Potentia Spotlight: Megan Hellner, DrPH, MPH, RD
“This is a new series which will feature many of the incredible clinicians at Potentia. I am thrilled to have Megan Hellner kick off this series as we have been working together for over a decade. She was all in when I shared with her a vision to have our services under the same roof so we can best support our clients and their families. Her training, passion, and standards of care make her one-of-a kind in this city. Her passion to work hard, play hard and contribute to her field – along with her awesome sense of humor and love of animals – make her a joy to work with at Potentia.” – Rebecca
Where are you from?
Born in Corvallis, Oregon, though I come from a large family of proud Aussies.
Why did you become a clinician and researcher?
I’ve always been very curious, and I have a deep appreciation for science and the scientific method. I’m always searching for the truth (sound answers and explanations) and evidence. If I were to work solely as a researcher, I’d miss that human interaction that I have in working with patients/clients, and I also love to teach. I believe I was born to be in the role of helping others navigate the complex and noisy world of nutrition and disease prevention.
What is your philosophy to healing?
In my world, it’s ‘food first’, meaning supplements are just that (merely supplemental to a sound quality of diet).
What does health mean to you?
I’m in the position of thinking of health as a ‘big picture’ construct, and I favor thinking of how our choices today influence our health 5 years out….10 years out (versus living solely in the ‘now’). Whole-person health implies not only the absence of physical or emotional ailments, but a quality of life that one finds at least acceptable.
How do you define self care?
For me, self care means taking proactive measures to ensure that my quality of life is somewhere between good and excellent at all times.
Why do you think so many people are uncomfortable asking for help?
It’s embarrassing for some, and some of the life skills we need to relearn or need coaching around seem ‘obvious’ or ‘intuitive’. Also, people look at mental health support as a service reserved for folks who are hitting bottom, or perhaps have serious unabating psychological issues, versus something tremendously helpful that we can access as a means of preventive care.
What is your go-to self care ‘tool’ or ‘practice’?
Jumping in the water for a swim, or walking my pup and listening to an intriguing podcast or some great new music. Or, wandering around Anthropologie and smelling all of the candles. <3
What do you do for fun?
I LOVE being in and on the water….swimming, surfing, kayaking, rafting….all of it. I love farmers markets and plant-based foods. I love gorgeous craft cocktails (making and drinking) and live music/music festivals and I love spending time with my puppy and my fiance.
What are your favourite books?
I don’t read for fun much outside of work. A few favorites, however: Food Politics by Marion Nestle and China Study by T.Colin Campbell. But I LOVE podcasts….they are like candy for me! Favorites include Radiolab, Naked Scientist, Criminal, S Town, This American Life and Hidden Brain. Occasionally, I listen to Joe Rogan and Tim Ferriss, but mostly to get a sense of where guys are getting all of these wacky supplement and product ideas. We’ll call it market research 😉
What is your favourite book to recommend?
I don’t know that it’s my favorite book to recommend, but I find myself recommending Intuitive Eating by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Reych or Making Peace with Food by Susan Kano most frequently.
What is your favourite quote or mantra – and why?
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
– Steve Jobs
I find Steve Jobs very inspiring given the intensity and focus with which he pursued his professional interests. I believe that we know best what is best for ourselves, and that the outside noise and opinions of others can muddy the waters at times. So this really resonates with me, and reminds me to be authentic, and to turn inward for answers. I often read his quotes on Sundays as they tend to energize me for the upcoming week of work.
What is your favourite song when you need courage?
Anything by Zero 7 or Amy Winehouse.
What is your favourite meal to cook?
Pumpkin Garbanzo Bean Curry. Pumpkin anything and everything, really.
Call Megan at 619.819.0283 ext 1