Holistic Nutritionist: From Near Death to Vitality
As a holistic nutritionist and co-owner of Nectar Juicery, Tori Holmes is passionate about spreading her excitement and knowledge of natural medicine.
Tori’s relationship with holistic nutrition is personal. At the age of 21, with her then boyfriend Paul Gleeson, she rowed across the Atlantic Ocean in a 24-foot boat, making her the youngest woman to have ever completed the feat.
Living on oatmeal and freeze-dried food, facing dehydration, intense physical pain, and the effects of sleep deprivation from trading off rowing duties every two hours, 24 hours a day for 86 days, Tori pushed her body to its breaking point.
“It was mentally really challenging not to have good food, but physically we had about 12,000 calories a day which is the most your body will take in and we still lost over 30 pounds each, and neither of us are particularly large people.”
The pair survived the worst weather recorded in history for that time of year, including two tropical storms and a hurricane.
“A hurricane is anywhere from a 40 to 60-foot swirl. It’s the size of a building. In one of the hurricanes, I was going up a 60-foot swirl and as I got to the top, it curled over our cabin. It lifted me off the boat and the one tonne boat came down on top of the left side of my body and everything was a blur. It’s funny with pain because you don’t remember the sensation but you remember the fear. At sea, I chose life and to do that, I chose to disconnect. Whether it’s pain or discomfort, it’s your body’s conversation. I rode to the finish line and pushed my body beyond literally its breaking point.I didn’t have the right nutrition, we never slept more than an hour and a half. My body never got to be in really, a recovery phase. We just did what we needed to do to get it done.”
After completing the row, Tori’s body didn’t bounce back, she continued to feel unwell. I just continued to lose weight and I just didn’t look well and I went to doctors and they were like, “You’re fine. You’re fine.” And I started to get lumps in my left-hand breast.” At age 23, Tori was diagnosed with breast cancer. “I believe personally, that I was highly correlated to breaking my ribs at sea and that I created a perfect storm of acidity in my body based on the injury I had to allow the genetic seed that I have to grow. I had a lumpectomy and I recognized that I needed to create your action and I was also early enough that I felt that with a commitment to being very proactive that I would be able to manage the disease in my body.”
After her cancer diagnosis, Tori took action, pivoting her life to to explore the connection between her body, disease and illness. She spent a decade learning about ancient Chinese medicine and became a certified nutritionist. In 2014, she launched Nectar Juicery.
“Nectar ultimately is a manifestation of my values and my lessons learned during this period of healing. We just see ourselves as a wellness platform, not a juice store. We’re helping people understand that food is medicine, and starting a conversation with your body. We tell you the recipes. I tell you how to get this into your home. You can come into any store and have an incredibly educated experience with no judgment. When I am able to dig deeper, sit with someone and inspire them that there is a path to vitality…that makes my heart sing.”
In just four years, Nectar has expanded to four locations, an online and wholesale business, and created a cult following.
“My magic ingredient or the success of nectar has been curiosity. The curiosity to continue to discover my own wellness and illnesses. The curiosity to lean into the things that scare me. Curiosity actually has trumped my relationship to fear. It’s a misconception that I don’t have fear. I didn’t go the traditional route facing cancer, and opening up probably one of the arguably most challenging business models of all time: 72-hour shelf juice. For me, courage is not experiencing the fear, but it’s recognizing like your intuition, that it is just an internal voice. Fear is a good thing. I would not be here. I would not have made it across an ocean. I probably would have been dead. It saved my life many times, but I don’t allow it to be the decision maker. It’s just there to say, “Tori, pay attention.”
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