With clean-lined silhouettes, this season’s latest arrivals by Balenciaga, Mother of Pearl and Fendi offer understated elegance to transition you into spring. We’re taking you behind the scenes on the X-Files shoot captured at Ovolo Hotel 1888, featuring Sydney-sider Stephanie Malouf, an accredited nutritionist who shares her practices for wellness and conscious living. Feeling great couldn’t be more effortless, read on.
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How did you realise nutritional medicine was the space for you?
Having a Greek & Lebanese background, food and mealtime was always celebrated and I naturally developed a love for cooking. Being brought up on wholesome home cooked food, I was always fairly healthy however I had bad eczema growing up. Then in my twenties, I started experiencing bad digestive issues and food intolerances. I grew tiresome of hearing from doctors and specialists that it was something I had to live with and I knew there was a better solution than using steroid creams for the rest of my life. I started doing my own research, reading book after book and experimenting with food as medicine. After healing my own body through diet, and loving learning about the body and incredible healing powers of food, it wasn’t long until I realised this was the space for me. So I went back to school and studies Bachelor of Health Science.
What is your viewpoint on health trends?
Everyone is different therefore what works for one person might not work for the other and I’m all for experimenting with your body within reason, to find what works for you. That being said, I am not a fan of fads or extreme diet trends. People are always looking for the quick fix or the magic pill to lose weight or heal their ailments however the true results come from putting the body into balance through consuming a nutrient rich balanced diet, consistently. Health is a lifestyle and if it’s not sustainable it won’t be successful.
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What contributes to a healthy relationship with food?
The most important factor in having a healthy relationship with food is having a healthy relationship with yourself and a positive mindset. This is something I have come to understand, having worked with a wide range of clients particularly woman and weight loss. I now do one-on-one sessions focusing solely on mastering your mindset and breaking negative patterns which has been highly effective in my clients achieving long term results. Education around food and why nutrition is important is also key. I don’t just tell my clients how to optimise their diet to suit their body, I take the time to explain to them why and what foods; good or bad do the body. Education creates motivation.
Can you tell us more about your one-on-one “Mastering your Mindset” sessions?
Food is one life’s greatest pleasures and whilst this can be a positive thing, it can also be used to fill a void and as a distraction from less pleasurable emotions. Your physical health is a direct reflection of how you think and feel and in many cases there are deeper psychological reasons or an inner critic that triggers people to form an unhealthy relationship with food. To change the result you need to change the actions and your behaviour. To change behaviour you must change your mindset and negative thought patterns. This is often the missing link in the weight loss equation. These sessions are focused solely on helping my clients address their triggers and master their mindset in order to be in control and achieve long term results.
What has been the most rewarding experience in your professional career so far?
I’m fortunate enough to be in a job that rewards me every day as I watch people transform their lives and health. One of my current clients has lost over 30 kilos in 4 months and is still going after being told by her doctor surgery is the only option. The happiness this has brought her being able to shop and wear clothes she couldn’t before, or having the energy to interact with her kids and the knowing that she can do anything she sets her mind to is a great feeling.
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You love to travel. How do you stay healthy when travelling and how do you make allowances for indulging?
When traveling, I try to walk as much as I can rather than take a cab or transport which also allows me to truly see it. If I have breakfast from the hotel buffet I’ll make sure I have a protein packed breakfast like an omelette with lots of veg to keep me fuelled through the morning. I’ll also throw an apple or a hard-boiled egg in my handbag for a healthy snack when on the go. But most of all I try to enjoy and immerse myself into the culture, because having fun and enjoying life is also important for good health. I adopt an 80/20 philosophy both in my practice and personal life; 80% good, and 20% naughty. I don’t deprive my-self of anything as it’s human nature to want what we can’t have. I simply focus on how foods make me feel which is why I choose to eat well most of the time, cause it makes me feel good.
The biggest challenge about owning your own business?
Having worked in fast paced corporate environments for many years prior, I sometimes miss working with other people and the high energy. But I prefer the feeling of knowing that everything I do is building my own business, not someone else’s.
What are you go-to snack and dinner recipes?
I often make my veggie frittata for the week which is a great snack or brekkie option. I love fish so dinner is often a piece of fish with veggies. Some of my favourites include my cod with olives, tomato and basil fish in a bag recipe or my baked salmon with parsley, seeds and currents. Served with some roasted veg or low carb cauliflower mash. Quick, easy and hits the spot.
What are your day-off rituals?
Come the weekend, I love catching up with friends and family which could be over a morning walk, a pilates class or trying out a new restaurant; most often all three. I’m also big on me time and taking the time to slow down. I love to read, mostly non-fiction and learning new things, particularly things I can bring into my practice. This weekend I am doing a psychology course which I’m really enjoying. It not only makes me a better practitioner but a better person. I guess I truly practice what I preach.
Describe your philosophy on style.
I’ve never been one to follow trends, I either like something or a don’t. I love classic pieces that I can have forever, particularly a beautiful bag or heel and then fill the gaps with something a little more basic like a white T-shirt or pair of jeans or leather pants.
Your favourite dining location in Sydney?
The Apollo in Potts Point. Hard one to beat.
What’s next for you in business?
I want to work more closely with younger women in understanding how to positively influence their life and increase their potential through diet and mindset. This is important foundational knowledge and should be taught early on before unhealthy habits become deeply engrained. I also want to run large seminars and group programs that will allow me to influence people on a much larger scale.
For more of Stephanie Malouf’s knowledge for busy individuals to rebalance their health through diet and mindset coaching, find her on Instagram @sm_nutrition.