Sharon Peck, Centre for Nutrition Education & Lifestyle Management (CNELM)

recent meAs a young adult, my diet was mainly based around cheese on toast and pasta.  Indeed, I considered cheese, bread and chocolate to be the culinary holy trinity and felt immensely sorry for friends that couldn’t tolerate lactose so missed out on the delights of cheese.

This happy ignorance was shattered after being diagnosed with an autoimmune condition (multiple sclerosis) 9 years ago.  I quickly realised there was no magic pill, but heard that people were using food as medicine.  My journey of nutritional discovery had begun.

I cut out gluten, legumes and dairy to start with.  So no cheese on toast, what would I eat!  Refining my diet involved a lot of nutritional research and self-experimentation.  There was so much confusing information available. I discovered the work of Dr. Terry Wahls, an MS patient that had eaten her way out of a wheelchair.  She advocated a paleo diet with lots of vegetables.

I wanted to understand the science behind what worked and why so I could decipher the research.  Then work out how it could apply to me, as a individual, rather than relying on the generalised interpretation of others.  I was in the consciously incompetent phase of learning and I wanted to learn more.

My career as a software consultant began to seem boring against my new found passion for nutrition.  So, I took steps towards a career as a nutritional therapist.  I did a science access course prior to starting the Nutritional Science degree.

So, 10 years on from the height of my cheese on toast days and I’ve learnt the healing power of food.  My plate is always piled high with vegetables.  As an occasional treat, I’ll make vegan, paleo cauliflower bread and have it with some coconut cheese.  Student food 😉

Sharon Peck is a 2nd year student on the Nutritional Science BSc at CNELM. She is also a BANT Student Member and volunteers on the BANT Student Network Team, working on social media. If you would like to write a story for the Student Spotlight or become a part of our team, we would love to hear from you, please email us at [email protected].

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