Taking time with Dr Libby Weaver, renowned nutritional biochemist, is one of the best antidotes for a tired mind and body. With her holistic approach to helping people enhance their health (and their happiness) through her incredible research…and her ability to translate it for us, we could not wait to catch up with one of the most energetic people we have ever met and talk about work life balance, her favourite accessory ( a scarf of course) and her latest obsession, the “ripple effect”.
BK: Describe for us a typical day in the life of Dr Libby?
Dr Libby: Typical days are few and far between but tend to involve writing, researching, media engagements and working on projects with my team – we have so many exciting things in the pipeline. It’s not uncommon for me to be travelling as I spend a lot of time away from home, so if I’m home I most definitely schedule some time to get outside, preferably in the garden! It gives me a wonderful sense of calm and spaciousness to be surrounded by nature.
BK: What made you choose this career path?
Dr Libby: Goodness, it’s funny because in a way I don’t feel like I consciously ‘chose’ this career path. I feel like my life has been very blessed – all I knew as a youngster was that I’d write books. Writing has always been a passion. But having initially followed a very scientific career path with 14 years at university, it is a joy to use that as a foundation for my three pillar approach to wellness: the biochemical, the nutritional and the emotional. I absolutely love the combination of the creativity I experience when I’m writing combined with also fulfilling the analytical research/scientific component of my work. Most importantly I believe my purpose is to help educate people about the importance of taking great care of themselves – so I’m very grateful I get to wake up everyday and do this!
BK: What does a healthy lifestyle mean to you?
Dr Libby: For me, it’s all about nourishment. It means choosing to nourish my mind, body and soul. Sometimes that means having a beer and corn chips with a girlfriend – but more often it means choosing whole, real foods and plenty of vegetables. I tend to ask myself ‘will this nourish me?’ before I do anything, as sometimes we also need to nourish our souls!
BK: When you are not working what do you do? How do you maintain a work life balance?
Dr Libby: I love reading! I often use books as my reward to complete tasks. I also enjoy being in nature, I find walking in nature will always help me to recalibrate.
I tend to ask myself ‘will this nourish me?’ before I do anything, as sometimes we also need to nourish our souls! Dr Libby Weaver
BK: You are often on the road educating people on slowing down and leading a healthy life. Are there things that you do when travelling that you find help with this?
Dr Libby: Eating well is obviously a priority for me, so much so that I will often choose my accommodation (when overseas) based on how close I will be to nourishing food options. If I’m staying in hotels and I need to eat there due to time restrictions I will always make sure I order additional vegetables on the side. Or I opt for accommodation that has a kitchenette/kitchen. While I may not have time to shop and prepare full meals, this allows me to at least have the options to prepare simple meals, such as breakfast.
BK: What has been your career highlight to date?
Dr Libby: Sharing the stage with Marianne Williamson. I have long admired her work so it was very special to me to join her on stage at one of her events in the States.
BK: Who has influenced you most in your career?
Dr Libby: My professor’s had the most profound impact on my thinking – they had immensely open minds and a rich curiosity. This helped to foster immense growth and resulted in my own curiosity and ability to question, which has lead to me to research so many different things in search of the answers myself. I always want to get to the heart of the matter for someone presenting with a particular health challenge so it can be resolved not just treated.
BK: What inspires you?
Dr Libby: The ripple effect. It’s very difficult to be kind and compassionate when you’re fuelling yourself with stimulants and food that is virtually devoid of nourishment. On the contrary, when you start looking after your own health and make sustainable changes this creates a ripple effect on those closest to you and subsequently those closest to them and so on – it’s the ripple effect I’m obsessed with!
BK: How would you describe your style?
Dr Libby: It’s actually very changeable, it tends to be casual – I’m often found in my merino leggings/active wear or jeans, a t-shirt and converse shoes. For work I tend to wear shirts and blazers etc – but I typically pair this with a nice pair of jeans and boots so there’s often a casual edge to me. And scarves – I wear them almost all year round, just different weights. In Traditional Chinese Medicine there is a point at the back of the neck where they believe the cold/wind gets in and I cover this with a scarf, particularly if there is a breeze. It helps keep me well.
BK: What is your go to outfit?
Dr Libby: Jeans and a t-shirt – dressed up with boots or down with sneakers. And usually a scarf.
When you start looking after your own health and make sustainable changes this creates a ripple effect on those closest to you and subsequently those closest to them and so on – it’s the ripple effect I’m obsessed with! Dr Libby Weaver
BK: What is your go-to accessory?
Dr Libby: A scarf! I absolutely love them not only are they wonderfully practical (especially on planes, I LOVE keeping my neck warm) they are an effortless way to change your outfit.
BK: Who are your favourite designers? and where do you shop?
Dr Libby: I rarely shop. I’d rather buy good quality things that I need and fewer pieces. I’d rather see something that jumps out at me when I’m walking past a shop and grab it on the spot, than dedicate a day to shopping. I like Viktoria + Woods pieces. I’m rugging up in a jersey they made at the moment. If I buy anything made from cotton, I only buy organic cotton.
BK: What is in your handbag?
Dr Libby: I don’t have a handbag. I carry a wallet and my phone if I go out and it’s unrelated to work. I tend to travel with a backpack – ugly I know. I often travel with laptops, books and all sorts of equipment; I guess you can’t take the student out of me 😉 But you’ll always find a book that I’m reading in there and some hand cream, too.
BK: Do you prefer colour or neutrals?
Dr Libby: Neutrals. I realised the other day looking through my draws I have a bit of an obsession with grey, but it just goes with everything! Having said that I do like a pop of colour!
BK: What is your favourite holiday destination?
Dr Libby: Can I say ‘being at home’? Because I travel a lot for speaking work, it is a joy for me to be at home. I do love New York City – the vibrancy, life and somewhat overwhelming nature of the city are such fun (albeit for short periods of time!). And the South Island (of NZ). Every corner you drive around, it is as if someone has painted the most perfect vista for your sense to enjoy.
I do love New York City – the vibrancy, life and somewhat overwhelming nature of the city are such fun
BK: What can you not travel without?
Dr Libby: My green drink powder (ground up vegetables that I mix with water) and vitamin C, especially for long-distance flights.
BK: What words do you live by?
Dr Libby: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
― Howard Thurman
BK: Tell us something we wouldn’t know about you?
Dr Libby: I’m actually very introverted in my nature. I absolutely love my job and spending time with people but I recharge in solitude. I have been like that since I was a child. My idea of restorative bliss is relaxing in a sunny nook with a good book!
BK: What is your next chapter OR where to from here?
Dr Libby: I have a new book coming out in September, which I’m so excited to share. Plus, I’m also working on another big project that I hope makes an enormous difference in people’s lives.
BK: The following just need a one word answer …
Success is contribution
Beauty is kindness
Style is comfort (in your own skin)
Dr Libby Weaver’s latest book – Exhausted to Energised – is your go to guide on how to live a life with more energy!