‘As a teenager I had a keen interest in natural beauty tips, like putting melon seeds on your face which, incidentally, had no benefits at all!’
Nutritionist Karen Devine has come a long way since her experimental teenage days but the quest for discovery and a more natural future has remained strong: ‘I began really looking at natural alternatives 19 years ago after my first daughter was born. She had many allergies and food issues so I looked into the effects food played on health.’
Karen now runs her own clinic of nutrition and homotoxicology in her home town of Peterborough as well taking regular trips to London to see clients and make expert TV appearances for the likes of GMTV.
Detox is her USP: ‘After being in practice for 11 years, one area that I feel really passionate about is detoxification, but also hormonal health issues as these can be the sword in many a woman's side’, she explains.
‘I am also very passionate about anti aging – it’s amazing how young you feel and look after good nutrition, detoxification and most importantly drainage of wastes.’
Karen recently applied her know-how for a new BBC self-help show The Last Resort, airing early next year. ‘We had six guests who all needed help with their physical and emotional health. With the support of a clinic psychologist, a life coach and me they were able to explore themselves in a very safe environment.’
The show is definitely one to look out for. Karen, though, won’t be watching: ‘It can be a bit surreal watching yourself back on TV - I normally hide behind a cushion!’
Moving forward, Karen’s next step is to launch her own detox retreats where clients can reinvigorate both body and mind in stunning locations. ‘I’ve worked on many retreats over the years and I feel now is the time to branch out on my own.’
So what have been the biggest challenges in her career journey so far? ‘Being a single mum of two, starting out running my own practice and keeping it all balanced!’ she explains.
But nothing beats the thrill of working for yourself: ‘The best thing about starting out on your own is not being told what to do. I started working for an insurance company at 16 and ended up staying there for 14 years. Asking permission to sneeze was just not me. I like to feel free.’
1979 – Insurance clerk for Pearl Assurance
1990 – First daughter was born
1993 – Opted for redundancy and had 2nd child to become full time mum
1994 – Self-studied natural medicine, homeopathy
1996 – Started studying nutritional medicine
2000 – Diploma in nutritional therapeutics
2000 – Started my own practice whilst continuing my studies
2001 – Diploma in iridology
2003 – Dilploma in nutritional medicine
2006 – Diploma in homotoxicology and bio regulatory medicine