Lisa Peterson

Dietitian/ Nutritionist APD AN

B.HlthSci (Nut & Diet) (hons)

My love for food involves so much more than just eating something that tastes good. It is the astounding ability that food has to bring people together, the memories it can create and the opportunity it has to change people’s health. Food is essential for us to survive; let’s make it enjoyable and utilise the earth’s abundance and sheer variety. 

If faking sick days during primary school meant staying home with Yiayia (my grandmother) all day making dolmathes with home grown vine leaves, I was ready to make up any excuse. My love for food, especially Greek food, started early in life and quite possibly from the fava (mashed split peas) I was fed as an introduction to solids.

You could often find me in the playground trying to trade my mix of olives, melitzanes (eggplant) and feta cheese for my friend’s roll up, or bartering with friends to swap my leftover moussaka for what was my all-time favourite sandwich – Nutella. What was I thinking! Thank goodness, the tables have turned and I now have friends putting in orders for me to make their favourite Greek meals. Lucky for them I am always happy to be the host of Mediterranean inspired dinners for whoever is free to join.

That’s the beauty of Mediterranean eating – it’s more than just about the food. It’s about the great company, sense of belonging and opening one’s home and heart to my family, friends and community!

Yiayia and Pappou were first generation Australians, moving from Greece in their teen years. Their parents taught them to cook traditional Greek food which they had eaten at home. However, the older my grandparents got, the more I noticed a Western influence on their dietary intake. My Pappou’s diabetes progressed to insulin dependence, he had cardiovascular disease and was also diagnosed with vascular related dementia. I believe that if Western influences on their intake had been avoided and they had stayed faithful to their Mediterranean roots and lifestyle, each of my Pappou’s chronic diseases would have been less severe, less serious and potentially even avoided. He is my motivation for delving further into the amazing world of well researched Mediterranean Eating that I had previously taken for granted.

It is because of my first-hand experience with Western influence on my culture, that I am on a mission to get us all living a lifestyle that is not only delicious and delectable, but also well researched, evidence based and guaranteed to improve your long-term health and wellbeing. I love working in private practice because I get to see first-hand how excited individuals and their families get when I show them how simple, delicious and flexible Mediterranean lifestyle and eating can be.

Desi Carlos

Dietitian / Nutritionist APD AN

B.App.Sci Grad Dip Nut & Diet

My food journey is tied to the way I was raised. I am a child of migrants; a first-born Australian, whose parents, having left the small village of Apollona on the island of Rhodes, desperately wanted their offspring to speak Greek, read Greek and eat Greek!

My mother taught me how to cook from a young age and involved me in all festive and daily cooking duties. My older sister also was an exceptional cook, so it was only natural that I would follow in her footsteps. I learnt to love food, to cook and enjoy different flavours. It was later that I delved into the healthy aspects of the food I prepared and how it impacted on our bodies: This had become my passion and profession.

It’s funny how Lisa and I shared the same childhood experience of always wanting to swap our lunch boxes packed full of traditional meals for a vegemite and cheese sandwich. Being singled out from my group of friends, due to what I was eating, made me rebel a little from my Greek heritage. Interestingly, at home, I did not enjoy any takeaway foods and I never sold out to these tasteless treats, always preferring a hot steaming bowl of luscious legumes (Fasolatha or Fava) or chicken soup (Avgolemono). Better yet, the tantilising aroma of gorgeous grilled whole fish served with plenty of lemon infused green vegetables and Greek salad. My mouth waters over those memories.

My fascination with food developed while studying for my undergraduate Science Degree. I was captivated by organic chemistry and microbiology and how food influenced the body.  Nutrition and Dietetics became my focus; helping people feel better and look great through food became my mission. Private practice beckoned. I love private practice and I love incorporating the Mediterranean diet into my patients’ meal plans. I didn’t think that I could make such an enormous impact on so many people’s lives. But I have! I have helped thousands of people return to healthy eating practices and turn around their disease states. This makes it all worthwhile.