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Natural Health Heroes: Discovering that being healthy is much bigger than your body size

Written by Endeavour College of Natural Health | Wednesday, 5 October 2022

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In her hometown of Goondiwindi, Maddy Bento walks down the street and knows many people she passes. So, moving to Brisbane alone to study nutrition was a culture shock. Halfway through her degree, she decided to make a switch.

“I was studying nutrition at a big uni and a naturopathy diploma elsewhere. The holistic approach made more sense, so I changed to Endeavour and focused on nutrition,” Maddy said. “Because Endeavour is smaller and everyone is involved in health, it’s much more of a community. I chatted directly with my lecturers and gained from their real-life experiences. They are knowledgeable, compassionate and recognise you as someone who will one day be their peer.”

Maddy chose nutrition because she loves helping people and has always been interested in science and how the body works. She also had a difficult relationship with her body and food. “I was always on or off a diet,” Maddy said. “At uni, I was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, which also helped prompt my move to Endeavour. I wanted to heal my body holistically.”

"Studying nutrition was a wonderful investment – I made great friends and learnt so much.”

While she studied, Maddy worked in a gym and then a health food store, gaining experience dealing with many different people and their approaches to nutritional supplements. It also led to her first job in a clinic space at the health food store.

Just after graduating, Maddy found out she was having a baby. “While I felt like I had just become a whole person, having a baby was a blessing. Being a Mum has helped me become a more compassionate and patient practitioner. It also helped me discover intuitive eating – a gentle style that promotes a healthy attitude towards food and body image. Being healthy is much bigger than your body size. As a Mum, I found intuitive eating lightens my mental load.”

Five months into her dream job, Maddy and her family decided to move back to Goondiwindi. “It was a hard decision, but it started a new chapter. I set up my business and worked in a pharmacy. Although we have since moved to Toowoomba, I return to Goondiwindi every month to see my clients in person."

Maddy's practice is now primarily online and focused on Mums and educating them about food as the most basic form of self-care. “Often, it’s things we know but that we don’t prioritise because we’re looking after others.”

Using Zoom for most of her consultations, Maddy loves connecting with Mums everywhere, often outside of standard business hours and from the comfort of their home because that works best for them and her. When she’s not helping clients, Maddy keeps learning.

“Nutrition is dynamic. There is always new research that we can add to our knowledge. Sometimes as a student, it can be overwhelming, but it also makes for a wonderful career."

Interested in Nutrition?

Enrich your life and share it with those around you. Find out more about our Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine) and range of Nutrition Short Courses.

Endeavour College of Natural Health

Endeavour College of Natural Health is Australia's largest Higher Education provider of natural medicine courses.

The College is known as the centre of excellence for natural medicine and is respected for its internationally recognised academic teams and high calibre graduates. Endeavour offers Bachelor of Health Science degrees in Naturopathy, Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine, Acupuncture Therapies and Chinese Medicine, Undergraduate Certificates, a Diploma of Health Science and massage courses.

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