#57 Self-Mastery Through Mountaineering - with Gavin Lang

The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast

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THE PODCAST

"To me, why mountaineering is important is because there's a level of self mastery through mountaineering. Wilderness therapy is also a clinically proven therapy, and studies have shown that exercise in natural environments is much better for mental health. So it's much better for children to go out into the natural environment and play in the fields."

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SHOW NOTES

In Episode 57 of The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast, Natalie Douglas, Kate Callaghan, and their guest, Gavin Lang (Mountain Guide & Photographer) discuss why mountaineering is important for mental health and ways to attain self mastery through mountaineering.

  • What did you eat for breakfast
  • How Gavin got into what he is doing now
  • What is wilderness therapy, why it’s important, and how to incorporate it into every day life
  • What’s so special about going WAYYYY out into the wilderness for our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing
  • Gavin’s incredible course – Self Mastery Through Mountaineering
  • What a typical day looks like on a mountaineering tour
  • Super special offer for our listeners (only 4 spaces left!)

Gavin Lang
Mountain Guide & Photographer
https://firstlightguiding.com

 

Intro 0:00
Hello and welcome to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast, with your hosts Natalie K. Douglas, Thyroid Healer, and Kate Callaghan, The Holistic Nutritionist. Nat and Kate are degree-qualified dietitians and nutritionists, certified fitness instructors, speakers, and authors. If you love unfiltered banter, unedited bloopers, and authentic heart-sharing, then we are your ladies! Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and get ready for our latest tips on living your healthiest life possible.

Kate Callaghan
Hello, everyone and welcome back to another episode of The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast. Today it is just me, Kate. I’m without my gorgeous co-host Nat. And I am recording a very special interview with one of my good friends here in Wanaka, Gavin Lang. Hello, Gavin.

Gavin Lang
Hello there, Kate. How are you?

Kate Callaghan
I’m very well, how are you?

Gavin Lang
Good. Good. Excited about the podcast today.

Kate Callaghan
Yeah, thank you for joining us. It’s very exciting, we’re going to get into some a slightly different topic than usual and but I think it’s important as we often look at health and well-being and just improving our life in a very holistic way and I’m going to provide some valuable information for us today. So before we get started, I’m going to read out your bio, which to give the listeners a little bit more of an idea about who you are and what you do. And then you can tell us a bit more about that too. So, Gavin is a mountain guide with a passion for helping people achieve their mountaineering objectives. One important step at a time, Kevin has been guiding in the Southern Alps of New Zealand since 2004 and incorporates coaching and self-development skills into his programs to ensure maximum fulfillment. Gavin helps his clients achieve their very best potential physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, whilst adventuring in some of the wildest terrain on the planet. Through daily challenges and deep breaths, he facilitates growth not normally encountered on a standard mountaineering experience, ensuring you fully enjoy the process. Ultimately, you walk away with new skills and perspectives to help balance your life on and off the mountain. Pretty cool.

Gavin Lang
Yeah. Sounds good when you read it like that. I wonder who wrote that.

Kate Callaghan
While I was reading it like, oh, I need to do this. But honestly, the mountains freaked me out a little bit, but maybe I should spend some more time with you so they don’t freak me out.

Gavin Lang
Good. That’s where we live. These lessons brought at the edge of our comfort zone.

Kate Callaghan
This is true, this is true, and Nat and I have been thinking about this more. And I’ve been thinking it more about it more with my business partner without getting out of your comfort zone and pushing yourself to grow because you’re right. When we sit in that comfort zone, we don’t grow and we kind of stagnate. So, we do need to challenge ourselves and going through ourselves into some wilderness. We’re going to talk about wilderness and wilderness therapy today, which is very exciting but first what we asked all of our interviewees, everyone who comes on the podcast is a very important question. Are you ready? What did you, what did you eat for breakfast this morning?

Gavin Lang
Oh, a beautiful breakfast that I’ve been having now for the last couple of years. Small amount of rolled oats with five different nuts and seeds all ground up. So, almond, sunflower, pumpkin, chia, and Lindsay with a sprinkle of goji berries and sultanas, and some homemade almond milk and a banana. So, sets me up. I can, if I really need to, I can push right into the afternoon on that breakfast.

Kate Callaghan 3:57
And are you going to or have you had lunch now as well?

