Turning a passion for plant-based nutrition into a thriving business – Interview with Buffy Gill
Buffy Gill is well on her way to becoming a recognised champion for Plant-based nutrition. Her business Be Good Organics started as a blog that now has over 100 000 followers around the world, she has a growing presence on social media where she shares recipe ideas and videos that show just how versatile a plant-based diet can be. Since graduating from Wellpark College four years ago Buffy has expanded her business to include an online cooking school and a naturopathic practice.
We were delighted that Buffy took time out of her very busy schedule to answer a few questions about turning her passion for nutrition and good health into a successful business.
You graduated from Wellpark College 4 years ago with a Bachelor of Naturopathic and Herbal Medicine and a Diploma in Nutrition. How have you gone on to use your qualifications and all that you learned?
I have continued working on my business Be Good Organics which I started prior to enrolling to study for my Bachelor of Naturopathic and Herbal Medicine. Since graduating I have been able to amplify and expand my ideas by adding all the knowledge that I acquired whilst studying for my Degree.
Be Good Organics is a Natural Health Education Hub that focuses on plant-based nutrition and health and the sharing of ideas on how to achieve better health through a natural organic lifestyle.
Since graduating I have also started an online cooking school that allows me to teach others about the benefits of a whole foods plant-based diet. I still like to Blog and share videos, so I put out a plant-based recipe at least once a week
I have also set up my own practice and I see clients locally and online weekly for private consultations.
You are an advocate of eating organic and plant-based whole foods, why would you recommend this diet and what are the main benefits of eating this way?
Research has proven that a plant-based diet (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, nuts – Whole Foods) can help decrease inflammation in the body. Inflammation can manifest in the body in many ways from aching joints to headaches, fatigue to fevers. Eating more whole grains and less over processed foods can help decrease inflammation.
I leave it up to the induvial to choose if they wish to eat a plant-based organic diet exclusively or to just switch some of their meals. Be Good Organics allows me to educate people on what to eat as well as how to prepare and cook delicious recipes that will ultimately help them to improve their health.
You make plant-based food look fun and delicious where does the inspiration for your recipes come from?
I get inspiration from everywhere! I have journals and notebooks filled with recipe ideas. Not all of my recipe ideas are filmed for the videos I shoot for the cooking school, but I do share quick-fire recipes almost every day on social media.
Inspiration can come from eating out in local cafes and restaurants, and browsing menus when I travel both in New Zealand and overseas. I enjoy cooking for my family who are all foodies, so ideas often develop from their feedback.
I love flicking through recipe books, and I don’t restrict myself to just vegan cookbooks. I often find that traditional recipes made with meat and dairy spark me into thinking about how I can recreate that dish without the butter, milk and eggs, and how can I replace the meat component with a plant-based option.
I am never short of ideas for recipes.
What do you enjoy most about having a career in the health and wellness profession?
I love helping people! I enjoy seeing my clients progress through a journey; from being unwell, from having no energy, from being overweight, from not knowing how to eat well, to flourishing and having improved health.
Be Good Organics allows me to encourage people to change to a whole-food, plant-based diet, to consider naturopathic elements such as managing stress levels, improving sleep quality, and enjoying community connections.
Allowing people to feel like a 9 out of 10 every day, and to be well & happy is immensely rewarding.
We know that you have a passion for good nutrition but what other areas of holistic health do you enjoy and like helping people with?
My niche is nutrition, I love food so upon graduating this was the area that I decided to make the focus of my business. I’d certainly encourage students finishing the degree programme to set up their practice with a niche in mind, be it hormonal health, children’s health, sleep, or nutrition. Become an expert in one area.
For me, it was always food. I want to be the “Go-To” person for plant-based nutrition in New Zealand and Australia.
That said I do still enjoy other areas of Holistic Healthcare and I use my Instagram “Wellness Wednesday” seminars to talk about topics such as sleep, hormones, fertility, women’s health, weight loss etc.
In my private consultations, I encourage clients to think of themselves as being at the centre of a wheel, with lots of spokes. All of the spokes represent an area of health and all need to be attended to, in order to achieve optimum health, not just good nutrition.
You are a successful businesswoman and a busy mum; how do you manage the juggle and what do you do to ensure that your own health and wellness is taken care of?
It’s always a juggle! I do try to put boundaries in place, I shut off from work mode at 6 pm and spend quality time with my children. I try to work less on the weekends and have more family time.
I have one day a week where I am completely off social media and screens and I’d encourage everyone to get into the habit of one “Screen-Free” day a week.
I give myself an hour per day for exercise, I love to put on a Podcast and go for a run, that’s my “Me Time”. I always choose health and nutrition Podcasts so that I’m feeding my mind while I work out. I look at it as 350 hours of ongoing education every year. I never check emails until after I’ve finished this hour of my day.
What advice would you give other mums thinking of going back to studying?
Never underestimate that studying and being a mum is a huge commitment. I became pregnant with my first child during my first year of studying for my Bachelor of Naturopathic and Herbal Medicine and found being a new mum and a student super challenging. I dropped back to part-time study during my second year. Having good support networks in place really helps, seek support from both your partner and extended family.
It was hard work, but I am so glad that I did it.
You started your business Be Good Organics before you enrolled to study at Wellpark College, was it always a dream to start a business and work for yourself. What have been the highlights and challenges of working for yourself?
I started Be Good Organic as a blog a year before I enrolled to study at Wellpark College. The blog became very popular, and I wanted to learn more so that I could expand on what I was already writing about.
The original idea for my business came about after I was diagnosed with Graves disease. I took a sabbatical from a career in finance and spent time exploring plant-based nutrition. I knew that I had found my passion and Be Good Organics was born. Studying for my degree gave me further knowledge, tools, and credibility as well as the confidence I needed to go after my dream and make my business a success.
Highlights of working for yourself – Flexibility
Challenges – Setting boundaries and making it work financially.
Would I give it up – Never, I love what I do.
Why did you choose the study at Wellpark College?
I wanted to find a degree programme that was more aligned with what I had been reading about plant-based diets. I couldn’t find that at the time at Otago or Auckland University. Wellpark College allowed me to explore a more natural and holistic approach to health and nutrition.
What are your plans for the future for Be Good Organics?
I have an exciting project coming up at the end of the year, but for now, I’m focused on building up my online cooking school and teaching more people about plant-based nutrition.
- Favourite Herb – Parsley and Coriander
- Favourite vegetable – Baby Spinach
- Favourite comfort food recipe – My Mac and Cheese
- What’s you’re on the run snack – Fresh fruit, nuts and seeds.
- Favourite quote – I have so many, I take one each day from my 5-minute journal
Interview with Buffy Gill of Be Good Organics by Nikki Canfield
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