How do you sort food fads from food facts? The award-winning “Plantbased Pixie” food blogger Pixie Turner is a nutritionist dedicated to debunking diet myths and promoting a fad-free healthy lifestyle. Author of “The Wellness Rebel” and this spring’s “The No Need to Diet Book”, she calls herself a “scientist and skeptic”. She empowers people to eat well and mindfully, without falling prey to orthorexia (unhealthy obsession with otherwise “healthy” eating) or buying into stigmas around weight.
Parvati Magazine: You mention on your website that you are “an advocate for health at every size”. What does this mean and how do you apply this in your work as a nutritionist?
Pixie Turner: As a nutritionist, I don’t prescribe weight loss as an intervention. I focus on implementing healthful behaviours and offering non-stigmatising care, regardless of someone’s shape or size. I also focus on intuitive eating, and helping people to relearn the pleasures of eating. I believe it is possible for anyone to achieve good health regardless of their body size.
Parvati Magazine: You have a strong nutrition science background which obviously has a strong influence in what you do, however I’m curious to know about the human side of your work. How does understanding human emotion and behaviour play a role as you work with your clients?
Pixie Turner: All the science in the world won’t help someone if you can’t establish a human connection with them. My clients have to feel comfortable around me, that is the most important thing, otherwise they won’t trust me and it’ll make it harder for me to help them. There is a strong psychological component to my work as a nutritionist, as I primarily work with people who don’t have healthy relationships with food, so I need to understand the roots and triggers of these issues.
Parvati Magazine: There are so many diets and nutrition plans available today and it can be quite confusing for many people. At its basic level, what is a plant-based nutrition plan?
Pixie Turner: When I work with a client everything is tailored to them, as there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to nutrition. As a result, I ask questions about food, fitness, sleep and stress, with a particular focus on their relationship with food. It’s never about restriction.
Parvati Magazine: Who can benefit from a plant-based approach to their nutrition and why?
Pixie Turner: What I like about the word plant-based is that it’s wonderfully vague. You can be a plant-based vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore. But always with a focus on making plants centre-stage. There are numerous benefits to eating plenty of plants, and with much of the population not reaching their five-a-day I think it could be beneficial to many people!
Parvati Magazine: Your website is full of articles that address common misconceptions about food. What inspired this work?
Pixie Turner: There is so much misinformation online, especially on social media as it’s so unregulated. I fell for many of these myself years ago, and I hope that others can learn from my mistakes. I also don’t believe people can make informed decisions about their health based on misinformation. Whatever people’s food choices, their decisions shouldn’t be based on fear or inaccurate information.
Pixie is a nutritionist (ANutr, MSc) and food blogger based in London, UK. She is the brains behind the award-winning “Plantbased Pixie” blog and is dedicated to promoting a fad-free healthy lifestyle supported by evidence-based science. Her most recent book is “The No Need to Diet Book”, out March 2019.