Gavin Lang 4:00
I had a lunch just so that I was all prim and proper and you know, cut my sugars right and didn’t have a dip in the middle of the podcast.

Kate Callaghan
Excellent, excellent. Alright, so let’s get a little bit more into what you do. So can you tell us about how you got into what you’re doing now, please?

Gavin Lang
Sure. Well, I considered 20 odd years ago, I considered getting into social work. But I chose music instead, I realized I hadn’t grown enough. And I was, I was only I think 19 at that time. I hadn’t grown enough, hadn’t seen enough of the world to go into social work. So, I got into music and music led me into the outdoors, started caving, then I discovered New Zealand, started climbing, started mountaineering. And about 15 years ago, I took up climbing and guiding in particular. So, the guiding pretty much straight away, I noticed that it was like a type of counseling. And it was much, as much about facilitating people’s journey to this summit, as it was about their own personal journey. So, I realized that the huge potential, and I started to explore that I was very much exploring who I was as well. And it was, yeah, that the huge potential that I saw in there to guide in a slightly different way to build trust with people because as a counselor, or pseudo psychologist you’re really trying to get the best out of your clients to get them to achieve the best that they could physically do. But it was through delving into the mental and spiritual aspects that you would get there. So, that’s where it all started.

Kate Callaghan
I can imagine taking people on this sort of quiet, would you call them extreme outdoor adventures? Were they are pushed so far out of their comfort zone, it kind of would make them crack open a bit, it would kind of cause some vulnerability, and openness in them.

Gavin Lang
Yeah. I don’t tend to think of it as extreme.

Kate Callaghan 6:20
That’s because you’re used to it.

Gavin Lang 6:21
Well, just because I’m used to it. I tend to think of the connection with nature as being the only extreme thing there that we often overlook. Sure, it’s completely different to what we’re used to. Most of the population of the planet live in cities nowadays. So, the idea of just going to a ski field is a big step in the, you know, into nature. But going into the mountain environment, it is actually going back to basics, it puts us in touch with all the elements, all the earth’s earth, water, air, and fire. We’ve got all of them and abundance, the sun shines down on us, it can be a very hot day and it really helps us to unlock who we are. It, I often say that half of my job is done just by going into the mountains and I find that people just start to flow, they start to open up. We’re very much equals in the mountains, there is no as longs as this great sort of mountain guide thing, and I’m just this new person to this environment. I go and I find out where they’re at. And I don’t try and make it uncomfortable for them but I bring them to the edge of their comfort zone. I start asking questions, I keep asking questions, I keep finding out who they are, what makes them tick, what holds them back, and they never hold back with the answers. Not to uncover all of that because of this environment. So, it’s the best clinic in the world. It’s, you know, sitting down and talking about your problems in a half an hour or an hour-long session. That’s great, but it’s quite limited. Going to the mountain environment and most of my trips are five to seven days. Some of them are three-weeks long, the overseas trips. During that time that the potential to uncover all these things and unlock, things that are holding people back is incredible. So, yes, you will sort of, all of the things that people fear are all leading up to the trip, usually when they show up in the mountains, things flow. So, it’s like, is it cold? Am I going to have to work around crevices and it really isn’t all that hard when you get out there. And you can buy jackets to keep you warm. So, you know, that’s what I mean by I don’t see it as all that extreme it. It can look extreme in Hollywood movies but that’s not actually real mountaineering. That’s Hollywood movies.

Kate Callaghan 9:04
You’re not gonna chop up someone’s arm? That’s not gonna happen.

Gavin Lang 9:09
No. I hope not. That’s it, that would be a slight. That would be a bad day.

Kate Callaghan
Good to know. Good to know. No, I was joking and I went there. Not gonna be any arms chopped off people. Gavin is very experienced. So, now you’ve just spoken about this, the power of getting out into the wild and what do you think it is about going out into these terrains that gets people opening up so?

Gavin Lang 9:39
Well, quick and loud, short answer is, the quickest way to change the state of mind is to change your environment. So first of all, if you just go outside, and I’ve done this with my four-year-old, many, many times, just take her outside and bring her attention to something in nature, and boom, it stops. Whatever thing is going on, it should and I use it myself at the computer all day, just go outside, get some grounding barefoot out in the grass, do some gardening, whatever it is. Nature just has this way of sorting itself. So, the wilderness therapy is a proven therapy. Clinical studies have shown that exercise in natural environments is actually much better for our mental health. So, it is much better for children as well to just go out into nature, play in the dirt. It’s one thing to have playgrounds, but they’re actually quite structured so that the next level is to go into the, into the natural environment playing the fields, playing the hay, play in that dirt pile that their, you know that just to build a new house, and you know, it’s becoming harder and harder to get that because we’re living in increasingly urbanized environments. So it is and has been proven to be really good for our mental health.

