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Samantha de Kock

Sam, as she is affectionately known, studied a BSc in Sports Science & Honours, a Bachelor of Medical Science in Nutrition & Dietetics and is currently completing her community service year at the Knysna Provincial Hospital.

‘’Nutrition, and the way we eat, has a massive effect on our health and the way we feel. I believe that people are not educated correctly in matters pertaining to nutrition as there is so much misinformation as well as false information in the marketplace. That is why I chose to go into this industry, and strongly believe that people have the right to be educated & well informed on the correct way to eat.’’ Says Sam.

Sam, is a dietitian with a passion to inspire people to live their happiest & healthiest life, with the human gut health being her main field of fascination!    Amongst her favourite activities, Sam places reading the latest nutrition research, ensuring veggies make up most of her meals and enjoying a drink with friends, right up there at the top!

Being so very passionate about this topic, especially the holistic approach to wellness, Sam believes that health is multi-dimensional and that people are most often unaware of the importance of including plant foods in the diet.  According to her, you cannot underestimate the enormous benefits of plant foods, in the short term to improve health, and in the long term, to assist in the prevention of certain diseases.

“Studies prove that by eating the correct foods, we have the ability to not only be in control of our health, but also to improve it.’’ Says Sam.

Sam is most fulfilled, when she can be in the position to  guide people on their personal health journey, spreading the message that we are all so different in shape, height, size, food culture, habits, food preference, activity level, metabolism and so on, and that this is what makes us all so special.  By acknowledging that everyone is wired so uniquely, she deals with each person’s health journey differently by evaluating the individual’s situation, and by outlining an approach that is achievable for that person.

Sam says:  ‘’There is no “one size fits all” diet, so I approach each person’s health journey differently to suit their lifestyle which allows them to achieve their most beneficial outcome’’.

Her passion for food and the education surrounding it, grew exponentially as a result of studying the human body, when Samantha became in awe of the human body and how it worked, seeing the health benefits that were derived from something so seemingly basic, as eating a healthy & balanced diet. 

Bringing clarity, Sam says that plant-based doesn’t mean being “vegan”, instead, plant-based means basing most of your diet and meals around plants.

A few of the benefits of eating  a plant based diet include:

  • It assists in the maintenance of a healthy weight:  Plant foods are lower in calories and therefore we are able to eat greater volumes which can help us feel fuller on less calories.
  • Provides additional fibre in the diet:  Fibre is so under-rated.  Fibre alone has so many benefits for the body. Many people do not meet their daily fibre recommendations & by simply adding more plant foods to your meals you can help increase your fibre intake.
  • Potentially reduces the risk of strokes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart diseases & certain cancers.
  • Aids in preventing nutritional deficiencies:  Plant foods are filled with many vitamins & minerals which are essential for the bodies optimal functioning.
  • Plant based food, helps protect the environment!

One of the reasons people are hesitant to follow a plant-based diet, is that humans are creatures of habit, and therefore change is not something that necessarily comes easily.   When Sam meets with a client, she is acutely aware of the fact that their eating habits have been around, most likely for as long as they have, however, shes totally convinced that change is NOT impossible. Shes believes that healthy eating habit changes need to be implemented slowly and need to be realistic and personalized for each individual.

According to Sam:  ‘’Knowing what is happening in my body when I choose the healthier alternative of eating is what really makes me choose eating that way.

”I have seen first-hand, the effects that an unhealthy diet has on a persons body and how it can lead to deficiencies as well as mild to serious health issues. It amazes me that by eating a healthy balanced diet we have the power to prevent certain diseases.  

”What keeps me passionate about the way I eat is the way healthy eating makes me feel, I just feel better all round!’’

Sams encouragement to all those wanting to improve their health, is:  “Nourish to Flourish” –  She says:  “Whilst it may sound a bit clique, I believe it’s so true. If we nourish our body with the correct foods, our bodies will be able to flourish in performing all the activities it was created for”.

For more information:   @bagelsbeforebreakfast