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Adelle Purbrick is the Principal Dietitian for Body Balance Nutrition. Adelle graduated from Alstonville High School and after extensive travel and work experience, she returned to North Coast NSW to establish Body Balance Nutrition to service the health and sport nutrition needs of the local community.

Adelle is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD), Accredited Nutritionist (AN), Accredited Sports Dietitian (ASD) and member of Sports Dietitians Australia and Dietitians Association of Australia. Adelle studied a Bachelor of Health Science: Nutrition & Dietetics (1st Class Hons) at QUT in Brisbane with a minor in Sport Nutrition and completed the Sport Nutrition course at the Australian Institute of Sport.

Professional experience

As a wide traveller, Adelle has professional experience working in various countries and cultures (Australia, England, Ireland, Scotland and Tonga) and across various fields of Nutrition and Dietetics including clinical dietetics (such as Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital), community nutrition (such as Diabetes Education and Specialist Service), private practice, health promotion and nutrition education (Tonga), and performance sports nutrition (Scottish Institute of Sport, QLD Academy of Sport, North Coast Academy of Sport).

Adelle’s areas of nutrition expertise include: Sport Nutrition, Eating Disorders, Gastro-intestinal issues (e.g. IBS, Low FODMAP diet), Vegetarian & Vegan diets, Weaning & Healthy Eating for Toddlers & Children, Chronic Disease (type 2 diabetes, heart disease, lipid management), Weight Management including mindful eating. Adelle is able to call upon her vast array of professional experiences across a variety of professional fields to provide nutrition advice for most conditions that come through her door at Body Balance Nutrition. “Having worked in many different roles (in Australia and overseas) gives me a good understanding of a variety of health conditions from children to aged, and sports people to chronically ill)”.

Personal ethos

“As a mother of 2 gorgeous children, I strive to ensure my family eat fresh, wholesome, seasonal and local food as much as possible”. Ballina resident Adelle is a regular customer of the Ballina Sunday farmers market and loves to buy their fresh, local and seasonal produce.

“I spent my primary school years living on hobby farms in South East QLD (before moving to Alstonville), we milked goats & cows, had chickens for eggs (and later meat), and grew many of our own vegetables. I think my passion for food developed from this early age, living on the farm. My mum made cheese from goats milk, preserved her own fruit& home-made jams, and Dad would often bake bread on the weekend. From a young age I helped mum to bake cakes and muffins on the weekend for our school lunches, later baking them by myself”.

Born into a vegetarian family, Adelle was a vegetarian for 25years of her life. “My family started eating meat when I was in primary school (for several reasons), but I continued to be a vegetarian until I was about 25yrs old. I still love vegetarian food and my own family’s diet is a plant based one, with about 50% vegetarian and 50% meat dishes (fish, chicken, beef mostly). Many people ask me why I started eating meat. Mostly because when I met my partner 10 years ago, he was a meat lover. However, I soon realised that I could still incorporate my healthy eating principles and include some meat in my diet.

 As a child Adelle’s family believed in herbal and Chinese medicine. “My Dad has worked for Mediherb, an Australian herbal company for over 20years. We grew up on Echinacea (the awful tasting brown liquid, not the tablets!), and I still order large brown bottles of Echinacea liquid via Dad and swear by it as keeping my family healthy (along with their nutritious diet of course!)” J

Adelle is a keen sports enthusiast, competing in basketball during high school, and at university running and triathlon, which progressed to adventure racing and mountain biking while living in the UK. Recently, while still breastfeeding her second child, Adelle’s main sports include social surfing and walking and cycling.

“Whilst competing in triathlons and mountain biking, at an amateur level, I trialled many different sports supplements, mostly out of curiosity than for sport performance. So I have a pretty good practical knowledge of sport supplements – their pros and cons”.

After 3 years of living and working in the UK, Adelle and partner James, set sail on James 30ft yacht across the Pacific, a trip that last 18months. First stop New Caledonia, followed by Fiji and Tonga. Whilst on route Adelle was offered an AusAid AYAD Volunteer Nutrition position in Tonga. Adelle and James lived on board their yacht for 1 year while Adelle worked at the local Hospital and Health Promotion Unit in Tonga. Adelle had two roles in this position: to assist the local Tongan hospital dietitian to review the food service and to provide mentoring support; and to assist in the development and delivery of nutrition education resources for the Tongan community, aimed at reducing chronic disease. “It was in Tonga that I first discovered coconuts – coconut water (a delicious refreshing drink straight from a fresh green coconut bought on the road side), and coconut cream (staple in traditional Tongan cuisine). It wasn’t until I returned to Australia 12months later that Coconuts had hit our market by storm (I wish I was clever enough to think of it while sailing the Pacific – I would be a millionaire!)”.

Sailing, Pacific

Sailing in New Caledonia

“I love living the simple life of the Pacific Islanders, living in Tonga, as well as on board our yacht. Catching fish and shopping at local markets. While sailing I would make our own bread using a sour dough culture, make my own yoghurt (from culture), sprouting. I love learning about local traditional cuisines and incorporating their foods into our diet while sailing. For example, the Tongan Lu (fish or meat with coconut cream wrapped in Taro leaves and baked in an earth oven, or in my boat gas oven), cassava and taro.  

My personal nutrition and health message:

Apart from dabbling in Vegetarianism, I do not avoid any foods, and do not promote any ‘one-way’ of eating. I see benefits of many different dietary styles including Mediterranean diet, Japanese diet, Nordic diet, vegan & vegetarian diets, traditional pacific island diet, and even the Paelo diet. Different dietary styles suit different people. Although I do not support ‘fad’ diets or any short term fixes. Healthy eating should be a lifestyle, not a diet. In fact, I dislike the word ‘diet’, which suggests a beginning and therefore an end, good nutrition should be lifelong.

In summary:

  • Eat wholesome fresh food as much as possible. Prepare your own meals from fresh ingredients.
  • Understand your appetite and eat to it.
  • Love yourself and your food.
  • Eat for both nourishment and enjoyment.
  • Never deprive yourself of what you truly want, but understand that food cannot be the only way to meet emotional needs.
  • If you have children, involve them in food preparation and eat together where possible
  • Move for enjoyment
  • Live life and love it.
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