Author Interview with Natacha Moitinho of ‘Back To Natural: How To Wake Up From Your Toxic Life, Tune In To Your Body, And Create Healthy, Loving Habits’

| September 14, 2016

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“Back to Natural” aims to show women how their daily choices are affecting their health and well-being and what they can do about it. In fact, their busy city lives only give them an illusion of choice because they simply don’t have the right information. I was also like them once, so this book is based on my personal path of discovery and affirmation.
Today I’m joined by Natacha Moitinho, the author of the ‘Back to Natural’. Natacha, can you kick of today’s interview by explaining what led to you being compelled to write this book?
When I moved to a small island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean I suddenly realized I had plenty of time to spare. So what could I do? As I was (and am still) living on an organic farm I started getting more interested in understanding nature’s cycles and the quality of the food we eat. I also decided to begin reading different books about women’s health and well-being, do some research in the Internet, think about my life…I came to the conclusion that many of my daily choices – choices I had made (almost) all my life – were simply automatic, without questioning anything. Actually I didn’t know what I was doing to myself each time I had lousy meals, took the pill, bought body care and household cleaning products simply because they smelled good, and so on. After understanding the impact of my daily choices on my health and well-being I decided to implement different changes in my life, one by one. I started feeling better – in body and mind – and it was then that I decided I wanted to share my experience with other women, so they could also “reclaim their power”, as I say in the book, because that is how I felt. I felt that my power was back.

 
Feeling that your power was back really must have been a fantastic personal complement to the finished product of the book.
Yes, this book is a very personal one as it is about my journey towards better health and well-being. I would say “Back to Natural” is an honest, open book. It shows my struggles and vulnerabilities, but also my strength and will, so I think the readers might relate to this.

 
What kinds of research did you undertake to work through these struggles you encountered?
I began by reading the book “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom”, by Dr. Christiane Northrup. This is for me the women’s “bible”. I had bought it some years before when I was doing my Master’s Degree in Women’s Studies, but at that time I didn’t read it all. My thesis theme was “Shame of the Loss of the Uterus in Women – Social Emotion and Gender” and a colleague of mine thought the book might be useful to me. This is because Dr. Christiane Northrup looks at women’s health from a holistic point of view (body, mind, emotions and spirit). For example, according to her, the health of the uterus is at risk if a woman does not believe in herself or if she is too self-critical. Besides Dr. Christine’s Northrup book I also read many others from different experts such as “The Wild Genie”, by Alexandra Pope, expert on menstrual health; “Natural Fertility”, by Francesca Naish, director of the first clinic in Australia specializing in natural fertility; “The Pill: Are you sure it’s for you?” by Jane Bennett, specialist in natural fertility management, and Alexandra Pope; “Mindfulness”, by Mark Williams, professor emeritus of Clinical Psychology at the University of Oxford, and journalist Danny Penman; “Foods also Cure”, by Francisco Varatojo, president of the Portuguese Macrobiotic Institute.

 
And once you had compiled this research and intertwined it with your personal journey into the complete book, what struck you as the most gratifying aspect of this project?
It is to be able to empower other women. You know, in the past I did volunteer work in India, China and Cape Verde. I simply loved working with communities and empowering people. Unfortunately we can’t be volunteers all our lives…I then found a job and time passed by. However, I knew that one day I would find another opportunity. The opportunity to give people the tools to have a better life and it is called “Back to Natural”.

 
What job are you currently working in? And does it fit into this better life you are trying to create?
I work as a trainer and auditor in social responsibility and gender equality, but this does not influence directly my writing. Actually one day I would like to create my own job in the area of health and wellness and write more books related to this.

 
Are you working on any other health and wellness projects at the moment?
Right now I have a blog – http://natachamoitinho.com/blog – where I share tips and advice on health and well-being, but also the adventures of a city-raised woman on the farm. Every Thursday I publish a new post.

 

 

And when you are writing either a blog post, or an extended project like your book how do you structure your working methods?
I tried to write every day and I aimed for a set number of pages. It is important to keep this self-discipline and also to work in a place where you can be focused and feel inspired. I like writing at home because I have a beautiful view and the birds as my soundtrack. In case there are no birds (which is rare), I enjoy the silence.
Was it difficult to get into that rhythm?
I must admit that in the beginning I had some difficulty typing. I think this happened because writing is a personal act and the computer is so impersonal. It simply seemed the words wouldn’t come up. It took me some time, but I finally got used to it.

 
Once you got yourself settled in, how long did it take for you to write this book?
It took me around six months to write.

 
And what steps did you take to come up with the very stylish cover to make sure the readers are getting the right first impression?
First I “designed” my ideal book cover: the tree (symbolizing nature/natural and also women), colors and lettering. After this I sent it to a professional designer and I think she did an amazing job!

 
I have to agree. Do you have any tips for others looking to address the process of writing their own books?
It is, in a way, what I have said before. It is important to keep self-discipline, but also motivation high. Try to write every day (if you can, first thing in the morning), aim for a set number of words/pages, find a great place to write that makes you feel inspired and focused, ask support from your friends and family. They will motivate you, but also hold you accountable. And write with your heart.

 
And how was your heart when you got your first review?
Happy, very happy to know that my book had been useful!

 
That must have been fantastic to feel that your work had been appreciated and useful. Do you have a favourite quote from your book that you most think communicates either your heart or the usefulness of your work?
One that I like the most is “When we love ourselves and when we also let ourselves be loved by others, something amazing happens. In my case, it is like a light turning on. It illuminates my heart and brightens my eyes. I am surrounded by love. I am love.”

 
I like that cross of light and love. Quite picturesque. And now we’re at my favourite round, the Quick Fire Round. Just answer the next questions as quickly as possible.

What are your favourite authors, and do you believe that they have influenced your writing style?:
I don’t like to name favourites, but I really like these three authors: José Saramago (fiction), Gabriel García Márquez (fiction) and Dr. Christiane Northrup (nonfiction). Probably my writing style was influenced by them and actually by many other authors. I think it is impossible otherwise. Even if we don’t want to, we are influenced by everything that surrounds us.

 

Do you have any philosophies that you live by?
Respect for nature, respect for people and their differences.

 
What are you currently reading?
“Goddesses Never Age”, by Dr. Christiane Northrup.
What is your favourite quote?
One that I like the most is “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”, Voltaire
Which are cooler? Dinosaurs or Dragons?
Ok, I am not very good at this. Dinosaurs. Why? Well, I simply loved watching the movie “The Land Before Time” when I was little. Actually, as far as I remember I even cried. Maybe I am too sensitive or maybe…I was a dinosaur in the past.
What is your favourite quote from another author?
One that I like the most is “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”, Voltaire
What was your favourite book as a child?
One that I liked the most was “Hollow Tree House” by Enid Blyton.
What is your favourite word?
Freedom
That is a great last word to finish today’s interview on. Thanks for joining me today Natacha, and I wish you the best of luck both on the promotion of this book and the finding a path to working more fully in the space of health and wellness.

 

Want to connect with Natacha?  You can find her here:

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