Zara Prowse
Nutritionist

A little bit about me

I have always had a passion for exercise and physical wellbeing. As a child and young adult, I enjoyed a large range of sporting activities, representing my county at gymnastics, where a hard training regime was an integral part of my life. Other than the "three square meals a day" doctrine, little emphasis was placed on the nutritional side of athletic success, by my coaches, parents or I. As I matured, I was often left wondering if I would have achieved greater success as a gymnast, had I dedicated more thought and effort into the foods that I ate and how they fuel the body and improve energy levels, prevent illness and injuries and reduce recovery time. This interest sparked me to taking Human Biology at college. After college, I worked in the leisure industry, fitness testing, taking group exercise classes, devising exercise programmes and coaching swimming to adults and children of all ages and abilities. Here, I started to develop a deep interest in how the body worked in relation to the nutritional content of diet. This grew further when my daughter’s Grandfather was struggling to control his diabetes. Having type I diabetes, which was primarily controlled with insulin, I learnt that the correct diet could positively impact his health. I started to question whether this was true for other diseases and if our health in later years was a result of what we ate.

All this (and a desire to return to education) led me to enrolling at Edge Hill University on an undergraduate degree in secondary science education. For me, the most interesting aspect of the degree was biochemistry.

I left Edge Hill and went into secondary education. During my time teaching Biology at GCSE and A level, my interest in nutrition and biochemistry grew, as I could understand different mechanisms and processes within the body.  This knowledge certainly helped me when I embarked on my Master’s degree. During this time, I completed modules in: Contemporary Issues in Human Nutrition, Health Behaviours and Nutrition, Nutrition, Metabolism and Disease, Public Health Nutrition with an International Perspective and Research methods. My final piece of work received ethics approval and looked at dietary status of adolescent female gymnasts and adolescent females in the general population, looking specifically at iron intake. This will form the start of a larger piece of research which will culminate in a PhD when I eventually get time.

With all this knowledge and experience, I will be seeking to improve peoples’ health through back to basics, evidence-based nutrition and their understanding of the importance of nutrition, so that their knowledge and understanding can be passed on to their families and friends.

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