ICBRKR EXTRAORDINAIRES: Meet Rachel Clarkson, Nutrition Specialist & Registered Dietitian
Welcome to our ICBRKR Extraordinaires Series, where every two weeks, we highlight one extraordinary ICBRKR. Our community is our backbone, and we’re proud to be BRKing the mold with such a passionate and engaging group of people. ⚡️
This week, we introduce you to Fellow Foodie, Fitness Buddy and Urban Explorer, Rachel Clarkson. A Personalised Nutrition Specialist and Registered Dietitian, Rachel sets an amazing example for how to balance food, exercise, travel and wellness. Find out how she does it in our interview below, and connect with her in the ICBRKR app!
Rachel, tell us more about what you do! How did you end up as a nutritionist and dietician, and what is that like?
I spend many weeks a year exploring the world and the beauty it has to offer -- I love nature, food, art, music and especially the extraordinary people I’ve connected with. You feel like you’re constantly growing when you are around this world. It’s a beautiful thing when you can say that you are truly happy in your career, and for me the secret is a medley of doing something you love, that gives you purpose and where you get to help others.
I founded The DNA Dietitian last year after a trip to San Francisco’s International Personalised Nutrition Innovation Summit. Working closely with Harvard-trained professors, I now help my clients meet their full health and performance potential with the power of Nutrigenomics. I translate genetic material and educate clients on whether they need more or less of a certain nutrient to meet their health goals. This has progressed into consulting tech companies and workplace wellness programmes.
It all started eight years ago, whilst I was carrying out research on anti-inflammatory drugs and was shocked to learn that inflammation was the primary cause of all chronic disease. We all know prevention is better than cure and that was my ‘aha’ moment -- it was at this time that I discovered the power of Nutritional Science at King’s College London. When you understand the molecular biochemistry of nutrients in addition to how they are metabolised in the body, you can start to piece together the puzzle that is health with food as the building blocks.
Interestingly, there are many other lifestyle components that determine our health: stress, exercise, and sleep being just a few. ‘Epigenetics’ explains how these lifestyle factors, including the food we eat, switch our genes on and off, altering our DNA and genetics, and determining potential illness. I was fascinated by this concept and began to carry out research which, I’m extremely happy to share, recently got published.
As a nutritionist, I could see healthy clients to help them optimise health and achieve weight loss, but in order to treat disease, I had to undergo extensive clinical training and become a Registered Dietitian. This was an extremely rewarding experience for me, learning at the most incredible hospital and treating patients with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and food intolerances. I continued practicing in the NHS at a leading London hospital before founding The DNA Dietitian, where I see clients at my Harley Street clinic and via video call. I am beyond passionate about evidence-based science being at the forefront of everything I do. I consult for tech and I now volunteer as a Registered Dietitian for London’s biggest Soup Kitchen, ensuring the food is as nutritious as possible.
Wow! How inspiring! Wellness and mental health are essential to the ICBRKR ethos. How do you balance those in your daily life?
When we are kind to our body and take care of our mind, we naturally reduce the stress hormone, cortisol, which puts the body into an inflammatory state. I start with a night time routine to wind down to ensure optimal recovery during sleep. I usually start with a hot Epsom salt bath, meditation, and then I read. A morning ritual always sets great intentions for the day. I start with meditation, gratitude and reading before I even look at my phone. I also think it’s important to incorporate movement into my day, whether that’s a stroll in the park or yoga. Both put me into a peaceful meditative state.
Amazing tips! As a Fellow Foodie and Urban Explorer, tell us, what’s your favorite food, and favorite city to eat?
I adore Peruvian flavours -- ceviche has to be up there as one my favourite dishes. I love all the zingy citrus flavours! Basically, I love any food that gives me tropical beach/jungle feels.
As for where, Nordic cuisine in Copenhagen is impeccable and great for gut and digestive health with all the fermented and pickled foods. New York is also a favourite with its diverse offering of restaurants from all over the world.
What about your workout regime?
Movement ensures wellness and good quality sleep to balance hormones that regulate appetite and the food choices we make. You’ll find me at a Pilates Reformer class for the long lean muscles you can achieve, and a yoga workshop or swimming in the ocean on my travels.
Love it! Speaking of love… What do you love most about ICBRKR?
ICBRKR’s community is a platform where I get to connect with like-minded people all over the world. It’s great to feel a sense of togetherness when I’m traveling so much.
And what is your guilty pleasure?
My guilty pleasure has got to be a spicy margarita -- specifically with mescal, lime, jalapeños and half a rim of salt.
Cheers! Thanks for sharing your story and amazing tips, Rachel (@thednadietitian). We can’t wait to see what you do next, and look forward to meeting up at our ICBRKR events in London and around the world!
Use ICBRKR to connect with Rachel and other extraordinaires in LA, New York, London, and around the world. If you think you, or a fellow ICBRKR friend, make for the perfect feature, hit us up at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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