The Wellwear Interview - Rose Ferguson
An array of lifestyle and nutrition habits helped Rose Ferguson throughout her career as a model, during which she notably starred in campaigns for Miu Miu and Prada, as well as walking the runway for Alexander McQueen. A fan of superfoods and juices long before these became popular, she went on to train at the College of Naturopathic Medicine, qualifying as a naturopath and nutritionist in 2009. Today, Ferguson runs a clinic on Harley Street, where her tailored, holistic approach helps clients achieve healthy lifestyles in spite of all they put their bodies through (many of her clients are models who experience long working days, frequent parties and constant travelling). She is also the author of Juice, a book of nutritious juice recipes, and hosts The Wellness Breakdown podcast with nutritional therapist Eve Kalinik, in which they explore well-being trends, from intermittent fasting and digital detoxing, to cold showers and the carnivore diet.
What does well-being mean to you?
For me, it’s the synergy between the mind, body and soul – it gives balance. Number one is good nutrition, number two is movement and number three is anything that makes your soul light up, whether that’s a night in with Netflix or dancing on tables until three in the morning. Well-being is an umbrella term for happiness, contentment and health.
How do you relax?
Lying in bed watching a good series with my two sausage dogs.
Where is the place you have been that has given you the greatest sense of well-being?
That’s a difficult one. Home is a pretty great place for me. I love my routine and I like having time to potter around. Otherwise, I love TheLifeCo Bodrum in Turkey, Ashiyana Goa in India, and Lanserhof in Germany, which are amazing. All three are very different, but totally immersive and leave you feeling renewed.
What would be your dream destination?
Anywhere and everywhere – I love travelling. Feeling freedom from the responsibilities of my everyday life for a bit is so exciting to me, just a break from what is a pretty busy world. I am sure I am not alone in this.
What clothes do you feel best in?
Jeans and a black vest. Always.
What sort of music do you listen to to raise your mood? A favourite song, perhaps?
The Stone Roses’ I am the Resurrection, and sometimes you just need a bit of Whitney Houston. Depends on my mood, the weather and where I am.
Do you have an exercise or exercise routine that you rely on to keep you physically and mentally primed?
I would say I get bored easily. I do like to try new things and am never afraid to do so. Running is definitely a staple for me. However, I mix it up from one month to the next, depending on what my body needs. Sometimes yoga, pilates, cardio, etc. At the moment, I’m into weights.
Your RF Method involves a whole-body analysis for each client. How much can people’s nutrition needs differ?
Every person’s nutrition differs. I never see the same two cases. What works for one may not work for the other. The value of case-taking to understand the client’s story from birth until now is so important with my job. Having said that, there is a basic formula which would improve everyone’s health – more fruit and veg, for a start, and less processed foods.
To what extent do you think nutrition and mental health are related?
Hugely. There are very few studies on this, but I am seeing more and more in this space. Recent studies have shown that a lack of diversity in the microbiome [the combination of microorganisms in our bodies] is linked to depression. Your brain and gut are connected by your vagus nerve, so looking after your gut is crucial for your mental well-being.
How did you look after your mental health during your modelling career?
I was lucky enough to have an amazing experience. I absolutely loved it and they were some of my best years. My friendship group was a huge support and still is.
Where did your passion for juices originate from?
While modelling, I would go out dancing and drinking all night. The next day, instead of reaching for copious amounts of coffee and carbs, I would have a green juice. I would see it as balancing my bank. In my teens, I was always fascinated by food and what it could do for you.
When was the last time you properly laughed – and at what?
I’m lucky that my husband is very funny, so when he’s not annoying me, I’m always laughing and, honestly, it could be about anything.
Your home is in the Cotswolds and your clinic is in London. Do you prefer being in the town or the countryside?
I feel like I’ve got the luxury of having the best of both worlds. I love the city for the hustle and bustle, seeing friends, and going out. But I love the countryside for walks with the dogs, calm, and going to a proper pub.
You’re married to the artist Jake Chapman. What role do you think having a partner can play in someone’s well-being?
A lot. I think any type of relationship – whether that be friendship, romance, or family – has an effect on well-being, and it can be both positive and negative. A partner can be energy-giving or energy-taking. Jake makes me laugh endlessly (super important), he’s incredibly supportive, and we make a good team, which is key, especially when you have kids.
What is the scariest thing you have ever done?
I rode in the Magnolia Cup flat race at Goodwood. It was exhilarating, but I was scared sh**less.
Do you have any tips on getting a good night’s sleep?
I think it’s all about establishing a routine and understanding what you do from the minute you open your eyes in the morning.
As a triathlete, do you have any tips for prehab – the exercises a sportsperson is recommended to do to prevent injury?
Maintaining strength training, as well as cardio to strengthen certain areas, such as calves and core. Also, doing yoga to lengthen out the muscles and avoid injury. Nutrition-wise, protein intake is obviously key, but so is supporting joint care with glucosamine and chondroitin to promote lubrication around the joints.
Who is your hero?
My mum is pretty amazing. She has had some tough times and always manages to smile.
What’s the biggest wellness misconception you’ve debunked on The Wellness Breakdown?
“The Wild West” of supplements. It’s a saturated market and even for me can be a total minefield. So it was important to talk this through, hopefully to educate those who have zero knowledge, and to discover more about the manufacturing of supplements. You really get what you pay for. Sadly, the supplements backed up in your cupboard from your supermarket are likely to be made from cheaply produced ingredients and have poor absorbability.
If you could choose one item from the current David Gandy Wellwear collection as a present to yourself, what would it be?
It would have to be the Ultimate Hoodie.
What’s next for you?
I’m launching my online clinic website in the coming months. It will allow anyone anywhere in the world to access me. It will feature recipes, blogs, lives, Q&As, and guided protocol/plans. Also, The Wellness Breakdown season 4 is coming, with some great guests.