I'm so thrilled to introduce Natural Harry to you guys. I was introduced to Harry when going away for our annual family holiday in Barwon Heads. Harry had a van called 'Natural Harry' set up on a little grassy hill, with bean bags, tunes and of course an abundance of raw treats. My family and I used to go and hang out there, and soon it became one of our favourite places to chill out.
So welcome Harry.
Tell us a little about your journey and who you are?
I grew up on a farm in Victoria. I am a massive nature nerd and ocean lover. I began my journey in the fashion industry in Melbourne. I need to be creative in all that I do. For me it is like breathing. A keen interest in feeling my best to be able to perform best in my different roles led my down the path of studying integrative nutrition and moving to the coast. There I began Natural Harry which started as a vintage caravan (built by my clever partner Fraser) selling organic plant-based smoothies and raw desserts and has morphed into a published recipe book and blog.
What is your health and wellness philosophy?
Movement and nutrition has always played a part in my life however the penny did not drop until I was about 24 that the quality of what you put in your mouth and what thoughts you chose makes the difference. My philosophy has grown and changed over the years. I have no interest in dogma or fads. In regards to nutrition I think it is simple. Whole, plant-based, organic food to nourish and fuel the body. Looking at food as self care and self respect by giving yourself the best quality. Fermented food and gut healing foods are also important to me. Proper hydration, sunlight and healthy relationships play an enormous part in my wellbeing. Following what I enjoy as my choice of movement has served me well for as long as I can remember. I adore swimming outdoors, walking, yoga and surfing.
What are your ‘non negotiables’ when it comes to your own health?
Movement. I have to find some way to move my body every single day. Without it I am never as productive, positive, inspired or motivated. Choosing activities I love and look forward to and putting on my to-do list as a top priority means that it always gets ticked off.
Water. It took me a while to really get on board with the importance of proper hydration. Not only do I make sure I drink enough water but I also incorporate some form of water rich raw fruit and vegetables into everyday for extra benefit. This has by far made the most profoundly positive change to my feeling of wellbeing.
Gut health. To stay on top of my immunity, digestion, energy, skin health and to get the most out of the food I eat I make sure I incorporate fermented foods into at least two out of 3 meals a day.
You create the most stunning recipes and I have been lucky enough to try many of your smoothies and sweet treats at the Natural Harry van in Barwon Heads. What is your favourite recipe to nourish your body and soul?
That would have to be a smoothie. Preferably one with banana as the base. Bananas have loads of tryptofan which is a natural serotonin booster. So not only does your body get to benefit from all the amazing fresh produce you have just given it but your mind will thank you too!
You thrive on a plant based diet. Why do you think eating plant based, or for those meat eaters, at least 1 or 2 plant based vegan meals a week is important?
Because plants, on the whole are nutrient dense and calorically dilute. Most of us these days lead a much more sedentary lifestyle than in the past as well as consuming one hell of a lot more animal and processed products than ever before. The nutrients found in whole, fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, and some grains are vital to our wellbeing and to the proper functioning of the body. Not to mention the fibre content. Animal products contain no fibre and are calorically dense which is not great for someone who sits for 8+ hours a day. In my opinion, to benefit from that broad spectrum of life giving, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals in a bioavailable form we need to crowd out the processed foods and larger potions of animal products with delicious nourishing whole plant foods.
This is one of my favourite questions, because I think it shows that we are all different and there is no one size fits all approach when it comes to nutrition…. What does a typical day look like on your plate?
I love that question too!
The answer is………never the same! I would say it changes dramatically 4 times a year in fact. In the summer for example I would start my day with a litre of water and a massive green or banana and berry smoothie. Lunch would consist of a huge salad, avo on sprouted bread with sauerkraut or some kind of delicious easy recipe I am developing for the blog or book. Dinner is more often than not a bowl of goodness of some kind e.g. hummus, sweet potato chips, greens and kimchi.
In winter it will look more like this: a big warming bowl of whole rolled oat porridge cooked with almond milk and topped with coconut yogurt and cinnamon for brekkie. Broccoli rice, sautéed mushrooms and hummus for lunch (I eat a LOT of hummus haha), home made veggie burgers or baked sweet potato for dinner.
I tend to steer more towards grounding root veg and spices in winter and fresh salads and smoothies in summer. I’m a little auyvedic in my approach to my diet in very seasonal Victoria. I would say if I lived somewhere tropical that would be very different.
I am a big believer that how you spend the first 80 minutes of your day sets up how the rest of your day will flow. Tell us about your ideal way to spend the first 80 minutes of your day?
Absolutely! I agree with this one wholeheartedly. The ideal way I spend the first 80 minutes of my day in summer is with a big 2k swim and a quick 5 - 10 minute meditation with my face to the sun and in winter either a slow stretch or a walk on the beach all rugged up. I much prefer the summer one haha.
What is next for Natural Harry?
So much! I am currently working on a project I have to keep a little under wraps. Lets just say it will more than make up for the absence of the caravan. I will keep you posted ;)
What is the single best thing you believe someone should do to get their health and wellness journey started?
Drink a litre of water in the morning before breakfast. If you a feeling super motivated add in some fresh lemon juice to kick start your system and alkalise the body!
Where can our FW family find you?
Website + blog: http://naturalharry.com.au
I hope you have enjoyed another inspirational interview with Natural Harry. Check out our other Inspirational interviews to be inspired all over again.