Who is Catherine Saxelby?

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Sunday, 21 June 2009.
Tagged: guides, healthy cooking, healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, wellness

Who is Catherine Saxelby?
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Hello and welcome. As founder of the Foodwatch website, I can help you make sense of all these crazy diets and weird super foods. My aim is to help busy women eat well so they can attain and maintain a healthy weight (especially as the years roll by) while having heaps of energy. After all, we all juggle lots of things day and need to get through that To-Do list each! I think nutrition should be an important topic for everyone, regardless of age or gender! My official Bio is below but here are a few things I’ve written about what I’m passionate about so you can get to know me a little better.

I’m passionate about ...

• Good food, grown with care and cooked lightly
• Making healthy eating EASY so it’s not a chore
• Helping others realize that it only takes small steps to take to improve eating habits - one bite at a time
• Explaining healthy weight loss, not a drop-a-size-over-the-weekend starvation diet
• Sharing what I’ve learned as a nutritionist and busy Mum of two.

I hate all the nonsense that surrounds food, eating and diets these days with huge controversies between Paleo-Passionates and No-sugar-devotees and Raw extreme veganites.

My background

I’ve worked in nutrition for over 25 years. Initially I started out as a dietitian in a hospital, then moved to a research centre for bread and flour, followed by a stint with a large baking company - which taught me a lot about labelling and the power of advertising.

After that, I went into business for myself as a freelancer, writing for magazines and newspapers (in those days, one got paid to write), designing brochures for government departments and food advisory boards.

As an educator

I’ve taught nutrition and food science to high school students as well as TAFE and Uni students. I enjoy teaching and find the best lectures are those that are thoroughly planned! Especially after three years!

[Image of Cath at McCormick Spices Event]

As a freelance writer

I have written heaps of articles for magazines and newspapers including Women’s Weekly, Who, Healthy Food Guide, Prevention and New Idea.

I’ve served as a nutrition editor for a couple of start-up magazines such as Super Food Ideas and Table magazine.

Looking back, I’ve written over 3, 000 articles on just about every aspect of healthy eating but mainly focussing on staying slim, women’s health issues such as iron, calcium and menopause, and what's in that food. I’ve created dozens of facts sheets that are used by doctors, dietitians and teachers.

As an author

I’ve written 11 books on eating and special diets. My third book Nutrition for Life (Reed then Hardie Grant) has clocked up sales of almost half a million over 20 years, making it one of the most enduring and popular nutrition books in the country.

In 2012, I released my latest book the Complete Food and Nutrition Companion (Hardie Grant) after two years of solid research.

I’ve worked as part of a team on large book and website projects such as Penguin, Readers Digest, Dorling Kindersley and Arbon, where I wrote text, analysed recipes, wrote briefs for junior writers and edited final manuscripts.

Mind you, I too love reading cookbooks (often in bed before sleep) and re-working recipes so I can cook up a storm.

NOSH That Sugar Film

My awards for writing are:

• Winner – Bruce Chandler Book Prize 2014 for my Companion book
• Winner – Food Media Club Best Nutrition Writing 2001, 2003 and 2004
• Winner – Best writing for Dairy Nutrition 2003
• Winner – Dietitians Australia award for Innovation in Communication 2000

As a nutrition consultant

I’ve worked with companies such as Goodman Fielder, Lipton Teas (Unilever), Uncle Toby’s oats, Brita water filters, Kellogg, Macadamia Growers, Pear Growers, Mushroom Growers, Healthy Kids Association, School Canteen Association of WA, Breville, McCormick spices, Perfection Fresh, Birdseye, N4Health, Australian Prune Industry Association, Australian Horticultural Association and others.

Life in a family

In my off-line life, I’m a mother of two kids and a docile short-haired border collie called Spin. I’m a keen bushwalker and former jogger.

I like to practice yoga for flexibility, Tai Chi so I sleep well and Pilates for my posture. I’ve also studied meditation under Western doctors as well as with Buddhist monks and need to do it more regularly.


Professional qualifications

I hold a Bachelor of Science degree (majoring in biochemistry and physiology) and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Nutrition & Dietetics, both from the University of Sydney.

I am an Accredited Nutritionist (AN) and an Accredited Practicing Dietitian (APD).  I was an Honorary Governor of Sydney University’s Nutrition Research Foundation from 1993 to 2015. I have undertaken additional courses in writing, communications, internet, blogging and scoial marketing. My memberships are:

  • Dietitians Australia
  • Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association)
  • Australian Medical Writers Association
  • Nutrition Society of Australia
  • Australian Institute of Food Science and Technology.

 In 2005, I was made a Life Member of Nutrition Australia for services to community education.

In 2009, I  was made a Recognised Contributor to the media spokesperson program run by the Dietitians Association. I also mentor younger dietitians to help them with their career direction and nail that job in interviews.