Kate Callaghan
I mean, we spend so much time on technology these days that it’s, it is really important to get out in nature. And what I’ve found is, you know, I went on the Milford walk with your wife, Jean, and I found the benefit of going that far out into the wilderness not rather than just outside, which is you know, as you said, it’s wonderful to just step outside and just get grounded and stand barefoot and experience the nature around you. But I’ve found that the advantage of going further afield, and kind of a bit more isolated has the advantage of being forced into disconnection but reconnection, if that makes sense. A disconnection from all of your social media and being contactable by the outside world and just having to reconnect with nature and yourself. Would you agree and can you expand on that, please?

Gavin Lang
Absolutely. Don’t you just feel like your heart rate drop and all the anxiety sort of just disappear. And there’s this feeling when you’re at home, if you’re, if you are marketing your business or marketing yourself, that it’s never enough, and there’s always something else you need to do, and it’s self-inflicted. But that keeps your sort of agitation levels up. And fight or flight syndrome, where your heart’s raised and your adrenaline’s up. It’s not, it’s not good for us. It’s not good for anybody. So multi, dipping your toes in a little bit of nature every day is great and that’s just to sort of maintain that connection. Whether you go and water the garden in the morning, I love to do a barefoot for as long as I can until it actually gets cold in winter. But doing multi-day trips it is really, really enlightening. It’s a great way to get an insight into what the potential is when you strip away, it’s like peeling the onion, and you see what’s left. And said, oh, I want to bring this back to town, I want to have this with me more often. I’ve been so head down, you know BOMA working hard. And there’s this constant agitation that comes from that. And if you just focused on this on this journey or this environment that you’re in, it really helps to relieve a lot of that stress. And like you say, it’s a disconnect to reconnect, disconnect from all that connectedness that we call modern-day connectedness, Wi-Fi or whatever it is. Disconnect from that. You actually reconnect with yourself, with nature, and the people who are in your immediate group, and it sounds like you guys had a great trip. Case in point.

Kate Callaghan
We did have a great trip. And I mean, it’s not ideal that we need to be forced into the position of actually not being able to use technology to switch off. And we should incorporate it into our daily activities really without having to have that forced disconnection. So, what would be your best tips for, let’s say someone’s living in a city? And what would you be your best tips for someone to incorporate this wilderness therapy on a daily basis to get these benefits? I mean, they might not get the same benefits as going on a multi-day trip but if they want to just start incorporating daily wilderness therapy, what would be your best tips?

Gavin Lang
A great question that the absolute minimum is, you know, keep it going. It doesn’t matter how small. So, you have connection with nature, you see it growing. So, even if you can’t get outside, if you were locked inside your house, you just kept the garden by the window, tiny little window box, whatever it is, grow something. Second thing is if you have access to a garden, and you actually have to cut the grass or anything like that, do a barefoot. If you can go for 10, 20, 30-minute walk and it just expands from there, you know you’re kind of limited in an indoor environment, sort of doing your gym work, all that kind of stuff is great for your physical body, but it’s not necessarily giving you the maximum return in your mental and spiritual, you know, the emotional, the whole, the whole holistic picture needs to be addressed and it’s much better, it’s proven to work better in nature. So, if you can exercise in nature, you’re 10 steps ahead of the rest. Well, most of the, you know what, 200 years ago, about 15% of the planet lived in inner new cities. So, in the urban environment now it’s 56% I believe the last time at all and that’s increasing. So, so many of my clients are actually starved for the nature experience, starved for that really, really rugged mountain environment. And, and they’re always asking the question, how do I get fit for mountaineering? And the first thing I say is well, go mountaineering but in lieu of that, are you a member of a gym? And they usually say yes, because they’re active people, and they want to expand into mountaineering. And I said, okay, have a look at this. I’ve written a long detailed article on how to get fit and stay fit for mountaineering. But remember, as much as possible of this, that you can do outside, take your weights buy few different weights, the Olympic weightlifting bar, just that and do it outside on the grass, and you’ll already be 10 steps ahead, you’ll get so much more from it. You’re embodying the whole experience in nature, rather than just inside a gym, a very structured gym. And that goes back to that, you know that the benefits for children, they’re much better when they’re given this sort of boundless environment, fields to play in, dirt to play in, river, all the very, very natural things as opposed to a structured playground. They, their imaginations just run wild and that’s good for children. So, therefore, it must be good for us.

