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Expert Spotlight | Shelley Gawith, Functional Nutritionist

Expert Spotlight | Shelley Gawith, Functional Nutritionist

In our expert spotlight series, we speak with experienced practitioners across NZ and beyond to get an inside scoop on health, wellbeing, and how they are using Mitchells in a clinical setting. 

Introducing Shelley Gawith, Functional Nutritionist and thriving testament to the power of nutrition and natural medicine! 

Shelley, you're a functional nutritionist, tell us a bit about yourself and your practice? 

I’m an ex Chartered Accountant and Investment Banker gone Functional Nutritionist, bringing a love for numbers, data, and making complicated things simple to formulating personalised, evidence-based care plans for my clients. In this way, client’s progress and success is tracked not only by their voice and feeling, but by blood work, functional lab tests AND my specialty - PEMF technology and ion foot cleanse waters. 


What got you into functional nutrition? 

Well, it was when my health came crashing down quickly, I had exhausted all mainstream medical options and the state of my thyroid led to my Doctor (in Australia at the time) telling me I was going to die. I had lost cognitive function, my ability to walk to the mailbox, and just wanted to sleep all day every day. The reality was, every system in my body was broken - my hormones, thyroid, adrenals, liver, gut health and digestion. I had parasites, mould and heavy metal toxicity, and a heavily dysregulated nervous system. Soon after I moved back to NZ, my mum gave up her job to take full time care of me. For many months, my family was told by countless doctors and specialists that there was no hope, I was going to die. However, with the little energy I had and the minimal moments I was awake, I was determined to make a full recovery, I was always looking for someone or something else that might help. Eventually, a GP gave me some nutrition advice, simply bone broth and fermented vegetables. 2 seemingly simple changes that would soon quite literally change my life. Soon I was able to stay awake for 3 hours a day and crawl to the bathroom on my own. Quickly my family and I realised it was food that was the key to my healing. I didn’t want anecdotal evidence though, I needed evidence! So I researched and studied my way into Functional Nutrition and away from accounting and investment banking, becoming the first Functional Nutritionist in NZ, a now growing field. 


And what was the inspiration to start your business Functional Nutrition with Shelley Gawith & Co.? 

It’s simple. I never want anyone to go through what I went through. Those two years I was in bed being told I was going to die, my one wish was, can I please use this to help one person! Helping one person is what motivates me and keeps me passionate. I love learning and being able to provide the best services and care to clients and a lot of this has been from spending time in the States, bringing back with me and adapting the ways in which they are further ahead in the functional health field. 

The why behind The Detox Clinic is providing a solution to overloaded livers that I was seeing in many. To change health we must bring awareness, education and solutions! Initially the PEMF and ion foot cleanses were only available at my clinic in Wellington, but with ground-breaking results, they are now available for hire online, nation-wide. When I brought this cutting edge technology to NZ, from the states, I was the only one. Nothing brings me more joy than their now wide-spread use and the positive impact they are having on people’s health, nation-wide.


Do you have a particular health concern/area of health you see most in clinic and how did you come to ‘specialise’ in this?

Given my personal history of being a burnt out corporate with rapidly declining health, I specialise in thyroid health, hormones, and stress/burnout. I am also very passionate about helping others look after their thyroids and addressing autoimmune conditions; I’ve managed to keep mine in remission. However, I believe health really comes down to a few key areas; our nervous system and stress response, our digestive system and gut health, and our liver load and detoxification. 

Stress (among other things) can lead to a leaky gut, and a leaky gut can lead to poor digestion… followed by a host of suboptimal health outcomes. To heal your body, you need to look at leaky gut. In today’s environment we are exposed to all sorts of toxins, with babies now being born with substantial toxic loads. It’s crucial to our health that we support our detoxification pathways and minimise exposure to toxins. 

In my case I was exposed to mould in my banking days in Sydney and then again in my apartment in Wellington. I was also born with a high heavy metal load on my body and I'm not alone, I see high heavy metals in lots of clients. We also get exposed to chemicals daily in the foods we eat, the water we drink. I don't let it get clients down, it's a reality so then we get proactive and look at how we can support our bodies to cope with the load.

So you tend to see clients who struggle with thyroid and hormone imbalances, autoimmune conditions, and burnout, where do you thread the Mitchells Nutrition products into your ‘treatment’ and why? 

EVERY Consultation! The three things I believe everybody should be doing for their health today and for the rest of their lives are: 

1. Drinking the right amount of water for your body
2. Eating fermented veggies and/or taking a probiotic supplement 
3. Have Bone Broth or a collagen powder every single day

    I recommend it daily as bone broth and collagen help us heal our gut linings. Stress, be it environmental, digestive dysregulation or food allergies, financial, work, emotional, or family stress, can lead to leaky gut. Stress is part of our experience, it’s not about living a perfect life but instead reducing the damaging effects of stress through easy, sustainable daily rituals. Thus fixing things as faster, if not faster than, they are being burdened. Leaky gut only takes 72 hours to heal! 

    I encourage clients to enjoy what they are doing and Mitchells is an enjoyable, delicious way to help heal and seal the gut lining and nourish digestive function. If a hot cup of Bone Broth is not for them, I get them adding the Bone Broth Protein to their smoothies or making delicious hot cacao drinks as an afternoon pick me up. 

    Health is all about small things done consistently. 

    What drew you to the Mitchells Nutrition brand/range? 

    I think originally clients using it drew me to it. I'm always reading food diaries and seeing what clients are eating and checking brands. As a practitioner I also like the path of less resistance so I want clients to enjoy the recommendations I make and I had so many clients raving about Mitchells Nutrition before I had even tried it, naturally I became curious. Now I recommend Mitchells Nutrition daily and am still getting feedback from clients that they enjoy the taste. 

    And as a practitioner I love Mitchells because they don’t add yeast to any of their broths, some companies add yeast which isn't good for any of my clients on candida diets or who are gluten free or who often get recurring UTIs or yeast infections. I feel it's my job as the practitioner to read all the ingredients for clients and make their lives easier. So I like having brands that I can recommend the whole product range to clients. 


    In your opinion, what sets Mitchells apart from other bone broth, protein, or supplement available for use in clinic?

    I like the flavour of Mitchells and the simple, clean ingredients list. The bone broth powder uses the exact same ingredients that I would use at home making it from scratch, my perfect travel companion. I also love that it comes from 100% grass fed and finished NZ beef bones.


    Do you have any client testimonials or feedback from using the Mitchells Nutrition products?

    My biggest testimonial is all clients that use Mitchells love the taste, they find the products easy to use in daily life. I've also seen Mitchells adapt over the years which has fitted in nicely to how clients are consuming products. It's easy to get clients to add a flavoured bone broth product to their smoothies or drinks. 


    What’s your favourite way to enjoy any of the Mitchells Nutrition products?

    My favourite way is a nice warming mug of bone broth in the morning. I will sometimes add some extra herbs. I also love the powders in my smoothies or as gelatines! I'm currently pregnant and I'm all about keeping health easy so I can promise you my number one thing for making gelatin gummies will be Mitchells products for my young one. Add some coconut milk, let it set and we have some gut loving healthy delicious snacks for bubs! 


    If interested, where can our readers find you?

    I love chatting and sharing informal information on instagram @shelleygawithfn. I also send out educational emails to clients so they can learn how to have the best health possible. You can sign up via my website

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