Wholefood Warrior

Eva Humphries (Howe 2006) started her own business, Wholefood Warrior in 2016. She describes her approach to nutrition as relaxed. She says "it's less about the rules and cutting things out, rather it's more about easy ways to add nutrients into your diet". Katie Gould chatted with her to find out more.

What prompted you to make the jump from IT to Nutrition, was it something you always hoped to do?

A 'quarter-life crisis' was the likely start of it. I was managing a rollout of iPads to a nursery group whereby 0-4-year-olds were to be given individual iPads. This project escalated into a slight moral dilemma because I didn't feel such young children should be device dependent. It made me question if what I'm doing is contributing to society in a way that I want it to. The answer at the time was no, so after some thought, I enrolled in nutrition school.

How have you adapted your business during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The beauty of running a small business is that you can never truly stand still. Jumping through hurdles and constantly reinventing the way you approach things becomes the norm, rather than a chore. I have learnt that moving with the times means a constant need to do things better or, via different means. The pandemic has temporarily shifted my business online but, thanks to my newly found mobile office it also allowed me to explore some of the Nordics. I have worked from both Norway and Sweden this year. There is almost always a silver lining, you just need to look for it.

You have another retreat planned for April next year, all being well, in Ibiza – how did you come about doing retreats?

A couple of years ago, I treated a friend to a yoga brunch in Nottingham. Not being a yoga kind of gal, I was attending purely for my friend's benefit, but I really enjoyed it. The yoga teacher, Debs, was very much of the same ilk as me. In a nutshell, very down to earth and far from the hippyish picture that I painted in my head for what a yoga teacher would be like.

Fast forward a couple of months, we realised that there is a gap in the market for the kind of retreat that we would like to attend. We wanted a relaxed set up where a glass (or two) of wine is not frowned upon, where the yoga is suitable for beginners and experts alike, good food and the opportunity to learn something new. So, we headed to the Peak District, found a high spec venue and set up a series of yoga and nutrition retreats. Debs has since moved to Ibiza, which was the perfect opportunity for us to work together a little bit further afield.

Further details about the upcoming Ibiza retreat can be found here.

Following a post the Alumni Office shared on LinkedIn about the retreat you ran in the Peak District in October – Ian Annett (Collingwood 1984) came along. It must have been great to connect with someone else that also attended RHS?

It was fantastic to have Ian and his wife Sophie in attendance. Life at RHS is often difficult to explain to those without the experience so it was great to be able to reminisce with an old boy.

I noticed that you do corporate wellness – wellbeing is certainly at the forefront of companies minds now. Tell us a bit more about the wellness days and what they entail.

If my past life in IT has taught me anything, it is that you can put too much emphasis on work and not enough on your health.

Luckily, most organisations are now coming around to paying attention to the wellbeing of their employees. After all, a healthy workforce is a happier, more productive workforce.

For the past 3 years, I have assisted companies with their employee wellbeing initiatives by hosting realistic nutrition workshops and wellbeing days.

Dependent on how far along the company may be, I either get involved at the planning stage, helping to shape the overall offering and assisting with the creation of a "wellbeing calendar" or I will just facilitate expert-led workshops in line with an existing strategy. It sounds very official but mostly it is just a bit of positivity that allows employees to look after themselves much better and benefit the companies too.

Eva has been kind enough to provide an exclusive discount for RHS Alumni – if you book a Corporate Wellness Day, you will receive £55 off using this discount code: WELLBEING55

While you're there, why not explore the rest of her website and see what her upcoming retreat in Ibiza includes, or try one of the many recipes she has on there!