Originally from Denmark, Anna-Maria Boelskov is a clinical nutritionist, herbalist, and certified doula. She now lives in Sydney with her husband and daughters. Beginning her career as a model in Denmark, Anna-Maria found herself researching nutrition and, as she puts it, fell in love with food. This set her on a path to studying nutrition and herbal medicine. After having children, she specialised in women’s and children’s health, and now runs a busy nutritionist practice. She hosts the podcast mumspire, sharing simple ways to boost health, emotional well-being and family life.
We asked Anna-Maria to share her fundamentals for good health and the rituals that keep her on track.
You have said that you practice “essentialism”. How is that different to minimalism?
It’s a back to basics approach. My family went from trying minimalism to essentialism, which is more concentrated and goes further. You would be surprised by how many things you don't need to do or don't need to have when you know what is essential for you. People often remark of my family that we don't have much stuff.
You can apply essentialism to every aspect of your life. It takes time getting to know yourself and then applying the principles. For me it has meant learning to say no to things. There is a lot that I don’t do. I believe in the adage, “If it’s not a hell yeah then it's a no.” You can apply this to purchases, job offers, anything.
Okay, so how do we put that into practice when things get really busy?
People are increasingly busy and being overwhelmed by stress. It's a huge issue. I see people taking pride in being busy and being “doers". I see this in my clients and I see it in myself. It's a vicious cycle and difficult to get out of.
People only really flourish when you peel away the layers of stress. You need to be diligent in constantly scanning your calendar to decide what is essential. We compromise our wellbeing when we forget to check in and do this.
The challenge is to understand the essentials and stick to them while eliminating the extra faff. If you can do this you will thrive. I recommend having a list of essentials, both physical and mental. If you do this it becomes much easier to stay on track and to thrive.
You’re a busy clinical nutritionist, doula and mother. Tell us how your own wellness fits in.
You need to be realistic in your approach and stay with it. I have seen too many examples of people going out hard with lifestyle changes, failing and returning to their bad habits. Wellness means being in your best health in a way that is actually sustainable.
I value solitude so I get up before everyone else in the household at 5am every morning. I meditate twice a day for 20 minutes and this is a non-negotiable for me. It’s the foundation for a positive mindset. I need time in nature too. I am a forest person and I enjoy hiking and being among trees and the mountains.
How about skincare, what are your fundamentals?
I believe in a very simple approach to skincare – it comes from the inside. You need to keep hydrated and you need a healthy diet with plenty of protein and fats.
There are so many nutrition trends and diets. What is your philosophy on eating well?
I have seen many dietary fads and trends come and go. I believe in going back to nature and using real food as it was intended. This means whole and unprocessed. I believe in making as much food as you can yourself. Nutrition is especially important when you are busy. The brain needs a diet that is rich in fats, so I recommend eating plenty of fish, nuts and oils, grass fed and finished meat and pasture raised eggs.
What are your go-to ways to take care of your physical wellbeing?
Yoga is the ultimate self-care ritual for me, but it is difficult to find the time, so it might be a simple part of my day, like walking the kids to school.
I gave birth to my fourth child six weeks ago, and since then I’ve been having a massage every week. It helps with healing, and it stimulates the lymphatic and muscular systems. People underestimate the power of massage but it has been proven over centuries.
Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, by Greg McKeown
I love this book. It’s a great how-to on the practice of essentialism.
Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon and Mary Enig
A great back to basics approach to food.
Under The Hood, hosted by Aleks Evanguelidi, Patti Quintero and Chelsea Levy
This is a great podcast on mindset and motherhood.
Natural MD Radio with Aviva Romm MD
It gives an integrated perspective on motherhood from someone who is both a midwife and a medical doctor.
Find Anna-Maria's website here.
Find her on Instagram @annamaria_boelskov.
Anna-Maria was interviewed for Rare by Nature's Rare Perspectives Series. Learn More