Food For Life
If anyone had told Kirsten when she was a teenager that she would end up as General Manager of a world-wide health-based brand like Food Matters, with over two million followers on Facebook and growing, she would have laughed.
‘With so much potential in school, I somehow lacked direction. I was a terribly rebellious teen, always getting into trouble at every turn, partying it up. I was definitely NOT an advocate of health and wellness back in the day.’
But then, at age 20, her life took an unexpected turn. She found herself pregnant and gave birth to her first child. It was a happy, but very unexpected and daunting detour, and it meant she had to shelve her university degree, so that she could take on the role of motherhood, initially as a single parent.
‘Whilst I was navigating nappies and feeling like I had no idea what I was doing, living on my own for a time with not a penny to my name, all my friends were out there partying, travelling and living their 20s. It was a very hard time in my life… a time where I was desperately searching for the direction I needed. And strangely enough, it was my daughter who saved me. The struggle changed my life and forced me to choose a different path, one that would be difficult, but would ultimately lead me back to the person I was meant to be.’
Fast forward, and Kirsten is about to enter her fourth year with Food Matters. She is passionate about health and wellness and has worked in many different areas in her life, particularly on the traditional side of the health care business. But she felt that not enough time was being spent on teaching the basics of food and nutrition, and how to look after ourselves every day. Her passion has since turned towards more natural medicine, the cornerstone of the Food Matters brand.
‘Food Matters is such an iconic and well-known brand. I loved what they stood for and the work they did in inspiring people to change their lives, and I knew I had to be a part of it. When an opportunity came up to work for this brand, I was lucky enough to be able to jump on board and it has been an incredible journey watching the company grow, and working with the founders, James and Laurentine to assist in delivering this mission to the world, alongside an incredible team of talented and passionate individuals who give life to Food Matters every day. My job, along with the team, is to bring that vision to life as the implementer. I have also seen myself transition into a healthier, stronger and more mindful individual as a result.’
So, where and why did Food Matters start?
Food Matters was founded by James Colquhoun and Laurentine ten Bosch. James’s father, an accountant, was eating a typical Aussie unhealthy diet of white bread, meat and soft drinks and had virtually no stress management skills or relaxation in his daily routine. Feeling completely run-down, sick all the time with flu-like symptoms and having no energy or zest for life, he went to the GP for further investigation. After numerous tests, he finally received the diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome and was immediately prescribed medication. However, over time, despite his diagnosis and prescribed treatment, his health continued to deteriorate. The search for answers continued with visits to more specialists and doctors. Eventually he was also diagnosed with depression and anxiety and put on even more medication. He was forced to give up his practice, became bed-ridden and unable to work. Horrified, James and Laurentine realised they had to help him. They quit their jobs, invested their life savings and travelled all over the globe, interviewing all the nutritionists, doctors, scientists and wellness experts they could find. Eventually they decided to turn their findings into a film, which was to launch in 2008.
After presenting some raw film footage to James’s father, he was hooked. He was shocked to learn that the suicidal thoughts he was experiencing were probably one of the side effects of his medications. He could not believe that the pharmaceutical industry would knowingly produce and sell a drug on the market that had such effects. Finally, he was ready for a change. He was weaned off his medications, his diet was changed and he began to regain his zest for life. He even took up jogging. This is how the Food Matters documentary and the brand itself was born – from the realisation that people need better information and education on how to look after themselves.
The film went on to become a global success, and was seen all over the world in theaters, television, on airlines and in nine different languages, inspiring people to change their diets and lifestyle habits. Food Matters is now a global brand, transforming lives all over the globe with its documentaries and health and wellness programs in areas such as detox, nutrition, clean eating and total wellness. It is a supportive and inspirational platform filled with daily recipes and health articles that cover all the current topics of today for a healthier body, mind and life. Most importantly, it is an enormous community of like-minded people sharing their stories.
‘Food Matters exists to serve everyone in their wellness journey, men and women alike, but we do have a very strong demographic of women’, says Kirsten. ‘As an almost 40-year-old woman with two children, balancing a career, and trying to keep my life in check mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually, I have a really deep understanding of the issue’s women are facing out there in our community. The struggle is real!! Life is not easy, and information and support are the key. This is what Food Matters offers.’
‘As I get older and approach my 40th birthday in March, I become better at finding balance in my life, devoting more time and understanding to what is good for me. I feel empowered more than ever before with confidence, intuition and purpose I never had in my 20s to be more present as a mother, reach higher in my career, embrace relationships in a more positive way, love my body, be sexually confident and comfortable in my own skin – finally being unapologetically myself.
‘I’ve spent years trying to use the detours and setbacks in my life to create a better life. And whilst I did some things backwards – having the first of my two daughters, for example – the years of dreaming and struggling finally paid off when it all came to fruition. This is what has made me the strong woman I am today – age, experience, divorce, difficult roads. All of these things have impacted the person I am today, but especially working for Food Matters, because this has changed and shaped my way of thinking to become a more positive, healthier and balanced version of myself.’
‘Food Matters is here to help anyone adopt healthier food and lifestyle habits. We are very excited about the future. Food Matters will continue to expand the products and services that we offer, and you will see some incredible new programs being launched this year, so stay tuned!
This is just the beginning. We invite you to start your journey with us to better health and a better life.
‘Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live’ – Jim Rohn