INSPIRATION CORNER WITH CAROLINE PENA
This amazing lady is family to me. Her partner is my fiance’s cousin. However she is also one of the most dedicated women I know – dedicated to her studies, her work as a nutritionist, her own health, exercise, her family, friends and more.
It’s about time the world met Caroline, because my life is richer with her in it. I know yours will be too.
Tell us a little about who you are, what you do, how you got here.
With a corporate career accompanied by the 9-5 desk job, I hit the age of 27, my Saturn return and started to question my purpose in life. I was destined for more than just pushing paper, sitting in front of a computer and approving finance for others. I started to question what I was truly passionate about and my hunger to learn and educate myself in my one true love, health and fitness. I had always been a gym junkie, running half marathons and a cycling passion but there was more to just moving the body, I loved food, good healthy food and relationship between diet and disease. I began to trawl through the education institution websites, universities, TAFE, private colleges and unsure as to what direction of this industry I wanted to take, I decided to dip my toes in the water and embarked on a certificate 3 in nutrition & dietetics. After 12 months and straight A’s, I was hooked. I dove in and embarked on a 4 year journey in Nutritional Medicine at the Australiasian College of Natural Therapies. Working full time and studying part time had its challenges, I thrived on the new found knowledge and knew that I wanted to share and inspire others to improve their health. I became a fully qualified Nutritionist a year ago, constantly sharing the passion.
What INSPIRES you?
Passion, strength, positive energy and surrounding myself with like- minded people whom motivate me and challenge me to become a better person.
Where do you SOURCE your inspiration?
I source my inspiration from various sources, Friends, family, my partner and people I meet in my industry. However my biggest inspiration is from the clients I meet everyday. There life experiences, challenges, adversities and hunger for change is the driving force behind my inspiration to remind me that I am exactly where I want to be.
How do you USE that inspiration? How does it integrate into your life?
I use this inspiration to keep me grounded, focused and motivated. Being a Nutritionist is not all about advising people on health and nutrition, I am also a councillor and a motivator where I often take on the emotional rollercoaster of others, empathising with there plight to regain control of their health and encourage, coach and educate them to make better health choices for them and there families.
When it comes to health and wellness what’s important to you? Balance between a healthy mind and body and to practice and stand by what I believe in when it comes to health and nutrition.
A healthy outlook on life incorporating a clean diet to fuel the body and feed the brain is just as important as maintaining integrity, authenticity and self love.
What’s your routine?
I’m definitely a morning person so getting up for 3 early morning cycling rides, 2 good runs a week or a gym session is how I start my day. However with my first baby on the way I have had to make some minor adjustments. An hour walk everyday combined with pre natal yoga and light weight training twice a week keeps me stay strong and active in mind and body.
How do you find balance + happiness?
By ensuring I make time for all the things I love doing this includes eating & cooking healthy food, exercising regularly, spending time with family and friends and not overloading or over committing myself to a point of feeling overwhelmed. I work approx. 6 days a week managing a Naturopathy clinic part time whilst running my own business as a Nutritionist however I make sure no matter how busy my week is, that Sunday is a day I switch off and spending quality time with my partner and the people I love.
How do you practice self-love?
By taking the time to remind myself of my achievements and that I am worthy of good things. Rewarding myself with life’s pleasures is important, such as indulging in a relaxing bath, a massage, a quiet walk or sitting quietly with a good book and switching off for the day.
What’s your favourite healthy recipe?
Fresh, colourful, warm salad of lentils, roasted pumpkin, walnuts, dried cranberries, rocket, coriander, topped with grilled haloumi and fresh lime.
What are you non-negotiables when it comes to your lifestyle (food, diet, exercise etc).
I eat a predominantly whole foods plant based diet so I refrain from eating any form of meat or cows milk. I eat organic produce wherever possible and I don’t go more than 2 days without doing some form of physical activity
How do you deal with those moments/days when you are lacking in motivation?
I believe these moments of demotivation are completely natural and are due to a hunger for inspiration. Motivation and drive are the key elements in constantly improving and challenging oneself to become a better person. Prioritising my goals and daily/weekly tasks down on paper, helps me reaffirm what needs to be done and knowing that I can tick them off as complete gives me a sense of achievement no matter how small or big the challenge.
What’s one thing you wish you could pass onto friends and family about health and wellness?
That’s food is medicine. To love and respect your mind and body from within by nurturing it and feeding it the food it deserves and thrives on. To listen to your body, pay attention to the signs and symptoms and respond accordingly. We are not meant to live forever however we all deserve a life of longevity free of pain and chronic disease.
Check out Intelligent Health where you can schedule in to see Caroline.
Saha to you,