Kate Callaghan
Absolutely, I think we can learn a lot about our health and how we should be living. If we just look at children, I mean, how they move as well, not just playing outside, but how they move their bodies. You know, crawling around and getting down into that deep squat. It’s so wonderful for our, for our bodies, and for our long-term health and mobility and we often forget about these things. And you spoke about in there about getting fit for mountaineering. If someone wanted to, okay, so we’re going to talk about your course a little bit later and your awesome outdoor adventure that’s coming up. If someone wanted to get fit to go on mountaineering with you on one of these epic adventures, how long would it take and what kind of what would that kind of look like?

Gavin Lang
Oh, how long is a piece of string?

Kate Callaghan
Okay, let’s say if you have someone who is quite sedentary. So, sits in an office all day, and like of the gym a few times a week.

Gavin Lang
First of all, just to put your mind at ease, you don’t have to be fit, whatever that means. You don’t actually have to be fit to come on something like this on a standard mountaineering trip, or by that special course self-mastery through mountaineering course. You don’t have to be fit, particularly for that self-mastery course, the idea is that you can get into the mountains and you’re able to walk around, that’s it. You don’t have to carry a 20-kilo pack, we’re actually flying by helicopter. And you’re going to walk around in some potentially new materials like crampons, the spikes that you put on your feet to walk on the snow or the ice. And that’s the introduction. Once you can do that, you can do everything else. So, fitness isn’t a big part of that, on the one-to-one trips that I run, that’s just me and my client. I work at whatever their level is. And if they don’t know what that is, we’ll go in and we’ll find out, and then just work with that. So, there is no onus that you are super fit, whatever that means, what’s fit and what super fit, who knows? Whatever you have is what we will work with. And particularly on the self-mastery course, it’s not about summit big at technical mountains, it’s about getting to the summit of your own success, your own breakthroughs, your own personal development, your own self-awareness. So, fitness isn’t a big part but that question comes up, and I like to be able to answer it, the more you do, the easier it will be, the more sort of the flow will happen. And the less you’ll feel like you’re sweating, potentially, you know, another real question that people have is, am I going to be the slowest in the group, if it is a group trip? And, you know, my biggest concern is that everyone gets along because it doesn’t matter what speed you can go. It’s not about speed. It’s about stepping outside, going on a journey, and uncovering whatever comes up. So fitness, there are lots of different techniques and I’m not going to be specific about how to get fit. I’ve written about that. You can check it out on my website. Specific fitness, that’s all dealt with. It’s about sort of the attitude that you bring, a willingness to learn, being open to growing, and just being ready to stand at the edge of your comfort zone. You know, you’ll be pushed, but not in the ways that you think. It’s not going to be about physical fitness, it’s going to be about other stuff.

Kate Callaghan 21:18
I think, yeah. And going back to Milford, I mean, I think I have that fear of not having a fitness and I found that challenging. But I also found that there were times when I kind of dropped back from the other girls and just had that time in solitude, which I am really wonderful for personal growth and again, reconnecting with myself and with nature. Do you find that as well?

Gavin Lang
Yeah, yeah. So, in every sense, when you feel the resistance to not wanting to be the last, there is a chance to grow. So, there’s a chance to learn something. And if you, and if you do what you did. I’m going to embrace this. Actually want to be alone for a moment, how often do I get to be alone in nature. It’s a little bit different than the mountain environment, because we will always be roped up when we roped together on a glacier to travel around in safe glace you travel mode. So, you can’t quite slip away or hide at the back, we’ll all move at the same speed but I totally agree using any moment any minor irritation, it is a chance to just stop and just observe it to see what, what’s at the bottom of it? Where does that irritation come from? Where’s the frustration lie? And just delving into that to try and uncover it. So, there’s a chance, there’s a missed opportunity if you don’t.

