In a world where the telephone, fax machine, and face-to-face conversation commonly take a backseat to digital communication, social media has grown in power and holds a place close to everyone's heart.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the big three. And while some people find sanctuary in following their favourite health icons, others get caught up in what I refer to as the "sh*t storm of nutritional debate".
Nevertheless, social media are here to help and most of the time, they do.
The problem is, there is so much misinformation floating around. Anyone can write a blog, post a tweet or share some life-changing advice, whether it's based on fact or fallacy. Social media give the platform for opinion to masquerade as knowledge so now, a population can become misguided with the click of a button.
It's not all doom and gloom, though, not even close. Whilst some social media indulgers preach their food beliefs with religious zeal, others tweet, share and blog with new horizons in sight, inspiring their followers to revitalise their health with ingenious diet tips and words of wisdom.
Here are a few of my favourite local food and nutrition social media superstars.
Jess has taken a mindful approach to eating healthfully. She says she is "passionate about inspiring people to share her love of food and to focus on finding a way of living and eating that works best for YOU!" Jess believes no food is necessarily bad for you nor should you feel guilty about eating what you love to eat. And from what I've heard, her clients get results.
You've probably seen her on television, or heard her on the radio. Claire is the most well-known nutrition expert in mainstream media. Her passion to, as she says, "help you be your best, the happiest healthiest version of yourself" has driven her to create her own private nutrition business, Mission Nutrition and write a book. Rumour has it, there's another one on the way.
Professor Schofield leads the Human Potential Centre at Auckland University of Technology and has changed the way many Kiwis are choosing what to put on their plate. He's put the Low Carb High Fat diet on the map in New Zealand and has made waves in the academic community. Now, many experts are starting to rethink what they think they know about nutrition and health. Make sure you check out his blog.
I can't go past Delaneys' brutal honesty and cavalier nature to creating the perfect dish. I speak from experience, Delaney can out-cook anyone in a kitchen, all while providing good chat and drinking the house down. Everything she does is about food - not nutrition - so if you are sick of reading on how to eat the healthiest diet, then start tuning into D's how to cook with an attitude blog, here or or here.
If you eat Paleo, then you should know Julianne. If you don't, where have you been? She is one of New Zealand's leading Paleo nutritionists, holds regular seminars in the Auckland area and her Twitter feed is second to none. So, if you're a primal advocate, you better jump online and give her a tweet.
From public health programs to ketogenic diets, Mikki's blog has it all. Where does she find the time to learn, let alone write, about it all? You won't get bored with what she says. It's a perfect balance of science, opinion and practical advice that has made her site so popular. She even holds a regular podcast show with New Zealand ironman Bevan McKinnon that shares their love for triathlon, running, nutrition and all things endurance.
It may not be entirely nutrition related, but this blog holds the crown for containing the most contributions from the top academic leaders in New Zealand. Heavily based on the latest research, what you read here is hot off the press. If you want to stay ahead of the game in everything health-related, then keep on top of what these experts have to say.
Diplomatic, honest, enjoyable... I could go on and on here. Niki's blog tackles topics New Zealanders want answers to. It's one of a kind. And if you didn't already know, she is also the mastermind behind the Healthy Food Guide. No New Zealand nutrition writer better words their thoughts than Niki, it's almost like she's speaking with you in mind.
The MasterChef winner and now "Good Food Cook", Nadia has become a wordwide sensation. From humble beginnings as a diabetes dietitian to New Zealand's pin up girl for everything good to eat, she has brought to life a new flavour in how to teach people about healthy food. It's is a breath of fresh air with her approach to making meals that are easy to cook, taste great and are good for you and your family. Make sure you keep an eye out for her recipes and write ups in The NZ Herald on Sunday.
NZ dietitian, performance nutritionist and health expert. Dave does his best to make sense of what we eat.
Dave works in public health and alongside some of New Zealand’s top athletes. Whether it's for vitality, performance, identity or spirituality, Dave loves the way food brings people together. He believes that no one diet is the cure for our growing rates of chronic disease, but a diet based on wholefoods is the perfect start. Always keeping up-to-date with current evidence and food trends, Dave is a relentless researcher for how we should eat and likes to challenge what we may think about nutrition.