Expert Interview: Emma Mihill – Nutritional Therapist

This week I’m so excited to share with you an interview with the inspirational Naturopath and Iridologist Emma Mihill. Emma was one of my lecturers at the College of Naturopathic Medicine.

I stepped into one of her lectures just at the right moment. It was my final year at the college and I was just starting to feel slightly overwhelmed and lost with all the contradicting information. At the time I was a big fan of using a paleo foundation but found myself constantly outnumbered by vegetarians and vegans 😉 I became known as the girl who eats lots of meat and lifts heavy stuff and began to doubt a lot of what I believed in without the consensus or support of colleagues.

Emma’s lectures took thinks to a whole new level and offered me the clarity I really needed, her speciality areas included sports nutrition, gut health, hormone balancing and functional medicine testing – all the juicy stuff as far as I was concerned. At last I was able to get some expert, holistic guidance on genetic mutations (SNP’s) and their role in the personalisation of nutrition, the benefits of whey protein, why vegetarian and raw food diets might not be the best option in healing the gut and the role of low carbohydrate diets. Her wealth of experience and extensive training kept her streets ahead yet she always delivered the information in such a down to earth and humourous way that her lectures were fun and it was easy to take the information on board.

She also has a calming and positive influence, just listen to her on our Fitter Food podcast here, here and here, you’ll see what I mean. She’s a true gut health geek and has recently focused more on prenatal nutrition, breastfeeding and weaning as she and her partner Dan recently welcome little baby Frankie into the world.

We still meet up as often as we can to share great food and chat about nutrition, Dan and Matt love getting together so they can moan about taking oregano, poo testing and the expense of water filters. I run many of my client cases by Emma as I value her expert opinion and honesty.

How did you start out on your health journey?
I became vegetarian (which I thought was healthy) at age 18 after a GP told me my blood pressure was a little high.  (What I didn’t realise then, was that it was high as I had just left home to start University the day before so I was probably a little stressed!).  I then travelled Australia where I met an older, quirky, chap with a nutrition bible in his kitchen, which I couldn’t put down.

What did you use to do that now makes you do a face palm?

I was a raw vegan!  And it made me fart so violently that I could clear dance floor spaces.  And I’m not joking.

How would you suggest men and women adapt nutrition to encourage healthy fertility?

You need to focus on the word nourishment.  Don’t eat anything from a packet, only eat what you cook (where that is realistic) and don’t forget about other factors that aren’t food; water, air, pollution, chemicals…

You’re a big fan of gut health, how is this relevant to fertility?

For all of us, inflammation starts in the gut.  Once there is damage in the gut, the damage will be systemic which means there could be problems at a cellular level which could manifest in many different ways, infertility being one of them!

What common mistakes do women make in their quest for conception?

I wouldn’t say they make mistakes, but perhaps they lack the knowledge to realise they need to be at their optimal health for conception to work and then for pregnancy to be enjoyable.  For example, they might begin trying to conceive immediately after finishing 15 years of taking the oral contraceptive pill.  They may keep up stressful work and social lifestyles.  They may be drinking excessively.  The biggest amazement I come across is the stress levels with career women.

What are the most popular myths surrounding fertility nutrition that drive you nuts?

I used to go mad when other pregnant women would question my liver consumption whilst they sipped a diet coke?!!  The frowns you’d receive if you exercised whilst pregnant would drive me nuts as well.  

Tell us what a typical day of nutrition looks like for you?

I start my day with collagen and vitamin C powder – I’ve been doing this every day since I found out I was pregnant with Frankie.

Breakfast is usually egg based; either poached eggs with mashed avocado / Fitter Food pancakes / Scrambled eggs, smoked salmon & avocado / banana bread / or a smoothie if I’m pushed for time (but this is less often as I like sharing my food with Frankie now) and I always have a matcha tea.

Lunch is usually liver pate on Biona millet sourdough (or occasionally rye sourdough) with watercress / a hefty veggie omelette / a soup with a bone broth/stock / chilli & baked sweet potato / or something really random like milk kefir with a boiled egg and smoked salmon.

I have milk kefir almost every day.  Or kombucha.  Or water kefir.

I eat dark chocolate every day

I randomly make things sometimes like marshmallows or chocolate coated walnuts.

Dinner is normally a meat/fish meal with a load of vegetables.  Courgette chips are a favourite currently.  We like liver and bacon / chilli con carne / bone broth soup / a treat might be amissa pizza base with our own toppings and sauce.

Do you take any training or nutrition supplements to support yourself?

Hah!  Yes!  Do you really want me to list them?

Name something you do every single day without fail to look after your health?

Drink water.

Emma and DanWhat has been your biggest health breakthrough in the last few years?

I’m lucky to have always been relatively healthy.  So, no massive breakthrough.  However, I feel that falling pregnant in two days, having an amazing pregnancy and giving birth to a healthy little dude Frankie was a health breakthrough!

What are you passionate about?

Happiness!  Feeling good.  Anything that makes me smile is worth it.  I honestly think that if you make happiness your goal, life becomes easier.

Who inspires you?

You guys actually!  As cheesy as that sounds, your newsletters and recipes are always winners in our house.  Educationally, the field of nutrition offers many inspirational people.  My Dad and my man, Dan, are two very honourable gentlemen who are always very inspiring.

Don’t miss a chance to see Emma Mihill at the Fitter Food Academy on 21 November. You can grab your ticket HERE.