Category Archives: GENERAL HEALTH


2020’s Magic Beverage…. Nutritionist Endorsed!

So you’re wondering about all of those little bottles that stare back at you in the supermarket claiming to cure all ailments from dodgy stomachs, to stubborn cellulite, to acne-prone skin?

Fear not. We are here to hold your hand through the noise and tell you the absolute MUST drink beverage for 2020. We love it SO MUCH that we even have this beverage available in the clinic for you when you book your appointment.

This beverage will:

  • help you to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight
  • help you stay regular ‘down there’
  • help to prevent you from overeating
  • help with inflammation of the joints and ligaments by providing lubrication
  • flush out body waste (a trendy way of saying this is ‘detoxing’ your body)
  • help make your skin GLOW
  • help to boost your energy
  • help you to get a good night’s sleep

Geez. You must be thinking right now, I bet if it does all of those things… it must be a bit exy right?
Well actually….. its completely FREE! It comes straight from the tap, and we are NOT getting enough of it! You can see Lexi the Lab demonstrating just how delicious and irresistible WATER truly is!

Ahhhh. Sorry about that. Just another truth buster team, its what we do best here at The Balanced Nutritionist.
Seriously BEFORE you turn to ANY expensive super beverages you need to absolutely ensure that you are drinking at least 2L of pure water each and every single day. MORE if you are male and broad because quite simply you have even more cells than an average person to hydrate.

For more truth busters, check out some of the blogs on our website. And if you’re lost in the hype of 2020 fads then we’re just a click of a button away.

Ph: (07) 3063 2710 for queries / appointments.



Is salt good for me?

We’ve been told for decades that we should reduce our salt intake, but what if salt is actually good for you?


Salt (or sodium chloride, as it’s scientifically called) is made up of about 40% sodium and 60% chloride. The words ‘salt’ and ‘sodium’ are often used interchangeably, as salt is the highest dietary source of sodium, however, sodium is also found naturally in foods, such as seafood, spinach, celery and beetroot.


Sodium is an essential nutrient that is required for the normal functioning of our body:

  • Our bodies use salt to balance the amount of fluid in our tissues and blood.
  • Salt facilitates nerve and muscle function and helps to maintain healthy blood pressure.
  • The chloride in salt is used to produce hydrochloric acid, which helps to break down food in our stomach and helps absorb nutrients.
  • Adequate amounts of salt are necessary for thyroid and adrenal function.
  • Salt also plays an important role in food preservation.


In fact, it’s impossible to live a life without any salt – it’s essential to life!


Our bodies constantly lose salt through bodily functions, like sweating, so it must be replaced. But it’s all about balance – consuming too much sodium (particularly refined salt) may lead to oedema (swelling), increased blood pressure, and other conditions.


And salt isn’t just salt – your standard white table salt is considerably different from the salts you find in nature.


Table salt is a refined form of natural salt that has been processed; heated to extreme temperatures which change its structure and destroys many beneficial compounds; bleached white; treated with chemicals to remove all trace minerals. The problem is that these trace minerals are essential for our body and our health.


Unfortunately, it’s this refined salt that is used in most packaged and processed foods, like breads, processed meats, soups and sauces, and salty snacks.


Refined table salt is not a health ‘food’ and should be limited in your diet.


So, what’s the healthiest salt?

Choose an unrefined salt that is found in nature. Unrefined natural salts contain sodium and chloride as well as other essential minerals that act as important electrolytes in the body.


Pink Himalayan salt comes from ancient seabeds in the Himalayan mountains. Himalayan salt is rich in minerals, in fact, it contains all 84 essential trace elements required by your body. Its pink colour comes from the rich iron content.


Celtic Sea salt is an unprocessed, natural salt from the coastal regions in France near the Celtic Sea. Unlike regular, refined table salt, Celtic Sea salt retains the beneficial trace minerals and nutrients, like potassium and magnesium, needed by the human body.


Murray River salt flakes are produced from using the mineralised brines from the ancient saline aquifers of the Murray Darling Basin. The brine is pumped into shallow lake beds and dried out in the sun, leaving layers of salt to be harvested. As well as sodium, Murray River salt contains other important minerals (magnesium, calcium, iron, potassium and iodine).


Similarly, unrefined sea salt is produced by pumping seawater into ponds and allowing the water to evaporate leaving salt to crystallize on the floor of the pond. It is then scooped up, washed in seawater, dried and packaged.


Australian Pink Lake salt comes from a lake in Western Victoria. The lake is fed by natural salt aquifers and dries out each summer to reveal a bed of salmon coloured pink salt. This natural salt is rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulphur, iron, manganese, zinc and copper.


How much salt should you have?

