Holistic nutritionist, author, and creator of Joyous Health, Joy McCarthy is a force of nature. With fresh, realistic, sustainable approaches to eating and living, Joy provides tips and tricks for feeling fabulous. Be inspired this month as Joy talks about her dynamic path to good health and shares her experience with motherhood, food and vitality.
Parvati Magazine: What moment made you realize you wanted to share your story, and help others find their way towards good health?
Joy McCarthy: When I healed my own body from hormonal imbalance, digestive problems and hair loss. I was incredibly passionate about natural health and knew I had to learn more so I could help others. This is why I enrolled in school to study holistic nutrition and become a certified nutritionist (CNP).
Parvati Magazine: You mention on your blog that you struggled with health and hormonal problems, even though you were seen as a “health nut”. How would you explain this discrepancy between what many people view as “healthy” and what was happening internally?
Joy McCarthy: I thought I was a health nut. Looking at me from the outside, you would have thought the same. But I was eating foods that I was sensitive to (gluten, dairy) and I was fat-phobic. These choices impacted my hormones negatively. I was eating bran buds, low-fat dairy—what was deemed “healthy”. My body was falling apart and I also had a lot of stress in my life.
Parvati Magazine: You provide eczema remedies, recipes, products, and a guide devoted to eczema healing. Is this something you have personal experience with? How can what we eat play a role in soothing or worsening dry skin?
Joy McCarthy: Yes, I’ve had eczema on-and-off my whole life. I wrote this guide not simply to share what worked for me; what worked to heal my eczema may not work for someone else. I wrote this guide with the latest information in nutrition research and the microbiome (the collection of microorganisms that live in a human body), so no matter where you’re at in your healing journey—whether you’re a mom with a baby who suffers from eczema or have struggled with it your whole adult life, I have natural solutions to address a variety of causes.
Food is a large focus in the guide, but it goes beyond food. I talk about the importance of the microbiome, of getting chemicals out of your environment, the stress connection, and emotional wellness. What you eat impacts your hormones, your level of inflammation and your digestive system. All these things impact your skin.
Parvati Magazine: Has your approach to nutrition shifted since having your daughter? How has becoming a mother changed not only what you eat, but how you eat?
Joy McCarthy: Definitely. I used to make disgusting green smoothies that I would actually joyfully drink. Now that I make them for my daughter, I have to make sure they are nutritious, but darn tasty too! With kids, if it doesn’t taste good, they won’t eat it. I have to satisfy my goal of creating nourishing meals that also taste amazing – being much more creative in the kitchen. I don’t make separate meals for my daughter, but I make modifications. For example, she loves salmon but she doesn’t like it with anything other than sea-salt and lemon. So if I make a pesto to go with it, she might not have the pesto, whereas my hubs and I do.
Parvati Magazine: What are some messages you hope your daughter takes away from your lifestyle and journey?
Joy McCarthy: My biggest hope for her is that she has a positive relationship with food, and loves to cook! The way to a healthy life is by starting with good food. When you eat well, you have more energy for others, you have more vitality to exercise, you treat your body and the environment you live in better. Eating well has so many positive effects beyond prevention of disease.
I also hope she always respects the environment and recognizes how her everyday choices make a big difference!
Parvati Magazine: You have a line of holistic teas, created for different purposes (detoxing, rejuvenating). Tell us about your latest offering for the fall!
Joy McCarthy: I am super excited about our new tea, called RISE AND SHINE. It’s a blend of 100% all-organic ingredients including tulsi, turmeric, ginger and cinnamon – it’s delicious! It’s the perfect way to boost your vitality and start your day joyously. Like all my teas, this tea has no additives. Each ingredient is thoughtfully selected for both its health benefits and flavour.
Joy McCarthy is a Holistic Nutritionist and founder of JoyousHealth.com. She is a two-time bestselling author of Joyous Health and Joyous Detox. A trusted nutrition expert, Joy has been featured in hundreds of publications both online and in print; and is a regular health expert on TV.