HE has been a regular on our television screens, written nine best-selling books and won countless international design awards.
But TV star, author and landscape gardener Jamie Durie is best known and loved in Australia for inspiring many of us to get out into the garden.
The 46-year-old credits his own great health and career success to surrounding himself with nature on a daily basis.
“Having a healthy body and a healthy mind is paramount,” Durie said. “You have to make sure that exercise is a staple part of your day, otherwise you fall down, and nature is the answer.
“I work with nature and I like playing in it as well.
“I do a lot of surfing, kite surfing and offshore paddling. I love being around the water.”
Research backs up what Durie knows from experience.
Numerous studies have shown that getting outside improves mental health, concentration, memory and immune response.
But the benefits don’t stop at the front door.
Scientists from Exeter University found workers were 15 per cent more productive when plants were brought into the office.
And a study from the University of Norway showed indoor plants can reduce cold-related illnesses and symptoms by more than 30 per cent.
Durie is at the forefront of this new appreciation of nature and he is keen to help Aussies improve their health, wellness and quality of life by bringing the outside inside.
“Living Design, our latest book, is essentially all about bringing the outdoors into your home, which also brings about a sense of wellbeing,” he said.
While Durie enjoys getting out in the water and still hits the gym a couple of times a week, his focus is not on building muscle and strength but on improving his functional fitness with yoga.
“Yoga has been my go-to for the past 15 years,” he said.
“It embodies everything — balance, health, fitness, cardio, core strength — but it also includes a little bit of spirituality, which I quite enjoy; it grounds you.
“It gives me ultimate clarity. I can start my day after a yoga class and I know exactly what I want to do and I’m quite focused.”
Small and often
LIKE many of us as we age, Durie has had to recalibrate his food intake to adjust for a slowing metabolism.
“Back in the day I used to eat anything I could get my hands on, but as you get older you need to be more conscious about volume and eat smaller meals with more intervals to keep your metabolism rolling,” he said.
“Now I have small meals every 3 or 4 hours. I have a fairly big breakfast, a healthy lunch and a couple of little snacks in between. And I try to keep it light at night.”
After an intense yoga session, Durie likes to refuel with a small snack that packs a powerful nutritional punch.
Tuna sashimi on wholegrain crackers with a squeeze of lime and a hit of jalapeño chilli ticks all the boxes — wholegrain carbohydrate, lean protein, good fats and greens.
Durie also gets a bit of nature and some extra vitamins on his plate with a sprinkling of edible flowers.
“Something like this has everything you need, and even better, it’s designed beautifully!” he said.
Fast Five with Jamie