1) Could you tell us a little about your career and areas of expertise/interest?
My day job entails conducting research and teaching on how what we eat, influences our metabolism. This work includes investigating for example, the influence of lower carbohydrate and higher fat diets in diabetes and obesity as well as on measures of performance in normal healthy individuals. I’ve also completed work on the role of high sugar diets in altering health status and the potential for non-nutritive sweeteners to assist recovery in diets focused on lowering sugar intake. I completed a PhD in Biochemistry in 2003 and since then have been an academic at the University of Sydney.
2) What drew you to this line of work/research in the first place?
To be honest, it was the only thing I was good at at University. I squandered most of my first year enjoying the freedoms that University Student life brought. However, by second and third year I found myself intrigued by metabolic biochemistry and the way in which our entire system is integrated to utilise the energy of food we eat and how our behaviors may change to seek out specific foods. Through the course of my PhD and then academic life, the relationship between what we eat, how we eat it and our health fascinated me.
3) How do you look after your own physical and mental wellbeing?
I wax and wane. Periods of control and periods of laziness. I like to convince myself it is all by design. But to be honest sometimes I have all the energy in the world to commit to health and sometimes sleeping in, having an extra drink and getting take away feels like the right thing to do. When I am committed, there are 3 – 4, 7km runs a fortnight interspersed with some weights on alternate days and more often than not there are 10-11 home cooked dinners in that fortnight with leftovers for lunches. I typically avoid sugar sweetened beverages, and opt for extra veges over “passenger carbs” like bread and pasta
4) Do you have a favourite post-workout cafe?
Not really, since most of my runs and weights workouts are at home. But if you are in the Balmain / Birchgrove area The Gladstone Corner store does a great long black.
5) What is one thing you wish people knew about wellbeing?
It takes a conscious effort to find it, grow it and keep it. And a subconscious effort to lose it.
6) What is one of the most ridiculous things you’ve read or seen about wellbeing that you know to be untrue?
That you have to cut the fat off your meat to make it healthy.
7) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or websites on health or wellbeing that you’d recommend?
I really enjoyed “the art and science of low carb living” and “The case against sugar” otherwise I am somewhat of an online itinerant.
8) What is your top tip for living a healthy and happy life?
Every sugary drink is doing you harm