Ditching the diet and becoming Well Fed with Michelle Yandle

Nutrition coach Michelle Yandle is passionate advocate for ditching the diet. Her latest event brings the greatest minds in health and nutrition from New Zealand and Australia together in New Plymouth. Taranaki Community News caught up with her to find out more about her life, her favourite foods, and her exciting showcase, Well Fed.

Hi Michelle! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Thank you! I’m Michelle, a middle aged Canadian INFJ girl soon to be offered citizenship here in New Zealand.

Personally, I love walking, reading and other solitary hobbies and enjoy spending time with those closest to me, which usually involves a glass of wine and good laughs. I live in beautiful Waitara with husband and two cats Freddy Purrcury and Peanut. Most definitely a crazy cat lady!

Professionally, I’m a health and nutrition educator. I run online programmes helping people to have a healthy body and healthy relationship with food.

My goal is to get dieters off diets so they can be their healthiest selves without having to give up the foods they love. I’m also the national brand ambassador for Bin Inn New Zealand. You can find me as a life-sized cut out in almost all Bin Inns NZ wide!

Two things I’m most passionate about are teaching (and storytelling) and writing. I come from a long line of storytellers and teachers and today that means public speaking, keynotes and writing four books. 

What led to you becoming a health and nutrition coach, and what exactly is this? 
I’ve always been interested in health and nutrition. I think that started when I was just a little girl (though perhaps slightly larger girl) and was put on her first diet. By the time I was 13 I’d been on about that many diets sadly.

The plus side (no pun intended) was that I became fascinated (obsessed?) with what was healthy and what wasn’t and I had big plans on becoming a dietician. Those hopes were squashed when I realised I had to have strong math and chemistry skills and instead I became a primary school teacher for 10 years. Which I loved. Eventually though, the stress of teaching and not following my joy led to me being quite stressed.

Eventually I took a risk and a leap and decided to quit teaching and came around full circle to what I had originally wanted to do all along – help people to feel healthy and happy.  And, here I am!

As a nutrition coach I work with the barriers. We all know what we ‘should’ be doing but I will work on the reasons that you’re not doing it. Most of my practice revolves around education through written word (blogs, books, copywriting), online courses and 1:1 online support, and guest speaking and workshops.

My message and everything I do revolves around a teaching tool used by my ancestors called The Medicine Wheel or more closely to home, here in New Zealand you have Te Whare Tapa Wha. The idea is that the more we nourish spirit, mind and heart – the better the relationship will be with our body and the healthier we will be overall.

What are some of your favourite things to eat, and why? 
Chocolate. Because… chocolate! Rich, extra dark, hardcore chocolate. I have it every single day.

I’m not going to lie, I love eating healthy foods but we’re talking favourite things now and Proper crisps are so fun to eat! They taste amazing.

Peanut butter. I grew up in North America. Peanut butter is in our blood. It’s like marmite to kiwis – we put it on everything from sandwiches, to candies, to burgers.

Sounds yum! You have recently created an event called Well Fed. Can you tell us more about this? 
Have you ever been equally terrified as you are excited about taking something new on? That’s pretty much how I’m feeling about Well Fed!

Well Fed is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. We recently ran the Total Health Explosion – an awesome health expo that was met with huge success here in New Plymouth but weren’t able to continue it along. And so, I decided on my own to bring a smaller event with just as much punch with a focus on AMAZING speakers that New Plymouth people may never have gotten a chance to see.

Over the last nine years living in Taranaki since moving here from Canada I’ve seen tremendous growth in the health and wellness industry. From looking everywhere simply to find an eco soap or healthy meal, to what things have become now.

A little unknown secret about the region is that Taranaki has quickly become the health hub of the North Island as far as I’m concerned. I thought the health wave might have taken over the whole of New Zealand but after doing much travelling, I realised that we truly do have something special here.

And so, why does it seem that all the best health events only end up in the bigger cities when we’ve got so much going on here? That’s the question that led me to create Well Fed.

Well Fed is two fold. In one hand, it’s to bring to Taranaki the health event that it deserves. With the best minds in health and nutrition coming here to treat all of us who are interested in those areas.

On the other hand, it’s an attempt to show New Zealand all that we have to offer in these areas. To show them all the healthy and delicious foods that are produced here, all the wellness studios, healthy eating establishments and activities for a healthy body. Whether it’s walking the foreshore or climbing the mountain.

So, here we are, hosting Well Fed, to bring the best to Taranaki and show the rest of NZ what we have to offer.

That sounds awesome. You have an impressive line-up of speakers. Can you tell us more about some of them?
These speakers are awesome, and I’m a bit biased I’ll admit because they are definitely speakers that I would want to listen to and learn from!

We’ve got Scott Gooding, the celebrity chef from Australia (and ninex author), Cliff Harvey a clinical nutritionist, also with more than eight books under his belt, Sunniva Holt aka Queen Fire, a self made millionaire and author on a mission to inspire people to live their best lives, Richie Hardcore multi champion Muay Thai fighter by day, social justice advocate and ambassador by night, Lara Briden, the period revolutionary and Mikki Williden, nutritionist and columnist.

Hosted by Hepa Te Moana creator of the Best Siiide podcast and brought to us by the big guns in awesome supplements and education, Nuzest, Reconditioned.me and the Holistic Performance Nutrition Institute.

Topics will range from navigating diet dogma, to cooking demos, to self empowerment to plant based eating. Not only that but we have some awesome exhibitors showcasing healthy food and supplements many of which have been made right here in Taranaki.

Why should people come along to Well Fed?
Because there has never been anything like this in Taranaki. Whether you’re into health and wellness, enjoy learning new things, or simply curious there will be something for everyone. Never again will this line up of speakers be presenting here together. You’ll learn, get to taste test some amazing food, and network with like-minded people.

If you could throw a dinner party with any three people from history, who would you pick, what would you talk about, and what would you cook? 
I’d invite Chris Farley, Robin Williams and Lucille Ball because they would be hilarious, no doubt do all the talking and shenanigans (and I can just sit back and laugh). I’d probably make spaghetti with meatballs because I can imagine that would get messy and hilarious.

  • Well Fed is brought to Taranaki by Michelle Yandle Nutrition and Nuzest New Zealand with support from our partners Holistic Performance Nutrition and Reconditioned.me Well Fed is on October 26, 2019 at the TSB Showplace and tickets are available through the website www.wellfed.info or directly on the Ticketek website.

You can follow Well Fed on Facebook and Instagram, and you can follow Michelle on Facebook as well.