Kate Callaghan
And that’s such a good lesson that people can all learn out there and then take back into their daily lives of.

Gavin Lang
Yeah.

Kate Callaghan
Just connecting to what they’re feeling and going, okay, why am I feeling this and moving through it. So, it sounds like there’s a lot of lessons that they can learn out in the wilderness that they can then apply to their everyday life.

Gavin Lang
Absolutely. And that’s really the heart of what I’m trying to do. It’s the first level that I got to, I realized I was creating attics, which is not good. So, I gave them a great experience, and I gave them great insights, and I gave them great tools but what I found was that they would, they would say things like, I can’t wait for our next trip and they would spend the other 50 weeks of the year looking forward to this trip and so the craving would build. And I realized that that was a bad thing. So, what I’m trying to achieve is that people go back to have some realizations, major realizations. And then we use various different skills, tools, techniques, to take them back to town to apply to a mundane life. What you’re doing for the other 50 weeks of the year, and unless you can come on multiple trips a year. But using those techniques in the rest of their lives to make sure that they’re still observing and they’re still not reacting when there’s something unwanted or wanted happening. Because let’s face it, you know, the wanted stuff is also the craving. I want to go on the next trip and we create this craving. We keep reliving oh, that feeling of bliss when I was on that mountaineering trip. I just want to get back there but everyone can be better on the top of the mountain, as the saying goes. That’s easy. The single-minded focus that you have when you do go into really hard environments and do technical mountaineering. It’s easy to be meditative, and in touch with nature, and really feeling like there’s a flow state going on. But what if we could take that back to town, because if we don’t, then we just sort of become slaves to the idea that, well, I’m looking forward to the next holiday, the mountain holiday or whatever it is, we’re going back to, and the craving, and all that will just make us miserable.

Kate Callaghan
Yeah.

Gavin Lang
So, that’s the next level. That’s really what we’re doing on this self-mastery for mountaineering course. Getting to that higher level of awareness and observation.

Kate Callaghan
So, you’ve mentioned this course a few times. I think we should really chat a bit more about it because it’s coming up in a couple of months, a month and a half I think.

Gavin Lang
Yeah.

Kate Callaghan
I just check on the date, actually is. So, it’s coming up very soon. So, can you tell us a little bit more about it? And, and why create it and what someone would expect on a typical day?

Gavin Lang
Sure. Well, it’s a, it’s a 5-day immersive course. We fly in and out of the mountains by a helicopter and we get straight into one of the best mountain hearts in New Zealand, for our intensive course and self-development. We teach you self-development strategies to strengthen the mind, the body, and the spirit, and we use mountaineering as the vehicle. So, it is incredible to know that that vehicle is so powerful, it’s much better than any clinic. It’s the perfect environment to face your fears in without fear of judgment. And for you to grow, grow under pressure. In fact, you know, you’ll be faced with some challenges. So, you’ve grown under pressure, you’ll learn how to communicate in a language that serves you better. And yeah, this course isn’t like anything available for adults. There’s lots of different courses available for kids, for school kids, teenagers, that kind of thing, outward bound, wilderness adventure therapy type things, but there’s nothing for adults. And no other course on the planet as far as I’m aware combines this kind of therapy with mountaineering. So it’s, it’s a whole lot of stuff wrapped up in an incredible environment. And, as I’ve said before, half of my work is done when we just arrived in the mountains. We just arrive in there, people start to flow, they start to talk, they start to open up. It’s just an incredible environment for that to happen. So, to take this to the next level, because part of well, a big part of what I do is obviously look after people in the mountains. I’ve enlisted another facilitator, so I co-facilitate this course, the self-mastery from mountaineering course with Chris Knight, and this year will actually have Chris Knight and his wife, Jodie, who are dear friends from Brisbane. They are incredible people, incredible teachers, mentors, coaches, they’ve developed Emotional Anatomy, the course, which you may or may not have heard of. They co-founded Soul Space in Brisbane. And both Jin, my wife, and I have done their courses. And we’re about to do the next level course, in later this year. So, they are both coming on the course this year. Normally it is just one of them facilitator, but we found a way to have both of them on it. It was through a request from them. Look, we both want to do this, we’ve been on the journey with you guys together and we both want to be there. So, there’s an added bonus in there that Jodie is coming to. And I feel that’s really important. I haven’t, I haven’t found a female facilitator who yet until well, until now, who can work with me to give that balance of a male and female to what is usually a fairly even split of male and female on my course. And to answer your question about what we do on a normal day, we usually get up at 6:30. And we did about five minutes, you know, do your ablutions, come back, we’ll have a morning meditation. The morning is generally silent and we have a meditation, then we move into morning share. So, what things are coming up, and it’s limited in time so that we don’t doesn’t go on for hours. As you know, each person gets six minutes. And it usually starts off fairly basic. But by the end of the course, it’s fairly profound the things that people that that are coming up for people. Digging deeper into the psyche and then that comes up and the conversation is becoming much more, it’s just operating a much higher frequency. So, we have morning meditation, morning share, we have breakfast, and then we head out. It could be out for two or three hours, it could be out for five, six, or even seven hours. We’ll go on a journey, we’re trying to achieve something physical, but the ultimate goal with to just test a few different things. Will get different people out in front at different times making decisions. And, and that brings a lot of stuff up for people. The physical journey doesn’t mean that any of this development stops quite the opposite will stop, we use teachable moments. And will be either standing or sitting around outside or on the top of something and discussing various different things that have come up. The day usually winds down with dinner around 6:30. And then we have usually a two to three-hour session in the evening, before we head into another evening meditation and you know lights out 10:30 or quarter to 11. So, it’s a fairly. It’s a fairly full-on day. Physically, mentally, spiritually, the whole lot at all. All buttons get pushed and it’s only the first and last day that are slightly different. We’ve got to access the mountain on the first day, we meet here in Wanaka on that first day and drive to Mt. Cook, fly into the mountains by helicopter. And on the last day, we do the reverse and one final debriefing. There’s usually a long debrief on the drive back to Wanaka and then we have one short debrief here before we finish up on day five. So, it’s all go.

