Born and brought up in the south west my mother used to be a caterer then re-trained as a nutritional therapist in her 50’s. I was therefore very lucky growing up with beautiful local produce on my doorstep; food that was nutritionally sound but also incredibly tasty, and never understood the belief that “healthy food tastes bad”… my home cooked meals were always delicious! - Lucky me!
Competing at an international level for 20 years has meant I have pushed my body to its limits in pursuit of my goals. Unfortunately, but like so many others, I have had an injury plagued career, at times hating my body for continually letting me down. After missing the 2012 Olympics due to a major knee injury, soon after which I ruptured my hamstring, and then lost my father to Cancer I found myself in a very dark time, battling physical injuries at the same time as huge emotional upheaval. I turned to nutrition, as a therapy and a discipline. The awareness of the role that my diet was playing in my health as an athlete, led me to undertake an MSc in Personalised Nutrition at the Centre for Nutrition and Lifestyle Management, one of the most well respected nutrition institutions in the world. The knowledge I gained here and with the help of my Mum I really started to appreciate how amazing my body was, and how hard it worked for me every day just to keep going– injured or not. When I started to love my body back, instead of punishing it, I found a new lease of athletic life, allowing me to qualify for my second commonwealth games in Glasgow in 2014 (not 20 miles from where my father was born!).
I believe these experiences set me apart as a nutritional therapist as being able to understand the fundamental functional imbalances many athletes face, but which are often masked by training, performance goals or a good physique. These imbalances and problems are echoed throughout society and all populations. I am passionate in the belief that everyone can nurture themselves to a more balanced state, taking control of their own health through a better understanding of the incredible instrument that is the human body, and just how powerful good food can be in your life.
I don't specialise in any one area but alongside my concern for fundamental athlete health I do have a particular interest in gut health. This really is the gateway to every other area and organ getting the nutrients it needs to function properly. This said my passion remains true to helping the individual in front of me, not a named condition or symptom.
The robustness of my degree allows me to base my recommendations in the latest scientific evidence, supported by my knowledge and experience of human physiology. However, I think my true strength is not my qualifications or experiences but how these combine with a fundamental love of food and cooking. When I cook for other people I want to make them happy through my food. This makes my recommended interventions always based on the celebration and enjoyment of food and the human body, keeping them centered around the individual and achievable for people in whatever circumstance they find themselves.