Nov 1, 2020
After completing degrees in Health Science, Chiropractic and Naturopathy, Dr Krissy Dowlin opened her own healthcare practice, The Joie Project. Based in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, Krissy is passionate about chiropractic, healthy living, and plant-based eating. In this edition of In Their Shoes, we shared a coffee with Krissy at her local café to learn more about how we can all live healthier lives.
Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us today Krissy. Being healthy can mean many different things to people. What does it mean to you?
To me, health is my number one core value. Being healthy in my personal and business life is truly the cornerstone to living the life I have always dreamed about. My definition of what health means to me is having the energy to achieve anything you want to achieve. Health is having the intuition to know what is in alignment with the needs of your body and soul. Health is having fun, being playful and living in the moment.
Being healthy also involves reaching out for help. I believe that one of the best things that we can do to achieve our health goals is to create our own "health team". This is something I’ve learnt over the past 10 years of being a practitioner myself. Often, I have just tried to treat myself which is never as successful as working with someone else. I feel so blessed to have my own health team who continually help me with my health. Chiropractors, naturopaths, acupuncturists, GP, yoga teachers and energetic healers. The best way to find these practitioners is through word of mouth, starting by asking your family and friends. Find the people who will make up YOUR health team to help you to achieve your health goals!
At the beginning of the year you set up your own practice The Joie Project. Tell us about the journey which led you to this achievement.
I became conscious about health as a teenager when I was a competitive tennis player. The awareness about the impact of nourishing my body with the food that I ate, was a seed that was planted by my wonderful mentors. I saw the benefit of improving my nutrition in my performance on the tennis court. I could also see improvement in concentration and learning during VCE and at college while playing tennis for the University of Iowa.
This sparked an intuitive drive to learn more about the body and how to promote health and wellbeing. Returning from America, I enrolled to study a four-year Naturopathy course at Endeavour College. I loved the learning journey studying Naturopathy. It has transformed the way that I see health and to make significant changes to my own health.
After completing my Naturopathy degree, I worked in the natural medicine industry. I always had a deep calling in me to help people more holistically which prompted me to study a five-year chiropractic double degree at RMIT (which felt incredibly daunting at the time, but I knew it was what I needed to do!).
Can you share with us what your goal was when setting up The Joie Project?
My passion to is help families and people of all ages to live more joyful (joie) and healthier lives. With this passion in mind, my goal was to set up a space which could offer people holistic solutions integrating both Chiropractic and Naturopathy to help them regain control and intuition with their bodies again. I wanted the Joie Project to feel welcoming and accepting of everyone who walks through the door and to be a part of the local community. With this in mind I am lucky to refer and closely work with other local health practitioners such as functional dentists, osteopaths, physiotherapists, GPs and massage therapists to ensure that my patients get all of the care they need to achieve their health goals.
What have been some of the hardest challenges you have been faced with when first starting out on your own?
The hardest challenge for me when starting on my own was mustering up the courage to go ahead and do it! I feel blessed to have had some wonderful guidance and incredible encouragement from those around me including my husband, family and friends as well as my mentors. Once I made the decision and placed trust in the process, all of the pieces of the puzzle fell into place.
What does a normal day from start to finish look like for you?
Mornings usually begin for me with movement of some type. A yoga class, a jog or walk with our gorgeous Labrador before heading to our local café to grab a coffee.
My workdays are all very different depending on the day of the week. I usually start working with patients from 9:30am-12:30pm. On my lunch break I aim to head out for another walk and complete some gentle stretching to reset my body and mind. I generally see patients in the afternoon before finishing around 6.30pm. I am very lucky to have a couple of mornings off a week. This provides me the space to learn new things and study, as well as complete the paperwork aspect of the business.
How do you try to maintain a healthy work life balance while launching a new business?
This is something that I continually need to work on. Some weeks I am better at it than others! Daily movement such as yoga and walking/running allows me to find the clarity that I need for my body, mind and soul. It also helps me know where to focus my energy and time. I really benefit from having a routine. When I have large business tasks to complete, I create a timetable for myself. This helps me plan when I will be able to get the work completed and just chip away. I feel less daunted by doing this! I also find it incredibly important for me to have people (and animals!) around me to unwind. To help me feel grounded which contributes to my work life balance.
What are some tips you would recommend for anybody out there who wanted to make a healthy change to their current lifestyle?
3 simple, but important factors are what I consider to be the most important things that help my patients find more joy and create a happier and healthier lifestyle.
- Drink water. Most adults tend to be dehydrated and are not drinking enough water for their systems to digest, to detoxify and to produce energy! As a general rule, most adults need to consume between 1.5-2L of water per day. I often get patients to start the day with a glass of lemon juice in warm water to stimulate detoxification and digestion. Another great way of getting water in (especially in Melbourne winter!) is to enjoy 1-2 cups of herbal tea throughout the remainder of the day. This means most people are halfway there to achieving their water intake for the day! You can also add slices of strawberries or fresh herbs such as basil or mint to make the taste of water more enjoyable.
- Practice mindfulness. Our days are so incredibly jam packed with sensory input to our brain that our brains are required to use more energy than they ever have! Having a daily practice such as meditation or movement (yoga is like a moving meditation) allows our brains to have some much-needed quiet time. This is essentially a time to detoxify all of this crazy stimulation! In my experience, this quiet time allows you to achieve a greater sense of connection with your body, mind and soul. My most intuitive moments in my life have occurred when I have had a regular meditation and yoga practice. As I mentioned earlier, having intuition with your own body is an integral part of the health journey! Some of my favourite mindfulness apps are Insight Timer and 1 Giant Mind.
- Reach out to a holistic health practitioner. There is so much information at our fingertips. So many diets and ways of eating that I find most people come to be overwhelmed and confused! Many health articles are not even written by health professionals and often contain very general information. Consulting with a holistic health practitioner such as a naturopath or nutritionist can allow you to learn the way to eat for YOUR body and for YOUR health goals. You may even have some food triggers or foods that your body is sensitive to which may be significantly impacting your health and wellness.
You live in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. Can you tell us a little more about your neighbourhood? Favourite places to eat, shop, work out?
We live in Essendon and are surrounded by great local cafes! For the most amazing coffee I love The Espresso Bar and Rose Milk Cafe! Our favourite place to shop and find local produce is the Union Road shopping strip in Ascot Vale.
We live near the Maribyrnong River which has many trails and interesting walks. Most days my husband and I will take our Labrador out to explore! I love participating in yoga classes with Maya.earth (a studio in Ascot Vale with an online presence) as well as Yoga Flame in Moonee Ponds. I am so grateful to be a part of the wonderful local yoga community!
We know that you eat a mostly plant-based diet, what made you make that choice? What are three vegan meals that you enjoy preparing?
For me, eating a mostly plant-based diet began 4 years ago when I started to intuitively feel that animal products were not right for me. I literally woke up one day and knew I couldn't eat meat anymore! This decision I feel was more of a moral one, as I love and respect all animals so much! I’ve had periods of time where I have been a strict vegan and then other times where I feel that it is ok for my body to eat a small amount of fish and ethically sourced eggs. I just try to listen to my body! I also eat gluten and dairy free as I know these food groups play havoc with my energy levels and ability to concentrate!
Some of my favourite go-to meals are:
- Yellow vegetable curry
- Simple tray of roast veggies including (sweet potato, eggplant, zucchini) with some type of protein such as falafels or fish
- Vegan lasagna
We make vegan friendly shoes in our collection. From the current collection what is your favourite cherrichella heel?
I can't go past the Wicked Mules in mint. The colour is beautiful and I really love the raffia heel. Very comfy too!