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The Sowelu Sisterhood is about introducing you to some inspiring ladies in the health, fitness and wellness industry. 

It's time for us to introduce Ashlee Yates although many of you have already met Ash as she's been around the clinic for a few months now. 

Ash is a super mum and a degree qualified Naturopath and she blends her love of family and children with her love of natural therapies beautifully. If you're looking for some natural alternatives to supporting your children's health and well-being, Ashlee is your go to! 

So here's what Ashlee had to say about health, lifestyle and how she manages to run a healthy household... 

What one health, diet or fitness rule do you live by?

Enjoy what you’re doing. No change, no matter how beneficial, is going to become a permanent fixture in your life if it feels like a chore. Taking on something new gradually and finding ways to turn the healthy habits into something enjoyable is the key.

What tips do you have for staying healthy on a budget?

Food! Your diet can be your most effective tool for maintaining optimal health and preventing disease, or it can be a contributing factor to your health complaints. Healthy meals don’t have to be expensive or time consuming to prepare, finding ways to improve upon the recipes you and your family are familiar with is often the most effective way to make dietary improvements.

What is the biggest health and wellness industry misconception that you are constantly myth busting?

That naturopaths never indulge! A healthy body is more than capable of enjoying a 80/20 diet and lifestyle. When your digestive system is working optimally it is more than capable of allowing you to enjoy occasional treats. I would even go as far to say that in doing so, this is actually healthy. Preventing yourself from enjoying meals out with friends and family is not going to do you your willpower any favours in the long term.

What are your go to meals / snacks when you’re super busy?

Smoothies for breakfast or as a snack, usually with added protein and healthy fats to improve satiety. I use to have a lot more time to cook, but now that I’m busier with kids and work I’m relying more on slow cooked meals, soups and stews. I also find it’s easiest to prepare extra food at dinner time, so there’s leftovers. Roasting extra vegetables or cooking a little more protein that can be added to a salad really makes preparing lunch boxes easier the following day.

How do you contribute to the health and wellness of those around you?

By setting and example, and delivering advice and recommendations from a place of support and encouragement. Healing can often be a challenging path, and all the supplementation in the world can’t undo damage that can result from ongoing and detrimental dietary and lifestyle choices. Finding the source of the issue and addressing it is a fundamental aspect of naturopathic medicine.

Do you routinely supplement? Why and what?

Magnesium and B vitamins. I’m prone to stress so I burn through these nutrients at a faster rate than I can obtain them through dietary sources. While I don’t supplement daily, I can tell when I’m getting low in these nutrients because the headaches and fatigue start to creep back in - and that often correlates with a heavier workload. I also regularly turn to herbal medicine during these periods to compliment the nutraceutical therapy and to encourage a healthier stress response.

Have you read any inspiring books on health and wellness lately?

Unfortunately no! Over the years the bulk of my library at home has become overrun by textbooks on nutritional and herbal medicine. But if I was going to recommend one, Food Sources of Nutrients by Dr Antigone Kouris provides a summary of the best food sources of nutrients from both fresh and shelf stable foods, along with the amount of nutrient per typical serving of that food. It’s a great reference guide for people with dietary restrictions who are struggling to ensure they’re consuming enough vitamins and minerals if they’re avoiding particular foods or food groups.

What would a day in your diet diary look like?

It would be varied. I have one child that gratefully sits down to a meal and finishes everything on the plate with zero fuss (think human labrador), and another who has been an extremely picky eater since she was first introduced to solid foods. I never prepare different meals for different family members, my theory is monkey see monkey do. If I’m eating the broccoli without complaint, my daughter is more likely to follow suit.

What is your favourite wellness tip

An 80/20 approach to diet and lifestyle. Once disease is eliminated and the body is healthy, there is no reason not to enjoy the fun stuff.

Who are your wellness hero’s?

There are some amazing researchers in the fields of nutritional and herbal medicine, some of my favourites being naturopath and herbalist Leah Haywood, and nutritional biochemist Henry Osiecki. They inspired me to pursue a researched based career, as I’m incredibly passionate about validating the practice of naturopathic medicine to the medical community and finding ways to effectively integrate therapies between different health practitioners. I discovered early on, however, that I absolutely love clinical practice. The results that adults and children can achieve when naturopathic medicine is applied properly as part of a personalised treatment plan still blows me away, being apart of that process is incredibly rewarding.


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