THE POWER OF PLANT BASED NUTRITION

We have the power to be the very best we can be, it starts with what we put on our plates.

Plant Strong Living is a growing community of people willing and committed to making a change for a better life. Our ability to advance people’s understanding of nutritional health and wellbeing, as well as to reinforce the message for those already changing the current paradigm, means that we can make a positive change for so many struggling to overcome chronic and debilitating health conditions. 

"I had Crohns disease for 15 years until going plant based. The change that's had on my life is overwhelming"

NICOLE O'NEILL

Our goal is to support you through what we know and what we’ve personally experienced first hand. Our own journeys through the field of food as medicine have been life changing and our wish is to share that with as many people as we possibly can.

We have a strong team of both knowledgable and passionate wellness advocates who want to dig much deeper into the science of nutrition for people, building strategies and habits that create optimal health through a plant based diet. We understand these changes can have a profound effect on quality of life and that each and every one of us has the ability to experience a positive change as a result.

Over time, as our community grows, as will this website. We hope it will become as a one stop resource for whole food plant based nutrition. Journey with us as you reach your highest health potential and to live the kind of life you most deeply want.

Director

Dr Martyn Williamson MBBS

I am a rural GP and senior lecturer at Dunedin medical school. Rural practice has been a hugely fulfilling career and I’ve really enjoyed being able to help people at times when their health has been suffering. At the same time I’ve valued my own fitness and health, and remained active in sport and cycling became a pursuit for our whole family. Eating well was part of that, and we followed the guidelines of low fat foods. 

Over time I’ve realised that helping people thrive and flourish is my passion, having been drawn into teaching and coaching within medicine and life in general. 

One of the hardest aspects of medical practice for me to deal with was that patients could slowly deteriorate despite my best efforts, no matter how thorough I was. I recall learning to accept that as a fact of life.

Imagine my surprise and pleasure when I discovered the evidence around Whole Food Plant based eating and reversal of chronic disease. My excitement was tinged with the dismay of realising that evidence for this has been around for a long time, and even published in major journals, without my ever hearing about it in mainstream practice. 

“This isn’t a life of sacrifice or lent. It’s a life of liberation and fulfilment.”

Dr Martyn Williamson

It’s such a pleasure now to be able to inform people of the possibilities for their health simply through what they eat plus other lifestyle changes, and empower them to be in charge, rather than be at the mercy of inevitable decline. I’ve been able to read up on studies and established that this way of eating was perfectly safe (in fact much safer than eating any other way in current fashion) and through trying it myself, realised that it was far tastier than I ever could imagine. I find I enjoy eating now more than I’ve ever done and I’ve always enjoyed food. Being part of Plant Strong Living is my way of helping as many as possible become informed so they can make the choice which is best for them.

Nutrition and Lifestyle Coach

Paula Colloty

With a lifelong interest in my personal health along with navigating the ups and downs of maintaining a healthy weight range, I can earnestly attest to finding my nutritional nirvana for best health and wellbeing moving to a Whole Foods Plant Based way of eating.

I grew up in a family of binge eating, fad diets and in the background, there was ‘big business’ marketing their processed convenience foods.  This was all well and good until I had children, as a mother, I wanted to make sure that my boys were getting the nutrition they needed to grow big and strong so I decided to stop listening to media, reading un-referenced articles on health and started doing my own research on nutrition which I would encourage anyone to do, it’s very empowering.  After completing T.Colin Campbell’s eCornell Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate I had all the reassurance I needed to comfortably promote eating WFPB.

Finally, I have stopped my weight fluctuations, breezed through menopause, stopped ‘genetic’ rheumatoid arthritis in its tracks and have experienced many other positive effects on my health. 

I am inspired by others who have decided to empower themselves and are willing to make healthful changes to support a lifestyle that promotes good health. 

What excites me is that it is possible to reverse and prevent many of today’s chronic illnesses through what we choose to put on the end of our forks.  It is important to be mindful that when cells are not being nourished, they are starving at a cellular level, and we want to make sure our cells are firing on all cylinders so they can weather the challenges that exist in the 21st century.

