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An Interview with the Inspirational Hament Chavda from Nature's Harvest

When I grew up I was besotted with Paul Weller and The Jam. Paul broke up The Jam to form The Style Council and I was a big fan of them too.

They released an album called Our Favourite Shop.

I loved the cover of the vinyl 12” disc. It featured Paul and his co-musician, Mick Talbot, standing in an imaginary shop, full of things to lust over.

In those days I loved all things ‘sixties, as did Paul. The shop was full of ‘sixties icons, a ‘Beatle’ jacket, a Rickenbacker guitar, old Tamla Motown records, books and film memorabilia and I so wanted to browse this imaginary shop.

Well, life has moved on and I’m in now another chapter but I’ve found myself a new favourite shop.

It has an old fashioned charm and it’s called Nature’s Harvest.

This one is full of great, wholesome real food, eco skin care and household cleaning products and essential oils and everything the wholefood organic fan could possibly want. You walk in and several hours later you walk out and you feel like you still haven’t had time to browse properly.

It has an old fashioned charm and it’s called Nature’s Harvest.

Nature’s Harvest is in Cottesloe, Perth and is owned and run by Hament Chavda and his wife, Sonal.

Sonal looks after food in the store, which is amazing and really plentiful. 

Hament helps in the store too but also has other strings to his bow.

We went to meet Hament at the store and he told us his story. We were transfixed and sat with him for two hours, taking in his story and basking in the tales he told us.

He completely hypnotized us with his enthusiasm and he engaged our son Callum with a story about his impending new school year.

Callum was a bit worried about a certain teacher whose reputation went before them. Hament said, “Imagine I am your teacher. I’m going to ask you to do ten push-ups. But when you get to 8, I’m going to tell you to stop and I’ll do the last two for you. Now, imagine I’m another teacher. I’m going to ask you to do ten push-ups. I‘m going to let you do them all but at the end, I’m going to ask you to do two more. Callum, who is the best teacher?”

This little story resonated with us and Callum couldn’t stop talking about our conversation with Hament all the way home.

He’s then gone on to embrace this teacher, learnt not to prejudge people based on rumour and is thoroughly enjoying school.

We think Hament is fascinating and hope you do too…

Paleonutter - Hament, thanks for seeing us today. Tell us a bit about where you grew up? Guys, I grew up in Zambia. I loved playing outdoors chasing grasshoppers and discovering kittens in a box, climbing the mango tree and eating fresh mangoes! Oh yes and there was the papaya tree, the hollow branch we used to dip into soapy liquid and blow bubbles!

Paleonutter - Who was a major influence on you growing up?

We all lived together; uncles, aunts, and grandmother. My mum used to come into our room at night and tell us value-laden stories about what’s right and wrong. I loved hanging with my grandmother. There was a lot of love.

Paleonutter - I understand you became a pharmacist and that was your first career? Why did you give all that up? It seems like a brave decision.

Growing up, my parents encouraged me to go to University and get an education. My father attended school for about four years and then in 1956, at the age of 13, he started work carrying rolls of material, about one metre in length weighing over 40kg, on a bicycle to show local women who would buy from their homes. My mother also regretted not studying.

I went on to study pharmacy with the intention to help people. I purchased my first business at the age of 26 and quickly expanded with a partner. I was immersed in an environment where more and more people were getting sick and more and more medications were being prescribed. These were real people treated like numbers someone’s, granddad, mum, aunt, uncle brother sister…after my daughter was born, I noticed even more the increase in the number of antidepressant prescriptions being prescribed for young teenagers. The number of people taken off medications for lifestyle related diseases was zero. It was and is a sickness management system, no one really believes conditions like diabetes and heart disease are reversible.

In 2013 my mum came up to me, looked me in the eyes and said, ‘I have breast cancer!’

It was just a few years before that she had asked me,if the medication she was taking was safe? So I read to her the advice provided by the drug company – that the benefits outweigh the risks!

In that moment, there was a deeper level of realisation of the consequences of my actions. (The World Women Study later concluded and confirmed without doubt the increased risk of cancer with hormone replacement therapy.) I love my mother. This was the turning point in our lives, for I now held the nail to a potential coffin!!

Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”

Medication has a place, however the system is way out of balance; I refer to it as ‘painting over rust!’ I choose to practice Wellness. It’s not expensive, it’s not complicated. It’s simple. Eat even more clean, unrefined, unprocessed wholefoods in their natural form. Think clean, feed your mind with empowering thoughts and questions and laugh more! Do you remember a time when you laughed? Live an active lifestyle, move that body and have fun.

What do you mean when you’ve been quoted as saying, “When we step beyond our comfort zone we create the opportunity to unleash our greatest growth?”

