Hello! I'm Dr. Amanda Benham, Accredited Practising Dietitian and Director of The Human Herbivore.  I'm passionate about helping people adopt healthy plant-based eating patterns.  Whether you're a long-term vegan or new to plant-based eating, I'd love to help you with nutrition and meal-planning advice tailored to suit your health needs, lifestyle and preferences.  

Scroll down to read more about me and my team.  Go to Consultation FAQ if you'd like to know more about having a consultation.

About me

As there are so many sources of information on nutrition available, I always recommend that people scrutinise the relevant qualifications,  professional accreditation, mode of practise, experience, motivation and conflicts of interest of anyone offering nutrition advice, and that includes me!

 

 Academic Qualifications

I have the following university qualifications:

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  • PhD - QUT (my thesis was on vitamin B12 in women of reproductive age on a vegan diet)
  • Master of Health Science - QUT (thesis was on health and nutritional aspects of vegetarian and vegan diets)
  • Graduate Diploma in Nutrition & Dietetics - Queensland University of Technology (QUT)
  • Graduate Diploma in Human Nutrition - Deakin University, Vic
  • Bachelor of Science (Physiology major) - University of Western Australia
  • Bachelor of Arts (Communication Studies) - Murdoch University, WA

 Post Graduate Training & Ongoing Professional Development

In addition to the above, I have completed the numerous courses related to nutrition, including:

  • Complete Health Improvement Program Facilitator Training (Lifestyle Medicine Institute)
  • Certificate of Paediatric Nutrition (Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne)
  • Professional Certificate: Paediatric Nutrition for Disease (Dietitians' Association of Australia)
  • Certificate in Child Development (International Institute of Human Lactation)
  • Nutrition and Lifestyle in Pregnancy  (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)
  • Certificate in Food Allergy e-training for Dietitians (Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology & Allergy)
  • Eating Disorders Treatment Essentials: Detecting and Managing Eating Disorders for the Health Professional Program (Centre for Eating and Dieting Disorders)

Because of my training and experience in lifestyle adaptation to prevent and treat chronic disease, I have been named a Fellow of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine.

 

 Professional Accreditation

I became an Accredited Practising Dietitian and Accredited Nutritionist in 1992, after completing my basic nutrition and dietetics training.  apd-logo-rgb-high-res-300x142Being qualified as an Accredited Practising Dietitian requires not only completing at least a four year full-time course of study in science, nutrition and dietetics at an accredited university, but also entails ongoing learning and professional development and abiding by a strict code of ethics. My APD listing on the Dietitians' Association of Australia's website is here.

Being a Fellow of the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine also requires ongoing professional development and abiding by a code of ethics.

 

 Evidence-based Practice

As a dietitian and nutrition scientist I use evidence-based practice to provide proven, up-to-date information and advice to improve people's health through better nutrition.   This means that I base my recommendations on scientific evidence published in reputable peer-reviewed journals and I don't just go along with the current trends in beliefs or what people want to hear.  I don't sell any pills or potions or take any money or kickbacks from the food industry, supplement industry etc.  Because of this, I'm on the registry of Australian Independent Dietitians-Nutritionists.

 

 Experience

I have over 25 years experience in the dietary management of a wide range of health conditions and in helping of all ages achieve optimal nutritional health.  Since commencing practising as a dietitian I have focussed on learning about plant-based nutrition. My key areas of focus have been helping people raise healthy children on a plant-based diet (from pre-conception to adolescence), helping people ensure they are getting enough of all essential nutrients on a plant-based diet, eating for optimal health, body weight and longevity, and helping people use a plant-based diet to prevent, control or reverse diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, angina and atherosclerosis.  Way back in 1999 I wrote this paper on planning plant-based diets which was published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, the (then) Australian Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics.

I have been a vegan  since 1983 and my two "children" (born in 1988 and 1990) are lifelong vegans.  In addition to my experience in clinical dietetics I have extensive experience in plant-based meal planning, menu development and food preparation, and have started several vegan grocery shops, cafes and restaurants.

 

 Motivation

My mission is to help people to adopt and maintain a plant-based eating pattern that help optimise their personal health and well-being, at the same time benefiting the planet and all its inhabitants.

 

My interest in plant-based nutrition started when I went vegan in 1983.  I had been concerned for some time about the suffering involved in using animals for food, having experienced factory farming and abattoirs first hand when I studied veterinary science (my original choice of career).  However, like many people, I had been led to believe that consuming animals and animal products was necessary or desirable for our health. When I found out that consuming animals and animal products is completely unnecessary I decided immediately to eat only foods made from plants instead, as I have no desire to support animal exploitation.  It was my concern for optimal health on a plant-based diet for myself and my (then future) children that led me to study nutrition and learn how properly planned plant-based eating can provide many health advantages.  I've never looked back and my two grown-up children are lifelong vegans.  It's heartening to see that in recent years more and more people are adopting plant-based eating after realising the benefits to animals, themselves and the planet.

 

No Conflicts of Interest

Please note that I do not accept any payments or incentives for promoting any particular products (such as particular brands of foods or supplements).

I'd love to help you to be a happy, healthy human herbivore and experience the benefits of a well-planned plant-based diet.

Meet my Support Team!

Without these people my website would be all jumbled up, my files would be in a mess and my downloads would be riddled with typos.  Thank goodness I have these amazing individuals to help sort it all out!

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Toby

Toby is an IT whizz who fixes the website when it's broken and does other clever things involving technology with amazing skill and patience. He is a lifelong vegan. (Pictured with Speedy.)

Tell Toby if website broken

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Kamina

Kamina is not only a creative force of nature but also an incredibly good organiser. She can type at the speed of light and writes beautifully. Kamina too has been a vegan her whole life.

Kamina's vegan website

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Mick

Mick excels at making clever and witty puns. Incredibly, he has other talents too, like being a wordsmith, a meticulous proof reader and knowing an awful lot about craft beer.

Mick's writing business

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