About Gillian Plant

Gillian Plant
Nutritionist & Naturopath

Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy)

Growing up on the family farm in Queensland, Gillian Plant inherited a wealth of knowledge about permaculture, sustainability and the simple pleasures of growing her own food. But it would take travelling the world, living abroad and a few career changes to inspire a return to her roots and the discovery of her true calling.

Gillian is effortlessly blending liquid herbs in the corner of her quaint cottage clinic as she speaks about her lifelong passion for food and health. Reminiscing about her childhood on a large cattle station at Cooyar in Queensland’s Darling Downs, she shares early memories of growing vegetables and fruit trees and learning the importance of caring for the environment from a young age.

This way of life comes so naturally to the Highfields-based naturopath and nutritionist, that it may come as a surprise to learn this wasn’t her original career path.

Gillian studied occupational therapy and worked as a therapy assistant for two years, before realising she didn’t see a future for herself working in hospitals.

To reflect on her options, Gillian made the pilgrimage to the UK where she spent time with her herbalist Aunt. It was here she immersed herself in her Aunt’s English cottage garden, discovering the many health and nutritional benefits of plants.

“It was such an eye opening experience, realising just how much is edible and beneficial to our health.

“What I thought were weeds were actually food and medicine.”

That experience planted the seed for a new way at looking at health and helping others, and ultimately inspired Gillian’s decision to return to Australia to study naturopathy and nutrition.

She also experienced some lightbulb moments about the effects of food on her own health.

“The big one was when I gave up coffee and my migraines went away.”

Other lessons learnt along the journey also helped bring Gillian closer to her new career path in natural health.

“Even though I didn’t necessarily know where it was leading, it definitely helped me realise working in healthcare is what I wanted to do.

“I had also been volunteering doing recreation for the elderly in a hospital, and feeling unfulfilled in cafes. I got a Certificate in Children’s Services and worked as an au pair for a year. I even became a jeweller for a while. It was fun, but not my passion, and I realised health is where I should be.”

Gillian went on to complete a four year degree earning a Bachelor of Health Science, before graduating as a Clinical Naturopath and Nutritionist in 2017.

Determined to help the community on a wider scale, she is also completing a Masters of Global Public Health through Griffith University.

“Health is such a big issue in society and it has driven me to want to impact bigger populations with health solutions in food and nutrition, to make people’s lives easier and healthier.

“I would love to work alongside rural health initiatives as a naturopath, creating more solutions and opportunities for all sorts of healthcare providers to work with rural communities.”

Gillian’s international travels also contributed to this desire to create healthy change in the way Australians think about food.

“Whether I was living in Brisbane or Berlin, Florence or wherever I happened to be at the time, I noticed very different attitudes towards food, and the value of food.

“In Italy, takeaway food was a complete taboo. In Florence, supermarkets are not a thing – just smaller markets and stores specific to what you need. You go somewhere for fresh fruit and veg, somewhere else for pasta, somewhere else for meat. It’s a slower food environment, and for me at the time, it was hard to get my head around.”

The greater enjoyment and celebration of food in Europe reminded Gillian of the slower pace of life growing up on a farm.

“I realised the value of food decreases when you don’t grow it yourself.

“I have a bigger appreciation of food because I know the work that goes into it. The permaculture method of growing food for yourself and your family is better for the environment and for you too. It feels special to eat a meal made from real ingredients you grew yourself.”

It’s clear Gillian gets just as much enjoyment from sharing the benefits of natural health and nutrition with others.

She says educating clients brings both the biggest challenges, and greatest rewards, of her work.

“A majority of my clients are open to new ideas when they come to see me

“I start with basic education, including helping them understand the signs their body is showing them, through their nails, eyes and symptoms like inflammation. I focus on calming things down, going back to basics and always explain why we’re doing what we’re doing.

“I encourage my clients to do the best they can, and not to worry when they can’t do it all.”

You’ll find Gillian’s clinic Wholehearted Healthcare in the quaint Bloom Holistic building, at 67 Ramsay Street, South Toowoomba, QLD 4350.

Or call now on 0478 132 161

Gillian Plant
Nutritionist & Naturopath

Bachelor of Health Science (Naturopathy)

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