Welcome to the first upload to the new section on my blog, The Science of Healthy Eating or S.H.E, I’m so excited to finally launch this section as it’s something I have been aiming to do for a long time!
This week I’ve asked Pixie Turner (or more commonly know as Pixie Nutrtion) a Registered Associate Nutritionist (ANutr) and food blogger, to answer a few questions on all things foodie to kick start this new blog page. From how to identify reliable facts to smoothie ingredients, enjoy!
Pixie, in my eyes, is one of the best food myth debunkers out there. With her weekly Instagram videos on ever changing subjects, rants on (almost) every post, informative youtube videos and, of course, her love of bread, if you haven’t already, go check her out!
1- What made you want to become a nutritionist? Where did you study?
My main driver for studying nutrition was all to be able to credibly shut down all the misinformation I saw online, as well as a genuine passion to learn more about the subject. I did an MSc at UCL.
2- What’s the best part about being a registered nutritionist?
Working with clients is so rewarding, and knowing you’re able to have a positive impact on their life in some way, it’s just the best feeling!
3- Since qualifying, what has been your most satisfying moment?
Ooh that’s tough! It’s a toss-up between getting a book deal and the moment when a client tells me they’ve overcome one of their food fears!
4- When looking for reliable information on diet and nutrition, what key things should we look out for?
- What are the credentials of the author?
- Do they have a conflict of interest?
- Are they using evidence rather than fear tactics to get their point across?
- If they’re qualified, informed, use evidence not fear, and have more to their argument than simply ‘it worked for me’, that’s a good starting point.
If you’re unsure, question them!
5- Are you able to list a few sources that provide factually correct information that you like to use frequently?
(Laura Thomas was mentioned in this monthly favourites too)
6- What’s the difference between a nutritionist and a registered nutritionist, and what are the possible courses that people can study?
Unfortunately, pretty much anyone can call themselves a nutritionist. To be a registered nutritionist means being registered with the Association for Nutrition. They have very strict criteria, for example you have to have a degree (undergad or postgrad) in nutrition, and have to demonstrate a range of core competencies. So you have to have a strong evidence-based background.
The best course is always going to be a BSc or MSc in nutrition. You just can’t beat it. I haven’t yet found an online course that I can happily recommend.
7- From experience, at school we only get taught one extreme to the other about food consumption, if you had the chance what would you include in an itinerary for school children to learn about?
So many things! I would have classes to teach children about different vegetables, what they look and taste like, because we’re far more likely to eat foods we know and recognise. I would have classes on the history of food, food cultures, and talking about the overarching benefits of healthy eating – not necessarily specific foods but dietary patterns around the world like the Mediterranean diet, eating mindfully, and have much less focus on ‘good’ and ‘bad’ foods. The whole purpose would be to foster a healthy interest in food and cooking, without using obesity as a scare tactic, and without being boring!
8- What’s the one thing you would tell your younger self about healthy living?
Chill out, life’s too short!
9- Because you’re in the profession, do you feel obliged to eat a certain way? And if not, why?
I did a little at first, I felt pressure to have the ‘perfect diet’. But I realised that it doesn’t exist! And I know my audience a lot better now, and I know it’s far more beneficial for me to show just how varied my diet is and show that I do eat delicious sweet things – I ate a cinnamon roll on one of my Instagram live rants! I’m trying to be a role model to show people they don’t need to be afraid of foods.
10- Out of all your Insta live rants, my favourite has been about sugar. It really provided an insight into how we’re influenced by ‘scientific claims’, including myself. Out of all of the rants or posts you’ve completed, what’s your favourite?
My favourite rant is probably any rant on ‘clean eating’, as it’s something I feel so strongly about and always makes me angry. My favourite post is the one where I admitted my past mistakes, apologised for them, said it’s ok to be wrong sometimes, and showed my commitment to do better! To date it’s my most popular post.
11- Currently, what would be your favourite dinner for an evening in?
A giant burrito with all the guacamole
12- What would be your perfect smoothie combination
Banana, frozen blueberries, flaxseed, almond butter, and almond milk.
13- In your opinion, what’s the best topping for toats?
Smashed avocado and eggs with runny yolks
14- How do you spell the popular dip made from chickpeas?
15- Finally, but most importantly, whats the best way to eat an avocado?
Wondering where you can find Pixie?