Kate Callaghan
Wow.

Gavin Lang
Sleep really well. And, and they have pretty vivid dreams. It’s incredible what comes up.

Kate Callaghan
And with the, so you spoke about people having pretty awesome experiences and different things coming up. Have you had people share incredible breakthroughs or aha moments that you would be happy to share or have you yourself had an incredible experiences like that, that you would be happy to share with us?

Gavin Lang
Just didn’t, in general what I found from clients, I had a look back over some video of testimonials, which I haven’t put up on my side it’s a little bit of a well, that’s something I need to address. But all of them said something along the lines of exploring their vulnerabilities was the biggest thing. They had a chance to investigate what’s holding them back and gain new tools to move forward. That was the essence of it. So, without being specific about what happened to them. For me personally, I’ve had tears at the start and at the end of the courses, because it just reminds me how immensely powerful it is. It feels exactly. I feel like I’m in exactly the right place. I’m supposed to be there, I’m serving at my highest purpose. And nature, adventure, and healing all work really well together. You know, the clinical approach to physical and mental health and well-being is kind of limited but emotion and in nature and just detaching from all the clutter and reconnecting with the elements is so much more powerful. It’s an incredible natural clinic space, the mountains. So, this approach is boundless and I’ve found that on every trip, not just this self-mastery course but on every trip. It’s just boundless, the potential is incredible.

Kate Callaghan
And more and more this is what we need. We need to go at the other end of that. Just get off our technology. I say because I’m on technology talking to you. Very grateful, very grateful for technology but at the same time, I’m becoming more aware of my need to disconnect on a regular basis for that physical, mental, emotional, spiritual health because if we just stay constantly connected, not only is it finding its negative in my health, but I think you’re missing out on that true connection to others. And I mean going on a 5-day course with. So, how many people are on this will be 10 in total, including the guides?

Gavin Lang
10 in total, including the guides and the facilitators. So, normally have six clients, seven clients so and but this time around, we have six clients. So, we have a few spaces left for the course four to eight people. Yeah, so six clients total. So it’s a small group, where we’re going to a hut that you can’t book, because 35 bunks in there, and there’s four different rooms. So, if there are other groups in there, we actually still have our own personal space, private space that we can work away. Last year, there was no one in there. April is not high season for mountaineering, for climbing Mt. Cook, for climbing, Mount Aspiring, or any of those mountains, it says sort of tapering off very quickly into April. So, it’s a great time to go and have the space to do what we want to do and do it uninterrupted.

Kate Callaghan
Awesome. And now also, I was looking at your food. The food that you supply. You supply or tell us about your food that you supply.

