Wild Women: Atourina, my sleep story
Having struggled with sleep since the third trimester of her pregnancy, Atourina turned to a nutritionist who recommended she take a high quality, bioavailable magnesium. Here she tells her story…
1. You mentioned that you lived in LA for 18 years. What brought you across the pond?
I'm first generation Assyrian and my family was displaced from the Middle East during the civil war in Lebanon in the 70s. So I feel very American yet I also have a whole other cultural background because I've always loved to travel and also I can't go back to my birthplace as it’s not safe. My husband and I are both avid travellers. When we got together we started coming to England a lot.
We eventually moved here in 2020 just as the country went into another lockdown so we had to live in our Airbnb in the New Forest for nearly two years but it’s really amazing here. Our paddock goes out into the forest and in the morning I just put my wellies on and walk.
2. What does a good night’s sleep feel like to you the following day? How does that energy express itself?
After the birth of my daughter, my sleep was completely broken and I never got into that deep sleep state but once she started sleeping soundly, I continued to have the worst sleep of my life. After a few days of taking Food-Grown Magnesium, it’s now my go-to supplement.
For me, a good night’s sleep looks like being able to practice the virtues that I strive for, like patience, presence and being more kind and accepting of others. Sleep is so crucial for healing the body and feeling good physically, mentally and spiritually. Without it, you’re in survival mode, then once you have that sleep, it's like everything just falls into place. It literally means the world to me to be able to sleep.
3. Having spent the last two decades deeply into health & wellness, could you give us an idea of how that manifests in your day-to-day?
I would say mostly mentally, through meditation and yoga, and just taking time to be intentional about how I show up in the world and show up to my family. My daughter is now four so I meditate to practice being more patient.
Diet is a huge thing that I have found to affect my mental wellbeing and my anxiety. And spending time in nature is so vital. I need to be in nature for my nervous system so I guess I prioritise that for myself.
4. Do you follow a specific diet or are there any foods you eat on a regular basis?
Yes, I was vegan for 20 years but I've become a lot more of a carnivore this year. When I got pregnant with my daughter I started eating eggs, and I was craving a lot of meat but ate a lot of fake meat which was a really bad choice. My oestrogen levels were just through the roof. I had the worst postpartum symptoms you could have, like cystic acne.
So now I’m way more conscious of having really good animal products and organic produce. Because it's cold, I’m having chicken soup and bone broth every single day and three eggs in the morning with lots of fat. I do try to be conscious of my carb intake and of course sugar because I have to be more mindful of my endocrine system. And I don't do caffeine.
This is literally what my mom would cook for us every single day. She’d use all the parts of the animal and make yoghurt and cheese. We had the best health growing up, then I found my individuality - badly - so I’m like a recovering vegan. I've had severe anaemia for two decades and I’m finally, finally in a normal range with my iron levels.
5. What does a day in the life of Atourina look like?
It's pretty mellow. I've curated my life to not be very stressful. I work for myself as an illustrator and video editor and my daughter goes to kindergarten three days a week. We wake up, do our morning routines, then I go to yoga and do my work. My husband works for himself as well so we both work from home. We’re a family that’s together quite often.
6. Which are your go-to Wild Nutrition supplements and why do you have them on subscription?
Yeah, I'm on Magnesium because I need it in my life. And I've got Skin Hair and Nails, if you could see my nails right now, they're the longest I think that they've ever been as an adult. And my hair is finally coming back. I had postpartum hair loss, which to a Middle Eastern woman with very thick hair, is huge. Oh, the DHA and EPA in your Omega is amazing. I love how your supplements don’t mess up the digestive system.
7. What does real wellbeing mean to you?
Feeling balance within yourself. Being able to have ease in your life.
8. Let’s future gaze. What are you hoping for in 2023 and beyond?
Having started eating meat again, I’m looking to be more consistent with my health and possibly conceive in 2024. I really want to get my body to a place of feeling strong so I've recommitted to yoga and got a gym membership to do strength training. I had a quite a traumatic birth with my daughter where my uterine ruptured and they told me I couldn’t have a vaginal birth. But after talking to a lot of midwives, the uterus can heal.
9. It’s been a wonderful experience speaking to our customers and sharing inspiring women’s stories. How important is female connection to you?
Absolutely. I'm all about female connection. I actually run women's circles once a month. I bring women together in a beautiful sacred space in the New Forest. It’s everything to me. I can’t wait to start doing it with my daughter once she’s a little older. And in a couple of years, I'll start doing mother and daughter circles, as well. My culture, like many older cultures, will always have some kind of magic or spirituality, so I try to teach those things. I consider myself a little witchy.
10. And finally, if you could pass on one piece of advice to younger Atourina, what would it be?
I’d say remember your roots and stay close to your family. There were so many years where I wasn't close to my family but all the wisdom is there.