At Home With - Antonia Magor
Please allow us to introduce Antonia Magor - nutrition goddess and Rye's very first client! We caught up with her at home, to chat all things food, health, and how to be a boss at being a boss.
Let's set the scene…where are you right now?
I’ve recently moved and I’m getting used to my new writing spot, it’s under a big window and there’s a tree peppered with red berries and rusty coloured leaves outside which is very soothing. I’m drinking some tea and wearing a rug, which is a bit indulgent because it’s really not that cold.
Where would you like to be?
It might seem like a cliché, but right now I am pretty happy where I am.
When did your journey with health and wellness begin, and how have you gotten to where you are today?
My background is in fashion and art, I worked in Italy and Paris before coming to London and it was there that my passion for health really started to really develop. I loved my role within the creative side of the industry but I felt that the pressures and misrepresentations were really unhealthy. I left my role as a stylist and started my studies in nutrition. I adored studying and had a thirst to learn more which took me to the States to experience a different approach, before returning to start my practice in London.
I now see individuals and work with them one-on-one to reach their health goals or as part of their medical treatment from my clinic on Harley Street. I work with a lot of young professionals and I find it hugely rewarding to be able to do what I do.
Where do you see the health and wellness industry going over the next few years, and are there any trends that we should be looking out for (good or bad!)
I think there is still currently a lot of “anti” messages out there and I’m really hoping that will change. Whether it’s anti - clean eating, anti – carbs, anti – fats, I still believe that using negative language around food creates confusion, mistrust and doesn’t benefit any of us as a group, or as individuals, in the long term.
I think the next move or wave is going to be putting more research into the theories and ideas that have come up in the past couple of years like the impact of the micro-biome, the gut-brain connection and the influence of stress on our health. I am also excited that the conversation about mental health is evolving, our health isn’t one-dimensional and we are now seeing a more holistic approach to conditions. Nutrition is an ever evolving, shifting science and that's what makes it an exciting field to work within. It also means we need to be really responsible with how we talk about in nutrition and the messages that we share.
Last app you opened?
Either Instagram or Podcasts!
Last book that you read?
“Reason’s to stay alive” by Matt Haig.
Last country that you visited?
Zermatt in Switzerland, hiking with my family.
Best restaurant you've ever visited?
My favourite restaurant is called Zumsee in Zermatt, it’s on the side of the mountain and in the summer we hike to lunch there. The food is so fresh that after you order you see the chefs going to the vegetable patch to pick the lettuce.
Coffee or tea?
Favourite place to visit in London?
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A fashion designer.
What’s the one ingredient that you couldn’t live without?
A toss up between lemons, sea salt and olive oil.
CONNECT WITH ANTONIA HERE.
What's the thing about your work that gets you excited to get out of bed in the morning?
I love my clinical time and working with so many different people and cases from which I’m always learning which is great. The feedback I receive is hugely rewarding and knowing that I’m able to help individuals in a very tangible and very personal way is what makes everything worthwhile.
How does social media impact your business?
Personally I really enjoy social media. I use it as a creative hub and find ideas for meals, places to go or travel. I am an artistic person and I love sharing beautiful things as well as finding people that inspire me. However I do try and ensure that it stays a positive space for me, it is so easy to become engulfed in the ‘perfection’ and pressures of Instagram and social media projects. I am really aware to never follow or engage with people that make me feel bad about myself but also to know that so much of what you see is not reality.
In regards to my business, I don’t tend to share much about my clinic itself. I feel this is a really private space for my clients and discretion is key. I’m also careful that what I do isn’t about me, it’s about my clients and that’s an important part of how I practice. Even though I share some of my life or meals on social media to hopefully give others a little healthy inspiration, my work is much more about the personal journeys of my clients.
Where do you find your inspiration?
When it comes to food and recipes, everywhere! London’s got an amazing food scene and I am always inspired by chefs and their work. Otherwise I read a huge amount and cook what I feel. I’m constantly excited by food, whether it’s throwing together a weeknight dinner for myself or cooking a feast for a group I always enjoy the process. I believe food is such a powerful part of our health and also as a way of connecting, whether that’s to friends and family or to yourself.
