Interview with Ben Warren from the BePure clinic
Hi I’m Ben Warren, clinical nutritionist, founder of BePure and Clinical Director of the two BePure Clinics in Auckland and Havelock North.
I’m very lucky to live on a 15-acre organic, nutrient dense, permaculture designed farm in sunny Havelock North with my wife Lynda and my two girls aged six and nine.
We grow around 80% of the food we eat on our farm, which can be a lot of work, but it’s one of my favourite places to be. I really enjoy being on the farm with my girls, whether it’s doing chores like collecting firewood, feeding the chickens or working on the garden. When I’m not working or on tour you’ll normally find me here, or out in the water surfing.
My number one passion really is helping people. There’s nothing that fills me up more, and enjoying the science behind it all I especially love solving complex problems that involve biological systems within the body. Supporting someone in healing an ongoing or difficult health concern is quite an incredible experience.
'Supporting someone in healing an ongoing or difficult health concern is quite an incredible experience.’
What started your passion
For most of my life I’ve had a keen interest in the performance of the human body. Early on it was around sports performance, but it was when I incurred a back injury while working as a pro golf coach that I realised the power of nutrition to heal the body.
My back injury was a persistent one. I went to multiple specialists and spent a lot of money on trying to heal it. Finally, out of desperation, I went to a nutritionist off the back of a recommendation from a friend. She looked at me and said it was highly likely due to a dairy intolerance. I thought ‘this is crazy’, but being my curious self I asked if there was a test I could do to rule it out. Sure enough there was. I did the test (the IGG/IGA test), found out I had a dairy intolerance and so cut it out of my diet to see what would happen. Incredibly my back healed. One of the reasons for this is that when you eat foods that cause inflammation to your body, specifically your small intestine, it starts causing leaky gut syndrome. Then because of shared nerve innovation you start shutting down the muscles that stabalise the back and the pelvis. Pretty incredible huh?
This was enough to spark my lifelong passion for health and nutrition. I was really just blown away by how much what you eat affects how you feel. After this I committed to retraining in nutrition and haven’t looked back. Teaching people about their health and how to eat became far more important to me than hitting a golf ball.
‘Teaching people about their health and how to eat became far more important to me than hitting a golf ball.’
What keeps you motivated
One of the biggest things that keeps me motivated is helping people regain their health, energy and ultimately their happiness. So many of us are walking around right now sick, tired and worn out. We’ve become accustomed to living below the wellness line, not knowing how good we could feel with just a few changes, and sometimes these changes are really simple!
‘We’ve become accustomed to living below the wellness line, not knowing how good we could feel with just a few changes…’
I’m quite an obsessive researcher, always learning and empowering myself with as much information and understanding of the body as possible. This includes keeping up with the latest tests and the role of nutrition in our health. When I get to put that research into action with the people we work with through BePure it gives me a real buzz. Helping someone realise their true potential for energy and health and see them regain their happiness, passion and spark for life is enough to keep you motivated for a lifetime.
‘Helping someone realise their true potential for energy and health and see them regain their happiness, passion and spark for life is enough to keep you motivated for a lifetime.’
I’m currently doing my PHD on the relationship between nutritional deficiencies and anxiety and mood disorders. Putting some of this research into practice is something I’m incredibly excited about. Watch this space!
Best tips insights you’ve learned
Listen to your body, I think this is so important. Despite all of the testing we do at the BePure Clinics, listening to your body first is pretty huge.
Your body is incredibly intelligent and will normally tell you if something is wrong. Start off with being conscious of what’s on your plate to find out how your food is serving you. After you’ve eaten, take note of how you feel. Were you ravenous after 20 minutes or were you sustained? Did you get a huge energy spike then crash? Did you bloat? How good you feel is a direct indicator of how what you’re putting into your body is healing or harming you.
On the other spectrum, when we have damaged our bodies over a sustained time with lifestyle choices, or our environment has not been conducive to health, it’s highly likely you need to use testing to get to the true source of your health concern. For instance, if you have ongoing gut issues, hormonal trouble with your menses and PMS, extreme energy issues, auto-immunity and the likes, this could really be from a multitude of things.
I believe it’s incredibly important to understand that your health is personal. You may have a similar health concern to someone else, however the cause could be entirely different. This is why I’m such a huge advocate for testing. It takes the guess work out of your health, so you can get onto healing the true cause of your health concern faster. This scientific approach is really what’s behind a big part of the success we have at the BePure Clinics.
Things you do every day
Smile! I try and have gratitude every day. And I always try and move my body, whether it’s a gym session, surfing, riding my bike to work or just walking. If I haven’t had movement in my day I’m really aware of that in the way I feel.
I also always ensure I’m giving my body the nutrients it needs to thrive and live with full health and energy, every day. I do this through the food I’m eating and the extra nutritional support I add in.
Favourite food or recipe
Something really simple. A nice home-grown green salad with some home-grown beef patties on the BBQ. Enjoying the meal with my family is half the reason for it being my favourite too.
My extra nutritional support includes BePure One as my essential daily multivitamin and BePure Three for omega 3 fish oils, which keep your cells flexible, allowing nutrients in and toxins out.
Specific nutrients for immunity and energy come from BePure Super Boost C, BePure Adrenal Regenerator and BePure Ten CoQ10. I then also add in BePure Zinc Restore to support good enzyme health, which is very important for gut health and mood.
I also take a number of products to support hormonal health, others to mitigate some genetic faults I have found in my liver through testing and specific trace minerals because I tend to use a lot of them.
What do you eat in a typical day
For breakfast, I normally have some steamed greens and for protein some eggs and maybe some bacon or sausages.
Lunch would be a big salad with lots of greens, topped with some sort of protein. Dinner is always a good serving of vegetables and protein. My favourite protein is grass fed steak and with everything in my diet, I eat what we grow on the farm as much as I can.
I’m conscious of sharing with you that what I eat is what’s best for me personally. On the BePure Macro-nutrient Profile Test I am a protein type, this is mostly down to genetics. This means that my body thrives and is sustained and balanced best on a diet rich in protein. Others may be entirely different and do best on a carb heavy diet. It’s always about finding out what’s best for you personally. There is no one fad diet that’s the solution for everyone.
Advice to someone wanting to start a healthy lifestyle
Start with little things and you’ll notice a big difference. Then you’ll be able to ride off the momentum from this. The biggest mistake I see is people trying to change everything at once, which often sets you up for failure and results in a lack of motivation to keep going.
‘The biggest mistake I see is people trying to change everything at once…’
So, start small! Things like upping your hydration through drinking quality water and more often, clean up your diet and include more whole foods, move away from sugar and get your body moving daily. Choose one of these to start with then keep going.
Favourite bloggers and websites to follow
Off the top of my head, Mark Sisson does a great job. I also like Tony Robbins and Tim Ferriss’ podcasts are good motivators, Rhonda Patrick and Dr Mercola is also fantastic.
A big thanks to you also Millie for sharing your health story so openly and honestly. It’s great to see others become more conscious of their health and wellbeing because of it.