Francesca: Hello Simona and thank you for agreeing to being interviewed by Healthynewage: it’s a privilege to introduce you to our readers. First of all, I’d like to ask you why you decided to become a Holistic Nutritionist, as opposed to being ‘just’ a Nutritionist?
Simona: As a Holistic Nutritionist, I am interested to view the patient as a whole entity rather than simply curing a disease. The holistic approach and philosophy focus on nurturing and nourishing the entire being: the body, the mind and the spirit. I believe that we cannot separate our physical health from our emotional, mental and spiritual states of being. All levels are interconnected and a state of disease in the body is always a reflection of anxiety, or disharmony, on other levels of being. So when we have a physical problem or disorder we need to look deep into our thoughts, attitudes and emotions. These can help us discern what we can do to restore the harmony and balance.
Francesca: I’m with you Simona. Achieving wellbeing is more than being physically healthy. But in practical terms, how do you help your clients to solve their imbalances?
Simona: I work with clients to introduce new dietary habits to help heal or prevent disease and incorporate the latest nutritional breakthroughs. I am foremost a teacher, educator, and facilitator. I empower and enthuse people through personal sessions, workshops and un-cooking classes. I help them enhance their health, sense of wellbeing, and confidence and to connect and experience joy, love and bliss. I inspire my clients to try something new, and I let them know that something else is available that they can try in order to feel good and healthy. I like to share what I have learned so far and to hear people say how great they have been feeling since they started eating a healthier diet. Then I know that I am making a difference, and it feels great.
Francesca: This is truly inspiring Simona! Can you share with us any success stories about how you have helped people heal through nutrition?
Simona: I have had many success stories. I am always very happy when I see my clients reaching their goals. The majority of people who come to me are already on the path of self-healing, and are willing to change their lifestyle. I provide tools, knowledge and techniques that they can incorporate into their everyday life. As a partner in their journey towards positive change, I provide support and guidance. I sincerely care for my clients, and my practice goes way beyond the mere sharing of information. What I do in my practice is summarised very well by this quote: “I must understand each and every person for what they are, and where they want to be; only then can I help them get there.” I am also thrilled to say that some of my friends and extended family have incorporated natural health habits.
Francesca: Leading people to change for better must be very satisfactory. How does being an Orthomolecular Holistic Practitioner help you to support clients in their individual healing journey?
Simona: Orthomolecular medicine is a form of alternative medicine that focuses on maintaining health through nutritional supplementation. Disease reflects deficiencies in the body, therefore we correct deficiency/imbalances based on individual biochemistry using specific doses of vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, fatty acids, amino acids, and other natural substances. Orthomolecular medicine is a term coined by the chemist Linus Pauling who defined it as “the preservation of good health and the treatment of disease by varying the concentration in the human body of substances that are normally present in the body”. An orthomolecular approach to supporting general health could include the use of a number of vitamin and mineral supplements, probiotics, digestive enzymes and various herbs. Eating just food is no longer enough as our soil is so depleted of minerals. This is especially important when certain illnesses are present. An individual’s need for vitamins and minerals increases dramatically also when stress is present, due to age, health and various other factors. Good multi vitamins and minerals are often suggested even by doctors.
Francesca: The consumption of a greater amount of vitamins and minerals is also the principle upon which the many raw vegan recipe books that you have published are based. Why would you advise people to become vegan and increase their consumption of raw food?
Simona: The living food lifestyle has proven itself to be a powerful approach in the amelioration of many health issues such as depression, osteoporosis, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, weight problems, chronic fatigue syndrome, mood disorder, low energy levels etc. I am talking about fresh raw food that has not been heated at high temperatures or processed in any way. Raw food is digested easily; it strengthens the immune system, helps with memory and concentration, and cleanses and detoxifies the body. But that is not all. Raw food has more nutrients and fibers than when the same food is cooked. It contains enzymes that are active when not exposed to heat above 118º F. Cooking produces free radicals in food; it damages fats and oils, changing them into trans-fatty acids, which are bad for our health. Cooking disrupts the structure of indoles which are anti-cancer compounds found in fresh fruit and vegetables.
According to Dr. Kouchakoff, cooking food at or above 200º F causes leukocytosis (an increasing number of white blood cells), which means that the body is reacting to something harmful: it recognizes cooked food as an invader that must be neutralised. Eating organic, fresh living raw plant food such as colourful fruit and vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes, sea vegetables, freshly made juices, and sprouted grains is essential for your health. Think about abundance of live, organic food taken from the garden, full of solar energy (solar powered). By eating this food we transfer this energy into our body. It will make us stronger, and give us abundant energy and stamina.
Francesca: This would be quite a change for a lot of people. How do you envisage the transition?
Simona: I suggest a slow transition to a healthy diet to allow the body to shift automatically into the new pattern. My recommendation is a step-by-step approach, beginning with more organic, fresh, live food. Start incorporating new food choices one week at a time. Try to eat at least 70% to 80% of organic raw live food every day, if possible. Our body needs organic, fresh live food, rich in nutrients and enzymes without pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and that has not been irradiated, packaged, processed and genetically modified. Eliminate these things! Remember what you put in your body is what you become. If you put junk in your body, your body becomes a junkyard, and if you put superfoods in your body you become healthy, happy, and beautiful in body, mind and spirit. A work of art! Listen to your Body. How do you feel emotionally, physically and spiritually after ingesting certain foods? What are your cravings? Incorporate one food at a time and experiment with it. Prepare your food with love, as it will aid in digestion. Create your own recipes in order to develop a relationship with food. Choose the best food available on the planet. Take care of yourself and your children they are the most vulnerable at a younger age. Love yourself.
Francesca: Thank you so much Simona! I like the thought of a ‘super’ me due to the consumption of healthier and more live foods. I definitely look forward to the 130 raw food recipes contained in your upcoming book Sexy, Fit and Fabulous.
Simona Stepancic (BSc, RHN, ROHP) has authored two series of recipe books: the FRESH Recipe Journal series and the FRESH Raw Vegan series.