Through my work with clients I find inspiration from studying and caring about the individuals I work with. They make it very easy to feel inspired.
The best advice you’ve ever received?
“Read the question.” My parents used to always tell me this before exams and it definitely still applies in all sorts of situations. It’s important to listen to what someone is actually asking or expressing, rather than trying to give them an answer that you want.
We're all so distracted with perfection these days - what's been your biggest challenge so far, and how did you overcome it?
In my business I am a complete perfectionist when it comes to creative ideas and how I envision things, so definitely a big challenge for me is how long everything takes on this side of things! I also think understanding the time and dedication it takes to make things happen, whether that’s in clinic, with a client, or moving my business forward in other ways is something that is difficult to appreciate until you’ve done it or tried to.
I’ve been lucky to have a very patient graphic designer for the creative side and to have some very supportive friends and family who listen to me and steer me towards the practical things I can do when things aren’t going my way or taking a long time. There is no magic wand and anything worth having takes a lot of work!
What time do you get up, and what’s the first thing you do in the morning?
I like to make sure my morning routine has the same kind of structure wherever I am. Usually I wake up around 6:30, I’m trying to make this more of a natural thing to get up earlier because I like having some time to be up and quiet in the mornings before I get going. I’m not someone who jumps out of bed and out of the door 5 minutes later.
I always have a warm drink to start the day. Either hot water and lemon or sliced ginger, sometimes even just hot water as it’s important to rehydrate first thing before eating or drinking a caffeinated drink. I do some stretches and I like to check my emails and the day I have coming up while in my dressing gown. I am however trying to wean off social media first thing in the morning, as I don’t believe it does anything positive to consume so much imagery before you can think properly!
If I’m working from home I’ll have a lighter breakfast and usually put on something very legging based, if I am out and about at meetings and clinic I’ll have something a little more substantial and make a packed lunch. I do try to eat within an hour of waking and I never skip breakfast. I also do yoga a couple of mornings of the week locally, sometimes it feels like a stretch to fit in and the last thing I want to be doing, but I always find myself feeling better afterwards.
What is your typical day on a plate?
I’m a big advocate of protein for breakfast, I also tend to be more of a savoury over sweet person. At the moment my breakfast is either scrambled eggs on toast with spinach, or avocado and feta on sourdough, or even leftovers. I don’t really understand why breakfast time only seems to be limited to “breakfast foods”!
Lunch is typically a fridge raid of leftovers and combinations of grains, greens, proteins, topped with a dollop of hummus or splotch of homemade dressings. With the weather getting cooler I am also embracing chunkier soups and stews, on rotate this week is a French vegetable soup with a spoonful of pesto stirred through.
In the evenings cooking tends to be my time to wind down, if I am cooking for friends I might slow cook a piece of meat and serve with a host of different roasted vegetables and greens or turn it into ragu with pasta, or tacos with salsa and tortillas. I like to create meals that are about sharing so I serve it family style and include dips and dressings to mix things up. If I’m cooking for myself I tend to focus on having plant proteins for variety. Dahl with coconut rice is a weekly staple as is a seasonal vegetable curry. Probably finished off with some fruit and dark chocolate.
What’s your earliest food memory?
My family live on a farm so we all grew up with an understanding of where our food came from, we had chickens, sheep and dairy cows. I think one of my earliest memories would be around 5 or 6 collecting eggs on Sundays and being terrified of the cockerel that would chase me when no one was around. We always had Sunday evening omelet’s that my Dad would cook on demand for each of us, I’m not sure the inventive flavours were always the best but it’s definitely a happy memory.
What's next for you?
I’m really enjoying growing my clinic and the time I spend with clients with some new programmes, which is incredibly rewarding. I’ve also been doing a lot more writing recently which I love and it really allows me to delve into the details of an issue and open up conversations.
In 60 years, what do you want to be remembered for?