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Tiffany Smith, Centre for Nutrition Education & Lifestyle Management (CNELM)

tiffanyAll my life I have been passionate about health, food and travel.  At 10 I wanted to be a doctor, but developed an unfortunate habit of fainting at the sight of needles! When I left school after A levels, I didn’t go on to study at university as I realised I was too squeamish to be a doctor and there wasn’t anything else I wanted to study. So, I trained as a croupier and worked in the top casinos in London. It was great fun, a young profession with a great social life but also great travel opportunities. I worked on a cruise liner in the Caribbean, in the South of France, Paris, Turkey, Argentina, Mauritius, Malaysia and Greece all expenses paid!

Along the way I met my husband, with whom I travelled working together.  As the casino industry waned, we decided to return to France and bought a small village hotel restaurant from receivers in the Dordogne. We renovated and revived it and hired a chef with whom I worked with in the kitchen, picking up pro cooking skills, until he left 4 years later and I took control of the kitchen. While I enjoyed cheffing, the hotel part was another matter, and we sold up after 7 years and bought another run down restaurant to renovate in a small mountain spa town in the Pyrenees near Perpignan.

A lightbulb moment happened about 4 years ago when I saw the Chanel 4 program ‘The Food Hospital’ and all my worlds collided. I had never even heard of the profession of dietician but the whole focus on the role of food in health seemed perfectly logical to me. I knew where my future lay.  Cheffing is a hard profession and not one I want to get old doing, so moving into nutrition seems a perfectly natural extension of what I already do. I did set out on my study path wanting to be a dietician and did my science foundation with the OU. However, I have discovered the functional approach with CNELM, and am not only enjoying the student experience but looking forward to seeing how my career in nutrition evolves.

Tiffany Smith is a 2nd year student on the Nutritional Science BSc at CNELM.  If you’d like to write a story for the Student Spotlight or become a part of our Student Network Team, we’d love to hear from you, please email us at students@bant.org.uk.