Natasha Mason, Founder of Nourish Melbourne
— Founder of Nourish Melbourne.
Hailing from: South Yarra, VIC
Calls home: Cheltenham, VIC
What was the impetus for starting Nourish Melbourne?
Put simply, I wanted there to be a platform to boast about the wonderful effects of inviting holistic health and wellness into your life. What better way to do that than bringing together the individuals out there with businesses who are doing exactly that! And to be able to share their knowledge and incredible services, products, stores and spaces in Melbourne with those individuals looking to live well - through sharing content, the creation of our membership program, and live events.
How did your professional and personal experiences culminate into Melbourne’s first and only health and wellness membership?
Going back (some number of years now), I completed a Bachelor of Health Science with major studies in Nutrition, Exercise Science and Exercise Behaviour. Although it really through personal experience when it comes to wellness - food, holistic treatments, different ways of training - coupled with professionally working as a marketer, that led to the creation of the Nourish Melbourne Membership.
Growing up, and to this day, I have watched my parents suffer through ill health and I know deep down if they had the knowledge and the connection to professionals and a community to learn from that perhaps it mightn’t have been that way. I also thought, why shouldn’t those who choose to look after themselves be rewarded in some small way?
You are now celebrating your fifth birthday. What are your greatest learnings since founding Nourish Melbourne and how have these changed your perspective on work, people and life in general?
In the health and wellness space, you need to have eyes in the back of your head! The most important learning has been about creating trustworthy and loyal relationships with the Nourish Melbourne business partners. That’s why I meet with each and every one before they join as a partner.
When it comes to ‘work’, I can’t really call what I do ‘work’. Yes there’s always administration and finances to be taken care of! Although, I chose to build this business and the way I work in it so I can also care for my now two young children. It’s really taught me you have to know what you want, and be VERY clear about it.
This extends to the people you invite into your life and the ones who seemingly fall away. I’ve actually created some very close friendships with some of the NM business partners. It’s very important to surround yourself with people who champion you, and the work that you do. People who understand that the amount of success to be had by us all is not limited.
Finally, Nourish Melbourne has been the catalyst to finding spirituality - is there a non wanky way to say that?! What I mean is, I have been introduced to experts and so much knowledge which has allowed me to dig deep and find the true beauty of life, and why I am actually here. I feel that NM is merely a vehicle to getting closer to my true calling. Because we only have one job to do while we’re on Earth - and that’s to evolve.
What are Nourish Melbourne’s values and how is this mirrored in the brands and organisations that you align with?
The brands and businesses aligned with NM know that the customer, the one who they are of service to, are number one. They exist to create wellness in the lives of their clients/customers, and so does NM. Whether we’re talking about an Acupuncturist or a skin care brand - these individuals have started their businesses because they believe in not just living, but thriving.
With the launch of your community and subsequent Nourish Melbourne Membership in 2014, you have made organic and natural alternatives accessible to many. Why is it important that, as a broader community, we adopt a more conscious and intentional way of living?
Every day, from the moment we wake up, we have choices to make. What we eat, how we travel, how we talk to others, how we talk to ourselves, how we treat our bodies. The more that more of us start to do this, we will raise the collective consciousness to one of kindness and service. Service to ourselves, and as a by product, our communities.
I believe that once we start living consciously and intentionally as individuals, the community stands to benefit.
Have you seen a change in receptivity of natural alternatives and holistic wellness in the five years since launching?
Most definitely. There’s still a long way to go but as far as I know, and even within my circle of friends and family, awareness and adoption of living holistically and consciously is on the rise. A lot of different types of healing modalities are seen as more mainstream, as well as the way we are eating and the way we are choosing to care for the earth through more sustainable choices.
How do you live lightly and with intention on a day-to-day basis?
