Established in 2014 as a health blog, The Unrefined was created by Nicola Inger Scruby out of a desire to inform, nourish and empower people to put their health first. The company has since expanded to encompass two brands – NutiiBoost (healthy, low sugar granola) and F.ACNE (an online educational acne program & community with health professionals). Read about our founder, Nicola Inger Scruby, below!
My interest in food started from a young age, and for the wrong reasons. From the age of 13 I suffered with various eating disorders (read more about my story on The Unrefined AU Youtube Channel). I had moved around a bit as a child and would often turn to restricting food as a way to make myself feel as if I had better control over my life. It became a habit, which eventually got out of hand.
By the time I presented to a Doctor for help, I had suffered with the illness for six years and had low potassium levels, a heart arrhythmia and was very underweight. I also had severe depression, suicidal thoughts and had engaged in self-harm. Although the hospitals assisted to a degree and cognitive behavioural therapy helped me get a slight grip on the illness, I realised the only person that could really help me.. was me.
I enrolled myself in a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutrition). I had to re-enrol in Uni as I’d taken a break while I was recovering. I’d already changed degrees four times. However, I went ahead and enrolled because I had a feeling that learning about my body and what I was doing to it would somehow help me to realise the quality of life and to appreciate food.
1.5 years into the degree, I managed to study enough science and nutrition to understand the damage I was doing to my body. I was able to change my attitude and look at food in a different light – not as the enemy, but as a type of fuel that would nourish my mind and body and help me to achieve the things I wanted to do.
I realised that a lot of my depression and mental illness was because of the lack of fat in my diet and because I was malnourished. I started eating more whole foods, ate plenty of healthy fats and protein and slowly introduced all sorts of food back into my life (even McDonalds which I now have no problem with eating when i’m having a craving). The outcome, a healthy mindset and positive body image!
Recovering and being able to live a normal life has given me a new lease on life and an energy which doesn’t ever seem to die. I went on to complete a Bachelor of Business majoring in Public Relations and put my Science studies on hold. It was after working in PR for a year and being made redundant that I went back to focussing on my passion for educating and helping people learn the importance of a healthy mind and body. Enter, The Unrefined – a platform which encompasses positive body image, healthy eating and everything in between! After a seven year break, I am back studying Health Science (Nutrition) in Brisbane, with plans to complete a Master of Dietetics.
Over the past 4 months I have also launched a second brand called “F.ACNE” which aims to help women find their “acne why”. I established the brand after my own year-long struggle with acne. After thousands of dollars spent on treatments & quick fix skincare, I realised I was being sold a cure that didn’t exist. Scientifically, there is no “cure” for acne – there are only management strategies. After trialling management strategies from seven different health professionals and picking one that was right for me, I realised the importance of education and professional advice. I wanted all women suffering with acne to learn what I had (without paying thousands of dollars). I also wanted these women to be supported by women in the same boat. To learn more about the program & read some of our success stories, head to www.facne.com.au
If you’ve reached the end of this page –CONGRATULATIONS! That was a lot to swallow… now go and read something light-hearted on the blog or cook one of my recipes!