Watch this video to learn more about the workshop on 6 April


I’d love to be able to post some of the many testimonials I receive regularly from former clients  to help you make your decision about finding your happetite. However, fully qualified and Accredited Dietitians (along with GPs, Physiotherapists and other health professionals) are prohibited from using testimonials due to Australian government regulations.  The idea is that as professionals we are using evidenced-based practices that provide results time and time again.  Promoting one individual over any other is not a useful or helpful practice.  

Many weight loss programs and practitioners are unregulated and are therefor able to use testimonials. What does this mean to you as the client? Just remember there is no way to check if a testimonial is authentic or not, and testimonials can easily be fabricated.

Happy eating and lots of love,  




Thank You Madeline Beveridge

I don’t know Madeline, but I’m pretty sure I would like her.  She has her facts straight.  Her words suggest she has a big-heart and has wisdom. Here is the article she wrote expressing concern about how Australians are tackling body image in the media.  I hope it is reposted many times.


Happy eating and lots of love,



Dr Sara’s Recommended Hormone Tests

I’ve been following Dr Sara Gottfried since I was introduced to her in a documentary called ‘Yogawoman’.  This PDF is a gold mine of great information to take along the next time you are seeing your doctor or dietitian.


Happy eating and lots of love,



The Only Recipe You Might Ever Need!

Well that might be a bit of an exaggeration, but this recipe is so versatile and adaptable that you can use it all year round with whatever vegetables are in season.  The lentils provide protein and carbohydrate and go a long way towards nourishing you and satisfying your appetite. As noted in the comments below it is also fantastic for bowel regularity. The quantities are for one serve and can be multiplied for as many serves as you need.

Finding Peace (aka Managing Anxiety)

A 12 Minute Meditation to Calm the Mind, Reduce Anxiety, Break Habit Patterns and Create Emotional Balance.

Research tells us that anxiety is one of the main drivers for eating problems. Over the past week or two I’ve found myself introducing several friends and acquaintances to Kirtan Kriya, an active meditation in the Kundalini yoga tradition. I learned it several years ago during yoga teacher training and it is one of my favourite meditations.  It is a sitting meditation but hand movements (mudra), singing (mantra) and visualisation keep the mind occupied in a way that calms down any anxious energy.

It is a powerful meditation that has fostered much research. In January 2011, research published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, revealed that Kirtan Kriya increased telomerase, an exquisite bio marker of health and longevity. The study also showed that mood and other markers of improved memory and health can be increased by doing the Kirtan Kriya for just 12 minutes a day for 12 weeks.

Try it for a week and let me know what you think.

Kirtan Kriya Meditation Research and Explanation 

Mantra: Sa Ta Na Ma

Demonstration of the  Meditation

Happy eating!

Lots of love,


The Parallels Between Restrictive Dieting and Chinese Footbinding

Why Restrictive Dieting is Like Chinese Footbinding

I believe the current cultural obsession with dieting, weight and body image is a 21st-century Westernized version of Chinese footbinding. While the crippling effects of restrictive dieting are less overt than that of footbinding, I believe it is having no less an impact on our culture than footbinding did in ancient China.

In her book Splendid Slippers, Beverly Jackson describes the driving forces behind the ideal of a three-inch foot:

“It was complex: it had to do with marriage; it had to do with sex; it had to do with status; it had to do with beauty; it had to do with duty. Whatever the rationale, the fact is that by the time the practice was abandoned, millions of Chinese women had endured the unimaginable pain of the footbinding process, and in doing so, had sacrificed forever their ability to move about freely and normally.” (p. 24)

Could the driving forces behind our current cultural ideal for thinness run parallel to those of footbinding? As a practice, footbinding began in the 10th Century AD in the Southern Tang Dynasty of China.  It was first used among the elite and only in the wealthiest parts of China.  It survived for nearly a thousand years until a small group of women in the late 1850s started to protest against it. And it was finally banned in 1911 after more than of one thousand years of being in vogue, crippling legions of women and preventing them from living full lives.

In contrast, restrictive dieting is a relatively modern practice, beginning in earnest in the mid 19th century and coinciding with the gathering pace of industrialization. Restrictive dieting binds us against our natural physiology, too. This time around it is binding our appetites, rather than our feet.  Often using health as a driving force (the one force not apparent in ancient China), restrictive dieting disconnects us from our appetites and triggers physiological and psychological survival mechanisms that lead to either the starvation syndrome or the diet-binge cycle.  The starvation syndrome shuts off the normal ebb and flow of appetite and prompts muscle-wasting, along with a plethora of other symptoms including depression, poor concentration and tiredness.  The other pathway, the diet-binge cycle, also disrupts appetite. It creates confusion about hunger and fullness: feeling hungry all the time for example, or feeling overly full after a normal amount of food. It triggers a cycle of never-ending guilt and deprivation.  Physical symptoms include hair-loss, poor sleep and rapid weight gain once the dieting stops. Both pathways disrupt major body systems by disturbing normal digestion, slowing metabolism and upsetting hormonal regulation. So instead of better health through dieting, health is sacrificed.

In my nutrition therapy practice I often ask clients how much time they spend thinking negatively about food, eating, weight and shape.  Very often it is more than 50% of the day. And despite the evidence-base that just 5% of people who lose weight will keep it off for more than 2 years the diet industry continues to make billions each year – around 70 billion in 2010.  So every year millions endure the pain of the dieting process, experiencing debilitating physical symptoms and riding the emotional swings of guilt and deprivation. Dieting deprives us of the joys of food.  It sucks the fulfillment out of eating and being nourished. Pleasure, inner peace and freedom are sacrificed.   The women of ancient China would understand.

