Well this is it, my first blog post… ever. I’ve talked to a lot of people about this for a while so here goes. I hope it doesn’t disappoint!
The reason for writing this is, of course, due to my great passions. Like a lot of people, I love food (both preparing it and eating it) and travel. The combination of these two passions is the essence of ‘The Nutrition Nomad.’ Over the years I have been fortunate to travel to some wonderful places and experience them at their most basic and authentic state- from camping in open spaces, to hiking through rugged terrain, to sourcing food from local producers and to preparing the food with limited resources.
I have been a dietitian for almost ten years across a range of industries. I worked briefly in hospitals and private practice, I have worked in food industry, I have worked in the corporate health sector consulting to various businesses and most recently I have worked (and still do) in Public Health.
Throughout my career I have seen a similar passion for food across all types of Australians. I have found that most people want to make a healthy choice for themselves and their families. However, making a healthy choice is not always as straight forward as it seems. There is a flood of opinions of what we should and shouldn’t eat. Of course, this is understandable- everyone eats. Everyone has a personal connection with food. Some people have altered their diet causing their life to change in positive ways. And they want to share it.
I am not saying that we shouldn’t share our experiences (I wouldn’t be writing a blog if I believed that), however I do think we should be conscious of our messages and how this translates to the general population.
We are being overwhelmed by which ‘superfoods’ we should be eating, which food groups we need to cut out, how we should drink our water and what time of day we should or shouldn’t eat. This makes healthy eating seem unobtainable and unsustainable in the long term.
When there are too many rules and restrictions, people tend to revert back to their normal behavior.
My philosophy is that healthy eating shouldn’t be exclusive. Everyone can attain good nutrition regardless of their budget, location, or cooking facilities. It would be ridiculous tell someone who lives in a remote town in central Australia that they should be eating fresh fruit and vegetables everyday. I am not going to tell a family of four that has a food budget of $80 a week that they should be eating grass-fed, organic meat. Suggesting to a person who lives out of a caravan to buy in bulk is also a futile message. Some things are just not practical or cost-effective.
So this is what I aim to do: provide you with ideas of how you can cook affordable, healthy food with local and limited resources. I am here to tell you that you don’t need South-American grown quinoa at $16 per kg to eat healthily. I am here to show you that you don’t need a $2000 Thermomix to create a delicious meal. I am here to help you create meals with basic ingredients with minimum resources whether you are camping, living in a caravan, travelling to remote places or at home in a small kitchen.
Of course, I also want to share some of my own personal experiences and opinions along the way. Just to let you know, I will be basing my nutrition recommendations on evidence-based research. Most notably, I will be focusing on Australian Guide to Healthy Eating. Aside from this, my other recommendation is trying to achieve a healthy attitude to food and eating. You don’t need to restrict food and I believe you can enjoy ‘not-so-healthy’ foods and drinks if you do it in moderation.
Here’s how to navigate the site. You’ll notice a few pages:
EXPLORE: This page shares some of the places I have visited and hiked to during my adventures (both at home in Australia and overseas). As you can probably guess, I am not a Lonely Planet book and these are by no means an exhaustive list of things you can experience.
FORAGE: This page shares some of the producers, markets, organisations that I have come across on my journeys. You may notice that I also have divided this to ‘Food’ and ‘Wine’ sections. Of course being a dietitian, I realise that alcohol is not a necessary part of our diet and can have some serious, harmful effects if consumed in excess. I do also realise that wine is not cheap in many cases. I have included this section purely because:
- I enjoy wine; and
- I like to support to local producers wherever I am.
So I am not telling you that you can drink as much wine as you like, more so that if you choose to drink in moderation, here are some labels and varieties that I have enjoyed.
COOK: This page shares the recipes that I prepare along my journey. Of course, I have my own little twist on things. You may notice that I put chilli in a lot of recipes- I realise that this isn’t for everyone. I should also let you know that I am vegetarian. Don’t worry, I have no intention of trying to convert you to my food choices. Food choices are exactly that- choices. So I will be including meat and other animal products in some recipes (my partner, Mark will be the lucky taste-tester!)
So with that, let’s hit the road!