The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommends a suggested dietary target of 2,000mg of sodium (which is equivalent to about 5 grams or 1 teaspoon of salt) for adults daily. But it’s easy to get much more than this when you are eating a lot of processed and packaged foods.


About 75% of the salt we eat comes from processed foods, rather than from salt added to cooking and foods.


On the other hand, eating a mostly real, whole food diet – consisting of lots of fresh vegetables and fruit, quality protein, healthy fats, whole grains, legumes, raw nuts and seeds, and water – will naturally help to keep your daily salt intake within a healthy range.


Listen to your body… When you are eating a mostly real food diet you can let your taste buds guide your salt intake. Salt your food as you cook, keep the sea salt grinder on the table and enjoy fermented foods (such as pickles and sauerkraut).


The take-home message… Salt is an essential nutrient. Avoid refined salt, limit your intake processed/packaged foods (which contain high levels of refined salt), and use an unrefined, natural salt to taste.


And remember that you may need more salt on days when you are sweating a lot and/or drinking lots of water.

Written by Nicole Bence. You can book with Nicole here.

*Note: If you have hypertension or kidney disease, please consult your health care practitioner before you make any changes to your consumption of salt.


Habits for Health and Happiness

Its approaching ‘that time of the year’ where we are inclined to sit down, reflect and set some ginormous goals to achieve in the first 2 weeks of January 2020.

Well, perhaps it’s not exactly like that, but by nature we do tend to consider that come January 1 we will morph into a completely different human capable of totally different things. And this is not all bad… but it’s also not entirely realistic.

The very term ‘new years resolution’ sadly reeks of failure and when it comes to setting ‘health’ resolutions its no different. A lot of gyms receive a new influx of regular ‘donors’ come January, don’t they?

Look, we don’t want to discourage anyone from wanting to be a kinder, more healthy, happier human year on year, BUT let’s do it in a way that will set you up for success and help you achieve your goals for 2020 day by day. And then above all else, maintain those ‘goals’ once attained.

So instead of worrying about another year and another new years resolution, why not sit down and think about some habits you could change come the new year to better your health and happiness. We love the definition of healthy habits put forward by Healthline. A healthy habit is any behavior that benefits your physical, mental, and emotional health. In turn, it improves your overall well-being and makes you feel good.

How awesome is that?

Perhaps the BEST thing about a healthy habit is the very fact that it has evolved into… a habit. A habit is something you do regularly, often without even thinking about it, that is really difficult to give up. So once a habit is created… it’s really hard to break!

How great would it be if we all ended up with a whole heap of new, healthy habits by the end of 2020?

Breaking habits is certainly hard so of course creating them can be a challenge and require a change of mindset. That’s why we created a little eBook to help you, step by step, to create some of your own healthy habits for next year. Download your healthy habits eBook to get prepared now.

Healthy Habits eBook


This is a self directed challenge. And what’s even groovier is that at the end of the month, you could simply print off a new copy and consider some different habits to build into your life for February. Think about where you might be at the end of the year? While you’re at it, we recommend you read a copy of Gretchen Rubin’s the Happiness Project because, in some ways, this little challenge was inspired by that book.

And if you do jump on board our little happiness challenge, make sure you give us a few shoutouts on social media ok? Use the hashtag #thebalancednutritionisthealthyhabits and tag us @thebalancednutritionist too.

And above all, remember, its all about the 85/15 rule. I.e. work on your habits and try to follow them 85% of the time. There are going to be times when the whole wagon falls apart…. not just the wheels! And that’s ok. Put it back together and get back into routine. This is called balance.

So, this is our completely non faddish, sustainable twist on ‘new years resolutions’ instead of the empty promises that are being shouted out to you from every other angle folks.

Who would love if being healthy becomes a habit… Not a chore?

Merry December folks and wishing you a ‘healthy habit filled’ January!


The Nutritionists’ Guide to Christmas

It’s certainly not as boring as you might think! We love Christmas, we love food and we love it when people feel happy and healthy.

Here are some simple tips for having a great festive season, without going overboard.

