Natalie Medhurst is a fellow Wellness Coach in training (we studied at the same health school!), an Aussie netballer and a massive beach lover. Her perspective on health encompassing the mind, body and spirit is exactly the same as I preach. You can drink 10 green smoothies a day, but if you’re constantly stressed and hating yourself, you will never be healthy. Meet the inspiring Nat…
Tell us about your journey, what sparked your passion for the health and wellness industry?
For me, being an elite athlete, health has always been extremely important for me to be able to perform at my best week in week out. However, being in an industry that is highly demanding and competitive, where skin fold measurements are taken regularly, as well as my own body acceptance and other ‘life pressures or issues’ there were certainly times where I struggled with my body image and taking proper care of myself. I was one of those people who would never show signs of ‘weakness’ or would always try and do the ‘team’ thing by helping others and pushing myself and where netball become my whole identity and was basically deﬁning who I was. There was then a breakthrough moment where I realised I needed to take a step back and look at different elements of my life. Since ﬁnding a balance between my life on the court and away I now feel more content and happier with who I am and what it is that works for me. It’s knowing that it’s ok to talk to people and show vulnerabilities and knowing that my worth is much more than just that of a ‘netballer’. The Australian environment now has a far greater emphasis on a player’s wellbeing and the thought that better people make better netballers and that is certainly ringing true. I am more comfortable in being myself and knowing what works for me and how important this is not only in my netball profession but also in my day to day life. In society there seems to be more of a focus on either eating right or being physically active, but not enough on the mental aspect and in fact, how all three elements work together. Health was always more about nutrition and ﬁtness, but a person’s health in the sense of their wellbeing and having a healthy mind is what sets everything apart and works in unison with diet and ﬁtness. There needs to be more support, focus and education on how important this is and the beneﬁts nurturing these elements actually has for everyone, both as individuals and as an Organisation. Through my own personal experiences and highs and lows both on and off the court, getting further in to this ﬁeld is something that I am very passionate about. As such I have now started my Lifestyle, Health and Wellness Coaching degree through Cadence Health which I am very excited about and am loving getting stuck in to.
What’s your number one wellness tip?
Try and ﬁnd at least 1 hour every day where you do something on your own just for YOU that you enjoy! Whether it is going for a walk or to the gym or doing yoga, reading a book, sitting at a cafe to have a coffee, getting a manicure, going to a movie.. or even just sitting in a park doing absolutely nothing. Being comfortable to be on your own is important to escape the “noise” of others, but even more essential is actually taking time from the hustle and bustle of day to day life to spend time on YOURSELF. This is something that I never really did or realised how important it was to my own personal happiness and mental health. When I was asked by someone what I did for myself outside of work/study/netball I literally could not ﬁnd an answer. It shocked me a bit as I had actually stopped ﬁnding that element of looking out for myself. Since then, I make sure I do something that is just for me that allows me to unwind, reset and refresh.
What’s your one non-negotiable when it comes to your health?
MOVE EVERY DAY! Personally, I will always get up in the morning and do something whether its a walk, run or some yoga. Some people like to use coffee to “wake up” but for me, getting outside in the fresh air and moving kick starts my day. Even if I am ﬂying out somewhere in the morning, I will wake up that half an hour earlier just to go for a walk. My other non-negotiable is to drink a lot of WATER!! Im one of those people who always has a drink bottle in their handbag so there’s no excuses to not keep hydrated, which has many beneﬁts, during the day.
What motto do you live by?
“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”
What is your proudest achievement?
Playing for Australia – including 2xWorld Championships and a gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games!
What are your goals for the future?
I have a couple… Finish my Cadence Health Lifestyle, Food & Wellness Coach degree and start my own business in this ﬁeld. Win the 2015 Netball World Championship in Sydney. Start a family.
Tell us something not many people know about you?
I am a TERRIBLE swimmer… and yet I LOVE the beach!
Can you share with us one of your favourite recipes?
1 piece fresh (skinless) salmon ﬁllet
Lemon rind and squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Dukkah of choice
Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fan forced). Line a tray with baking paper and place ﬁsh on top. Sprinkle dukkah and ﬁnely grated lemon rind on top of ﬁsh. Add a small squeeze of fresh lemon juice over fish. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes (depending on how you like it cooked).
Kale Salad Ingredients:
1 cup kale – chopped
1 cup of zoodles (zucchini noodles) – use a spiraliser or grater to make ‘noodles’ from a fresh zucchini
1/2 avocado – sliced
3 grape tomatoes – chopped in half
1 tablespoon pepita/sunﬂower seed mix – lightly ‘dry’ toasted
1/2 tablespoon coconut oil – melted
1 teaspoon ABC spread
Squeeze of lemon juice
Kale Salad Method:
Mix coconut oil and ABC spread to make a ‘sauce’. Place kale in a bowl and add ABC/coconut ‘sauce’ to kale. Gently massage together with hands for a few minutes. Add ‘zoodles’, tomatoes and seed mix and gently toss through. Place on a plate and top with sliced avocado, a small squeeze of lemon juice and ﬁnish with adding the freshly cooked piece of salmon… and then eat!!
Where can we ﬁnd you?