Health Hut; A Chat with Tara on Self-Care Essentials and How Nutrition Isn't the Be-All & End-All.
by Kiki Athanas
November 24, 2017
Tara Miller is a Toronto-based Holistic Nutritionist, Intuitive Eating Counsellor & the Owner of Health Hut - a delightfully curated shopping oasis for all things holistically divine. I sat down with Tara to get her take on the over-saturated "wellness" world, the potentially dangerous messages we're hearing from nutritionists, and her top picks when it comes to pampering yourself for the winter season!
The Health Hut journey - from an old neglected ice cream hut in Muskoka to a beautiful and enchanting space in downtown Toronto.
Tara sums it up in 2 words: Slow and steady.
"I feel like I went with a really exciting idea, with no plan, and it developed as I went. It feels awesome to see this turn out the way it did, because it wasn't as I planned, necessarily, it was very organic.
Each step I took I saw it getting bigger, but even just a few years ago the idea of having a full store on College st. would have been terrifying. I don't think I opened that hut thinking that this would be the end result, but each year with more positive feedback and as the industry was growing I think I found it easier to make those jumps.
And that's why I say 'slow and steady' because it just kept happening at a natural rate - instead of just jumping into something for the sake of it."
A Holistic Nutritionist That's Rebelling Against Nutrition
Tara shared her thoughts on the saturation of the "wellness" world, and in particular the messages around healthy eating and what that's 'supposed' to be. She is consciously taking a step in another - dare I say much more exciting - direction, as an intuitive eating coach.
"There is this massive blow up in holistic nutrition culture, and a lot of people have gone - in my opinion - quite extreme. And now, finally, the diet world is getting a bit of a push-back, and that would be my role in it: teaching people that it doesn't have to be so extreme."
Tara's approach to developing a healthy relationship with food and eating.......
"On the most basic level, and the first thing I try to do with my clients is give them permission to eat ALL foods. So it sounds really basic, but it's very scary, and it's not easy to do - especially when the 'nutrition world' teaches you to be really fearful of certain foods.
I think another thing is to teach people that while our food choices are important, they are still definitely NOT the main determinant our health, our morality, or who we are as people. We are not good or bad people based on the food choices that we make. There's a detachment that's necessary here - you need to not identify yourself with how you're eating. But also, there's the simple fact that health is not determined solely by how we're eating, it's actually a very small element. There's so much research to show that pleasure, satisfaction, mental health, sleep, community, are much bigger players. Yet, we try to control our whole health through eating - we really don't need to!"
Health Hut Sells Self-Care 'Essentials'. Why is Self-Care an 'Essential'?
"When we're not caring for ourselves and our needs aren't being met, it gets difficult to find balance in our life. Then we tend to take it out on other things: food, drinking, caffeine, relationships, etc. I think a lot of people see self-care as 'selfish', but the fact of the matter is if you put yourself first, you're going to be a better mom, friend, employee, etc. if you're needs are met."
Tara went on to summarize it perfectly:
"I feel like it just FEELS good."
What's the 'flavour of the month' in the shop?
"Aromatherapy! I've been using a lot aromatherapy roll-ons lately, for a lot of different things: if I feel like I'm getting tired or lacking a little bit of motivation during work I'll put on something more stimulating - I use Province Apothecary's Focus. If I feel a bit anxious or wound up, or even just before bed, I'll do a nice bedtime blend from Living Libations.
Now is it just me or are you inspired to invest in some self-care essentials?! Luckily, the investment will be financially savvy if you act fast and take advantage of Health Hut's special Black Friday promo codes:
*applicable in store + online Friday, Saturday, Sunday + Monday*
- spend 100+, receive 10% off: HHHOLIDAY10
- spend 200+, receive 15% off: HHHOLIDAY15
- spend 400+, receive 20% off: HHHOLIDAY20