Hi!  I’m Mary Collis.

I have been interested in how food affects health for a long time.  My mother had a great interest in superfoods and was always trying apple cider vinegar or mineralised water from Himalayas, or the latest vitamin concoction.  Having children propelled me into learning about natural health more, then my mother’s premature death from cancer motivated me further.

I see myself as an evidence-based nutritionist.  Most days I read an article or two from a science journal on the topic of nutrition to learn about what the latest findings are and consider how I could apply them in practice.  Often the old ideas are good, but the new research refines them and helps us apply them in sharper, sometimes more effective ways.  Which means better results faster and at lower cost.

Cows at “Glenview”, Inverell, 1970s

Mary graduated from the first part of a double degree from the Australasian College of Natural Therapies with an Advanced Diploma in Nutritional Medicine.  (ACNT is one arm of Torrens University in Adelaide.)  She is currently completing her Bachelor of Health Sciences in Nutrition and Dietetics at Endeavour College.

Mary also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in German and History and a Master of Arts in Linguistics (German) from the University of Sydney, graduating in 1991 with Honours.  She graduated from the University of New England in 1999 with a Diploma of Education (German and ESL), and is a qualified high school teacher.

Upon graduation from Sydney University, Mary’s first child, Katharine, was born.  A year later, Mary began training as a breastfeeding counselor and eventually worked on the 24 hr phone-lines for the Nursing Mothers’ Association of Australia for several years in this capacity.  Over the next ten years, she and Paul had 4 more children (Sarah, Bonnie, Courtney and Mitchell) and homeschooled them all for varying lengths of time.   As the children came toward the end of their schooling, Mary decided to retrain in nutritional medicine.

Childhood

Mary-at-18-months-licking-the-paddle.-1966

Mary in 1966

Mary grew up on various cattle and sheep farms in north-west NSW (the scene above is the view from their farmhouse).  She grew up on a largely whole foods diet, rich in animal foods – meat and dairy.  Her about-turn to a largely plant-based diet during her nutritional training points to the abundance of evidence indicating this as the correct diet for the human species.

Personal

Mary at a recent SUP race at Manly Beach

Mary at a recent SUP race at Manly Beach

Mary has been married to her husband, Paul, for 29 years. They have five children, ages 15 through 26 years. They reside in Wilberforce, NSW, Australia, near to where her husband, an accountant by background, runs a commercial air conditioning company.

Mary also works as a volunteer in her church, playing keyboard in the band and working with the pastoral team.  For fun, she goes stand-up paddling at the beach and snow skiing as often as possible.

Follow further posts about me and my diet:  Why I switched from a Meat and Dairy-based Western Diet and became Vegetarian