It’s that time again !
Time to grab a cuppa, or perhaps a freshly extracted juice, make yourself comfortable and have a read our newest Brand Interview.
Today I’m sharing the fifth interview in the series, The Beauty & the Brains Behind the Brand, with Henrietta Norton, joint founder of the food-state supplement brand, Wild Nutrition.
I’ve been very lucky to meet a few of our brands in person over the past year or so, and what struck me most about Henrietta and Charlie Norton when I met them both recently, was their passion and steadfast commitment to their supplements and what they stand for. These are two of the nicest people you could meet, who believe completely in their products, walk their talk, don’t cut corners, and sincerely want to make a difference to people’s health.
So, if you’re passionate about your own health and want to find out more about how food-state supplements differ from their synthetic counterparts, you have an interest in women’s health or you just want to find out more about which key supplements you should be including in your life, then read on. Enjoy x
Wild Nutrition began life in 2013, however you have been a Nutritional Therapist for the past 11 years. Can you tell us more about how that journey began?
I had been interested in health and medicine since I was young. I have always viewed the body as a ‘whole’, interested in the person behind the disease rather than the disease itself and so studying conventional medicine as a degree didn’t quite connect with me. However once I had finished at university, I started to explore my options. I saw a nutritionist myself for advice on my own wellbeing and then it clicked that this was where I needed to begin. So I went back to college to train as a Nutritional Therapist for 3 years.
Unlike most supplements on the market Wild Nutrition produce “food state” nutritional supplements. For those who haven’t come across these before, can you explain what makes “food state” different and more beneficial for the body?
At Wild Nutrition we use a unique Food–State process, which is undertaken by only one company worldwide and supplied to a relatively small selection of companies such as ourselves. This process provides nutrients in a food complex form.
Many food supplement companies use synthetic, isolated forms of nutrients. This is just as it sound’s, where a nutrient found in nature is isolated from the food or plant that it is found in, then synthetically reproduced and processed into a tablet or capsule.
All our Food–State nutrients are bonded in a genuine food complex. The easiest way to understand this process is to think how a plant provides nutrients in nature. A plant draws up inorganic salts from the soil (calcium carbonate for example) and converts them into a form of nutrient that we as humans can absorb and successfully utilize in our cells. We are not able to perform this conversion ourselves, hence our historic reliance on plants for our nutrient intake. The Food-State process is really very similar. We take an inorganic salt and embed it into a live food cell such as citrus pulp, carrot, cabbage, alfalfa, bakers yeast or probiotic yoghurt. These live food cells then metabolize the inorganic salt and change its cellular structure into a nutrient food form that our bodies can recognize. The magic however is in the food as a whole. In nature food never contains a nutrient in an isolated form, rather it is bound with a host of chaperones (carbohydrates, proteins, enzymes, lipids etc) which all assist the nutrient in getting from the bloodstream and into our cells to be used effectively. So really all we are doing is providing supplements in a form that our bodies recognize, just as nature intended.
The evidence behind Food-State nutrients is compelling. More than 50 independent studies have shown that Food–State nutrients provide greater bio-availability and perhaps more importantly, once absorbed, greater metabolism at a cellular level. Hence there is no need for mega-doses as with synthetic isolated supplements.
In addition to Food-State nutrients we also combine whole food and botanical ingredients. Stress (whether physical, environmental or emotional) affects all areas of our health including immune health, energy, hormone stability so many of our formulas contain adaptogens to support the body’s tolerance of this stress.
Do you believe in the modern world we now live in, that supplementation is a key component to balanced health and which key supplements would you say are important for us to be looking at taking?
Yes sadly. Research is increasingly showing us that today’s environment is not as fertile-friendly for both plant and human as it once was. Many of the foods we eat have been grown on exhausted soil, intensively farmed, picked before they are ripe and transported many miles from source before reaching our plates. As a result, a large proportion of our food is lacking in much-needed trace minerals and vitamins. Additionally there are many more of us taking medication that can also have an affect on body storage of key nutrients such as B12, Chromium and zinc.