  1. Whilst we are all for a piece of plum pudding or a lovely dessert here and there, don’t let it slip into becoming an ‘every night in December’ type routine. There are some beautiful fruits around at this time of year – enjoy them. You can even blend up fruits like mango with a bit of yoghurt and make your own ‘nice blocks.’
  2. Just like the before mentioned point. Here’s a really bad idea. Ride the entire month on a sugar induced high of rum balls, boxed chocolates and chips on the side of every work lunch you attend for the next 3 weeks.
    OR continue to put in a little time each day to ensure you get some quality PROTEIN with each and every one of your meals and consciously choose to indulge a couple of times throughout the month instead. Protein will REALLY help you feel fuller and resist every little temptation that your little nose whiffs in the air this festive season.
  3. Water. Water. Water. Stay hydrated peeps. Less water leads to cravings, more alcohol and too much caffeine. Just drink the clear stuff. And for every champagne, wash it down with a glass of pure water afterwards.
  4. Don’t skimp on the green stuff. Most people seem to think vegetables have to be bland and boring. There’s a little eBook available to download below. It has a few little tricks in there to make salads and vegies just a little more interesting like…. did you know you can actually roast cauliflower? Also, how mindblowingly yum do fresh herbs make ANY dish taste? And you know there are other oils besides extra virgin you can use to dress a salad? Oh and don’t get us started on adding FRUIT to salad. YUM.
  5. Remember that its always OK to say no. This may apply directly to nutrition but it’s also a simple reminder that the holiday season is supposed to be just that… a holiday. Remember you can say no to gatherings that won’t serve you, another drink if you don’t want one, a party that you’re simply too tired for….no. Its a powerful little word and it can still be used politely.
  6. Try to keep up some form of exercise routine. And it doesn’t have to be the sweaty kind, it might be yoga, a gentle walk or even a paddle in the pool. Movement will assist you:
    -make better choices when it comes to food this festive season
    -may assist you to remain hydrated if exercise reminds you to drink as you feel thirsty
    -most importantly, provides a social outlet and some way to manage any additional stress you may be feeling. We know how important exercise can be for mental wellbeing.
  7. Breathe. Remember that Christmas is just 1 day. And the time between Christmas and New year is just a week. What’s more important is what you do for the rest of the year. Don’t punish yourself if you feel like you have gone overboard. Just get back on the wagon. Its what we do most of the time that matters.

Oh and finally, for your healthiest and happiest 2020, you might want to consider jumping on our healthy habits challenge for January. Keep an eye on Facebook for how to go about joining in.

And here’s a little Christmas gift for you – our Christmas recipe eBook for some festive inspiration. Click on the button to download  A Merry Balanced Christmas eBook



Why Am I Gaining Weight but Barely Eating?

Firstly. Let’s just say that writing a blog that is so blatantly about ‘weight loss’ isn’t really our cup of tea. We prefer to focus on ‘health’ because weight release will naturally follow ‘health’ but this precise question is quite literally coming at us from many new clients of late.
The answer is probably going to vary from person to person, but here are a few things to consider in the journey to a healthy weight.
Firstly, weight loss is not easy. Please don’t be fooled by reality television shows that make us believe losing weight just ‘happens’ overnight because it doesn’t.
Second, you need to change your thinking. Stop. Re read the third line of this post again. Know that ‘health’ comes before ‘weight.’ You just can’t have a long list of symptoms and health concerns but only want to ‘lose weight.’ You have to tackle the whole package. A healthy body will find its natural, healthy weight. And maintain it. Is a ‘starving body’ a healthy body? Unlikely.
In addition to not eating much food, some or all of the following might be part of the problem.
1. You could be incredibly stressed. Which could mean very high levels of stress hormones and not a lot of sleep. Both of these are going to make releasing weight a lot more difficult.
2. You are possibly drinking a lot coffee… and / or not a lot of water. This is a recipe for dehydration. The metabolic process of ‘burning fat’  (lipolysis) is much harder for a dehydrated body. In addition, dehydration puts extra strain on the kidneys, which means its harder for the kidneys to do their job – essentially, too eliminate waste. And weight loss is essentially… the elimination of a lot of waste. So you really want your elimination pathways to be working really well.
3. Not eating enough food=probably not getting enough fibre from plant based sources like whole fruits and vegies. This, along with dehydration will probably block the pipes… not the water pipes, the other ones! Then you’ve got a situation where all that ‘solid’ waste hasn’t got anywhere to go either. Translation: healthy poos help with weight release.
4. Less ‘excretion’ of waste products as well as less fibre means those friendlies in your gut are going to suffer. We’ve linked just about everything to the health of our guts and guess what? That includes weight! Having a healthy gut is part of the picture when it comes to finding a healthy weight range. This does not mean you should go out and buy a probiotic and all of your problems will be fixed by the way… its just part of the picture and it can be altered without a pill.
5. Food is so much more than just macronutrients. The micronutrients i.e. vitamins and minerals that are found in healthy foods are critical for so many processes in our bodies. Like enzyme production for digestion, maintaining the thyroid health, neurotransmitter synthesis for happy, balanced moods and building our hormones… and lots more. So good food keeps… all of the parts of our bodies working really well. This leads to health which leads to a healthy weight.
6. When you are eating… the choices might not be great. Food is confusing right now. Far more confusing than it should be. And our addiction to ‘diets’ leads to some pretty crazy eating styles. Like only eating meat or fat but no vegetables… or going for something really processed like a ‘diet bar.’ Sorry. But we just don’t believe in that rubbish. Have you looked at the ingredients on those things? If you can’t pronounce it… your body ain’t going to know what to do with it, we guarantee!
7. Starving all day but then eating anything and everything by the afternoon. Because you are just. so. hungry. Wouldn’t it be easier to just eat well, giving your body

what it needs from the morning onwards… and watch as things fall into place over time?

