This week I’m delighted to be chatting to Stephen Terrass MRNT, who is one of Europe’s leading authorities in natural medicine, with a particular focus on nutraceutical and botanical science. Stephen has over 30 years’ experience in the natural healthcare field including more than a decade as technical director of Solgar UK before he parted ways to develop his own brand of vitamins and supplements in 2008 called Terranova.
He has presented over 450 lectures in 19 countries and is the author of 8 books, an award winning series of audio tapes and several magazine articles and is one of my biggest hero’s.
Stephen’s knowledge and passion for health and wellness and clean supplements is truly admirable and incredible. I am very blessed to have had the opportunity to learn from him and I’m delighted to announce that I will be working with Terranova in 2016. Anyone who reads my FACEBOOK PAGE will know that I use his LIFE DRINK and I’m also a huge fan of his new kids vitamins called Green Child.
Stephen is an incredibly busy man but I find his energy very calming so I wanted to know how he manages to find a balance in his day to day life.
How would you describe your lifestyle?
Probably the closest description I can find for this would be that I strive for a ‘holistically balanced’ lifestyle. What I mean by this is that it’s my goal to give equal emphasis to diet, exercise, work, sleep, mental health and spiritual wellbeing. I use the word ‘goal’ because I am not a master at getting certain parts of this right. Also, I’m a tad compulsive, so I really have to hold myself back from taking good things to an inflexible extreme. This may be better than taking bad things to an inflexible extreme, but either extreme is not what we should be aiming for. On a dietary side, I am virtually vegan, and I don’t smoke or consume alcohol. And it will come as no surprise that my family and I use food supplements and rely on natural medicine for the vast majority of health circumstances.
What’s your favorite food? Naughty or nice.
I’m lucky that I am not a fan of naughty foods. I don’t ever eat dessert and it’s not about denial as I really don’t want sweet things anyway. My beautiful and beloved wife is Indian and I have constant access to authentically traditional vegan Indian food. Thankfully, I adore both hers and her mother’s cooking, and there are so many dishes that they prepare that would be on my ‘desert island’ menu (for me, the hotter the better!). Other than this, I would say that Japanese food would come a close second.
Do you exercise and if so what do you do to keep fit?
I taught Chinese martial arts for many years during my 20’s, and my body still misses it. I am one of those who is inclined to be a compulsive gym goer (for cross training). I have not been able to maintain this recently, so I have been doing exercise at home, and I take long walks with my wife every morning before the craziness of the day begins.
How do you find balance in your day-to-day life?
Because of the insanity of my work and international travel schedule, I can confidently state that from time to time I fail miserably in getting the work and sleep portion of the above-mentioned ‘balanced lifestyle’ goal in line…which means that the mental side suffers too. Most importantly, I have a 10 year old son, and he deserves to have my time and attention – and this should be quality time and attention.
How do you manage stress in your life? Do you meditate? Have you ever tried it?
I’m so, so fortunate to be aware of the role that diet, nutrition, food supplements and herbal medicine can play in dramatically improving stress tolerance. But it’s still important to practice stress-management techniques that involve re-training the mind to work for you and not against you. I used to meditate on a regular basis in martial arts, but fell out of practice decades ago. However, now I practice EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), which involves tapping on certain points on the body to release stress and certain unhelpful patterns of the mind and emotions. I also am practicing certain yogic breathing exercises. Of course, exercise is also a powerful stress management tool that I utilise. It’s my intention to re-start my meditation practice too.
People often set goals or intentions as they go through life. Is this something you do?
I have never been a big goal setter, because I find that it can distract me from whatever challenge is in front of me at the time. I prefer to watch the signs in my life along the way in order to dictate the next steps for me. In fact, it was never my goal to create a supplement company, but circumstances led me to realise that this was exactly what I should do, so I did it. I suppose, each process that was I had to complete in order to accomplish this was an immediate goal in itself, but to me if feels just like a necessary process to go through. I suppose you might call it a ‘one day at a time’ kind of reality that still manages to effectively accommodate major project, decisions and life changes.
How do you unwind after a busy day?
Every day for me is busy, and I tend to work 7 days a week until maybe 10pm, with some breaks during the day. Having a tea with my wife is probably the most relaxing thing that I am able to do on a regular basis. Sharing such a simple activity with someone you love, that doesn’t involve hypnotizing oneself with a TV or similar, creates a unique closeness… and for me, closeness is so relaxing. I also find sharing activities with my wife and son very de-stressing.
It’s the weekend, what do you do for fun?
Although I work a lot on the weekends, we always leave time for family activities that our son will enjoy. He’s usually up for just about anything, but strangely enough, he’s mad about gardening chores work like raking leaves, so this often features on the activity menu! More than anything, he just wants to spend time with us regardless of what we are doing, and this is exactly what he deserves to have frequent access to.