Alex Dobbs was born in Germany, and spent much of her childhood outdoors exploring the world around her. When she wasn’t outside, she was often found in her mum’s larder – even at that age she had a ‘thing’ about all the lovely foods and exciting smells.
She now has a Nutritional Therapy clinic in Greystones and online, and she and husband run a farm in South Wicklow where they offer farm holidays and she runs GYO courses showing people where their food comes from, how it grows and how to cook it for best health.
Her children turned out to have a range of food intolerances, which led her towards Nutritional Therapy, completing an Advanced Diploma with the Irish Institute of Nutrition and Health (I.I.N.H)
Her work is all about combining cutting-edge food science, experience and a good deal of common sense to tailor dietary advice specific to each client’s needs and to help each client to adopt this advice long-term.
We chatted to Alex to to see what sparked her interest in nutrition, discuss her nutrition philosophies and find out what she has been up to since studying with IINH.
When did you first become interested in nutrition and health?
When I was in my early twenties I realised that food makes a huge difference to how I feel. I studied organic farming initially, then started my family. After finding that my children couldn’t tolerate certain foods and growing intolerant to foods myself I decided to go back to college and study nutrition. The course at the IINH taught me so much and opened up my eyes to how food works within our bodies.
So what made you decide to study with IINH?
I studied before online courses had become popular. As we were living locally at the time, the IINH in Bray seemed a good option to take. Upon closer view of the course content I realised that this course was perfect for me. It was meant to be!
The focus on individual body systems and how they all work together, and how food works in our bodies, combined with Maggie’s excellent cooking classes and really well run teaching modules taught be everything I needed to know to get started.
Tell us a bit about your experience to date in studying with us
The IINH has been a huge support from Day 1. All lecturers have always been extremely approachable and happy to answer all my questions I am in touch with most of them to this date. I made loads of friends in my year group, and we are also still in touch and meet up at CPD training events throughout the year. I found to have become part of a warm, excited and knowledgeable community of Nutritional Therapists that I am proud to belong to.
You own your own business called Grassroots Nutrition. Tell us a bit about that. What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
After my first year in college I set up my own small company and called it Grassroots Nutrition. Initially, I focused on 1-to-1 consultations helping people work out the right diet for their bodies and lives. I really enjoyed getting stuck in early and gaining experiences.
Over the years, Grassroots Nutrition has evolved, and I am always adding new strings to my bow. As we live on a farm and I’m a passionate vegetable grower (remember the earlier bit about studying organic farming first?) I have now started teaching enthusiasts how to set up their own garden and grow vegetables for themselves. This has been a real area of growth for me, and we’re perfectly set up here on The Ridge in Co Wicklow.
I also do some media work, appearing on Spirit Radio frequently and writing for Ireland’s Own. I write blogs and healthy recipes for the gym chain GymPlus. And I still see clients and enjoy working out their health with them. I love the fact that it’s such varied work, requires a lot of creativity and a grassroots approach to setting up a company.
What is your personal nutrition philosophy?
This is a tough one … I think my nutrition philosophy has remained the same over the years, but I have learned to express myself more with all the knowledge I have gained. The bottom line is, you are what you eat. Eat as close to nature as you can. Avoid pesticides wherever you can, they are designed to kill. Take time to eat well, slow down and reflect on your habits. Enjoy your food. Eat everything, but in moderation. Don’t be afraid to try new vegetables every week. Grow your own!!! You can do it! We lived to grow our own food for thousands and thousands of years, it’s in us, it’s incredibly simple and hugely rewarding. Your own food tastes so much better!
What advice would you give to someone who is considering studying Nutrition and Health Coaching?
Go for it. You can only win. How many times are you being given the opportunity to learn how to live a better and healthier life, with the possibility of making this a business? Sign up today!
If you’d like to learn more about Alex and her farm or Nutritional Therapy clinic, you can visit her website Grassroots Nutrition or connect with her on the below social media channels.