Hello I'm Paula McQuillan, a Nutritionist, Health Coach and now also a recently certified GAPS Practitioner, as well as mum of two gorgeous and energetic girls. I'm also wife to a husband who adores his family, home cooked food and the outdoors. We are very fortunate to be living in a beautiful part of the world on the Surf Coast in Victoria, Australia. After living in Hong Kong for 14 years we truly appreciate the natural environment, clear skies and fresh air that we wake up to everyday.
My passions are, and have been as long as I can remember, nutrition, wholefood cooking and chemical-free or 'clean' living. As a teen in the 80's . . . I planted my own herb garden, collected healthy recipes, immersed myself in books about food and nutrition and experimented on my family and friends with my food inventions and homemade beauty products! I began to educate myself about the nutrients in foods, as well as the perils of processed foods, personal and household products and the chemicals they contain.
Looking back, I know that I probably drove my family a little crazy at times. I started to get involved in the weekly food shop and would walk the aisles of the supermarket alongside my mother reading food labels and decoding additives! I also loved to cook, so I enjoyed spending time in the kitchen preparing healthy meals and treats for my family. I learned tips from my mum, a fabulous home cook, about how to adapt recipes to be healthier. With mum being a type 1 diabetic, she kept a close eye on our sugar consumption, but even so, we have certainly learnt a lot since then about how her condition could have been better managed through food choice. Mum followed the high-carb, low-fat dietary prescription back then, which we now know to be ill-advised. These days mum nourishes her body with real foods including plenty of healthy fats, and as a result her diabetes is well-controlled.
My qualifications & experience
Essentially, I have been studying or working with food (and nutrition) for most of my life. After completing a university Bachelor degree in Biological Science and a Masters in Human Nutrition, I worked in the weight loss industry and as a Consultant Nutritionist in Geelong & Melbourne. I married my long-term partner in 2001, and for his work moved to vibrant and exotic Hong Kong where we lived for over 14 years. I completed a postgraduate teaching degree over my first couple of years in Hong Kong and taught secondary school science and then food & nutrition alongside the most important job of all, raising my two girls :)
In 2010, in my spare time, I started up a recipe blog called 'Mixing it up HK' which was one of the first wholefood Thermomix recipe blogs. I was later invited to work for Thermomix when they commenced business operations in Hong Kong in 2013. Over 2013-2014, I returned to study and completed an Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching course at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition New York, where I connected with leading Nutrition Scientists and experts in the field. After completing my course I began coaching clients and also worked as a Consultant Nutritionist for Hong Kong Personal Chef. I was also called upon to contribute to articles on various nutrition topics for two prominent Hong Kong magazines.
Over the years I have kept myself up to date with the latest in nutrition science, not only because it's my passion, but so I could give my children the best start I knew how. I was particularly mindful of my girls spending their early childhood living in a less than clean environment. For this reason it was my mission to work on the things I could control in our own home and reduce our overall exposure to toxins by cleaning green and providing optimal nutrition through food for my family.
In late 2015 I was very excited to return to Australia and start my own business called Nourish Me Natural. Over the last couple of years I have been running a successful 10-day Real Food Detox program and also working one-on-one with individuals providing guidance and support to help them to achieve the personal nutrition and health outcomes they desire and to be the best version of themselves. In August 2017 I completed GAPS Practitioner training with Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride on the Gold Coast, taking my passion for nourishing the gut to the next level with a certification in gut healing and sealing to treat 'dis-ease' in the body.
I work with clients both in person and via phone calls and Skype/Facetime to create a personalised 'roadmap to health' that suits each individuals unique body, lifestyle, preferences and goals.
As you can see, nutrition is not just a career but a lifelong passion of mine. Learn more about my unique approach and style of nutrition & health coaching here. If you're interested in learning how the health of your gut is intimately connected to that of the rest of your body, you can learn more about the GAPS approach here.