We could go on… but this is a blog not a book. We just like to help people get healthy, reduce their requirements for medication, eat without stress, learn to love healthy nutritious foods, get comfortable preparing quick, wholefood meals…. and feel great as a result for a lifetime. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.
Our favourite tool to use to achieve the former is personalised nutrition using the Metabolic Balance® program. It means we work with our client long term, they get to know the foods that will nourish not punish their bodies and we have the best chance of long term success.
Book online if you need us in your life. 🙂

Welcome Nicole

Hello, I’m Nicole. I’m a Clinical Nutritionist, certified Metabolic Balance® Coach, and lover of avocado, coffee, chocolate and the beach and I started here at the Balanced Nutritionist in early July 2019.

My food philosophy is simple: eating nutritious, whole, real foods will provide your body with the nutrients it needs to be healthy and vibrant.

I also believe that healthy eating is not about deprivation. It’s important to give ourselves permission to indulge in the foods we love, without guilt, because good nutrition and good health is also about having a healthy relationship with food.

My Story

I’ve had tummy troubles for as long as I can remember. My gut has always been unpredictable and a bit ‘sluggish’. As a child, I remember going days without, you know, going and taking a book to the toilet (because I’d be sitting there for a while!). As I got older my symptoms got worse – bloating almost every day, abdominal pain (which sometimes felt like I was being stabbed in the stomach), and difficulty going to the toilet alternating with diarrhoea.

My digestive issues were compounded by overseas travel and several bouts of ‘Bali Belly’ (in Bali, as well as Africa, Turkey, Bosnia and Fiji), taking the OCP (oral contraceptive pill) for 10 years (which I now know can impact on your gut microbiome and increase your risk of gastrointestinal conditions, such as IBS and IBD), poor dietary choices and a stressful job.

In my mid-twenties, desperate to get to the bottom (excuse the pun) of my digestive issues, I visited numerous doctors and specialists, only to be told that I “probably” had IBS.

No one tested me for food intolerances, talked to me about how stress can affect our digestion, considered that the pill may be contributing to my digestive woes or recommended that I make dietary changes. That was until I went to see a Natural Health Practitioner for a different health concern. She suggested that I make some dietary changes and I felt better, almost immediately!

While that wasn’t the end of my journey (it took years of self-discovery to restore my digestive balance), it was the start of my journey to becoming a Nutritionist.

Fast forward to today, and my tummy is much happier – I seldom experience stomach aches or bloating (unless I choose to eat something that I know won’t agree with me) and I go to the toilet easily, every day. My overall health has also greatly improved – my weight has stabilised without me even trying (or worrying about how many calories I’m consuming), I now have more energy, consistently throughout the day and, most importantly, I feel really good both physically and emotionally. This lead me to want to help other people to feel better too!

Helping clients to optimise their health, sort out their digestive issues, improve their skin and release unwanted weight is a real passion of mine. And, thanks to my own health journey, I have a genuine appreciation of the struggles that many of you are living with day in, day out.

Before life as a Nutritionist, I worked in a demanding corporate job, so I know that it can be difficult to prioritise your health and eat ‘right’ when you lead a busy lifestyle, juggling work and family commitments. My goal is to provide you with individualised nutrition strategies that fit you, your lifestyle and your health goals.

A few more things about me

I live with my husband, Greg and fur-child, Billy the Westie.

I was born in Sydney, but my family moved to Brisbane when I was 2. I have two younger sisters and four beautiful nieces, a handsome nephew, and another niece or nephew on the way.

I am not ashamed to admit that I am slightly obsessed with my dog (Billy). He’s treated like a human in our house, my personal Instagram account is mostly photos of him and I usually greet him before my husband when I get home. I’ve always loved animals and once wanted to become a vet when I grew up.

I am a multi-tasker. I am usually doing multiple things at once and always have numerous tabs open on every device. 

I look forward to going to the farmer’s markets on a Sunday morning to pick up fresh produce for the week ahead.

I love pouring through home magazines and buying homewares.

My go-to outfit is jeans and a blue and white striped top (I have at least 10 in my wardrobe).

I am a self-confessed neat-freak and actual enjoy organising things, especially my pantry. 

I start every day with a cup of tea.