Gavin Lang
Well, it’s all organic. So, about six or seven years ago, Jin and I decided we’d see. You know that sort of a or a false assumption that it’s really expensive. But we decided we go completely organic. I’m one of the motivators for starting my organic company was because, well, I wanted to take that organic food into the mountains as well. And I couldn’t do that working for someone else. So, the food is sometimes homegrown, home-baked. And it is as natural as we can get it, as close to the original state that it was. Stay away from preservatives. Just get the pure ingredients. So, we’ve got access to Sarah’s organic, Shanteau organics, right through to teas, all organic teas, everything. My breakfast was completely organic. So, I feel better for it.

Kate Callaghan
Yeah. So, even that people might not be used to eating 100% organic, so they’re going to get that.

Gavin Lang
Yeah.

Kate Callaghan
That change in nutrition as well over those five days, which is going to be so powerful and not, I mean, you go to the outdoor stores or even to the supermarket and you try and prepare for these hiking adventures. And most of the food that you can get on the shelf is freeze, dried, and has a lot of preservatives, or you know, brands of vegetable oils. So, that’s awesome that you’re doing like a real food approach.

Gavin Lang
Yep. Coconut oil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, everything’s organic.

Kate Callaghan
Very cool.

Gavin Lang
And on that note, whenever, for the last few years have been dehydrating meals, because weight on the walking work out trips. And weight is obviously really important. And recently, I found an incredible company called Radix who are only available online at this stage. And they’re a far cry from they shall remain nameless, but they’ve got a lot of preservatives, the other company and a lot of salt, sodium, and things just to make it like salty and preserve it. So, these guys Radix Nutrition are using some organic material, but it’s all gluten-free, dairy-free, just off the bat. So, there’s no questions need to be asked about that. They don’t produce any of that stuff in the facility. And so it’s rented by dehydrator, unemployed now, which is great. It was quite time-consuming.

Kate Callaghan
Yes, yes. That’s awesome. Incredible. So, can you tell us a little bit more about the finer details? Now you mentioned it’s the fourth to the eighth of April, which is in about seven weeks?

Gavin Lang
Yeah.

Kate Callaghan
It goes for five days and how many spots do you have left?

Gavin Lang
I have. How many ever got left? I have four. Four spaces left.

Kate Callaghan
Four spaces left. Okay, can you tell us a little bit more about how much it costs. And I think you said you put a special offer for our listeners.

Gavin Lang
I do indeed. So, the total cost is $14,990. And normally, there’s a paid deposit and then the balance but because within 90 days, they would need to pay the full amount. And the full amount is we sweeten the deal through this podcast. So your listeners, if they mentioned, this podcast will get a $2,000 discount. So, it makes it 12,990 New Zealand dollars.

Kate Callaghan
Thank you.

Gavin Lang
I know a lot of you, I know a lot of your clients are listening in from Australia, so there’s obviously a saving in there as well with the Australian dollar that’s about 8% or something like that at the moment. It’s more pricey than my other trips because we have other facilitators. And very importantly, it includes helicopters in both ways. So, on every other trip helicopters are not included and the value of that is almost $2,000 in itself. So, I have been asked to make a one price, no extras, no extra charges. Everything is included in that. Everything x Wanaka, transport, helicopters, food, accommodation, everything. It’s all in there.

Kate Callaghan
Incredible. And so, if people want to find more out about this, how should they do that and when should they do that? I’m guessing stepped right away but how and where?

Gavin Lang
You can make contact with me via FirstLightGuiding.com. The website has a contact page or send me an email info at FirstLightGuiding.com. You’ll see on the homepage there that self-mastery for mountaineering course is right up there in the middle of the front from the homepage, click on that, read through the itinerary. Any questions? We can deal with them by email, or I’m happy to call anybody. So, we can schedule an appointment and talk it through. People have a lot of questions usually about this kind of course, a lot of them are answered. Not only is the information on that, on that page, answering a lot of those but down at the bottom of the page we’ve got videos, we’ve got the expedition itinerary, or the questions about the itinerary that have been asked by other people are already answered in there. So, read those. I know that the personal chat on the phone is really important but to read those first, I’m happy to talk to anybody that would like to discuss it. Just to figure out if it’s for you, answer any questions, any fears. There’s no silly questions, of course, what kind of sleeping bag do I need? All of that can be answered. And I’d love to, you know, have your kind of people on this course because I know that they’re quite connected. They’re interested in being better people. And that’s ultimately what this is all about. Asking yourself question, do I want to be a better person? You know, if you’re asking that question, boom, we’re already there. We are facilitators for that change and we’d love to have you on the course.

