An Interview About a Man Who Hit Rock Bottom And Turned it All-Around: With Food Scientist, Kriben Govender

Firstly, can you please tell us a little bit about who you are (not what you do)?

First and foremost, I am a loving husband and father of three pre-teen boys.

My educational background is in Food Science and hence I love exploring the latest science to optimise my physical health and mental health with a particular focus on gut health.

What does your morning routine generally entail?

I have a regimental morning routine. I wake up at 7.30 am, brush my teeth, wash my face and get dresses. I then take a 20-minute roundtrip walk to my local café to get early morning light exposure to set my circadian rhythm and enjoy a cup of coffee. During my walk, I also do a present state awareness practice by cycling through my senses and speaking out things I am grateful for.

When I arrive back home, I sit in front of an infrared light panel, with a Soma Vedic device, with a 528 hz sound frequency playing in the back ground whilst meditating for 20 minutes using the transcendental meditation technique.

I then take my supplements with a light breakfast of milk kefir, almonds, blueberries, colostrum and bee pollen

What are three things that you’ve incorporated into your everyday life to ensure that you’re mentally and physically healthy?

For mental health I have a daily meditation and gratitude practice.

Regarding physical health I go for a walk once in the morning and then again at midday to maximise sunlight exposure. Once per peek I do a midday gym workout in the sun using mainly kettle bells, followed by cold immersion in the ocean and sauna.

Men’s health is something you’d hold close to your heart, as you’ve experienced your own times of hardship. Can you please tell us a little bit about how you ended up with mental and physical health struggles?

Around 8 years ago, my life imploded. I was extremely depressed, overweight and lacking in energy and vibrancy. A combination of workplace bullying, stress, a struggle with anxiety and depression and a collapsed marriage resulted in a sense of worthlessness.

What was the pivotal moment that brought you out of this negative downturn, and what did you do to help support your journey to getting better?

I found myself alone in an apartment, ready to end my life.

For the sake of my 3 young boys, I soldiered on and discovered the importance of gut health on my mental wellbeing.  I found inspiration in the work of Dr Natasha Campbell McBride through her book Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS): Natural Treatment for Autism, Dyspraxia, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression, Schizophrenia. I started to follow a GAPS diet, made homemade fermented foods like kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut, adopted a transcendental meditation (TM) and yoga practice, attended cognitive behaviour therapy sessions with a psychologist, learned the Meisner and Alexander acting techniques – all which helped me overcome my struggle with anxiety and depression. With this newfound knowledge, I launched health and wellness company, Nourishme Organics to help others heal their bodies via Gut Health.

You’re not only a food scientist, but you’re also a registered nutritionist and founder of a company in Gut Health. For those who don’t know ‘Nourishme Organics’ can you please tell us what it is, and what inspired you to launch it?

Nourishme Organics is Australia’s premier Online Gut Health Store with a shopfront in Cheltenham, Victoria. The primary goal of the company is to make the art of fermented foods accessible to consumers with easy to use, high quality, DIY home fermentation kits and heirloom cultures. Yoghurt, Kombucha, Kefir, Miso, Tempeh, Cheese and many others are available. The Nourishme Organics philosophy is to provide high quality- scientifically back products, knowledge and community support to help customers master fermented foods and gut health. We use pure, organic, Non GMO ingredients and no-fuss sustainable packaging as much as possible.

What are your top favourite products that you sell, and why are they so good for us?

My favourite product is milk kefir. This is the one product that transformed my life. It is also the most studied fermented food with at least 30 strains of probiotic organisms, prebiotics, short chain fatty acids, functional peptides and neurotransmitter GABA. It is proven to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, improve gut health, reduce symptoms of allergies, asthma and much more. 

At moxie, we live and breathe an integrative approach to digestive health, knowing that it’s extremely valuable to mental and physical health. Why do you think the medical system is yet to fully acknowledge this approach?

I think the medical system is great at trauma care. However medically practitioners are not well trained in nutrition and under-appreciate the importance of diet and lifestyle factors.

As you’re aware, men’s health week has just kicked off. What does this week mean to you?

This a great reminder to the men in our society to encourage them to not take health for granted and to make small steps to improve their health every single day.

The idea of ‘men taking care of their health’ is still quite taboo in the western world, and naturally fails to become a priority many. How have you helped encourage men that they need to prioritize their health?

I can only do this by being an example myself. I also provide lots of information through my Gut Health Gurus Podcast and blog. My guests on the podcast inspire me so much with their personal journeys and cutting-edge information.

Can you please tell us a story about a time where you’ve worked with a male client, who really made you grateful for what you do?

I recently work with a male client suffering from psoriasis. It was a challenging case to deal with due to his preference for a vegan diet. But we work through his issues using microbiome testing, diet and lifestyle changes.

If you volunteered your time to do a TED Talks, what would the topic be and why?

It would have to be the Gut Brain Connection

What are 10 foods that are currently in your fridge that we should know about?

Milk Kefir, oysters, capers, sauerkraut, Kakadu Plum, pomegranate juice, tonic water, deuterium depleted water, A2 milk, Comte Cheese

If you could have a conversation with one person to help change their perception of the world, who would it be and why?

I would love to have a chat with Prime Minister Morrison about cleaning up the food system here in Australia. We could improve the lives of so many people.

The above content is provided for informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice or diagnosis and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. moxie shall not be liable for any claim, loss, or damage arising out of the use of, or reliance upon any content or information in this article.

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