Getting to know Katherine.....
Katherine Hay a Clinical Nutritionist based in Byron Bay, and is a guru in all things gut health, food intolerances, female hormones, fertility, immune health, skin health and more. The thing I love the most about Katherine is that she prides herself on a no-BS approach - taking the confusion and overwhelm out of health care, and providing tailored treatment plans that deliver results!
This lovely lady took some time out of her busy schedule (her weeks consist of in-person or Skype client consultations for her business Kaptured Nutrition, regular speaking events, and she's soon to be co-owner of her very own clinic in Byron Bay). Eeeep!!!
Ok let's dive in, I can't wait for you to read Katherine's honest & insightful comments and point of view, particularly on improving education around breast wellness and the over-sexualisation of boobs.
1. Where do you call home? What do you love about living there?
I call Byron bay home – I have lived here for over 7 years now, I’m originally from Melbourne but always lacked that connection to nature being down there and that’s what initiated my move all those years ago. There is something pretty special living more in tune with nature and being bale to watch a sunrise and sunset all in the one day whilst still lounging on the beach.
2. Tell us about your ideal day situation!
Ideal day would be a coffee in bed, huge beach walk and swim, long beautiful lunch with locally sourced ingredients and good looking cocktails with my friends and husband and finishing it off with a sunset over looking the beach. Good company and food literally pulls me out of bed.
3. First thing you did this morning?
Had a medicinal coffee in bed with medicinal mushrooms and collagen and then went for a huge walk along the beach.
4. I’m currently working on….
Opening up my very own clinic in Byron Bay, watch this space.
5. “One thing that might surprise people about me is…..”
I’m obsessed with old music from the 60’s through to the 80’s, it’s basically all I listen to and have a pretty amazing record collection.
6. What is your go-to breakfast?
Oh my fav – chopped up broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts sautéed in a pan with apple cider vinegar and herbs, and topped with two fried eggs, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds and some chilli flakes.
7. Current fave podcast/book?
Fav book is by Brene Brown – Braving the wilderness and fav podcast is Fx Medicine (super nerdy and for practitioners really).
8. What makes your heart skip a beat?
My husband (cheeeeesey I know) and also seeing my patient’s lives change when I have been supporting them with their health goals.
9. Self-care has become a buzz word of late. What does it mean for you?
Self care for me is when I can completely switch off, no technology, out in nature and being fully present in what I’m doing and the company I’m with. Self care for me is letting that feminine energy in and being more in the flow state rather than the constant hustle and it’s being kind to my internal dialog.
10. How do your breasts form part of your self-care routine, if at all?
This is really interesting, I feel like I’m constantly touching my boobs, friends have even said it to me that I’m always holding my boobs. HAHA. I have had many fibrocystic lumps found in my breast tissue so I’m very aware of this. I wouldn’t say it’s part of my self-care but I love my boobies and know when something doesn’t feel right.
11. Two words to describe your boobs.
12. What do you think of when you hear the term ‘breast wellness’?
I think of a huge “ EFF YES” I’m all for women’s health and breast health is extremely important and breast wellness needs to be part of every females routine. I think it’s really empowering as a female to be connected to our breasts, not only do they give life but they are so part of our feminine energy that we need to love and connect to them. Especially understanding them if they do change hormonally or after pregnancy etc and being aware of these changes for health prevention.
13. Do you think women are disconnected with their breasts? Why do you think this might be the case?
100% yes, during puberty we are never taught about the changes our body goes through, what our breast are capable of, how they changes through the different phases of a woman’s life. We are basically told to wear a bra so your boobs don’t sag and off we go. More and more women are self conscious about the shape, size and texture of their boobs because the media has portrayed this twisted idea that we should have perky full breasts and I think because of this we shut down any form of connection to our breasts and ‘fix’ them so to speak with clothes, underwear or surgery.
14. The World Cancer Research Foundation estimate that 38% of breast cancers could be prevented with some simple lifestyle steps including regular exercise, increasing fruits and vegetables and maintaining a healthy weight. As a clinical nutritionist and female health advocate, are there any other areas within diet or lifestyle you’d also look at? (stress, hormones etc?)
I would always look at family history, stress, female hormones and any related conditions around female health that provides me with information to assess breast health. It’s a multifaceted approach and this is why I love holistic medicine because it’s not just that one lump we find that appeared our of nowhere, its how did this inflammation start and what caused it to start, diving in deep to the root cause is so important.
15. Do you recall being educated about breast wellness / awareness when you were growing up? By whom?
I have zero memory of breast health and breast well-being as I was growing up. I’m probably showing my age here but I never recall being taught about breast health or how to self massage to find lumps and bumps within the breast tissue until I was in pain with a breast lump myself. Boobs were not spoken about during school or even when I was a young adult. I wasn’t fully aware of my breasts until I was sent for further investigations into my own breast lumps about 3 years ago.
16. The name Nüni is a direct reference to the slang name ‘noonies’, which is what Nuni’s founder Dayle’s family referred to breasts as during her childhood. What did you call them?
Love that!! Always called boobs or boobies.
17. Due to the dense nature of breast tissue in younger women, there is no evidence to support the use of mammograms in women under 40. Given that the only method of early detection of breast cancer for young women is through breast awareness, what do you think can be done to encourage young women to get to know their boobs better now, rather than putting it off until they reach screening age?
Using Nuni massage oil and learning how to self examine and self massage to understand their breast tissue, the changes they may go through and what to feel and look out for if there are changes in the tissue. Also for self-love! There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling and touching our boobs and I think because they have been sexually exploited, self-touch around the boobs is seen as ‘taboo’. Massive eye roll.
It frustrates me as a practitioner that this is not taught or talked about. Experiencing this first hand by the medical system and one doctor telling me it was hormones causing my lumps and sent me on my way without even feeling the lumps and then another doctor rushing me off for ultrasounds and possible biopsies (I’m all good by the way now), it was confusing, overwhelming and scary not understanding what was happening and why one doctor wanted it investigated and the other doctor basically said, 'come back when you're 40 and we will screen your breasts then'. Take home message ALWAYS get a second opinion and trust your gut if you think something is up with your boobs. Start to explore and touch your boobs, learn the shape, texture and tone, this is so important for female health and health prevention.
18. We all know it’s good to eat a rainbow, but can you share with our readers some of the best protective/anti-cancer foods to incorporate into our diets?
Turmeric – I love for it’s anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Aiming for 2gs per day is a fantastic way to use turmeric for supporting the inflammation pathways of the body. Fresh or powdered turmeric can be added into cooking, teas, smoothies, juices etc . Sulforaphane – active component of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, bok choy etc) is anti-cancer and the research highlights how important this for the prevention of cancer. I love consuming up to 2 cups of these vegetables per day.
What a clever cookie. Thanks sooooo much Katherine!! If you're not already following along, check out Katherine on Instagram here, and find her website, Kaptured Nutition here. And finally, if you're lucky enough to live in (or visit) the Northern Rivers area of NSW, Australia - give Gut Instinct a follow, a clinic where poo talk will be welcomed and encouraged!!