New business

The diet ‘revelation’ was the catalyst for a Highland woman’s new venture

Every Monday, we ask key questions for small businesses. Here we talk to diet expert Wendy Urwin, of Wendy Urwin Nutrition, based near Cannich in the Highlands.

How and why did you get into business?

Twenty years ago, I was a physical wreck. I had had stomach problems since childhood, not helped by being a picky eater and having the worst diet Scotland had to offer around 1980 – sugary soft drinks and fried delicacies.

My health declined throughout my 20s until I was unable to continue my work as a freshwater biologist and microbiologist while also struggling to care for my daughter.

GPs were skeptical of chronic fatigue and could do little more than offer antidepressants and antacids for irritable bowel syndrome, which didn’t help.

Healthy eating was the answer

I knew food affected my mood and energy, so in desperation I experimented and avidly read what little research was available. Slowly my health started to improve but, due to a lack of support from a qualified practitioner, the road was bumpy with many relapses.

The Reveal Diet and Nutrition could heal in areas where conventional medicine could not inspire me to find a way to help others in similar situations lead happy and fulfilling lives.

Healthy eating was an inspiration to Mrs. Urwin.

How did you get where you are today?

First, I had to acquire a professional qualification in order to be able to offer high-level clinical support. I enrolled in a postgraduate (MSc) nutrition therapy course at York and trained at the Institute of Functional Medicine alongside doctors and GPs who wanted to learn more about nutrition and lifestyle medicine. It changed the situation.

After graduating I opened my first clinic at the Nourish Cafe in Inverness, quickly filling my books with clients. Pre-Covid online work has allowed me to reach clients in the Highlands & Islands and beyond.

It all happened online during the pandemic, but now I am delighted to resume in-person consultations and launch a specialist clinic at the Highland Wellness Center in Inverness next month to support people with irritable bowel syndrome.

Who helped you?

My family has been great, especially my mom who took care of my kids and pets when I was in college, and my husband who worked away from home. My husband kept the faith and supported me, even when he had no idea what I was doing or talking about.

Working as an individual entrepreneur, with limited business acumen, it’s also very reassuring to have the Federation of Small Businesses by my side for legal advice and support when I need it.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever had?

Dark. It’s a bit of a cliché, but too many great people don’t realize their career aspirations for fear of not being ready, needing more training and planning time, or putting family first. Don’t aim for perfection, go for it.

What is your biggest mistake?

Selling classic cars that would have been worth a not-so-small fortune by now.

What is your greatest achievement?

Helping clients improve their health and quality of life gives me incredible job satisfaction.

How is your business dealing with rapidly rising costs and what should the government do to help?

I’m lucky to have low overhead and working online has reduced the need to commute, but I still need to heat my office during the winter. The rising cost of heating oil is a concern for those of us who live in remote parts of the Highlands, an issue that the government has yet to recognize and address.

What do you do to relax?

Spending time outdoors with my family, my dog ​​and my ponies which also gives me a daily workout.

What are you currently reading, listening to or watching on television?

I read Still Life, by Sarah Winman – recommended by book club friends. Before 4G came along, I had no TV reception for over 20 years, so I’m not much of a TV viewer.

What are you wasting your money on?

I have ponies so there is no money to lose.

What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?

Stay hydrated with a glass of water and then some coffee.

What do you drive and do you dream of driving?

I drive a Honda Civic – a fabulous little car. I am a petrol expert and can claim prior ownership of a classic Mk2 Golf GTI and a 1968 Mustang. I dream of an old pick-up to tow my van.

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[Diet ‘revelation’ was catalyst for Highland woman’s new business]