Our Founder's Story
I first became aware of the link between brain health and mental wellness in 2009 during my first year studying towards my Bachelor of Natural Medicine. At the time I was on anti-depressants for about the fourth time since my early 20s.
Curiosity led me to a weekend workshop on supplements for mental health, led an Australian naturopathic doctor. The day was transformational. Through better nutrition, lifestyle, supplements and exercise, he spoke on the importance of taking control of your mental wellness and taught that needing anti-depressants wasn’t a foregone conclusion or life-sentence.
"What we eat (and don’t eat) affects our mental state. Changing what we put into our mouths changes the quality of the fuel our stomach can provide to the brain".
Although seemingly obvious now, back then, that realisation changed my future direction, personally and professionally.
Riding the Ups & Downs
Taking back control and feeling empowered I weaned off medication in favour of the best nutrition I could afford as a student. Combined with regular exercise and mindful life choices, I haven’t taken anti-depressants since.
There has certainly been ups and downs in my life over that time, just like anybody. However, when I notice a dip in my mental wellness, instead of thinking there is something wrong with me, I view it as my body’s helpful way of signalling that beneficial lifestyle amendments are needed. When stress waves or curveballs come, because my foundation is healthier, the downs are shallower resulting in a return to a balanced state sooner whilst remaining kind to myself.
Science and Nature
Working in clinic as a practitioner furthered my interest in the link between brain and mental health, particularly the effects of neuro-inflammation, caused by various factors including inflammatory foods, non-constructive health behaviours, chronic stress, chronic pain and head injury.
Research shows that a suspected serotonin deficiency is not the primary culprit in depression after all.
Flavonoids (important chemistry from fruits, vegetables, legumes and herbs) have an important evolutionary role as natural neuro anti-inflammatories, which is fantastic. However, this crucial chemistry is hugely deficient in the modern food supply.
In a nutshell – someone experiencing depression may be deficient in flavonoids, not serotonin. This is something that can be addressed and remedied relatively simply, naturally.
Vitality and Freedom
Having since completed my Masters in Applied Neuroscience through King’s College London, my fascination with the brain and the mind has only grown. I am thrilled and beyond excited to take you on this journey with The Vitality Project team. Our mission is to educate and interest our community in the importance of brain health as a fundamental factor underlying mental wellbeing.
Wholeheartedly wishing you the vitality and freedom experienced through excellent brain and mental health.
Founder and Chief Vitality Officer