More about me...
Growing up my family's diet consisted of what most people consider fairly healthy. A typical day for me would have included wholemeal toast with margarine and Vegemite for breakfast, a muesli bar and an apple for recess, a ham, lettuce and mayo roll for lunch, a brumby's chocolate muffin after school, chicken schnitzel with mash and vegetables for dinner, and maybe a small bowl of ice-cream for dessert.
It wasn't until my earlier twenties that I finally realised my energy levels were terrible and I was always buying clothes the size up from what I usually was. So whilst at Uni I trialled a wheat, yeast, dairy, red meat and alcohol free diet for five weeks and I began to experience how powerful nutrition can be. I was fascinated that by still eating the same amount of food and just cutting out these five elements from my diet I felt fantastic and I lost weight. That diet was not sustainable of course, being so restrictive, and it was also very boring and I became quite obsessed about what foods I should and, more commonly, shouldn't eat. I was also cutting out major food groups and vital nutrients for no reason other than I thought it was healthy to do so!
I knew something had to change because although the food I was eating was technically healthy, my relationship with food and my body was not. This is what sparked my passion for nutrition because I knew there must be an approach that has just the right balance to be sustainable and still achieve those results. So when I graduated from my Bachelor degree in Exercise and Sports Science (majoring in Sports Nutrition), I went on to do further study with a Graduate Certificate in Human Nutrition, and have not stopped reading and researching about nutrition since. And yes, I did find that balanced approach :)
Once I knew the foundations about whole food eating there was no turning back. The biggest change for me was that I stopped looking at the calories in food and started considering the nutrients. I loved cooking so I began experimenting with meals to find ones that were so tasty even my family couldn't believe they were healthy. One thing I found extremely interesting was the response from my body and in particular, my taste buds after a few months of eating just whole foods. I no longer said no to a piece of cake because of the amount of calories it had, I said no because I didn't love the taste as much anymore and my body never felt good after eating it. Or if I went out for dinner with friends and they ordered the burger with chips, I wouldn't order the salad and be thinking how much I would prefer to be having the burger but I know I 'shouldn't', I ordered the salad knowing how much better it tastes to me and how good I feel after eating it.
Eventually I was loving my food and my body more than I ever had before and this is what has formed the basis of how I eat today and the main area I specialise in as a Nutritionist; healthy, balanced food that is jam packed with nutrients, full of flavour and makes your body and mind feel good. Yes I drink wine when I want to and I enjoy some chocolate if I feel like it but 80% of the time the food that I want and enjoy is just BODY GOOD FOOD :)