Dr Libby Weaver practises what she preaches. The vibrant and vital women's health expert, who packs so much into a day it leaves you breathless, believes the key to keeping focused and in a good state of mind comes down to what you eat, keeping plugged into restorative rituals and doing what you love.
With an Bachelor of Health Science Honours degree (nutrition and dietetics) and a PhD in biochemistry, Weaver has worked in private practice for 15 years, seeing clients from all walks of life - busy corporates, stay-at-home mums and Hollywood stars. She was part of the team that started the Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat in Queensland and now runs, with her husband, a holistic health education company.
Weaver is the author of best-selling books Accidentally Overweight and Rushing Woman's Syndrome, writes for a number of publications including the NZ Herald's Bite magazine, co-authored the cookbook The Real Food Chef and has two more books launching later this year. She travels the world speaking - running corporate seminars, doing radio shows and cooking demonstrations. Last week, she was in the US where she was a keynote speaker to 9000 people alongside Dr Oz and she recorded lectures in New York for the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, the biggest nutrition school in the world.
How do you stay focused and in a good state of mind when you have so much going on?
I eat very well. I eat plenty of "real food" - particularly greens and other veges. I have breath-focused restorative rituals that I practise daily. I love restorative yoga and qi gong. I am constantly aware that I am living my mission doing this work in the world and I feel very grateful.
How do you stop yourself from feeling you are being pulled in several directions at once?
Attitude, beliefs and not too much caffeine. We get to choose calm. Each moment our nervous system is making a decision about what things mean. If you have 600 things on your to-do list, getting all panicked about it doesn't change what your day looks like. It only hurts your health and you usually wind up less productive. But it is difficult for your nervous system to choose calm when someone is wired on caffeine and perceiving bucket loads of pressure in their world.
Is routine important?
Rituals are important to condition a calm base. But I also find I have to remain flexible as my schedule can change in a heartbeat. If I were to remain too focused on routine, I might stress about not being able to hold to that at times. So it's about rituals and flexibility for me.
Do you ever feel tired or unmotivated?
I rarely feel tired. I love my life and am very grateful for it so I don't ever feel unmotivated. I'm ready for bed at the end of the day - so I feel tired as in ready for sleep. But otherwise, I have great energy.
What do you do to switch off?
I love walking in nature, looking at the sky, listening out for birdsong and reading. I love time in solitude just at home. Contemplation helps me to see the bigger picture beyond the everyday.
How do you incorporate exercise into your life?
I mix it up. I love the restorative practices I do. I enjoy qi gong in the mornings and one or two restorative yoga poses like legs up the wall in the evening. I like walking, yoga and using a barbell for some additional resistance training.
How do you maintain eating well when you travel?
I google where the fun, healthy cafes are in a city I'm going to, and book a hotel near to them. I also travel with some powdered greens that I mix with water to start the day if I can't get vege juice.
Which people in your life have shaped your way of thinking?
My professors from uni were pioneers in their fields of medicine, immunology and microbiology. I learned more from them in the seven years I spent in their laboratory than I could have dreamed. They fostered my desire to get to the heart of health matters, not just cover a health challenge with a band aid. I have been fortunate to come to know Tony Robbins and his amazing wife. Tony is a true genius when it comes to understanding human behaviour and his work has deepened my understanding of why we do what we do. And Geneen Roth's books and insights are gold that help me find words to express what I observe in patients. My husband is an amazing visionary who has fostered incredible growth in our company and guided me on how to share my message with the world.
Describe a dream day.
Qi gong on rising, followed by a walk. A leisurely breakfast with my husband over which we chat and read. I love a day when I don't have to be anywhere at a certain time. And dinner and great conversation with a great view, with friends.
What books have influenced you most?
The Call by Oriah Mountain Dreamer because she shared the poetry springing from her heart along with the insights it revealed. Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth because of her immense gift with language and her transformational insights about inquiry, a process where you follow anything to the end.
Describe your beauty routine?
I eat real food! I use Dr Hauschka products on my face, morning and night. I love their rose body oil pressed into the skin across my heart.
What are your top five essentials to living life well?
1. Breathe diaphragmatically and return to this as soon as you notice you've come out of it.
2. Eat real food. Minimise or omit processed foods.
3. Be honest with yourself about how caffeine and alcohol affect you and your relationships.
4. What you focus on is what you feel, so by focusing on more of the delicious factors in your life you'll naturally feel happier and more juice will come from that.
5. Remember to see the wonder in the world. It's everywhere, it keeps you young, and lights up your heart.
* Sign up to Libby Weaver's 'The Rushing Woman's Syndrome Quick Start Course' and receive 30 days worth of training and advice to help inspire a sense of calm and discover new levels of health and well-being. The course includes 30-minute videos once a week and daily emailed advice, words of support and inspirational quotes, and exclusive access to a forum where women can ask questions and get free advice from Dr Libby. To find out more go to drlibby.com.