It’s easier to stay where we are because it brings us certainty or comfort in knowing that this is safe; I've been here before and I know what to do. It's like watching the same movie and you know the ending!

In my own life I was unfulfilled for many years but I was too comfortable with the status quo, earning 'good' money, working 6 hours a week, going to the gym and travelling. I was too comfortable to speak to my parents about our decision to move to Australia, too comfortable to chose to bring out my courage to have the conversation with my business partner to sell my share in the pharmacy. There are five constipating enemies we uncover at our Mind Body Workshop and number #2 is F.E.A.R. I remained in my comfort zone because of the fear or uncertainty of moving forward. I was fearful of making the changes. What if things don’t go well? Will this be the right decision?

However, there was a point where I made a decision to raise my standards and chose to step up and start believing in what’s possible.

‘There's a battle between the heart and mind.’

Every day we have an opportunity to step outside our comfort zone. It's a decision to invest energy for an even better return in the future. The experience itself and who we become in the pursuit of our goals becomes our greatest asset.

It's uncomfortable to say I'm sorry then to try and prove who's right.

Its uncomfortable to wake up 30 minutes early, to say no to junk and put something nourishing into our bodies, to save the extra hundred dollars a week and invest for an even better future than to book the holiday, to shift from our old habits and embrace the new.

Stepping outside our comfort zone is doing the right thing, it's a standard, above the line, through action and the unspoken language reflects good for me, good for others good for the greater good. It's not easy. It may not be 100% of the time; it's striving to live at a higher level of consciousness.

'Personal development is the consistent rehearsal of who want to become for the rest of your life’ Joseph McClendon

There are times in our lives when our heart knows that if l carry on doing what I'm doing I can anticipate the future.

‘Time stands still for those that dwell in doubt.’

We understand you and your family migrated to Australia from the UK. How has that move changed the way your family live?

I remember being at the airport. My family was crying and emotions were high in that moment you wonder if you've made the right decision? The seed of doubt is the weed no one chooses to plant yet can hold you down in your tracks. This is when we must look with in and plant the seed of courage, pull out the weed of doubt from its roots and re'mind' our selves why we chose to climb out of our comfort zone in the first place. It takes energy to step beyond our comfort zone and experience something new, learn from our results and action even better decisions.

“ Every decision holds a seed”

Studies show that environment shifts potential. We love the ocean, the beaches, the people, and the places.

After a few weeks living in Australia, I noticed how my daughter came up to me and was dancing ballet whist talking to me! I had never seen that before. We used to have a television set in every room in England. We changed our environment by choosing not to have a television set and noticed how that change in environment had an impact on our family. We would play hide and seek instead or engage in deeper face-to-face conversations instead of staring at a screen! We started to create and watch our own movie.

We are so grateful to wake up every morning, walk outdoors in the sunshine, swim in the ocean, meditate, visualise and choose to be in a great state. We received out citizenship in 2014 and are proud to be Australian.

Hament, the shop, Nature’s Harvest, is beautiful. It is a bit of old world charm in a modern setting with old fashioned service and wonderful products. How did the shop come about?

When we arrived in Australia I went back to what I knew and started working in a pharmacy again. Within three months I was offered a partnership in a number of stores, though I was happy I knew the path, I had already been there. It was comfortable, it was secure, it was safe.

I asked myself a powerful question; if I choose to live the life of my dreams what would I love to do?

This is when the calibration between the heart and the mind sets in!

‘It is in the moments of decision that our destiny is shaped.’ Anthony Robbins

When I asked the question the first answer that came to me was that I would love to form a coaching company! There was a part of me that knew this is the path I would love to follow however my head started to come up with these long list of reasons not to follow my heart!

Number #1 of the five constipating enemies is Limiting Beliefs. Who told me that? From dreaming as a child, how did I stop believing in my dreams?

Someday never comes until the moment we take our power back and commit to create an even better future. I can do this; I believe I can do this. It's a conversation from within, a feeling of certainty and confidence from inside out. Even when we listen to all the people on the outside, in the end, it's the decision I made, the actions I CHOOSE to take that creates my destiny.

We made the decision to pursue our dreams in Australia and I realised how easy it is to arrive at your destination and then go back into your comfort zone and do the same thing!

Coach 26 was born in 2011, the great thing was that the pharmacy group I was working for had a different level of standards and really cared about their customers. Their measure of success was not reflected by the number of prescriptions but how many clients chose to reduce their medications though better lifestyle choices.

