Study Nutrition – Wellpark College, AKL, New Zealand.
Study Nutrition – Why study at Wellpark College, Auckland, New Zealand?
You may be wondering what the difference is between studying Nutrition at Wellpark College compared to studying Nutrition or Dietetics through a university. Wellpark teaches ‘holistic’ Nutrition, whereas universities teach ‘conventional/mainstream’ Nutrition.
When I hear the words ‘conventional’ and ‘mainstream’ I imagine the Heart Foundation’s food pyramid, which they have now changed to the “Heart Healthy Visual Food Guide”. Their new version has some slight improvements, like separating grains from vegetables and fruit by moving them up to the next level labelling them “eat some” instead of “eat most”. However, from studying at Wellpark I know that it is still flawed. From what I have learnt at Wellpark, I know that eating this way does not suit everyone…or even most people.
Grains and pasteurised dairy (particularly low fat) constitute such a huge part of our diets in NZ, because for a long time we didn’t know any better. We all grew up with cereal and milk for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and pasta/rice etc for dinner. Chances are that if you are still eating this way you have some niggling signs and symptoms that you’ve been ignoring for years e.g. hay fever, asthma, bloating or constipation. From learning Nutrition in a ‘holistic’ way we are taught that these niggling things can disappear quite simply in most cases.
The other issue with the “Heart Healthy Visual Food Guide” is the tiny writing at the bottom saying “cut back on saturated fats” (among other things). So much research is coming out about the benefits of saturated fat, and the foods that naturally contain it. Not only coconut oil (which I’m sure we have all heard about a lot lately), but meat, eggs and full-fat (preferably unpasteurised) dairy.
At Wellpark there is a strong emphasis on treating clients individually, as the diet that one person thrives on can be the complete opposite that another person thrives on. “One man’s medicine is another man’s poison.”
I am concerned that these blanket guidelines are being enforced upon everyone, yet Nutrition is definitely not a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Choosing to study to be a Naturopath, Nutritionist and Herbalist through Wellpark College as opposed to a university, was the best decision of my life. As I know what I am studying now is the future of medicine. I also love the small class sizes so everyone can easily ask questions during classes, and we all have as much one-on-one time with tutors as we need. I have met people who have studied Nutrition/Dietetics through a university and then studied Naturopathy at Wellpark afterwards to expand on their knowledge, but I have not met anyone who has done it the other way around, because once you have discovered Wellpark, you know it is exactly what you have been searching for.
If you have a few complaints about your energy, sleep or moods etc., and you have always eaten the same way, I challenge you to try a more unorthodox diet because you have nothing to lose and only health to gain! Because don’t we all want to THRIVE not just SURVIVE?!
Olivia Kennedy ~ final year Naturopathy, Nutrition & Herbal Medicine student
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