One weekday evening, in 2009, I was sitting on a tiny, wooden chair, perfect for a small child, listening to a lady (who’s name I have completely forgotten) talk about children’s nutrition at my daughter’s preschool.
I remember going to the parent information session because I felt that I ought to show my face. I didn’t really know what was expected at these type of events as this was my first child and first year at preschool.
I didn’t really think that there was going to be much to learn about children’s nutrition that I didn’t already know as I believed that I was already feeding my family well.
I cooked from scratch.
I didn’t buy takeaways (that often!).
There was always fruit and veggies in the house.
And I’d read the handout from the early childhood centre on children’s nutrition needs.
I truly believed that I was doing the best that I could for my family, their health, and myself too.
But it was there, that evening, sitting on that small wooden chair, that I realised that there was so much more that I just hadn’t considered before. I was doing a good job of feeding my family but I could be doing an even better job!
I’d like to say that it was at that moment that I stopped in my tracks, changed direction and headed off straight away to learn more but, in reality, I didn’t. Why? Because I was a mother of a 3 year old and a baby. I’d already studied for many years, gained several qualifications (including a Masters in Environmental Science and a teaching qualification), worked in a variety of jobs and wasn’t planning on returning to further education at any point ever!
Instead this ‘seed’ sat lodged in the back of my brain. Every now and then it resurfaced but was pushed away - my focus was on my children, washing, cleaning, the day to day chores of a stay-at-home mum and, perhaps ironically, a considerable role was that of planning meals, grocery shopping and cooking the meals.
Fast forward to the end of 2014, a lot had happened in those 5 years including:
Spending a year back in England (where I’m originally from) where I went back to full-time work as a high school teacher and my husband become full-time stay-at-home Dad!
The addition of our son to the family
Two children now attending primary school; third in preschool 2 days a week
My participation in a couple of ‘weight loss’ programs; both of which had renewed my interest in nutrition and health, and made me feel more energetic and healthier, but none of which had I been able to maintain after the program had finished. That ‘seed’ in the back of my brain once again resurfaced but was pushed aside.
In January 2015, as many of us do in the New Year, I was taking stock of my current situation and my dreams and goals for the year. It was time I started thinking about going back to work, now that there were days when there were no children at home. I considered returning to teaching, but I knew that that wasn’t for me anymore.
I wanted to do something different.
I wanted to do something that would use my brain.
I realised that I wanted to grow that ‘seed’ that had been pushed away for the last 5 years.
I wanted to go and learn all that I could about nutrition
I wanted to optimise my family’s health by providing them with the best foods for their needs and health.
I wanted to teach my children how to make the best food choices for them
I wanted to prepare them with the knowledge and understanding of the value of leading a healthy lifestyle
I wanted to be a good role model
I wanted to know what foods and nutrients to eat to help improve my energy (something I’ve always struggled with), to feel strong and fit, to be happy with my weight
And so, in February 2015, I began an Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine course, primarily for my own personal reasons not because I viewed it as a career change. It took me 3 years to complete my studies and wow were my eyes opened to the whole field of nutritional medicine. I really had no idea! What I thought I knew, back in 2009, sitting on that wooden chair at my daughter’s preschool, really wasn’t even the tip of the iceberg. My ‘seed’ that had been so often pushed away well and truly grew into an enormous great tree of passion and desire for understanding nutrition, for supporting my family optimise their health through making the best food and lifestyle choices as much as possible, and for also for helping others, as individuals, as families, use ‘food as medicine’ to optimise their current health and to reduce the risk of so many chronic illnesses and disease. I didn’t want to keep this knowledge to myself and my family I realised that I wanted to share it with others, to shout it from the rooftops so to speak (although, as an introvert, that’s really not my style at all and the last thing I would actually do!)
Today, I now run my own clinic offering 1:1 nutrition consultations and group or community workshops. I love my work! I love being able to draw upon my past personal and professional skills and knowledge to educate and empower others. I’ve drawn upon my teaching skills when creating and delivering workshops within the community and at local schools. I like to utilise my personal experiences to really empathise with my clients, their concerns and their goals.
Initially, my focus was on supporting children and families with their nutritional needs; I even became known locally as ‘that lunchbox lady’ as my kids would go to school with ‘real foods’, without a package in sight (especially important to me as someone with a long-time concern about environmental issues). But gradually I have evolved and refined my focus.
My particular passions, today, are a reflection of my current personal experiences.
I love to work with girls approaching or going though puberty. With two teenage girls in my house, I get it! It's a challenging time as they adjust to the hormonal changes in their bodies.
My other area of interest is supporting women in their 40s and 50s with perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms. Why? Because that’s where I am too, and so are many of my friends.
Both of these groups are experiencing huge changes in their bodies, both on the inside and quite likely on the outside. It’s a time when we often don’t feel at our best. It’s a time when things may be hard, challenging, worrying and concerning. It’s a time when we experience symptoms that may be getting us down. It’s a time when making the best food and lifestyle choices can have a positive effect on the way these girls and women can go about their everyday life, and the way they are then able to be present in their families. As a mum of three and a woman in my late 40s, I can really emphasise with these girls and women, and I love to work with them.
This is my story.
I thank the lady (who’s name I can’t remember!) for planting the ‘seed’ all those years ago at my daughter’s preschool.
I thank my family, those close to me in my home and those far away in England, for motivating me, supporting me and loving me every single day.
I thank the women and girls that I have worked with for fuelling my passion and desire to learn more and to help others.
I thank you for reading my story.
Continuing Professional Development Areas of Interest
Adrenal, Stress & Sleep
Perimenopause & Menopause
Life Stages of Women
Postnatal Depletion Syndrome
Endorsed PH360 Health Coach
Advanced Diploma Nutritional Medicine
Post-Graduate Certificate of Education
Master of Science (Environmental Science)
Bachelor of Science
Professional Association Membership
Accredited Member of the Australian Traditional Medicine Society
(Member Number: 29613)
Working With Children Check
Current First Aid Certificate