Who am I?
I am an Accredited Practising Dietitian who graduated from Curtin University in Perth with a degree in Nutrition and Postgraduate Diploma in Dietetics. During my 10 years of experience, I have worked with clients in a range of settings including Community, Private Practice, and Hospitals in Perth as well as regional locations around Western Australia.
I have worked one-on-one with clients who have come to see me for a range of diet-related matters. These include weight and body image concerns, food and eating difficulties, eating disorders, diabetes (type 1, 2 and gestational), high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, food intolerances, allergies, coeliac disease and general healthy eating.
I was born in South Africa and moved to Melbourne, Australia with my family when I was 11 years old. I moved to Perth for my studies and ended up loving it so much that I have stayed!
During my teenage years, I developed an interest in health and wellness. I used to read women’s health magazines and worry about what I ate and what I looked like. Despite growing up in a family that encouraged food enjoyment and variety, I recall complaining to my mum that we didn’t eat enough vegetables and that we weren’t ‘healthy’ enough.
This interest eventually led me down the path of studying nutrition and dietetics. During that time I still believed that food and exercise was something that needed to be strictly controlled to be healthy. My early approach to helping clients was encouraging them to restrict their portions and move their bodies more to lose weight. I realise now that this was very misguided!
Over the years I have seen the devastating effects that dieting and a weight-focused approach has had on people not only physically (ineffective result in the long term) but mentally too. The shame, desperation and anxiety experienced by clients as a result of this ‘diet culture’ didn’t sit well with me and led me to utilise new strategies.
I have come to know that health is much more complex than eating less and moving more and that weight is not a predictor of health.
In challenging my original beliefs I discovered the Non-Diet Approach to health and wellbeing. I went on to learn more about the Health at Every Size® (HAES®) and Intuitive Eating principles. These provide the framework for supporting people of all shapes and sizes to find sustainable, enjoyable and compassionate ways to take care of themselves. This was a stark contrast to the previous approach which encouraged restriction, deprivation, and body shaming which I believe (and the evidence supports) caused more harm than good.
So it made perfect sense to me to adopt this evidence-based, size-inclusive and body-positive approach in my clinical practice. I have been using the non-diet approach in my practice ever since to encourage clients to focus on health and behaviour change instead of weight and body size. This is my area of expertise and it is applicable to all diet-related health concerns showing remarkable results on people’s health and wellbeing.
Find out more about the evidenced-based non-diet approach
To learn more about Health At Every Size® (HAES®) visit the HAES® Australia website
To read more about the dietitian services that I offer at Be Mindful Nutrition, Perth click here.