Rhiannon Lambert, BSc MSc ANutr, is a Harley Street Registered Associate Nutritionist specialising in weight management, eating disorders and sports nutrition. Her qualified and dedicated approach has seen her work with some of the world's most influential people. Ahead of the launch of her book Re-Nourish: The Definitive Guide to Optimum Nutrition, we caught up with Rhiannon to find out what it means to eat like a Nutritionist.
There’s a lot of confusion surrounding nutrition and truth at the moment. What’s the most common myth you encounter when talking to clients?
It's definitely that cutting carbohydrates is the answer to fast track weight loss, there is still the widespread misconception that carbs make you fat! There is a case for reducing refined carbs – the type that contain little nutrition for the body – as they’re purely a fast release of glucose and energy, typically white bread and processed food such as biscuits and crisps. I encourage people to opt for complex carbohydrates wherever possible as they release energy slowly and are a valuable source of vitamins, minerals and fibre. The media all to often vilify carbohydrates, so I tell my clients to think about ‘grains’ rather than ‘carbs’, as it’s far simpler to understand. I don't just stop at grains though, there's all kind of wonderful carbs to be enjoyed including the mighty potato!
No doubt, many of our readers are interested in nutrition and keen to learn more but, with so much information out there, how can we ensure that our sources are reliable?
Ultimately, anyone who uses a title other than Registered Nutritionist (ANutr, RNutr), Registered Dietitian (RD) or (evidence-based) Nutritional Therapist is not appropriately qualified to offer personalised nutritional advice. There is a minefield of supposedly authoritative resources each providing their own take on a nutritional education so ensuring any advice is provided by a qualified professional is of utmost importance. Self-proclaimed health gurus are doing nothing wrong by encouraging healthy eating, yet some with their immeasurable social media influence, surely there is a responsibility to ground their promises in evidence. My Who To Trust blog delves into how a deep lack of understanding from self-appointed health gurus has only served to encourage impressionable teenagers and young adults to adopt unsustainable and dangerous dietary regimes.
Tell us what ‘optimum nutrition’ means. How will these principles transform the one-size-fits-all attitude that has led diet culture in the past?
Eating well really is simple and the key to good health isn't hiding in a fad diet or a restrictive regime. You won't find it, as if by magic, at the bottom of a pack of chia seeds or after a juice cleanse either. Whatever anyone tells you, optimum nutrition is ultimately about eating with pleasure and without shame. My forthcoming book
Re-Nourish will help you find your own unique, sustainable route to achieving it.
More from the Journal
In your book, you’ll be sharing a 7-day reset plan. What tools can we expect to learn to create a sustainable and balanced lifestyle?
Throughout the book, there are tools to build confidence in making your own informed choices, just as if I were to see you on a one-to-one basis in my clinic in Harley Street. There are mindful eating techniques, weight management hacks, balanced food diaries, portion guidelines, nutrition myths debunked and my most popular FAQs in clinic. You needn’t be worried about hard to commit to and complicated plans. I am of the firm belief that getting back to basics and keeping nutrition simple is the easiest way to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
You’ve been an influential voice for science and evidence-based nutrition across typically narrative-led platforms. How do you think the scientific community can make their message more accessible to a wider audience?
For far too long health professionals have taken a back seat in the media for fear of having words sensationalised and misquoted. Instead of our most valued professionals muted in education and laboratories, I believe all health professionals have a duty to share any evidence-based findings in an open forum across social media. This is only the way in which we can fight the culture of celebrities emerging as authorities on nutrition and health.
Finally, tell us about what you’ll be bringing to Balance Festival?
Amidst a wellness revolution with even the word 'balance' now becoming a somewhat fragile term, I will look to empower everyone to embrace a healthy way of living through the food you enjoy and the life you lead. My vision is for food to be seen always as a positive aspect of life, offering enjoyment, fuel, medicine and happiness.
Rhiannon will be speaking at Balance Festival at 5:00pm on Friday 12th, discussing the ethics of blogging alongside food blogger Pixie Turner and personal trainer Ban Hass, and at 3pm on Saturday 13th for Re-nourish, sharing how to find your own unique, sustainable route to achieving optimum nutrition.
Follow Rhiannon on Instagram and Twitter.