The pharmacy group became my first client! Over the first year we created ‘Reverse Diabetes Workshops’, we had around 4 people through the program who had their medication stopped by their doctors! Yes, they made less money if someone stops their medication but it’s doing the right thing. That group is Pharmacy 777. I have a lot of respect for an organisation that has the courage to step outside their comfort zone and do the right thing!

Fast-forward to 2013, my wife was catering for our workshops and events, which then lead to her looking for a commercial kitchen.

In 2010 just after we arrived I remember walking into Natures Harvest and saying to myself if this business was ever for sale I would love to buy it. Ha! Be careful what you asked for!

Paleonutter - What is the philosophy with the food in the store?

When we took over the store we threw out 20% of the products! There are two streams of products that try coming into our store. One stream of products are from people who start with the idea, ‘How can I make lots of money from the health industry?’ They create fancy packaging, clever marketing material and ‘sell’ people health! The other stream, that we love, is a natural flow from someone who’s passionate, loves what they do and really wants to make a difference. Local products like Conscious Craves Krazy Kale chips, Kommunity Brew Kombucha and Aromabals hand made soap balls. We love Divine by Therese Kerr and Healthy Chef by Teresa Cutter, products made with passion and love! We only choose the products we would use ourselves and happily share with our children and family.

Natures Harvest has been around since 1981 as an Essential Supplier. We closed the store for 5 weeks in late 2014 and completely transformed the modal from a health food store to a health destination. We deliver nutrient dense whole food plant based nutrition in our salads, hot foods, sweets, juice bar and offer organic Fair Trade coffee and caffeine free alternatives like our signature Turmeric Latte Mix. We offer workshops to empower people; we have an amazing massage therapist, Miyuki.

Kaye, one our Naturopath’s is passionate about herbs and Taylor loves food so much she’s one of our chefs and a nutritionist. Ann Charlotte is the ray of sunshine that greets you when you enter the store and Gabrielle will remember your name and look after you and takes care of the T.E.A.M. she’s an awesome Barista too! we have some amazing people in our Kitchen Diane, who’s just starting doing what she loves acupuncture, Kali, Vanessa, Candice making all our food with love. We have over 30 people in our T.E.A.M. and I could say amazing things about every one of them. It’s what inside that counts. Every T.E.A.M. member makes a difference! We love our T.E.A.M.

Our mission is to bring out the magnificence in people and our vision is to positively inspire over 20 million people by 2020. We utilise the ‘Conscious Samurai’, a holistic puzzle, which was created to communicate something Masters have taught over centuries. It explains some of the foundational pillars that have stood the test of time. The puzzle representing life has 5 sections representing body – heart – spirit – mind – flow. In our programs, events and coaching sessions we unlock these foundation areas to ensure the best possible outcome.

Paleonutter - You are a ‘Transformation Coach’. I’d love to know more about that...

Transformation is choosing to be leader in any area of your life. Leadership is about setting a higher standard for you then anyone else expects and committing to live at that standard. A higher standard for your finances. A higher standard in your relationship. A higher standard in your health. A higher standard in your business. An even better mum or dad!

The process is simple. You know where you are. You know the standard you wish to play life at. Transformation Coaching creates the space for you to do that quicker and faster.

There is an ingredient clients must come with. That’s the hunger for change. We only take on clients who are 100% committed to take action through taking the steps outside of their comfort zone and choose to live at that standard. When you BE that person who lives at the higher standard. You BE – COME that person. When you set a higher standard you believe that you are that person. I absolutely love coaching clients who are committed and holding them accountable through this process of transformation.

“ Be the change you wish to see in the world” Gandhi

When you be. It comes to you.

It’s a reflection on our ability to tap into the unlimited potential that stems within every single one of us. The ability to Live the life of our dreams to make even better choices to bring out the part of us that's good for us, good for others, good for the greater good.

There are coaches who get certified from attending a course and there are coaches who lead by example.

We love supporting people even more through our events and workshops such as our Mind Body Workshop on 21st May 2016 at the Perth convention Centre.

You are the only certified Fire Walking Instructor in Western Australia. I’ve seen this on television before and find it amazing. Can anyone do it with the right training and mindset?

Fire is the elements of transformation. It is a metaphor for destroying the old and creating the new. Fire walking has been around for thousands of years; it’s a powerful metaphor. It’s important to ensure its done safely and under the guidance of a trainer instructor. 

We take participants through a process of discovering how to gain energy, detoxify, lose weight and balance your hormones so that you feel amazing everyday. We identify the five constipating enemies holding your health and vitality back in life. When we step in front of the fire we take on our ‘perceived enemies’ to realise on the other side, what if my greatest enemy was myself?

See Bendy and Mel anyone can fire walk, however the experience and meaning is completely different based on the purpose and intention of walking. 

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