I completed my B.Dietetics degree with distinction through the University of Pretoria in 2014, during which I did my internship training at Eersterust Clinic, Sizwe Hospital of Tropical Diseases, and Baragwanath Hospital. I then went on to complete my community service year as a clinical dietitian at Tambo Memorial Hospital in 2015.
During my internship and community service year I gained valuable experience working in the intensive care unit, general surgical, pediatric, and medical wards, and various outpatient clinics. Additionally, I successfully organized and coordinated Health Awareness Days and took part in foodservice management and staff training.
I was recently elected as a council member for the South African Society of Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition (SASPEN) and have a passion for therapeutic nutrition and clinical dietetics with a primary interest in critical care and surgical nutrition support. I am also a member of the Golden Key Honours Society and the Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA).
Now to give you a bit of a background of how my journey with dietetics began… I originally enrolled at the University of Pretoria to study Veterinary Science in 2010, when about half way through my first year my brother who was 24, was diagnosed with cancer. As expected, my family interrogated the oncologists and scrutinized every possible cause of the disease. During our research, I was astounded to learn the significant role that diet plays in overall health and disease prevention, as well as the dietary management of various disease conditions and how this can drastically improve a person’s quality of life. My brother survived his battle with cancer and since then has adopted a much healthier diet and lifestyle. Although I am aware that there are many other risk factors that lead to cancer – the dietary aspects have always fascinated me the most!
On a lighter note! My family and cultural heritage have also played a major role in my obsession with food and nutrition. I grew up in a Mediterranean household with a Portuguese father and Italian mother, where food has always been closely associated with festivities, celebrations, and absolutely any occasion to be honest. Growing up in my house I can say, with much conviction, that the kitchen truly is the heart of the home.
Overall, I am a highly dedicated person, who cherishes the values of honesty, loyalty, integrity and respect to all. I have a passion for lifelong learning and strongly believe that there is something to be learnt from each and every person we encounter. I love to make a meaningful difference in people’s lives and dietetics is my platform to do so.