Kate Callaghan
Wonderful. I wish I can go but I think I’m going to be in Auckland at that time. Next year.

Gavin Lang
Excuse.

Kate Callaghan
Next year.

Gavin Lang
Next year. Fantastic.

Kate Callaghan
So, they can go to at FirstLightGuiding.com and find all the details there. Awesome. Incredible. Anything else you want to share with us before I let you go, any departing tips?

Gavin Lang
Well, one book I’ve reread recently is a great book by Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods, and he coined the phrase Nature-Deficit Disorder.

Kate Callaghan
Oh.

Gavin Lang
Check that out.

Kate Callaghan
What’s the book called? Sorry.

Gavin Lang
Last Child in the Woods.

Kate Callaghan
Last Child in the Woods.

Gavin Lang
Essentially, if we don’t introduce our children to nature, they’ll have no reason to protect it. And our children become adults one day. So we need to, we need to start at the right, you know, in the right way. Give them a good basis for wanting to go back into nature and obviously to protect it.

Kate Callaghan
It’s so important. That’s one thing that breaks my heart these days is how our nature is just not going to be the same for our kids that.

Gavin Lang
Yeah.

Kate Callaghan
Yeah, we can do all we, all we can, really. So, it’s so important. I’m gonna check that book out for sure. All right. Well, thank you so much for joining us, Gavin. I’m really excited about this course. And I will put this out to our listeners and hopefully some of them getting touched because it sounds really incredibly valuable. And yeah, so thank you. Thanks for joining us, and I will be seeing you around very shortly.

Gavin Lang
You will indeed. Thank you. See you soon.

Kate Callaghan
All right. Take care Gavin.

Gavin Lang
Bye.

Outro 44:01
Thanks for tuning in to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast. Remember, we love to make the show relevant to you. If you have any questions or topics you’d like us to discuss, just submit them to [email protected] and we’ll get them answered for you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast on iTunes and share it with your friend. And if you’re looking for more info about how we can accelerate your journey to your optimal health, you can find me, Nat, over at NatalieKDouglas.com and Kate at TheHolisticNutritionist.com. See you next time!

OUR MISSION

The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast - with Natalie K. Douglas and Kate Callaghan

Welcome to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast!

If a professional, polished, well-edited podcast is what you’re after…then we’re not for you!

But if you love unfiltered banter, unedited bloopers and authentic heart sharing then we are your ladies.

We also have the most practical tips on holistic and alternative health care too 😉

Have a question that you want answered on the podcast or want to be interviewed? Get in touch!

YOUR HOSTS

Natalie K. Douglas | Thyroid Healer

Natalie K. Douglas | Thyroid Healer

Natalie K. Douglas ("Nat") is a Holistic Dietitian and Nutritionist dedicated to Thyroid, gut and hormone healing.

Nat shows stressed, burnt out, overwhelmed women how to value their worth again, change their mindset habits, prioritize healing, and reclaim their vitality. Guaranteed.

Her clients say she’s the right girl to see if you’ve tried the conventional approach and nothing has worked.

Kate Callaghan | The Holistic Nutritionist

Kate Callaghan | The Holistic Nutritionist

Kate Callaghan is a Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and Lifestyle Coach who specializes in women's hormone healing.

She recognizes that there is no “one size fits all” diet or “magic bullet” which is going to cure all illnesses.

She focuses on having a thorough understanding of your personal goals, needs, likes/dislikes, support networks and lifestyle in order to create a food and lifestyle approach that suits YOU.

OUR GUEST

Gavin Lang | Mountain Guide & Photographer

Gavin Lang | Mountain Guide & Photographer

ABOUT GAVIN

I’m a photographer and professional mountain guide based in New Zealand.

Photography allows me to turn a lifelong passion into a business. I’ve worked with publications such as The Climber magazine and Wilderness magazine.

When I’m not on ice or snow I can be found occasionally clinging to the warmer rock of Australia. I love to capture the best light when the tones are mellow, fresh and warm and the day is young.

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