A Day at Cobram Estate Olive Oil

Wow, what a day. If you follow me over on Instagram and Facebook, you would know that yesterday I was privileged enough to be flown in a private plane with 8 other Brisbane health professionals, to the Cobram Estate olive oil farm in Cobram, Victoria.


First. Let me tell you about the plane. It was tiny. Plush… but tiny. The pilot, Neil, who I will be grateful to forever for getting us down and back safely, informed us that the each of the (8) seats was worth almost $50,000. So, I’d like to call it a mini version of Air Force One. But real, real mini. And to make matters slightly more terrifying, as we did our last toilet stop before boarding on the private airstrip at Archerfield, the weather report said…. ‘severe warnings for Victoria. Strong, gustily winds forecasted.’

Gulp. Ok. So, I did hold the hand of a stranger as we descended. And I did count forwards and backwards from 10 as we sunk through the very bumpy clouds on the way down. But 3 and a half hours later… with both feet shakily on the red dirt runway, the adventure began.

I love paddock to plate experiences. I love knowing where my food has come from. You tell me it’s made with care, love, the best quality ingredients, integrity, passion… that is something money cannot buy. And I will support it. And once you read this, you like me, will never buy another brand of olive oil outside of the Cobram Estate label, ever again.

So let me tell you a little about what we learnt. Our day was mostly led by the incredibly kind hearted, friendly and passionate man behind the brand, Rob McGavin. It turns out that Rob and his uni mate Paul planted the first olive tree around 20 years ago on what is now Cobram Estate, with the view to give olive oil making a crack. So… it started with 2 guys and a tree. And they’ve certainly made history since then.

Here are some of the astounding things we learnt about Cobram Estate the brand:

  • The company has about 2.5 million olive trees and what they do to one they do to all of them. All of their trees receive the same love, attention, care and consideration
  • The estate at Cobram stretches for about 21km one way… hello, what a great venue for a marathon (#justsaying…. #planting the seed). There is a second estate near Bort, also Victoria.
  • They grow about 35 varieties of olive trees and each tree produces about 45kg of fruit per year of which approximately 20% becomes olive oil.
  • The absolute maximum time between picking and pressing is 4 hours. And we witnessed the procedures that guarantee this. No stale, rancid olive oil in a Cobram Estate product. Only the freshest and highest in antioxidants, that I can say with conviction.
  • An olive used for olive oil never touches the ground…. It is picked fresh from the tree and then transported to the plant. I’ll put some videos and photos in my stories over coming weeks featuring some of the amazing technology that enables this.

As far as their corporate social responsibility….

  • Cobram Estate are leaders in research. They have produced 17 peer reviewed research studies about olives and olive oil. This is an incredible contribution to the scientific community.
  • About 40% of the land they own is essentially left in its natural state, it’s not even ploughed.
  • Cobram Estate have dedicated a great deal of thought and research into reducing the waste products from their manufacturing efforts. These efforts include using as much from the tree as possible. They are now producing an incredibly high quality olive leaf tea and olive leaf extract; you may find this in your supermarket under the label ‘Wellgrove.’ It took 5 years to develop and they have a TGA approved laboratory. They also recycle some of the ‘seed’ from the olives to power their boilers. They are stockpiling the rest of the seed waste, for future use and thinking of innovative ways this could be recycled. We saw piles of seed on our travels around the estate, awaiting its final destiny.
  • They remove the squalene from some of their reject olives which is highly beneficial for skin, This is sold back to cosmetic companies. The only 2 places squalene is found in commercial doses is in olives and in shark’s livers… so by doing this, the lives of more sharks are spared.

The manufacturing process was incredible to witness….

  • Olives are picked and then received for pressing within 4 hours.
  • They are washed first… they look beautiful in action when this happens (see my stories archive over coming weeks).
  • Then the entire olive, seed and all undergoes some brutal bashing with a mallet and its turned into this kind of tapenade. It smells incredible. It would be nice to dip a cracker in this. This process goes on for about 30 minutes.
  • It then undergoes centrifugal force to separate the oil from the rest of the fruit. We got to taste it basically straight after this process!
  • There is no filtering process once its separated because further processing would only destroy more of the health benefits. Instead, the oil is left to settle for about 3 weeks and some of the cloudy bits (for want of a better term) are drained away and what is left is bottled. How pure!

A few fascinating facts about olives you may not have known….

  • They are all green to begin with. The black ones have just been picked later and they are riper.
  • Generally, the more robust the olive oil is in flavour, the more antioxidants it has.
  • Olive oil is completely safe, even beneficial to heat and use in cooking. See the Olive Wellness Institute for the latest research around this.
  • Olives have amazing survival tactics…. The olive tree can suck lots of moisture from its fruit if necessary. Then, once water is no longer scarce, the fruit can regain its hydration really quickly. I found this irrigation system quite fascinating.
  • You should endeavour to use your olive oil within 4 to 6 weeks of opening so that the antioxidant content has not declined greatly.

