I first became interested in nutrition around fifteen years ago when I had fairly awful health as a result of my pretty awful diet, which, through my twenties, had centred around pasta and wine, plus the odd leaf in a bag.
I went to see a wonderful nutritionist who, whilst massaging my feet as I lay in a reclining Swedish chair (so much more enjoyable than going to the doctor’s) chatted to me engagingly about my health, and gave me a list of things to eat plus some supplements.
Within a few weeks I felt as though I had been almost reborn – I had energy, the constant sneezing stopped, I didn’t catch colds all the time any more, I lost a stone, I had a good mood instead of regular depressions, and my skin cleared up.
This made me fascinated by the biochemical effect food has on our bodies, and I started to read everything I could find on the subject. I was now eating healthfully, and friends, instead of ostracising me for being so holier-than-thou, started calling me up to ask me what they should eat, which made me realise how little most of us know about what we need to eat in order to be healthy.
At the time, I was working in television, developing a big National Geographic series about ageing, and I discovered that there are what I now call the ‘Longevity Hot Spots’ – pockets of ultra-healthy, very long-lived people around the world. I ended up writing two books about the subject – The Live-Longer Diet and 50 Secrets of the World’s Longest-Living People. I also enrolled at the UK College of Nutrition and Health (BCNH) whilst writing the books; I later returned to lecture there on the subject of anti-ageing.
I now practice in Bristol, UK, where I coach individuals and groups through my Stacking Plan, and I am also the regular nutrition columnist for Juno parenting magazine. I have led nutrition workshops in schools as part of the Engaging Minds project, given talks to students at Bristol University and at local businesses, and been a consultant to the US wellness company AKEA LLC. I have commented in national magazines and newspapers and have also featured on BBC Bristol and BCfm Hub Radio and in local newspapers.