Here are three experiments to help challenge the cultural call to restrictively diet:

1)   The next time you want to diet and lose weight, ask yourself this question:  ‘What is really going on’?

Dealing with the underlying causes, such as the physical challenges, emotional barriers or mental attitudes is required to get off the dieting merry-go-round.   Normalizing your eating, making food decisions from a place of conscious choice and  re-engaging with your natural appetite will help.  Another diet will just add to the insanity.

Check out the UnderstandingYour Eating section of this website and read the book Find Your Happetite  for more information.

2)   Work on self-acceptance.

Consider how you judge yourself and  compare yourself to others physically.  Check out the Health At Every Size website

3)   Become media savvy.

Consider the language you use with your children, family and friends. Even compliments can be the breeding ground for an eating problem.  More often than I care to think about, clients report that extra attention (positive or negative) triggered a stronger drive for thinness.  For more information check out ‘Media Smart’.  Dr. Simon Wilksch and Professor Tracey Wade from Flinders University in South Australia have put together this evidence-based (don’t we love that word) 8-week program for boys and girls in late primary/early high school.  The program significantly reduced the scores of 6 of the 9 ED risk factors measured.  Here’s the link

Happy Eating!


Lots of love,


Vulnerability and Shame

‘Vulnerability Is Our Most Accurate Measurement Of Courage’ – Brené Brown

I HIGHLY recommend these two TED talks from Brené Brown, Social Worker and Author of I Thought I Was the Only One.

One of my clients (so wise!) told me about Brené’s  book last week and today forwarded a link to her talk on vulnerability. It is brilliant!  (Close to 4 Million people have viewed it already on YouTube.)  I also watched another TED talk of hers, just posted this month, on the topic of shame. It is equally good.

There are so many quotable quotes from Brene’s talks.  For example:

“Shame drives two big tapes: ‘Never good enough’, and if you talk yourself out of that one: ‘Who do you think you are?’

“Shame is highly, highly correlated with addiction, depression, violence, aggression, bullying, suicide and eating disorders.”

“Shames requires secrecy, silence and judgement in order to grow”

She also said: “As much as I would be frustrated about not getting my work out to the world, I was also aware there was a part of me that was working hard to engineer staying small – staying under the radar”.  I found that statement resonated deeply for me – it was uncomfortably close to my own experience.  Writing and publishing Find Your Happetite challenged me like no project ever has.  In part because it challenged me to confront my shame.  I have been afraid, terrified really, of being seen and heard professionally.  I have been afraid of being criticised.  Criticised for what?  For  speaking my truth?  For challenging the status quo?  For helping people find freedom around food, eating, weight and shape issues?  Other books have been written on a non-dieting approach.  But I needed to write this book for myself – to express my own vulnerability and confront the shame I carried. As a result, I discovered that I am courageous.  Not courageous in the “I-jumped-out-of-an-airplane’ kind of courageous (which I always have been) but the I-can-allow-myself-to-be-vulnerable kind of courage.  Instead of listening to the old tape of “Who do you think you are?”  I’m saying:  “I feel passionate about this work and information.  Why not me?”

I had three interviews about the book last week.  I am learning it’s okay to be seen and heard.  In fact I’m even having fun.  Who knew?

Brené Brown probably did.

Happy eating!

Lots of love,


Welcome to the Find Your Happetite blog!

Happy holidays for 2011!

The Find Your Happetite website is just getting started.  I will be adding downloadable tools and resources, links to other fabulous websites and more over the coming months.  In the meantime, I’d love to hear about you and your experiences as you read Find Your Happetite and experiment with the ‘Happetite Training’ exercises at the end of each chapter.

Understanding Your Eating

Have you been ‘Naughty or Nice’?  ‘Bad or  Good’?

These perennial questions from the lips of Santa (originating in the tune ‘Santa Klaus is Coming to Town’) have now been translated  into the year-long internal judgement regarding food and weight. How ‘naughty’ have you been this Holiday season?

Here in Sydney a BBQ at the beach, a picnic in the park or the traditional Christmas dinner are all typical holiday fare. (Fortunately the weather was warm and sunny for Christmas and Boxing Day, a nice holiday gift since we have been having the coldest, wettest summer on record.) My friends Christina and Jeff hosted a big Greek/Lebanese family gathering:  a huge roast ham was the centrepiece, served with all the  trimmings.  At our Yankee/Irish gathering we served  BBQ fish and chicken, several salads and two desserts at the help yourself buffet.  At the beach, the throngs of backpackers in their Santa hats ate all sorts of picnic fare.  And everywhere I went I’d hear at least one person say “I’ve been so naughty” !  That’s the sort of judgment that disconnects you from your natural appetite – the same appetite that will help you manage your eating and weight if you could only begin to trust it again.

If you’ve heard that little voice in your head (which I call the Internal Terrorist) chastising you for eating something you ‘shouldn’t’ have, then I encourage you to consider challenging those thoughts.  Finding a new way of being around food, eating and weight will have many rewards.  In the first principle of Find Your Happetite you have the chance to understand  your current eating.  What were your thoughts as you identified your current eating? (There is a short summary in the ‘Find Your Happetite’ section of this website.)  How many people do you know who eat normally or to their natural appetite?  If you have disconnected from your appetite, when did that happen?  When was the last time you didn’t have any concerns about food, weight and shape?  What would it be like to return to that way of being?  Could you start trusting your body and appetite again?  What sorts of thoughts or feelings (however positive or negative) do these questions bring up for you?

Look forward to hearing from you…

Lots of love,