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We Interview Tracy Tredoux About Changing Careers From Law To Nutritional Therapy, And How She Can Help You Understand Your Body Better

We Interview Tracy Tredoux About Changing Careers From Law To Nutritional Therapy, And How She Can Help You Understand Your Body Better

We Interview Tracy Tredoux About Changing Careers From Law To Nutritional Therapy

November 8th, 2021

Tell us about the journey that led you to launch your nutritional therapy brand Tracy Tredoux…

Coming from a family of lawyers, my first career was as a solicitor. However, after being married for only a few years, my husband became sick with viral meningitis. He recovered but went on to struggle with numerous chronic health conditions. I started to do a lot of my own research into how I could help support his health with good nutrition and through this became aware of the increasing evidence which shows that personalised nutrition and dietary and lifestyle recommendations can enhance a person’s health and wellbeing.

I developed a desire to study in more depth the extent to which poor nutrition choices can lead to a myriad of health conditions and so enrolled on the 4-year Nutritional Therapy course offered by the Institute of Optimum Nutrition, where I was so overwhelmed and empowered by the amazing ability the body has to heal, given the right tools, that I wanted to empower others to take charge of their own health. This led me to launching my brand, Tracy Tredoux Nutritional Therapy, and to continue studying functional medicine with The Institute for Functional Medicine, in the USA.

What’s been the biggest challenge you’ve faced in business and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge when I started was how, as a sole practitioner, I was going to attract a client base, something I never had to concern myself with as a partner at a law firm. I decided to focus on creating a website that would reflect my values and be a valuable, free resource for people who want to take care of their nutrition but don’t have time to enrol in formal study. It’s very easy to get caught up in ‘churning and burning,’ – attracting people to your website and social media sites with great visuals but losing them quickly due to lack of content. Almost all my clients come from my website which I update regularly, aiming for relevance, credibility, and authority, thereby creating trust. I work closely with one designer on my website and make sure I update it regularly with up-to-date videos, articles and recipes that empower others to become more involved in their own healthcare.

If you were to describe your business mantra in three words, what would they be?

Educate, inspire, motivate.

What advice would you offer someone interested in getting into nutritional therapy?

At the outset it is important to understand the difference between a nutritional therapist (NT) and a nutritionist. To become an accredited NT involves a lot more than an online or weekend course. It is a profession requiring a recognised course or degree, taking a huge commitment of time and dedication. When choosing a course, it is also important to check it is recognised by The British Association for Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine (BANT.org.uk) which is the professional body for Registered NTs.

As with most degrees, you have all the theory at your fingertips by the time of graduation, but the practical experience starts with your clients. This involves learning ‘on the job,’ and mistakes will be made. Due to the more personalised approach of nutritional therapy, what works for one may not work for another. It takes time to build up a set of skills and confidence, gained from experience.

The clients a NT attracts are generally more complicated than simple weight loss issues. Clients often present with multiple symptoms, allergies, fatigue, various diagnosed ‘syndromes’ (such as irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome etc), complicated medical histories and various behavioural problems around food. It may be necessary to liaise with other healthcare professionals or, in the beginning, a mentor to ask advice.

Nutritional therapy is evidence based so keeping up to date with the changes is necessary. This involves joining networks and associations for nutritional professionals, listening to webinars, and attending lectures, seminars, and various learning events, as well as reading scientific studies.

Coaching skills are an integral part of being a NT. Telling clients what to eat is one thing, but helping them let go of lifelong habits, favourite foods, and behavioural patterns associated with when and why they eat often requires ongoing support. Understanding the importance of inspiring, motivating and supporting clients towards a healthier place prompted me to become a Zest4 Life coach from the outset.

Nutritional Therapy is not a lucrative business for most. I can never earn as a NT the kind of money I was earning as a lawyer. However, like many NTs, this profession has given me a great sense of purpose and is a profession one chooses because one loves doing it. There is an incredible feeling of satisfaction when clients, caught in an ongoing cycle of ‘trial and error,’ and years of debilitating symptoms, report feeling better for the first time in a long time simply by making certain changes to their diet and lifestyles, supported by supplements where necessary. The pandemic of 2020 has highlighted the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, making this profession more recognised than ever and an exciting and dynamic place to be working and learning.

