as well as teaching yoga pretty much every day. I had a daughter just over two years ago and love this physical release and focus; nutrition clients can also come to classes and workshops, which helps me really get my teeth into their needs! I teach and consult for many clients with ME/Chronic Fatigue as well as stress-related issues and anxiety and I find this holistic approach crucial, also enlisting a hypnotherapist when possible.
The De-Stress Diet is one of three books I have written since having Maisie and along with lots of book promo stuff, I am now feeling the need to regroup a little and actually take some of my own advice…. I love learning and am keen to study more; I’m currently enthralled by the work of Leo Pruimboom and the Natura Foundation on evolutionary living, as well as the whole area of Nature Deficit Disorder.
Nutrition and natural health are huge, unending subjects and I love the saying “the more you know, the more you know you don’t”. I am so grateful I found my passion as although I work too hard, it never really feels like work and I’m certainly never bored. This career has its ups and downs, but drudgery is never one of the lows. The absolute high is when someone tells you that you have changed their life for the better. My ultimate aim is to help people find their intuition and joy in life.
First published in Optimum Nutrition Magazine summer 2012 issue – see pdf here