Going WFPB may be one of the best things you will ever do for yourself and your loved ones….dive in!!

Life Coach

Liz Williamson

I have always had a passion for fitness, health and adventure and have been lucky enough to discover New Zealand’s great outdoors and the kind natured Kiwis I’ve had the privilege of meeting along the way. I came out here following my dental training in the UK. Three wonderful children and two decades of adventures later we remain as grateful as ever for that choice.

I believe in personal growth and taking utmost care what we value most in life. I have invested in that for myself and enjoyed learning new skills to help with this. As part of that journey I was researching for a public dental workshop when I came across “that Sugar Film ‘by Damon Gameau. I was shocked to learn that the damaging effect of refined sugars extends far beyond just our mouths. After watching ‘Forks over Knives” I was convinced that the ‘healthy’ diet we were following as an active family was actually not what we first thought. Meat and hidden sugars in processed food were removed immediately and over the next 9 months, we became whole food, plant based. 

In the four years that have elapsed we have navigated the many circumstances which have challenged this way of life, such as travelling, eating out or competing in sports. We’ve learned how to talk to others about how we live and handle contrary opinions and are still learning! 

I enjoy food more than ever and have still lost excess weight around my middle. I had developed a Thyroid nodule which I was led to understand would be there for life but this disappeared just 6 months after changing what I ate. Joint pains in my hands have also disappeared and I notice I recover much faster from hard exercise and with less aches and pains than before.

I submerged myself into researching anything I could to deepen my understanding of how eating for best personal health could also lead to healthy communities and ultimately a healthy planet. I completed a Certificate in Plant-based Nutrition from eCornell University, watched a plethora of documentaries and read as much as I could; including T.Colin Campbell’s global bestseller The China Study.

I really enjoyed the Forks Over Knives cooking course offered by Rouxbe Cooking school which opened my world to plant based cooking. I was never much of a chef, but this course offered me the tools necessary to widen my repertoire and understand what it took to make meals taste great every time. My family thanked me for this one! 

Pursuing this interest led us to meet Paula and Nicole and the establishment of Plant Strong Living to get the message out to as many people as possible that eating whole food plant based combined with a healthy lifestyle can lead to optimal human health and reverse or even prevent many of today’s chronic diseases – it’s as simple as that. The power to do this is in each and every one of us, you just need to discover it and unleash it ..I guarantee life will never look and feel better!

Wellness & Plant-Based Nutrition Advocate

Nicole O’Neill

I’ve spent the last 3 years obsessed with the phenomenal changes that going whole food plant based has had on my overall health. Coming from a lifelong personal struggle with a debilitating autoimmune condition called Crohns Disease, I know exactly what it’s like to live with poor health, fatigue, regular hospital appointments and a long list of medications. Because I had a digestive disorder, it was easy to start linking my condition with food. I started to move towards a whole food diet, correlating highly processed foods with my ‘flare-ups’, and whilst I experienced reduced symptoms, I was never completely free of my medications. Eventually, prompted by my husband, I started immersing myself in documentaries, interviews and podcasts about the enormous benefits of living a plant based life, and the countless ways that animal agriculture is not only inhumane, but also hurts the environment and causes chronic disease. It was then that I started my journey back to health. 

As I grew stronger, I made an aim to advance my own understanding of nutritional health and wellbeing, spending most of my free time researching as much as I could about the positive effects of a plant based diet. I decided to make a stand alongside those already pioneering the whole food plant based movement and of whom inspire me to continue on this journey. Im now passionately invested in giving back to the community the possibility of transformation through plant based nutrition. I believe in living more simply and eating what we were designed to eat. It’s not about sacrificing what you currently enjoy it’s about changing what you enjoy for a better life and a better planet.

I can see the difference in myself. My beliefs and my choices have enriched my life in a way that I never knew could come from something as simple as changing what’s on the end of my fork.

"This isn’t a life of sacrifice or lent. It’s a life of liberation and fulfilment."
- Dr Martyn Williamson