For most of her adult life, she has worn many hats, including, wife, student, mother and health coach.
Nariscia Phillip-Peters puts holistic healthy longevity high up on her list of priorities, as an integrative nutrition health coach and organic farmer. On September 14, Phillip-Peters will mark her first anniversary helping others maintain healthier all-round lives, as the managing director of Holistically You TT.
Her interest in maintaining a healthy balance came from very early in her life, she said.
Phillip-Peters, the mother of two, said she was prompted to become more health-conscious when she found out about her family’s predisposition to diabetes.
“I also had both my mom and an aunt diagnosed with breast cancer, and that fueled me even more to truly establish that being healthy wasn’t just about exercise and diet. It’s redundant if you do both but cannot manage your stress, or don’t even know how to refocus and control your reaction to what life throws at us,” she said.
As a young woman, Phillip-Peters said she was on the skinny side, but that did not fool her into thinking she was automatically healthy.
To the 37-year-old having a visibly “fit” body didn’t equate with having a healthy body.
“That’s a misconception I hope to change. Through training on proper eating, which go hand in hand with exercise, but even more so when you maintain a balance.
“It’s key that you focus on self-love and stress management. Women mostly tend to forget and neglect themselves, when they take on full speed their responsibilities to family, home, work. You must consider all aspects of sustained healthy living through lifestyle choices and that doesn’t mean only what you consume, but how you cope, what method you hone in on to deal with situations faced daily,” she admonished.
With women and mothers in mind, Phillip-Peters has included a special programme, the 90-Day Yummy Mummy Group, using plant-based nutrition and particularly organic kale. She has a special love for the vegetable, known for its high nutritional and medicinal values. It’s why she has incorporated it into her healthy eating training, with some of her clients opting to focus only on that aspect of maintaining healthier bodies.
There is also some level of spirituality involved in the services Phillip-Peters offers, but they’re not religion-based. She explained that her clients are encouraged to look at meditation, keeping centred and focusing “on their own personal higher power,” to help them balance the stresses of life.
For her this realisation came when she had to cope with juggling her many roles, and being physically fit did not exempt her from feeling stressed out.
She decided then and there to get certified and that’s where it all begun. Phillip-Peters did some market research, joined a few business management groups for pointers on becoming an entrepreneur – and out of this was born Holistically You TT.
Her husband is a corporal in the military, but the two share a love for organic farming.
“Oh, of course I get a lot of doubt from people who hear I am a farmer, because my nails are always well manicured, so the only dirt I get my hands into is the soil to set up the shelves in the system,” she joked. The duo offers produce from vertical organic hydroponic farming.
As for breaking the myth that eating healthy is expensive, Phillip-Peters said “Yes” and ‘No.”
“It can be expensive if you do it intermittently. But think about the cost of a healthy shake being equivalent to the cost of fried chicken. It makes more sense to be proactive about your health, the doctors’ bills cost much more,” she reasoned.
Phillip-Peters said instead that people wanting to eat healthier should either grow their own produce, or go to the market, buy vegetables and fruits and prepare them ahead of time, in portions and deep freeze.
She added that not only is it more economical to do this, but she tells her clients they can control what they use in their own meals, which they can’t with food that is bought ready-made.
As for what her children eat, Phillip-Peters maintains a mix. They get her variation of fried meats in their healthy meals, unless they are occasionally by relatives.
“Then they may get the variety of bought fast foods, but even then, in moderation, and then they too still opt to eat less meat. My son, I would say, is not exactly a vegetarian, but he vastly prefers fish over any other meat. When he does eat meat, it would not get much attention,” she said.
She’s proud of her clientèle, a pool which built gradually through social media and word-of-mouth advertising, since she began in 2015.
“I love what I do. Seeing the smiles on peoples face when they reach goals they thought they couldn’t. Hearing stories of how our organic produce is being used by persons who are sick to make them heal. Earth food equals real food which is life,” she said.
Phillip-Peters said, though, she won’t take all the credit for where her business has got to, but needs to mention the importance of her “silent” partner, who prefers to remain behind the scene.
“They assist with the deliveries, logistics and farming, but she won’t want to be in the spotlight at all,” she said.
At present, Phillip-Peters is still juggling her roles while pursuing certification online in Core 101 functional medicine at the School of Applied Functional Medicine in the US.
“People need to find both physical and internal harmony. There are some things you need to focus on, but then there are some things, often which you cannot control that you need to shift and align your focus from and get a healthy coping mechanism.
“One of the things you can control is eating healthily.
“Stress, on the other hand, while you may not be able to control your stress factors, you can control how you react to stressful situations, through refocusing, meditation and stress management. Keep your centre,” she elaborated with a smile.