B. HSc (Nutritional Medicine) (ANTA)Read Samantha's blog posts here
A qualified Clinical Nutritionist with natural skills in communication, Samantha was recently awarded the Australian Natural Therapists Association’s bursary award, presenting a case study reducing medications and improving some very poor health outcomes through the application of diet and supplementation.
Samantha works with a variety of patients but has a special interest in both working with children, and with those with cancer, having been personally connected with both groups many times throughout her career.
Growing up in regional outback QLD, Samantha attended primary school at home via School of the Air and correspondence. While she was yet to learn much about ‘food as medicine,’ from a very young age she collected books on food and gardening, and started experimenting in the kitchen. She comes from a family of excellent home cooks - her grandfather was a chef and is still cooking at 93, while his father was a gardener in the palace gardens in the UK. Welcoming of guests was always done by the sharing of food.
Studying on a more traditional pathway (communications and publishing), Samantha began to experience ‘brain fog’ as well as headaches and fainting. After being told by a GP she was ‘just sensitive’, she turned to a nutritionist who was formerly a nurse. Through that treatment, acupuncture and a changed diet, she noticed an immediate difference – that she felt and functioned so much better, had clearer thinking and was able to sleep
Following her first degree, Samantha enjoyed a successful career, including editing a magazine, but after having two children took the time to take stock and think about what she was really passionate about. Her discovery of food allergies in both children – one severely anaphylactic – prompted her to resume the interest in diet that was peaked with her own earlier personal experience. That culminated with a second degree in Health Science, as a Clinical Nutritionist.
Personal experience with several friends in their early 40s going through treatments for very different cancers has led Samantha to the growing field of how diet can support cancer treatment.One of the common threads she has found in her friends has been lack of support or information around the impacts of treatment on their digestion, and on ways that simple changes to diet might maximise results while minimising treatment side effects and reoccurrence. Yet she has seen some of those she knows implement diet changes that have had a dramatic impact on their quality of life, confirming her belief in the vital role of individualised nutritional support as an adjunct to oncology treatments. For this reason, she is passionate about sharing information about the impact of diet in supporting cancer treatment.
Having children with allergies, Samantha also offers lots of advice to parents needing to look at diet changes for their kids, or wondering if food allergies or intolerances might be a concern. She is committed to working flexibly with kids and their parents to realistically adapt diet whether this be by gradual steps, clever substitutes or ‘tricks of the trade’. She is also a source of the best information on brands of food, different names for some ingredients, and additives, as well as family-friendly and allergy-friendly recipes.
Taking a very collaborative approach, Samantha believes in nutritionist, patient and family working together. She knows that there is no point in saying ‘do this’ if it’s not going to work with your lifestyle, and often looks at incremental steps to make a change. She sees the role of the nutritionist as a collaborator in your treatment process, creating an individualized health-promoting diet, with nutritional supplementation as needed, to get the best outcome possible.