What’s your name and who are you?
Hi, I’m Candace Borg and I am a Vegan Naturopath, Natural Fertility Educator, HypnoBirthing Practitioner and BioMedical Scientist (yikes that’s a mouthful). I am also the owner of Northcote Natural Therapies, which is a vegan retail space attached to a clinic that offers everything from Yoga, Meditation, to Acupuncture, Kinesology and more!
At this moment, where are you writing from?
Northcote Natural Therapies (my home away from home).
What inspired you to become a Naturopath?
While studying BioMedical Science I decided that I wanted to get into medicine. After I completed my degree, I began working at Royal Melbourne Hospital. During my time there, I felt that the medical model was too reactive and not preventative enough. Although very necessary, there were things that just didn’t fuse well with me. After having a conversation with my sister, I decided I’d do naturopathy. I had no idea what it involved as I hadn’t heard of naturopathy until she mentioned it (I didn’t even know what chamomile tea was), but after much research, I enrolled into a course and never looked back. I found where I belonged.
How does a naturopath differ to a nutritionist? Is there much cross over in focus?
A naturopath is similar to a nutritionist in that we can both offer diet advice and recommend nutritional supplements. However, a naturopath also has qualifications in herbal medicine so can recommend a wider variety of treatments. No matter who you choose to see, make sure they are registered with a reputable association.
When did you make the switch to veganism and why?
I made the switch about 7 years ago. I was raised an omnivore, but never liked the idea of meat (although I ate it). In my 20’s I became pescatarian and then vegetarian. After watching ‘Earthlings’, I realised I couldn’t contribute to those industries anymore so made the switch to veganism.
What are your favourite plant-based meal to fuel your body?
Where do I start? I love a great salad of any variety, stir frys as they’re so quick and easy and a great way to get a lot of nutrients and I enjoy a smoothie on mornings when life is a little too busy for a sit down breakie.
What’s something most people believe about the vegan diet that isn’t accurate?
I think people think it isn’t nutritionally sound, but that’s also untrue. I found being vegan a great way to improve health and there are so many great options available now.
What nutritional advice do you have for someone who’s thinking of joining the plant-based lifestyle?
I say, eat healthy 90% of the time. That other 10% just enjoy! Eat wholefoods and avoid processed foods where you can. The easiest way to do this is eat to the colours of the rainbow (and no I don’t mean eating skittles)! Make sure you are eating good fats (avocado, nuts, seeds, kale) and protein (grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, tofu/tempeh) each day. Drink lots of clean water and when in doubt, there are many great vegan doctors, nutritionists, dieticians and naturopaths who are here to help you transition easily.
What’s one way we can check we’re getting the proper nutrients on a vegan diet?
The easiest way is to get your blood tested every year. This is a great way of knowing how you are absorbing nutrients and what you may need to focus eating more of. Also look at your body for signs of deficiency: are your nails flaking/breaking easily? Are there spots on your nails or new groves? Is your hair falling out? Are your muscles cramping? Do you feel tired? Are you getting unexplained numbness or tingling in your hands/feet? Many of these symptoms can be a sign of a nutritional deficiency so be sure to get your levels checked.
You’re going on a road trip and you have a desperate need to stop for fries, who are you travelling with and what’s your LOTF order?
I am travelling with my partner Rohan (who inspired me to watch ‘Earthlings’ – needless to say, love soon blossomed), and have decided to share everything. We have ordered Nuggets (mainly for me), Sweet Potato Fries, the Original Burger or maybe the Phish (who can decide) and some kind of fizzy drink to wash it all down. Yummo!