She may go by the handle Health Nag these days, but Natasha Rudatsenko knows what it is to feel terrible. After being diagnosed with several chronic health conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome and an underactive thyroid, the Estonia-born wellness entrepreneur spent 10 years studying and researching the fields of natural medicine, naturopathy, herbology, holistic therapies, structured detox and intermittent fasting. As she delved into human biology and biochemistry, she managed to transform her own health. She went on to launch a number of businesses, including Muncherie Organic Foods and RAWR Yoga. In 2018 she opened the hot yoga and exercise-focused DRYP Wellness Center in Dubai Marina and her Health Nag platform.
How do you start your day?
I start my day with my favorite music. As it’s rather loud, it gives me tons of energy and puts me in a good mood right away. Music has an ability to raise dopamine levels, so it really makes you feel better from the start. As soon as I wake up, I have a glass of warm water and lemon alternating every other morning with freshly brewed ginger and turmeric tea. It’s important to help flush out your system after overnight fasting and activate your digestive system first, before having anything else to eat.
What’s your favorite way to unwind?
It might sound funny, but solving puzzles or going to Escape / Quest room or by playing any other brain games. I am an over-thinker, constantly analyzing something and if my mind isn’t busy finding solutions for something or I can’t release some intellectual steam, I get really anxious and paranoid. So, I relax by solving puzzles. I am very strange like that. I need that constant mental stimulation to relax.
What wellness item can you not live without?
That’s easy. Matcha powder. Take that away along with my oat milk and see me roar.
What have you tried that didn’t work?
Colonics. Useless. Waste of money, time and dignity. The three day Health Nag detox is a 100 times more effective and it’s a joyful cleansing program.
Do you see more people going down the holistic route?
Absolutely. Traditional medicine is evolving. So, we will be much healthier in the next generation as we are really starting to get the basics of health and wellness now.
What advice do you have for people who are just starting out?
Educate yourself. Research. Read some studies. Your health is in your hands and good health needs planning, strategy and implementation like anything else. But we tend to take it for granted and assume our body can easily handle all the abuse we are putting it through. And then we complain when it’s time to pay a high price for our own actions.
How can lifestyle improvements affect mental wellness?
As with health in general, it’s not just one thing or another. Mental issues can have so many root causes and there is no one answer. It’s important to do something you enjoy, to have someone to love and something to look forward to. The key is exercising, eating well and making sure you have a healthy gut microflora and no major nutritional deficiencies. It’s been proved that deficiencies and digestive disorders are linked to mental conditions such as depression, anxiety attacks and mood disorders. By supporting your healthy microflora, you can become much happier and calmer right away.
What health challenges did you overcome by changing your lifestyle?
Oh, where do I even start? There are so many. First of all, introducing hot yoga into my life has been life-changing and I believe that it contributed to my hormonal balance. Not eating dairy is another big adjustment. I used to have a severe rash all over my body and when I removed dairy from my diet, the rash went away. I used to be a coffee drinker and sugar addict, which made me a very nervous, anxious and irritable person. My mood swings were intense and my PMS was brutal. By removing both from my diet, I became a rather pleasant person to be around. I sleep better and I don”t get acne every month any more like I used to. There have been a lot of changes to my lifestyle and diet over the last 12 years since I became obsessed with health but those are the big ones.
Tell us about your Health Nag detox kit…
It’s a three-day detox kit that gives you the benefits of fasting without feeling starved. This detox program contains 30 herbal shakes, which are intended to be consumed throughout the day without eating. They are meant to keep you full while thoroughly working through your digestive system and carefully purifying it. On completion, you will feel much more energized, with better digestion, clearer skin, stronger immunity and a happier mind.