Wholesome food must always come first but yes supplements can be a significant scaffolding for our health too. In this busy environment that many of us live in, I would say that a B Complex or an adaptogen such as cordyceps are a good support for both men and women and magnesium and iodine specifically for women.
What do you believe we should strive to include in our diet on a day-to-day basis to help maintain good health?
Clean water (so many of us are dehydrated and don't know it) plenty of greens, good oils and a healthy daily dose of light and fresh air.
Within the first year of trading you’ve managed to put together a comprehensive range of supplements for the whole family. Can we expect more products being added over the coming year?
Yes, it is a very exciting time for us and we have great plans for growth and expansion of our product range over the next year. During 2015 we anticipate launching another 20-30 products that will include additions to our children’s and men’s range as well as the introduction of a sports range. It is a deeply energetic time for us right now.
Women’s Health particularly fertility and pregnancy are areas you specialise in. Do you believe as women, we often enter into this phase of our lives nutritionally deficient, and if so, could this be a reason so many women can struggle to conceive?
This is a very interesting area indeed and one that I have been researching for my book Your Pregnancy Nutrition Guide. Studies have shown that couples who have made changes to their diet and lifestyle improved their chances of having a healthy pregnancy and baby by 80 per cent, but research has shown that the benefits extend way beyond this. Indeed, how healthy your diet and lifestyle are during the preconception period is now understood to sow the seeds of health for your growing baby in infancy, such as reducing the risk of atopic conditions such as asthma and eczema, as well as chronic health conditions in adulthood, such as diabetes. Where we are in our mind, body and spirit can have a great influence on fertility and I deeply feel that supporting your fertility is about nourishing your mind as well as your body.
Back in 2012 you wrote “Take Control of Your Endometriosis” and I believe you have another book due out this year. Can you tell us more?
Yes, Your Pregnancy Nutrition Guide will be published in August 2015. This is, as the title suggests, a sound and hopefully empowering guide on how to nourish you and your baby from conception to birth and breastfeeding. It draws on my years of working with women for fertility and during pregnancy. Being pregnant during the writing of this book with our third beautiful boy has made this that much more special too. I feel very attached to it.
Both yourself and your husband, Charlie founded Wild Nutrition. You are also proud parents to 3 young boys. How do you both manage to find that all important work-life balance, which is so crucial to good health?
There are days when I am not sure we have found it but the one factor that helps is to accept that we cant do it all – sometimes this means the kids have fish fingers for supper because a meeting runs over or means we end up going to work in the clothes we threw on quickly to take the kids to school. The point is, it can’t all be perfect, you have to prioritise, let yourself off the hook, put things in perspective and let go of the small things….and no matter how bonkers the day has been, eat together as a family – even if it is fish fingers!
Which supplements from your range would we see on your kitchen counter at home?
In the kitchen you will see Bespoke Man Daily MultiNutrient for Charlie, Bespoke Woman Daily MultiNutrient for me, Bespoke Child Daily MultiNutrient for the boys. We all take the High Strength Omega 3 too and there is a bottle of B Complex Plus to dip into when the plates are really spinning.
Next to our bed is a pot of magnesium too, for those nights when the mind won’t rest.
And lastly, having achieved continued success since Wild Nutrition’s beginnings, what advice would you give to anyone out there who wishes to make their passion a business?
Well I think passion is the most important element of a successful business. I feel that you have to be passionate enough about what it is you're doing that the discomfort and work that may come from it will always be less than the pain of not doing it. We knew setting up Wild Nutrition would be hard but we felt so passionately about it, there really was no choice not to.
Build a strong team, both professionally and personally. We are lucky enough to have people working with us who are as passionate about Wild Nutrition as we are and we trust them implicitly. Find the time to fit in some regular reflective and restorative space too, whether that's walking by the sea or yoga, this is crucial. It is no use to anyone if you burn yourself out – you have to enjoy the journey, otherwise what’s the point.
If you'd like to find out more, you can browse our Wild Nutrition range of products HERE