I am an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) with the Dietitians Association of Australia, and an Accredited Nutritionist with Nutrition Australia. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics from Flinders University, South Australia.
Having been captivated for most of my younger years by the fact that what we eat can influence our health, becoming a dietitian was an easy choice for me.
I suffered from my own health ailments in my teenage years, having had severe anaemia (iron deficiency) on and off again which often left me feeling weak and fatigued to the point where I couldn’t go to school. No amount of iron supplements or red meat was helping. I began to experiment with different eating styles in the hopes of finding one that would give me endless energy- many of these being popular low-carb style diets followed by celebrities and popular figures in the media. Although I thought I was eating healthy, I found no particular benefits from following these diets, only that they were mundane and hard to stick to.
In my late teens I started following a plant-based diet after learning about the cruelty animals are subjected to in order for us to have food on our plates. The vegan lifestyle made so much sense to me and I was beyond excited to explore all of the plant-based foods and learn more about this issue. The more I read, watched and listened, the more convinced I was that this lifestyle was the best choice, not only for the animals, but also for the environment and (of particular interest to me) our health. Through experimenting with what I was eating, I noticed a dramatic improvement in my energy levels and some of my health issues I was dealing with at the time, including acne. My relationship with food completely evolved as I was initially faced with what I thought would be a restrictive way of eating, only to discover that there were so many plant foods I had never tried, let alone heard of before! This ethical way of eating also lead me to learn more about other social justice issues and question areas of my life that were (unknowingly to me) contributing to the oppression of others. Since finding this lifestyle, I have had the privilege of seeing the vegan movement grow and gain enormous momentum in the past few years. I’m continuously amazed by the growing amount of new vegan products I find at the supermarket, the number of people I know who are now vegan, and the number of studies coming out showing the benefits of a plant-based diet. It feels great to be part of such a positive change.
As part of a profession that provides expert advice in the field of nutrition, I believe it is my duty to educate others about the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle so that they can make informed decisions about their food choices, teach the art of nurturing positive relationships with food, and help those interested in adopting a plant-based diet or lifestyle no matter what their motivators or life circumstances are. This way of eating and living really is fit for almost anyone and can have such an enormously positive impact on our lives, achieving anything from cutting down on a family’s food budget to improving an athlete’s recovery time or even reversing some of the most prominent and lethal diseases our society currently faces.
Although vegan and vegetarian diets are my main areas of interest, as a dietitian providing nutritional counselling I’m also highly interested gastrointestinal disorders, food allergies and intolerances, nutrient deficiencies and weight management using non-diet therapy.
My philosophy towards nutrition is simple:
Eat more plants, and focus on whole foods.