Talk us through an average business day in your life…

There is no average business day in my life. Apart from consulting with clients, I write articles for a variety of health magazines and websites, run online programmes, carry out research for various educational webinars, give health presentations (live and online) and I am constantly updating my website. In addition, I am currently furthering my studies with The Institute for Functional Medicine and attending other educational courses. As a result, no two days are the same. Both my daughters are at university and my time is very much my own. Some weeks I am running an online programme, others I am consulting more, others I can be researching and writing articles and client reports and others can be dedicated to studying and attending courses. It is for this reason that I love what I am doing. It is varied, challenging, exciting and extremely rewarding.

Being a solopreneur can be an upward struggle at times, what do you do to stay positive?

By nature, I am, and have always been, a very positive person. It is not so much what life throws at us that matters, but how we deal with it. I am a big believer in the extent to which we create our own realities. I believe in daily reflection – what went well and what did not go so well. What to take forward and what to leave behind. I look at challenges and struggles as opportunities to grow, evolve, and move forward; a time to focus on fortitude, growing, learning, and evolving as much as possible through life’s inevitable trials. I practice gratitude each day and believe that positive thoughts attract positive energy and events.

What is your go to quote when lacking motivation?

“Progress, not perfection.” Again, for me positivity and motivation go hand in hand. When you have a more positive outlook on life it makes you feel more motivated to keep going, and to do better. Focusing on the progress that one is making in a business, no matter how big or small, is extremely motivating. However, if one is seeking perfection, this can have exactly the opposite effect, especially for those who have unrealistic expectations of themselves and others.

How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?

At least 90% of my client base comes from my website (and then word of mouth), which people find via organic Google searches. Keeping website material fresh and relevant is the best way to stay visible when people are searching for a Nutritional Therapist. I post on Facebook and Instagram regularly but not daily. However, I always direct people to my website, and I get a steady stream of clients from my website.

How do you want people to feel when they first speak to you about their nutritional therapy needs?

Hopeful and motivated. Many of the people who contact me have had numerous debilitating symptoms, often lasting years. They have been through the cycle of ‘trial and error,’ and tell me nothing has helped. They often feel very low and despondent. I want people to understand their symptoms are not normal. Many have suffered for so long that they believe their symptoms are part and parcel of who they are. I want them to understand that symptoms are not the problem, they are the result of the problem.

I want people to understand how amazing the body is designed to feel and that there is a lot that can be done to improve their symptoms. We begin by identifying and addressing certain ‘stressors’ (poor food choices, bacteria, fungi, parasites, physical, mental, emotional stress, food intolerances etc.) and nutritional deficiencies that are contributing to their symptoms. Once people understand that there are protocols that can help improve their quality of life, they become more hopeful and motivated to engage in a committed relationship of diet and lifestyle that supports the body’s innate ability to heal.

Our readers love to travel, is there anywhere in the world you would recommend to visit for a nutritionally therapeutic and holistic holiday?

As a South African, my obvious answer is Cape Town. Having travelled the world extensively, I remain of the opinion that the Cape is truly one of the most beautiful destinations and should be on every traveller’s bucket list. In addition, due to its coastal location, it boasts an incredible array of healthy seafood cuisine. Many of the wine estates also offer from farm to plate, organically grown foods making healthy, delicious, and nutritious meal choices so much easier. With its majestic mountains and stretches of white, sandy beaches, Cape Town offers perfect opportunities for walking, hiking, cycling, swimming and generally engaging in a variety of outdoor activities. The beautiful sunshine for most of the year also ensures a great dose of the all-important vitamin D, needed to support our immune systems throughout the dark cold winters of the northern hemisphere.

What’s next for you and your brand?

Retreats. At the beginning of 2020 I was already working on a retreat on a farm in the Alentejo region in Portugal which was cancelled due to lockdowns. Due to the pandemic, retreats have become even more popular as people now appreciate the importance of health. The retreats we are currently planning are for May 2022 and October 2022 in Portugal and will be combining exercise, (such as cycling, swimming, walking), nutrition consultations, health talks and personal programmes to leave with, meditation and mindfulness, yoga, and more unique experiences that we are working on. The details will be on my website at the beginning of 2022.

Where can people find out more about Tracy Tredoux Nutritional Therapy?

My website, tracytredoux.com

Rachel McAlley

Rachel McAlley

A veteran in global travel, Rachel also loves to explore hidden gems on home turf. She’s a writing connoisseur of Britain’s best hotels, luxury beauty products, and UK food and drink launches.