Naturopath and business owner Bita Doagoo on balance in life, at work and at meals
“Being able to identify my greatest weaknesses is my greatest strength,” says Bita Doagoo. “It was very hard for me to learn how to delegate. But I was able to create collaboration and a team around me, and that meant I was able to harmonize what it was that I needed and what it was that I could give.” Bita, a naturopathic doctor and co-owner of natural beauty stores with three locations in Toronto, three in California and one in New York, reflects that that lesson, combined with learning to let go of perfectionism, has been profound.
“When you become myopically focussed on trying to achieve that perfection, you miss the bigger picture. When I took that pressure of perfection off myself, and really came from a place of passion, it really inspired me to do great work. That’s when you have the drive and the excitement and the ambition to achieve your best,” she says. “I think when work is done from the heart, the passion shows and you are able to achieve that.”
Great company and good conversation is one of the ways that Bita nurtures her passion for her work and her day-to-day life. “There’s something so special about being able to connect with someone. Your physiology changes, the dialogue in your head changes. What it comes down to is an exchange of energies. Connection gives you motivation and inspiration, you learn new things and I think that it just gives you a new lens to see the world through.
Another way to explore her world is to walk between some of Toronto’s neighbourhoods. A favourite route starts out in Queen West (the Shangri-La hotel is a chic meeting spot) and heads south to visit The Power Plant, a vibrant contemporary public art gallery, followed by a stroll along the waterfront and looping back north to the shops and restaurants of King West and Queen West again.
Closer to home in her Annex neighbourhood, she and her family regularly visit restaurants with a firm focus on seasonal menus and sustainably sourced and organic food. Two she loves are Brothers (“Very small, a very much farm-to-table menu, top quality oils, excellent fish and pasta and a different wine selection from small vineyards”) and Actinolite (“It is such an authentic and truly special experience to dine there. They have their own restaurant garden, and I’ve even had fresh-pressed magnolia oil on spring vegetables”). Deliciousness and wellness go hand-in-hand, she says. “I try to choose local and sustainable in all that I do, not just food. And food just tastes better when it’s local!”
Bita Doagoo, Naturopathic doctor and co-owner of The Detox Market, from Toronto, Ontario