Marnie, a Naturopathic Doctor and huge supporter of Toronto-based startups, helps women through her practice and by giving back to local communities. We asked her how she became an ND, and some tricks to stay healthy while living and working downtown!
Can you tell us what led you to be an ND? Has health/naturopathic treatment always been your passion?
I never saw myself working in healthcare as a child, however, when I was in university I realized that I’m really curious about the human body and what motivates people. I had never heard of naturopathic medicine before, and it wasn’t until I was on the subway on my way back from work, and I saw a sign that said “Find a naturopath”. And I was like “what the heck is a naturopath?”. I went home and I looked it up, and I found that the whole curriculum was everything I liked researching on my own time.
I grew up with a parent who worked in conventional health care, so I had a very good understanding of what our healthcare system looks like and I didn’t want to go into that field. Being an ND provides more individualized care and I can help people feel better in a sustainable way, and that’s what brought me to where I am now. I’m really curious about people and it paired everything I love. It’s really interesting to look at the science and understand the body from a physiological and biochemical perspective. It may look the same on a piece of paper, but when you are looking at how can I understand this person in the context of their life, you come to realize that everyone’s different. Making treatment plans and changes for people is really important. I also have the best patients, they’re all so interesting and I get to celebrate their positive changes with them. A lot of my practices are fertility-based and it’s really gratifying - helping people start families.
"I think everyone deserves love and connection...
and I have a responsibility to do what I can
to help those who are less fortunate."
We love how you’re involved in giving back to local communities by volunteering, teaching yoga classes, and facilitating nutrition workshops - why is helping out other people and giving back important to you?
It’s important because I think everyone deserves love and connection, and many people’s basic needs are often unmet. I am very privileged, as such, I have a responsibility to do what I can to help those who are less fortunate. At the end of the day, even when the worst things happen, I’m going to be fine, but for a lot of people that’s not true.I realized that we’re not all dealt the same hand, and it’s our responsibility to share the burden and wealth in a way that creates connection for more people.
Although Toronto has been working to introduce more sustainable green spaces in downtown area, living in a city like Toronto can be challenging to fully immerse yourself in nature. Do you have any tips on how to maximize the benefits of green spaces for our health that we could easily implement in our everyday life?
It’s so interesting how our body really loves and responds to the natural rhythms. Going outside and experiencing the time in nature is really important. I think we are really fortunate that there’s a lot of green spaces, parks and the waterfront of Lake Ontario.. One of the things I suggest to people is to take a lunch break, leave the office, go for a walk, sit down, don’t bring your phone or if you do, just use it as a watch, don’t try to work and multitask. Go sit somewhere and eat your lunch. Also getting out of the city is also important, it gives you different perspective- when you see an open natural space - it calms your brain.
Do you have any morning routines or evening rituals to keep you stay balanced?
½-1 hour before sleeping, I put my phone outside of my bedroom. I really honour the “no screen time” after 9PM, and I don’t look at my phone again until I come back from a walk with my dog in the morning. I have the best morning routine. My partner goes to work around 6AM, and my dog jumps into bed and we have a lovely cuddle. I then get out of bed, leave my phone at home, and walk the dog to the park for 30 minutes to an hour. When I come back I turn my phone on and start my day. Ideally I try to get a good 12 hours of screen-free time.
What’s one skin care product you can’t live without?
Big shout out to you guys! From a naturopathic point of view, I’d say digestive enzymes is probably my best skin care. If my gut isn’t happy, my skin isn’t happy. But other than that, a good serum. I like the Toronto-based brands like NIU BODY and Province Apothecary. I’m a big believer of if you can’t put it in your body, you shouldn’t put on your body.
I’m a big fan of DIY too. What I get my patients to do for sensitive skin is a simple mask comprised of oats and raw honey. Everyone’s always skeptical at first, but they end up really liking it. It’s soothing, cleanses your skin, and tastes great!
Book your next appointment with Marnie! http://marnieluck.com/
Interview conducted by Yuri Hirama