June 24, 2020
Thanks to COVID-19, there's never been a better time to focus on your health and well-being, especially when it comes to nourishing your body with the right nutrition. In our latest instalment of Wellness Warriors, we asked Renée Grandi, resident naturopath and nutritionist at Chiva-Som health resort in Hua Hin, Thailand, for some practical tips on how to improve your health.
Where are you from and how did you end up at Chiva-Som?
I’m originally from Mackay, a town nestled near the Great Barrier Reef in North Queensland, Australia. It was always my dream to work in a luxury wellness retreat focusing on holistic health, and after doing my research, Chiva Som inspired me so much that I was compelled to contact them. As they say, the rest is history!
How did you first discover wellness?
I’ve always loved nutrition and natural medicine—nature is my happy place as it innately nourishes and supports our minds and bodies. When I discovered naturopathy, I knew I would spend the rest of my life indulging in the healing power of nature. In fact, I was diagnosed with PCOS at 19 and naturopathy significantly improved my well-being.
Why are you so passionate about health?
I’ve witnessed friends and family become chronically ill and how that affects nearly every aspect of life. Nourishing your body not only encourages prevention but a happier and more energetic self. Helping others make progress in their health journeys is inspiring, and I’m grateful to be surrounded by such wonderful clients.
What are your daily health and wellness rituals?
Sleep is a huge priority for me—I always aim to get my eight hours. I’m a fan of herbal teas and homemade tea kefirs and I love listening to relaxing music and creating nourishing, wholesome foods and environments to unwind. I try to maintain the basics of hydration, sleep, relaxation, exercise, sunshine and whole foods, along with plenty of beach walks and swims.
Are there any special remedies that you incorporate into your wellness routine?
I’m infinitely trying out new herbal and nutritional remedies, especially herbal teas, tinctures and fermented foods. They’re easy to make at home and offer so many health benefits. My other go-to’s include honey and bentonite clay face masks, charcoal for teeth whitening, salted oil/coffee scrubs, natural body and face oils. Epsom salt baths, saunas and essential oils also help me wind down after a long day.
Your favourite superfoods?
I love kimchi, sauerkraut, plant-based kefirs, sprouts, nuts and seeds, but honestly, I appreciate all herbs and whole foods! My house is constantly brewing teas like turmeric, ginger, licorice, butterfly pea, bael fruit, cinnamon, rosehip, flowers, green or lemongrass.
I'm currently drinking licorice root and peony tea, which is nourishing to the adrenal glands and supports hormone metabolism. Adding superfood powders like Ashwagandha, Maca root, greens mixes, reishi or cacao are other ways to boost your meals and/or smoothies.
What are some common issues that people come to see you for at Chiva-Som?
The most common clinical issues include chronic stress, sleep disturbances, hormonal imbalances, cardiovascular health and immunity conditions.
What are the remedies?
We get right back to the basics. Most of the time, it’s about getting enough daily sunshine, exercise, relaxation, sleep or adequate nutrients in your diet. Everyone is different so remedies are tailored to each individual. At Chiva-Som, we conduct comprehensive client evaluations and review all aspects of health, including pathology. From there, I create personalised plans utilising herbs, nutrients and lifestyle factors to target specific biochemical processes and ailments.
What's your personal secret to staying healthy?
Do things that spark joy, build happy and healthy relationships, and keep everything in moderation. Our minds and bodies become depleted when we lose our life passion and don’t keep to nourishing lifestyles. Enjoying life, eating well, exercise and sunshine are vital to good health.
Travel-wise, what were some of your favourite trips and where do you hope to go next?
I love Thailand! It’s so warm, welcoming and full of breathtaking natural wonders. The Canadian Rockies, Italy, Spain and Portugal are some of my favourite destinations. Next, I'd love to go to Switzerland and hike through those glorious mountains I’ve heard all about. The world is an extraordinary place; nature truly is magnificent.
See also: 5 Travel Trends for the Post-COVID Era
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