The best thing about the day…

  • The food… of course. The food was kind of amazing. We enjoyed this incredible lunch thanks to Chef Kevin O’Connor who prepared us homemade Chapa bread with spelt flour for dipping with the First Harvest Olive oil, a beautiful side dish of beetroot and caviar, plus carrots and pesto and finally an amazing medley of mushrooms and slow cooked meats on a bed of ancient grains along with a turmeric slow baked eggplant. Much of the food was baked slowly over this incredible outside stove and olive oil alongside fresh herbs made the dishes sing. We finished off with dark chocolate and olive oil bark and olive oil carrot cake. It was served with local wines. It was amazing. Please close your mouth I see you drooling.

Something I’ve really come to realise in the last year or so is that ‘big’ and ‘successful’ doesn’t mean that the value system is watered down. I used to be quite adamant on supporting small, local businesses and yes I certainly am still this way inclined. But experiences like this remind us that just because a company is really successful, doesn’t mean that they have necessary lost sight of their value system. I can relate to this myself. I’ve built my business to a level I didn’t think possible and shortly I’ll have 2 staff working alongside me. And who knows where it could from there. But have my values been watered down? No. If anything, they are stronger than ever because I need those values to ripple further and further. Likewise, Cobram Estate’s values are as visible and obvious as ever. And their business is massive! I honestly cannot see myself supporting another olive oil brand ever, now that I know the integrity behind each and every bottle they produce. It’s also really important to remember that you and I as consumers do have a lot of power and influence when it comes to how we spend our money. Sure, individually it may not seem much. But collectively we can make a real difference. Put your money where your mouth is and spend your dollars supporting businesses that have values that align with yours. Each time you go to the supermarket or even a café, is an opportunity to demand transparency, quality and the best ingredients in your food. Know where your food comes from. This is a topic we spend so much time talking about over on the podcast too.

Anyhow. I am writing this on the flight home, whilst the knowledge and experience is still fresh. This leg of the journey is much less terrifying thanks to a red or two over lunch…. And it’s time for a nap!

Thanks to Rob, Abby, Chef, Tris, Jacqui and the team for such a memorable experience.

Oh and a final comment… ‘lite’ olive oil…. well, when have I ever suggested you buy ‘lite’ anything? We don’t need to dwell on the negatives… but let’s just say you definitely do not want that stuff in your life!

*All attempts have been made to ensure any facts made in this article are indeed as correct as possible, but there may be minor errors in a few of the details as it gets difficult to take notes after one has enjoyed a long lunch and a couple of glasses of red wine. I’d safely say this blog is 98% accurate, but some names / figures may be ever so slightly wrong. Thank you for your understanding.


Asthma, Metabolic Balance and One Women’s Journey

Case Report: Asthma, Metabolic Balance and One Women’s Journey

This is a synopsis of the journey of a 41 year old, mother of 2, lifetime asthma sufferer who began her Metabolic Balance journey in November 2018.

The purpose of this report is to draw attention to the power of individualized dietary interventions in the presence of chronic, debilitating symptoms. This client presented with very low energy, severe asthma that had her relying on a puffer multiple times per day, recurring chest infections and an inability to lose weight. In just 10 weeks following her individualised Metabolic Balance program this client has regained energy, is no longer tied to her preventer medication and as a result has released over 10% of her body weight. In this synopsis the client will be referred to as ‘P’ for privacy reasons.

Presenting Concerns at initial consultation (November 2018): P has suffered from debilitating asthma since the age of 21. In the last 12 months, possibly as a result of significant stress, her asthma symptoms had become even worst. Without a puffer literally within arm’s reach, P would feel panicked and stressed. Her breathing struggles meant a good night’s sleep was impossible. Her condition added to the physical stress on her body and she felt exhausted all day long, everyday. Her asthma meant she was fearful to exercise too much because she was left so breathless. Despite trying multiple dietary changes, including the elimination of all dairy and gluten at times, her asthma symptoms had not improved in the past. Despite trying lots of different interventions, P had also struggled to maintain a healthy weight range for most of her adult life. P suffered from multiple chest infections a year and some mild bloating as well.

Based on initial, comprehensive blood work and measurements, health conditions and symptoms an individualised Metabolic Balance program was formulated, which P began in early November. In contrast to some of the popular trends that are emerging now P’s plan:

-Did not exclude all dairy! Although no cow’s milk products featured on her personalised program.

-Did not exclude bread! A small amount of non-wheat bread was actually recommended with each meal.

