Dr Libby Weaver is one of Australasia’s leading nutrition specialists and weight loss experts based in Auckland, New Zealand. Libby’s passion for empowering people to make optimum health choices has led her to consult privately with individuals, in the corporate health arena, as well as with universities and the media. She is also the author of three best selling books, Accidentally Overweight, Rushing Woman’s Syndrome and The Real Food Chef.
What is your favourite beauty treatment to splurge on?
Nothing beats a blow dry for me!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what exactly it is you do for a living.
My mission is to educate and inspire, enhancing people’s health and happiness, igniting a ripple effect that transforms the world. I went to university for 14 years and studies nutrition and dietetics and then went on and did a PhD in biochemistry. I’ve also worked one-on-one with people for 15 years helping them achieve the health outcomes they seek.
My approach has three prongs to it:
1. The biochemical: I help people understand how their body works, such as sex hormone balance and how stress and sex hormones interact.
2. The nutritional: I explain the foods and nutrients that support the optimal functioning of body systems, such as stress hormone production, as well as those that take away from the optimal functioning of those systems.
3. The emotional: I help people answer the question “why do you do what you do when you know what you know?” as it is not usually a lack of education that leads someone to polish off a packet of chocolate biscuits after dinner. It is biochemical or emotional or both and I help people crack that code.
I am now the author of five books, two of which – Beauty from the Inside Out and my next cookbook Real Food Kitchen – will hit the shelves in the next four weeks. The first 3 became number 1 best-sellers within three weeks of being released which simply shows me that the health messages I share resonate for people. I also get to travel the world speaking. Last month I spoke to 9000 people in the USA where I was a keynote speaker alongside Dr Oz.
What is it you love most about your job?
Seeing the lights go on in someone’s eyes when they learn something powerful or when they get the answer to the question – “why do I do what I do when I know what I know?” Once they experience this insight, their life is never the same and taking care of themselves and experiencing a new level of health and well being is effortless from this space.
You’re launching a new book, Beauty From The Inside Out, tell us about it.
In my new book, Beauty From The Inside Out I look at all things that affect your beauty. You will be guided on which levers to pull to help you create, recognise, and deeply appreciate your beautiful shine. I explain exactly what your body needs to create lovely nails, lustrous hair, sparkling eyes, and clear, luminous skin, and what your body needs in order to eliminate dark circles under the eyes, flakey nails, eczema and pimples, to name a few. We also look into the superstar beauty support that sleep offers, and at ways to make sure your sleep is restorative. Just as importantly, we explore your inner world, by taking a heart-opening look at your emotional landscape because, for many, that is where the real elixir is.
But beauty really is an inside job – How many of us stop to consider that our outer layer is merely a reflection of our inner processes, and our inner processes are completely reliant on the health of the 50 trillion cells that you are made of? The health of those cells is impacted by everything from the food you eat, the nutrients present or missing from your blood, and the hormones and messages your body makes based on whether your thoughts are fearful or loving. When most people think about improving their appearance, they usually focus on a product, another “quick fix”. Yet when you consider that the skin cells on your face are such a small percentage of the total number of cells in the whole body, it seems crazy that we don’t spend more time getting the majority of the cells functioning optimally, leading us to the beauty outcomes we seek. This is not a book teaching you how to cleanse, tone and moisturise.
Why does the food we eat play such a big part in the way our skin, hair and nails look and feel?
The only way we obtain nutrients is from the food we eat and all nutrients are critical to how our “beauty bits” – skin, hair and nails, for example – look and feel. Vitamin C, zinc and the essential fatty acids are three big guns when it comes to beauty processes and if any of these are deficient in the diet, it is impossible for the cells that make up our skin, hair and nails to get the substances they need to look and feel their best.
When we eat mostly real food, we not only get nutrient-dense mouthfuls which are critical to beauty processes, but we also miss out on the substances that are processed foods that may potentially take away from our health.
What are your top 5 tips for looking beautiful from the inside out?
1. Amp up your greens – eat more real food for the nutrient density that feeds healthy cells as well as for what you miss out on: artificial ingredients such as preservatives, sweeteners, flavours, colours.
2. Drink plenty of pure water for the hydration of the dermis, the second layer of the skin, as well as so the kidneys and urinary system can do their vital blood filtration and detoxification work.
3. Elimination and detoxification: the body has to eliminate waste efficiently via the bowels and if the load on the digestive system and/or liver is too great, those waste products have to find another exit point from the body. When there is excess waste, it will usually be eliminated through the skin so supporting great digestion and detoxification is key to the Beauty from the Inside Out philosophy.
4. Restorative practices: when we activate the calm arm of our nervous system and rest, the body knows you are “safe”. If you live on adrenalin, a stress hormone, your body thinks your life is in danger and to get you out of danger, blood is diverted away from digestion and taking care of skin, hair and nails, to the periphery (your arms and legs) as this will help you to power out of danger. I love tai chi and restorative yoga. Any breath-focused practice can get you living from what I call the “green zone”.
5. Gratitude and kindness: we have so much to feel grateful for. Even if you are going through a tough time, you still have bucket-loads of things to feel grateful about. What you focus on is what you feel, so focus on what you feel grateful for every day. And kindness changes the world.
How do you personally stay healthy?
I eat mostly real food. I sleep very well. I do restorative practices daily. I have loving relationships. I live from the space of knowing that life is very precious and I acknowledge and feel grateful for that every day.
What is the best beauty advice you have ever been given?
Ooh, it’s hard to pick one! So here’s three:
– Don’t touch your face with dirty hands and always use fairy fingers when you touch your face.
– Beauty Sleep – An hour of sleep before midnight is worth two after.
– Do what lights you up, because when you are lit up, you automatically light others up.
Beauty From The Inside Out will be available at drlibby.com and in all good bookstores from Monday the 16th of September and will also be available as a step-by-step course in an online coaching program.