Q&A ft. Tara Miller Of Health Hut
We talked to Tara Miller, Toronto-based natural living powerhouse and entrepreneur extraordinaire. Tara is the founder of Health Hut, one of our incredible stockists and a hub for green beauty, clean living and personal wellness. In our interview, she lets us in on her inspiration and tips for creating a healthier and happier life and explains why perfection should never be the goal.
Wildcraft: Hi Tara, please tell us a little about yourself.
I am a Holistic Nutritionist, recently turned Anti-Diet Intuitive Eating Counsellor after becoming frustrated with the restrictive, guilt and shame-ridden nature of the wellness industry. I believe health has way more to do with happiness and pleasure, and try to reflect this in my nutrition practice and shop. I love splitting my time between the country and city, my pets, wine (duh), anything garlic-y and spending time with my husband, Tom.
WC: How did you develop an interest in holistic nutrition, natural living and green beauty? (Which of the three came first and how do they relate to each other?)
I started becoming interested in nutrition because I love food! Cooking, recipes, grocery shopping, menus... all of it. I wanted to help other people love food too. My problem with the nutrition world today, is it seems to make people more fearful around foods, more disconnected from their bodies, and more confused than ever about what to eat. The best thing about being an Intuitive Eating Counsellor is that I will never tell someone what they can or can not have. Instead, I remind people that all foods are allowed, and guide them to listen to (and trust) in their bodies to tell them what they need. It's empowering rather than prescriptive and I just love it.
Natural living and beauty were not things I was really aware of until I studied at the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. One of our projects was to look at ten daily care products around our house that we used regularly. I had never paid attention to anything like this before and was sort of shocked at all of the chemicals listed and their side effects. I did not panic and throw everything away, but it definitely made me interested in exploring alternatives.
WC: What inspired you to open Health Hut?
Simple answer - I wanted to spend my summers up north at my cottage. :) But also, I had just finished at IHN and had this new hobby of discovering natural products. My mom had been recently diagnosed with breast cancer and as a family we were trying to making changes that were more health supportive. There were not many places to find these products in Muskoka and I thought - it would be cool to give people a spot to shop up there. Full disclosure: I never, ever thought the hut would last past year one!
WC: What are you most passionate about when it comes to health?
Not viewing it as so black and white. Health is not about the "perfect" diet or "perfect" natural lifestyle or green beauty routine. It is about flexibility, pleasure and positivity. (I strongly believe in the benefits of seeing the glass as half full). It is also about doing you. Trying to live someone else's healthy lifestyle is not going to be health supportive if you don't enjoy it.
WC: What advice would you have for someone who is interested in living a more natural lifestyle but doesn’t know where to start?
Start small and find things you like. I can't stress this enough. Make changes you enjoy and they will be so easy to sustain. I mentioned that I was concerned about the things I was putting on my skin when I found out what what was really in them. But, had I not feel in love with the feelings and scents and people making the natural products I had chosen, I probably would have gone back to what I was using!
In my experience, using natural soap and body lotion is a simple transition to make. Plus, the smell of real flowers vs fake ones is sooo much lovelier.
WC: What’s your favorite Wildcraft product and why?
I've always been a fan of the Calm and Cleanse Makeup Remover. It is such a unique product, I have never come across anything like it. It makes my skin (and lashes!) feel so nice!
WC: How do you see the evolution of green beauty and it’s acceptance in the mainstream? Where do you see the industry heading?
Up, up, up! I have seen such an increase in interest and awareness from my customers since I opened the original hut eight years ago. Also, there are so many unreal options now! Before it would be a struggle to find even one effective counterpart to a conventional product, and now there are too many to choose from!
WC: What’s the most inspirational book you’ve ever read?
Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch.
WC: What’s in store for the future of Health Hut?
Ohhh, exciting things! Stay tuned!
Health Hut carries a variety of natural beauty, lifestyle and self-care products that can be found in Toronto, Muskoka and online. To learn more about Tara’s holistic nutrition and intuitive eating counselling services, check out her personal site here.