-Did not exclude coffee or tea, although this was to be drunk sans milk and sugar and in sensible quantities (maximum 3 per day)

-Did not exclude white potatoes!

-Did not exclude legumes.

-Did not exclude fruit, with 2 fruits allowed per day with meals (although the types of fruit were individually determined to suit)


-Ensure adequate hydration (individually based on body weight)

-Ensure 3 quality meals were consumed daily featuring protein / carbs as vegetables, fruit and starch / healthy fats

-Not allow snacking. Outside of the 3 nutritious meals, there was nothing else. Does the average, sedentary Aussie really need to graze constantly?

Follow-up and Outcomes:

Just 1 week into the program, all digestive discomfort including bloating had resolved. The biggest struggle was remaining hydrated with adequate water, having not been consistent with water intake in the past.

By 5 weeks into the program, P described her asthma symptoms as noticeable less severe despite some significantly wild, hot, dry weather, which would normally worsen symptoms. At this point, a 10kg total weight loss had also been noted. Hydration levels were good.

At 8 weeks into the program, P reported the program being a part of her routine. Despite Christmas and a family holiday, P had followed the main principles of the plan easily, no longer having issues with cravings and motivated because the way she felt. Easy to hit water intake; feeling like the body needed it and thirsty if she starts to slacken off.

At 10 weeks into the program, P was not experiencing any breathing difficulties at all and had not used any medication to manage asthma for weeks. With the burden of this condition off her shoulders, P was looking to bring in a regular exercise routine. Total weight released at this point was over 14kg, more than 7% of P’s total body weight.

P, for the most part, has felt satisfied on her program, only struggling with hunger sporadically.

P is now at the 11 week mark in her Metabolic Balance journey and has just completed her first week of consistent exercise, with 4 brisk walking sessions accomplished! Unfortunately, her asthma symptoms did return during her exercise sessions. However, she will persevere with these sessions consistently over the next 3 weeks. As her fitness improves, it’s likely the asthma will be less of a problem. Having literally always dreamed of being able to run, stepping the intensity up will be the next step on the journey after this first month of focusing on brisk walking sessions.

This synopsis of P’s journey has been written based on the CARE case report guidelines to ensure the synopsis is as objective as possible. This summary was prepared in consultation with clinical notes taken during consultations. P has read this report in full and confirms it’s accuracy as well as providing consent for it to be published.

The take home points for the reader include:

  • Comprehensive and individualised nutritional prescriptions are a truly powerful solution to chronic and debilitating health conditions
  • Food groups don’t necessarily have to be excluded. Exclusions of any whole foods should be based on an individual’s reaction to them – not on a societal level.
  • When underlying health issues are resolved, the physical body is less stressed and inflamed, and true weight release occurs
  • This was a supported journey and it wasn’t just about food. Long term health changes will only come when someone’s thoughts and feelings around food are also changed. New habits, a new lifestyle and new goals have been created which are only possible as a result of these health improvements.

The next information evening about the Metabolic Balance program is this Thursday the 7th of February, from 6pm here at the clinic. Please phone or email to register your attendance.

Read more about Metabolic Balance here.



I cringe as I write that as I always strive to keep things positive across all my platforms. Maybe hate’s the wrong word…. Maybe this time of year scares me? Frustrates me? It’s somewhere between those 2 emotions, neither seems exactly right.

I watch quietly and observe as people declare what they’re going to give up this year, or how they’re going to get fit or which trendy diet they might follow… as if doing these things will solve all of their problems. But in a couple of months, for most of them, ‘life’ will get in the way, their intentions will start to slip and they’ll accept the original status quo. It won’t be too big a deal for them, but I sit here and worry that it actually is a really big deal for all of us.

We seem to be a society simultaneously obsessed with eating trends, yet completely lacking respect for how important what we put in our mouths actually is. We like the superficial stuff; this actor follows xyz diet and looks this way…. This food will give you glowing skin…. Blah blah blah. But my gosh, it’s so much more than this. In the last year in particular, I’ve seen changes in people’s health through diet that even surprised me! I’ve seen psoriasis plaques all but disappear after a few months of eating the right food, debilitating asthma become a mere annoyance, the black clouds of depression clear, chronic pain and inflammation improve, even tachycardia (irregular and fast heart rhythms) become pretty much a thing of the past….

Because that’s the power of food. On the one hand, it’s all we seem to talk about these days, but on the other, people are still SHOCKED that what you put in your mouth a few times per day, which literally becomes a part of you, really, truly, influences you at every single level.

