Susie Burrell is one of Australia’s leading nutritionists appearing regularly on television and print media as well as seeing clients for fat loss in her busy Sydney practice. download Susie's CV
Did you always want to be a nutritionist?
I did, ever since I was at high school and remember watching Hayley Lewis win 5 gold medals at the Commonwealth Games. In an interview she talked about her sports dietitians and I thought that sounded like a really fun job, especially since the dietitian she spoke of also looked after the Brisbane Broncos and I loved the rugby league. At that time I decided that I would like to be a sports dietitian, but after doing that I have also found there are many other areas of nutrition that I enjoyed working in.
Where and what did you study?
To get your qualifications to be able to practice as a dietitian you need a university degree so I studied nutrition and dietetics at Wollongong University. I also undertook a double major and specialized in psychology, eventually completed my Honours in psych looking at parenting styles and childhood obesity.
What is your favourite part of the job?
Without a doubt it is seeing people’s whole lives change once they gain control over their weight.
You seem to have many commitments, how do you juggle everything?
I do like to keep busy but it is fair to say that things are pretty chaotic at the moment. Obviously you have to be very organized and I tend to spend a fair amount of time on Sunday evenings organizing things to make sure that the week runs smoothly. I also have some really good people around me who help me out a lot including my parents who help m a lot with errands and jobs and I have a great assistant Emma who I can trust completely and who knows exactly what I am up to and what I need to focus on. I guess that for the most part I really love most of the work I do so a lot of it doesn’t really feel like work.
Who has had the biggest influence on your career?
Early on I read John McGrath’s book, You Inc which really had a powerful effect on the way I thought about life and the way I wanted to live it. More recently I follow a number of successful US personalities including Suze Orman and Kelly Cutrone who give much inspiration.
What is your proudest moment?
Definitely publishing my first book, Losing the last 5kg late last year. Writing a book was always something I have wanted to do and I am very proud of the final product.
What is the most common dietary mistake that people make?
Taking an “all or nothing” approach to health and fitness rather than accepting that eating well and exercising is something they will need to do most days for the rest of their life.
Do all of your clients do well?
No, because I am not always the best person to help them or it is not the right time for them to make lifestyle changes. Luckily more do well than not or I would be out of a job pretty quickly.
How do you relax?
I work really hard for blocks of time before taking a big chunk of time off so looking forward to that helps. I really like to workout, spend time at the beach tanning and I love, love, love watching US series such as Gossip Girl and The Rachel Zoe Project.
What is your diet like?
Pretty good – I do have a sweet tooth and do eat chocolate quite regularly but the basic diet I eat is mostly vegetables, salad and lean protein. I do tend to eat out a lot so I try and eat lightly during the day and I always start the day with a green tea followed by a very hot skim latte at the local coffee shop.
What is always in your fridge and cupboard?
Vegemite, Burgen Soy Lin bread, carrots, cheese, capsicum dip, Vita Weats, eggs and cucumbers, Turkish Delight, Dilmah Extra Strong and Lipton Jasmine Green Tea bags, skim milk and BSc Body Protein.
Do you need to exercise?
Yes, a lot, for my physical, mental and digestive health. I would generally train most days and that would include at least a walk. I try and do 2 weights sessions a week, and 2-3 interval sessions on the treadmill. I have a trainer once a week who really trains me well and it is one of my goals to fit a swim session in each week in 2011.
Do you ever struggle with your weight?
I wouldn’t say struggle as it always tends to keep pretty stable but I know exactly what I need to do to keep it that way and hence my ongoing commitment to training.
What are your plans for 2011?
I am currently working on my 2nd book and will spend a month in the US in the middle of the year. This year I really want to find a good balance between my work and personal life and at this stage things are looking really good so bring it on.
Favourite Movie – Almost Famous
Favourite Book – You Inc, The Princessa, If you have to cry go outside
Favourite Food – Vegemite toast
Favourite Song – Far Away by Nickelback
Favourite Pastime – Dressing up and going dancing at The Stonewall Hotel
Favourite Colour - Pink
Loves – My Burmese cat Charlie, a good cup of tea, US TV and magazines, Louis Vuitton Handbags
Hates – Buses, Red Lights, Flys, Mozzies and disloyalty