I never really buy souvenirs from the places I travel to

Posted on September 3rd, 2014

A while back I read an interview with legendary chef and owner of ElBulli (once the most exclusive restaurant in the world until it closed in 2011), Ferran Adrià. There was a bit that struck me. This bit, about how little he owns (basically, one small bag)…

Image via Favim

Image via Favim

This suitcase [pictured below] is my home. I live out of it. I was born in L’Hospitalet [a working-class district of Barcelona] but I’ve never bought a house, or lived anywhere very long. I just have a small studio that’s home at the moment. My wife and I never had children, and that is a very important fact, because it enabled me to work from 9am until 2am at elBulli. And I’m not at all materialistic. I don’t have a car, or a watch. My wife bought me some pyjamas, which are great, but I’m not interested in clothes or goods.”

Comforting stuff. For me at least. Read more

Should you become a health coach with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition?

Posted on September 2nd, 2014

About three years ago I undertook studies with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York to become a health coach. I did so for personal education reasons – not to become a “health coach” as such, but to be steered toward the latest ideas, research and thinkers. I was hungry for satiating information about wellness and couldn’t find an appropriate course here that tapped into the really contemporary approaches. They were too expensive (up to $40K) or too narrow and didactic in their focus for my purposes.

Of course, the IIN teachings certainly played a part in the evolution of my I Quit Sugar ebooks, books and business. And so, as my business has grown, thousands of folk out there have been keen to follow a similar educational trajectory. And so, I get questions. A lot. Mostly along the same lines. To this end, I’ve answered all the common ones here in this video for you.

View away!

The video covers off:

  • That I’m an affiliate for the course*
  • How does the course work?
  • How long is the course?
  • How many hours per week?
  • Is it business-focused (as opposed to straight nutritional information)?
  • Will I get a job out of it?
  • Is the course accredited?
  • How scientifically valid is it?
  • How did the course help me?

A couple of other points I’ll also flag:

In no way does the course qualify anyone to become a nutritionist.

Yes, you study nutritional theories, but certainly not in the same way you would if completing a university nutrition degree. Some have found the fact that IIN describes itself as a “nutrition school” misleading. I can see their point when the common understanding of a nutrition school is sometimes understood to entail a three-year university degree. That said, the course materials very clearly delineate their teachings and outcomes from such degrees and students are certainly not misguided.

I don’t recommend IIN as a first or only tertiary course.

I probably stand a little apart when I say this: The IIN course is best for those who are either interested from a personal education perspective (as I was) or want to supplement another degree or career path. I don’t recommend it to 18-year-olds fresh out of school wanting to launch a career.

So what is a health coach exactly?

I put it thus: A health coach is to a nutritionist what a personal trainer is to a physiotherapist. Or, a health coach is to a Read more

I’ve been having the wrong conversation about feminism

Posted on August 29th, 2014

When I first started writing opinion columns for newspapers – about 16 years ago, for the Herald Sun in Melbourne, sharing a page with The Human Bolt (Andrew)  – I idolised the writing of Zoe Williams and studied her prose to grow my own style.

Image via hellogiggles.com

Image via hellogiggles.com

She wrote a smart column for the Guardian on Saturdays called “Things you only know if you’re not at work”. It chronicled the minutiae of the banal of our small existence. But her slant was entirely captivating.

Zoe still writes for the Guardian. Yesterday’s column “The genius of Kate Bush in an age of Subjugation” is particularly gold. I’d love you to read it. It’s a review of Bush’s sold-out concert. She finds herself comparing the sublime experience with her conflicted thoughts about contemporary female music artists, which she often tries to analyse through a feminist lens. “(Kate) is what music sounds like when it’s the authentic creation of its author, and there are no strings being pulled by marketing guys,” she writes.

Williams realises she’s been wasting her time with the very fatiguing questioning – as a wizened old third-waver – of whether Beyonce’s lyrics are anti-feminist or Miley’s antics are destructive to the sisterhood (or are they reflective of what feminists fought for – freedom to express what you want?).

She concludes that the more important issue is that the mass marketing of culture has meant we lose the creative contributions of people like Kate Bush.

I want to add to this.

I feel that this mass, commercial approach means we’ve stopped wanting or expecting or craving what I think is a very female contribution to life – the female insight and voice.

To me, this is free and slightly wild and maybe slightly mad at times and loose and geared at digging under layers, Read more