My wish for this year, is that we do actually start to take food seriously for the right reasons. I want us all to invest a little bit of time each day in the kitchen… preparing food. Actual food. Not something from a box that gets heated in a microwave. And then, I want us all to spend a little time eating it together. With people we call friends and family. Away from bright lights and around a table. I want us all to spend a little time each week buying food. Fresh, real, unprocessed food from local suppliers. If we don’t start supporting these local suppliers then they too will disappear. I want all of us to remember what ‘sometimes’ foods actually are. Because those sometimes foods are becoming everyday foods. For both kids and adults. And I know that if we do all of these things there will be less illness, less need for medication, more health and more happiness.

These are the changes that I think will genuinely make a difference long term, on a large scale.

People will say to me, ‘this must be a great time for your business. You must love the New Year. You should run a challenge. Blah blah blah.’ That’s not really what I do…. Or what I stand for… or what will make a difference. In truth, the clients I have worked with successfully have really changed the way they think about themselves, their bodies, their family values…  they’ve had to grow on more than a physical level. It’s not been trendy or easy but I’m sure it’s been worth it.

Just don’t get sucked in by the magazine headlines for the new month. Or what the half-naked ‘influencers’ are saying on their social media feeds. Don’t make a resolution. Make a habit… make a real change.

Welcome to 2019. May this be the only ‘negative’ post I write for the year.



Veganism is set to be one of the major nutrition trends of 2019 and in case you missed it, Veganuary (celebrated in January – i.e. now) is a charity set up to inspire people to give this way of eating a go. Lots of people are asking the question ‘should I go vegan’ or ‘how can I be a healthy vegan?’
We’ve certainly seen a massive increase in this way of eating in Australia over the last few years; now, you don’t have to go too far in Brisbane to find a vegan restaurant!
Remember I don’t engage in debates about ‘which is the best diet’ given that all of us humans are completely unique. It’s my job instead to make sure, however you decide to eat, you are doing it the very best way. So, if you are giving veganism a go in January this year, or at any other stage of the year for that matter, here are the top 5 rookie errors I witness in ‘new vegans’ in the clinic:

1. Thinking it’s just about ‘giving up meat.’ No. You give up 1 thing (in this case, it’s more than just meat, it’s all animal products) you are going to need to ensure you include a wide variety of other things instead. Otherwise you will end up with the following 4 problems.
2. Not getting enough protein: yes it’s important for muscle and all that, but protein goes a lot further than that. Amino acids (protein broken down) make up our digestive enzymes which literally makes absorbing nutrients possible.
They also make up our neurotransmitters – these are the chemicals in our brain that keep us happy, level headed, help us sleep etc. Protein is also needed for hormones. So I can go on… but seriously, having enough muscle is the least of your worries when it comes to protein. Replacing said animal proteins with a huge variety and enough plant based proteins is now key. I will emphasis variety too. because too much of anything has consequences. Legumes, tofu, seeds, tempeh, nuts, good quality protein powders, higher proteins grains (buckwheat, quinoa etc.) will now need to be an integral part of your diet. Please, do be realistic. If you can’t stand legumes or you refuse to eat tofu… well, maybe going vegan just isn’t for you?  You can’t exist on air. For more on mental health and nutrition you should also read this article here.

3. Missing out on essential nutrients, particularly B12, iodine and iron. These are big ticket items and again, really important for our mental wellbeing, muscle and nerve function, energy, oxygen transportation around the body, thyroid function, immune system… again, I could go on. You can’t just ‘exist’ on suboptimal iron and B12 levels so these little numbers need to be checked
regularly, say every 12 months. It’s likely B12 will need to be supplemented as its simply too scant in a diet completely devoid of animal products and iron levels will need careful monitoring. Book in for a consult if you have concerns around these key nutrients and we can talk more detail one on one.
4. Trying to combine ‘multiple diets’ in one. E.g. low carb and veganism. Personally I think when we get wrapped up in labels and start combining ‘trends’ it means more restriction, less variety, more complication, more rules, less intuition… it’s just a recipe for disaster (pardon the pun). In particular, the combo I just listed – low carb veganism just ain’t going to work together. Refer to point 5 if you are all muddled up and guilty of trying to follow everything that’s trendy all at once.
5. Why are you starting? Going vegan is a big decision. Don’t do it for a friend or a family member and damn, do not do it because some model with a 6 pack is endorsing it. Do it for you, because it aligns with your values and it feels good for you. If you are clear on this, point 4 shouldn’t be an issue.

Finally, please be brave enough to tweak things if it just isn’t working for you. Personally, I think some of us thrive on plant based proteins and others just thrive when we include animal proteins. We aren’t all the same. That’s what makes life kinda cool but also a little messy sometimes.  Whatever you do, don’t stick with something that just doesn’t feel right for you – find something that feels right on all levels. Make THAT your goal for 2019!