Monday 6 February 2012

Shedding a little light....

I am a Sydney-based personal trainer currently studying a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics at university. For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in optimal nutrition not just for fitness, but for general wellness and longevity. Some would say I’m a nutrition nerd.

And I like to pose with lamps....

So why did I start this blog? Because, when it comes to nutrition and knowing what is best, it is an absolute minefield out there! Not only are we required to decipher a nutrition label and understand what “E102” stands for on an ingredients label (in case you were wondering, it’s a synthetic dye found in confectionary, soft drinks and canned fruit, derived from coal tar….mmm yummy), but when we do decide to get some “professional” help, they will no doubt tell us to increase our servings of “healthy whole-grains” and “limit your fat intake”. Unfortunately, as I have recently discovered, this advice is not only misleading, but is in fact detrimental to health and wellbeing.

Since around mid-2010, I have been following a paleo/primal lifestyle where I focus on eating fresh, organic, whole foods based on traditional wisdom. Not only do I feel and look better than I ever have before, my fitness performance has improved, my eczema (which I have suffered from since infancy) has completely cleared up and my grades at university are consistently high (so apparently we don’t need bread for that constant supply of glucose to the brain…?).

Seeing such impressive results in not only my own health, but also my husband’s, has prompted me to encourage my family, friends and clients to make changes to their own diet to reap the benefits and fix those problems that “nothing can fix”. And this is where this blog comes in….to provide a resource for people to use in order to implement realistic changes in their lifestyle and to understand why they should make these changes, because that is where the real power lies.

I would like this blog to be an open forum – if you have questions, please feel free to comment on any posts and I will do my best to respond with information that is easy to understand and, most importantly, based on valid scientific research. 


  1. Heya Pretty Lady,
    Lets get the questions rolling -
    How do you manage when you have a full busy day, like getting stuck at the shops or an appoinment unprepared and need to eat what can you 'grab'(maccas springs to mind), or travelling (again theres always maccas), or even when you come back to visit your folks, not a lot of organic produce around here!!
    And what Im sure everyone is wondering - what do you eat, would love to see you post meal plans and recipes! what book would you recommend for those jsut starting out? ive only seen lola berry stuff before...
    Would love to catch up for a natter next time youre in town, will have had my back surgery done then! oh how sitting will be a novelty, then i can come for a coffee with you, hang on, you wouldnt drink coffee, would you? :)

  2. Ooh good questions! I'll put them on my "to blog" list. As far as organic produce back home goes, Mum and Dad have found a great farmer's market on Saturday mornings over on Denison St. I'll check the address and get back to you. Oh and yes, I do drink coffee -ristretto with no sugar. :)

  3. Kit, Love the blog, I'm sure that Karissa and I will keep an eye on this.. Karissa has significantly and drastically changed the way that we eat in our household more than in part from conversations that she's had with you.. All the best with this and we'll talk with you sooner than later I'm sure...

  4. Love it Kitty and i am loving the difference in how i've been feeling just by cutting out alot of refined foods and adding more raw. Kai is now addicted to our "superman porridge" for breaky... Can u suggest any extra ingrediants or any we should remove?
    We mix 1/4 cup raw oats, some wheatgerm, chia seed, cinnamon, honey, dessicated coconut, and pounded up brazil and walnuts. (please don't say remove honey! Lol) And any suggestions on what my post pregnancy diet should include would be awesome. <3

    1. Thanks Kris and Matty! I'm sure your baby will be reaping the benefits of your good eating habits! Is Kai still sucking on fish oil capsules? He's a smart one (and a little crazy!). A little while ago I might have said ditch the honey, however there seems to be a fair bit of research to suggest that even though it does have glucose and fructose, it also has many other compounds that can be beneficial to the body. So I would say keep it in if you love it, but just keep it to small amounts on your brekkie and make sure it is good quality, organic, raw honey (Manuka is probably best - a bit exxie though). What would I take out? Maybe the oats - research suggests these can be inflammatory on the body and also prevent absorption of some vital minerals (I'll do a post on this soon). I have also started adding in a tiny bit of powdered ginger and a couple of spoons of coconut oil - yumm! When are you due? I'll get to work on some post-pregnancy info. xx

    2. How are you meant to have porridge with no oats?

    3. Hi there!

      Well, I don't have porridge anymore. I used to have quinoa porridge, however it turns out it is not so good for your gut either (although it is better than gluten-containing grains). Instead, if I want a warm breakfast, I'll either have bacon and eggs or something similar, or I make something that has a texture very similar to porridge using coconut milk, ground nuts, eggs, banana, cinnamon and nut butter. Thoughts?

  5. Hi Kate,

    I have been a big fan of organic and raw food for many years. I believe that the hunter-gatherers that we evolved from had it right.

    Many people advocating a raw food diet are also avid vegetarians or vegans. Although I can see that this suits some body types, it is not for me - I get very sick if I don't get my animal protein (like the hunters in my ancestry).

    What are your thoughts on meats (red and white) in the raw food diet? You haven't mentioned meat one way or the other yet in your blog.


    1. Hi Trevor,

      Great to hear from you! Your timing is impeccable - I am planning to do a post on meat this week, so stay tuned for that one! (I am a huge fan of it, by the way).

      In terms of the raw food diet, I think it has its benefits and drawbacks - I think we should aim for a mix of raw and cooked food as some foods are actually more nutritious when cooked (carrots and tomatoes, for example). I also probably wouldn't advocate the use of raw chicken, but that's just me. Hopefully my post will answer your questions - and I would love to hear your feedback!

  6. Hi Kate!

    I've just started the paleo a few weeks ago as per my PTand I must admit it has been difficult. I think it's just the change in attitude as to what constitutes a breakfast!
    Either way, I'm sticking with it and it seems to be making a difference.
    However, I'm a nurse, and as such I do the horrendous 12 hour shift work. The shifts change weekly, and as you can imagine, my sleep is always out of whack. What would you recommend to eat/avoid during night shifts in order to maintain my metabolism and improve day time sleeping?

    1. Hi Penny,

      As a former cereal-for-breakfast lover, I know exactly how you feel. It takes a little time to get used to the idea of eating "dinner-style" meals first thing in the morning. I actually find it easier these days to just cook up extra dinner the night before and have that for brekkie. This saves time so you can get in some extra shut-eye.
      Speaking of sleep, I can only imagine how you must feel doing night shifts as a nurse. Unfortunately sleep irregularity is going to throw your hormones out a fair bit, so you need to be really good with diet,stress, exercise and sleep (when you can).
      I would recommend having good sources of protein and fat to keep you going at work. This might include boiled eggs, avocado, tins of tuna (you could mix all 3 together or have them separately!). I also absolutely LOVE coconut butter. Let me know if you are interested and I'll send you the details of where to buy it. Another key factor is hydration - drink LOTS of water throughout your shift.
      Also, be really smart with your training during night shifts. I'm sure your PT will know this, but keep your workouts quite short and sharp during this time and really emphasise recovery through stretching, foam rolling and maybe even a bit of meditation.
      Keep me updated! I'd love to hear how you go!