A Q&A with Endeavour
We speak to Kathryn Khiroya, Nutritional Medicine Alumni from Endeavour College of Natural Health.
Do you a recall the moment you were first interested in natural health?
For me, there was never one moment of inspiration, or one reason or person, but more me observing a common thread of inspirations, reasons and people throughout my life, which is a deep desire to serve others. Studying Nutritional Medicine in order to practice as a Clinical Nutritionist was simply me seeing a need in my own and other’s worlds and discovering a way that I felt I could contribute meaningfully to meeting that need.
What did you study at Endeavour College of Natural Health?
I studied the Nutritional Medicine. The full degree had a change of name half-way through my studies so the degree is referred to as a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine).
Why did you choose to study at Endeavour?
The central reason for selecting Endeavour was their own vision and advocacy for the natural health sector – I desired to study a degree that wove the strength of science and natural health practices seamlessly together. Also, being a mum, I am often drawn to the practicalities of life, so when I started my degree, Endeavour offered a blended study format. This enabled me to select a flexible study regimen via online or on campus, at a part-time pace and at times that mostly suited my family and business priorities and commitments. I attended the Sydney campus which was (for me) very convenient to get to.
What did you love the most about your degree?
I truly feel I made the most of my time studying, and I believe this is due to Endeavour’s lecturers and supervisors, alongside my peer students genuinely seeking both the art and science of slow medicine. This in itself was an evolving process because while learning the science of nutritional medicine we were also learning the art of becoming practitioners who put aside quick fix, reductionist approaches, band-aid ‘solutions’ and green allopathy, to take on an evidence-based, person-centred, holistic and down-to-earth approach that clients could actually implement, and most importantly, result in transformative health.
Did you face any challenges while studying? How did you overcome them?
No season is without its challenges. I had my own health challenges, a growing family, a business to run – yet so did many of the students sitting right next to me. Being amongst like-minded people helped to share the burden of wearing ‘many hats’ was a god-send throughout my six years of study. Regularly reaching out to family and friends and humbly asking for help when needed also kept me mentally and physically healthy. Endeavour supervisors and lecturers were approachable and I learned to seek out their assistance, especially with complex assessments, but also to help remind me of the big picture when long days and overwhelm narrowed my perspective.
What are three tips you would give someone looking to start a career in natural health?
• Let your ‘yes’ speak louder than any ‘no’ or fear. I didn’t know when I started my degree that I wanted to start my own clinical practice; I just wanted to pass one subject! Throughout the years I knew I had said a resounding ‘yes’ to serving others. Sometimes I didn’t know what that would look like. And that is what we can get fixated on too much – trying to solve the puzzle before even opening the box. Don’t despise the season you’re in; instead, love the journey and not just the destination. Love the changing on the way to being the change. And say yes to your passion, yes to your dreams, yes to making a difference in your own and other’s lives.
• ‘Visioneer’ with clarity: A friend of mine once encouraged me to be a woman of vision and integrity, and importantly, a woman with clarity of vision. This statement inspired me to dream the big audacious scary dreams and at the same time develop vision in detail (it also helped me to stop focusing on my own fears and short comings). This is process was critical to what I dreamt of doing post-degree and how I am working this out in reality: how much I wanted to spend on branding and establishing my practice, the clients I desired to attract, the practitioner I desired to be when those clients came seeking; the frequency of client appointments and the health span journey I longed to educate and step each client through, the look and feel of my consultation space.
• Play to your strengths and allows others to play to theirs too – I studied Nutritional Medicine, not a business degree, so upon completing my studies, I knew where my strengths lay and clearly where they did not. I reached out to a number of people who I felt were strong in their own fields, like branding and business coaching, and started having conversations. A conversation may cost you a coffee but the wisdom you gain from intentional conversations is priceless.
What does your wellness practice look like now?
I’m an early riser, so my days typically start at around 5.00am. I start the day with prayer, breathing, reading, a dry body brush and magnesium spray. This prepares my mind and body for the day’s activities. Next is attending to my own fitness (a range of Pilates, mobility, high intensity and resistance), preparing the house and household (think assigning responsibilities, talking schedules, throwing on a load of washing, showering), and then checking in on Trello to see what I will be focusing on for the day. I’ve usually started work by 7.30am and at present work is really full, fun and varied – like seeing new clients, accountability and follow-up appointments, recipe walk-throughs with clients, strategy sessions with my business coach, writing blog posts, reviewing my website development, creating videos and audios, joining professional education webinars, talking with industry leaders and mentors. I do aim to stop for all meals and give my body the opportunity to rest and digest, and COVID-19 has delivered a lovely blessing of sitting down and lunching with my husband a few times a week. My daughters are very active so we are out most days with their coaches for their various sports and interests. As I’ve already done my exercise in the morning, I use their training time to take a leisurely walk in the sun or catch up on work calls, or call family or a friend. There’s usually a few emails/calls to come back to but I try to get the bulk of my intense work complete before 6pm. Evenings are quite a sacred family time so we’ll typically prepare dinner together (and prepare meals for the following day), play a board or card game or hop on the Nintendo Switch for a few rounds of Mario Kart. A few nights each week we’ll have a virtual dinner with families and friends. I enjoy reading, and usually this is work-related, but I love it so much I regard it as reading for pleasure. That being said, I am trying to put down the texts and read other books, so I’m loving reading Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming Michelle Obama’.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently going through a series of meetings and workshops with my business coach to map out my next 12 months and beyond. Every time we talk, I have something new I can implement immediately, and my business becoming more and more client focused. I truly desire to sink my roots deep in the natural health sector so I’m excited to be going through this process step by step. There will be many steps on this journey, no doubt challenges and fear rearing its head, but I have many a hand encouraging and guiding me so I will not journey alone.
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