Each day starts with meditation and writing in a gratitude journal. From that point on, I value all interactions (even that with a barista or shop attendant), I do my best to plan ahead and have reusable cutlery and cup in my bag for example (but I also don’t get hung up if I don’t - I just plan to do better next time!), and more so now (especially with two young ones), I aim to not pack in my days full of committeemen’s and meetings. I feel it’s super important to have blank space in the diary.
What are your habits for good skin?
Meditation, lots of water plus sipping on hot water (simple but very powerful and cleansing for the body), including a collagen powder/supplement in your diet, and using skin care products that are kind to your body and kind to the earth. Plus, double cleansing at night is a must!
Do you have any long-time favourite skincare products? Where do these sit within your daily skincare routine (if you have one)?
There’s one product I keep coming back to - the Jacqueline Evans Castille Cream Cleanser. I use this morning and night. At night, I’ll also use a muslin cloth to ensure every trace of makeup and of the day has been removed.
With over 5 years documenting the best in health and wellness in Melbourne, where are your go-to spots for…
Ripe Organics at Prahran Market for all of my organic produce, and Willow Urban Retreat for a super nourishing meal.
Ah, I have so many places I’ve loved when it comes to movement. Most of all I’ve loved yoga and reformer pilates at Happy Melon and training barefoot at Total Reformation and In2great Fitness.
This go-to spot is your own home - an in home massage with Still Beauty, without a doubt! This has been a standing monthly appointment for me for many many years, and has been very convenient especially as Mama.
A facial at Little Company. I always feel like I’m in a little cocoon in their treatment rooms, being totally nurtured and nourished.
What are your predictions for wellness in 2019 and beyond? What will your community be coveting?
Returning to nature, and working for nature. I feel our NM community and the general community consciousness is simply looking to know how to take care of themselves and our environment in the most natural way possible.
Also, mental health is really gaining momentum and awareness. With this I feel the need for us to be sharing more and doing more story telling, and doing more to bring people together. Plus of course, connection to nature as I’ve mentioned above is crucial for improved mental health amongst our population.
What upcoming events can we look forward to?
We have a beautiful life coaching/sound healing/reiki evening coming up on Friday 24th May at The Beatt in Armadale, a special movie screening of a fantastic documentary all about intuition in July (stay tuned for details!), and the 12-hour accredited Mental Health First Aid course on 24 and 25 July in Balaclava.
More events for the second half of 2019 are currently in the works.
Do you practice a daily routine that allows you to operate at your best and gently navigate the pressures of work and life? May you share what an average day looks like?
I think routine and daily rituals are super important to successful days. Although now with two little ones I don’t really have an average day - I just ensure I get in all of those rituals that are super important to me!
Each day I wake up and use a copper tongue scraper (an Ayurvedic ritual), to remove the build up of toxins the body gets rid of as we sleep. I then sip on hot water - sometimes with lemon or a pinch of Celtic sea salt, and have my greens powder in water. I read a little poetry and also write in my gratitude journal. I also meditate twice a day, for at least 20-minutes each time (I practice Vedic Meditation). I use a Jade gua sha over my face and body brush before my morning shower and I try to get in full body oil massage a couple of times a week (this is another Ayurvedic ritual called Abhyanga, which is another fantastic detoxification and rejuvenation ritual).
Around these things above, the day can go any way!
Stemming from your own health and wellness philosophies, what do you believe we should all be doing a little more of everyday?
Meditate, meditate, meditate. I am a BIG advocate of a solid meditation practice. I really urge anyone reading this who doesn’t have a regular (i.e. daily) meditation practice to seek out a teacher who they think they will connect with and sit a course. This was the only way I finally made meditation part of every day.
And, cooking our own food. Cooking our own, fresh food, is the best thing we can do for ourselves and our families. Yes I eat out here and there but there is a lot to be said for the energy, time and love we put into cooking our own food, which makes for a fully nourishing meal beyond the nutrient value.
Visit Nourish Melbourne at —http://www.nourishmelbourne.com.au/
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✎ Sophie Van der Drift
Contributing writer, marketing & strategy