Leigh Matthews is a medical writer with 15 years of professional experience in the field of natural health and holds a Higher Diploma in Nutritional Therapy. She is the author of Eat to Beat Acne: how a plant-based diet can help heal your skin, as well as four novels, and has a passion for accessible health communication.
Leigh’s nutrition journey largely began when she became vegan whilst completing her first class honours degree in English & Philosophy (University of York, UK, 2005). Wanting to make sure she got the nutrients she needed to stay healthy on a plant-based diet, Leigh put her autodidacticism to work and dug into the research while also learning a whole lot about vegan cooking.
After struggling through dense, jargony, hard to understand clinical nutrition research and epidemiological studies, Leigh turned that confusion and frustration into motivation. This life-long nerd went back to school to study Nutritional Therapy at the University of West London, UK, with the aim to not only understand the science but figure out how to get that information out to the general reader.
Leigh moved to Canada in 2010, finished her degree by distance learning, and focused on creating a ‘mash-up’ of her academic pursuits to become a freelance medical writer specialising in nutrition. Over the years, she has written for doctors, pharmacists, patients, and those simply interested in a natural approach to health and wellness.
For Leigh, the link between healthy food choices and both physical and mental performance is all too clear. But, sometimes, eating the ‘right’ foods just isn’t enough. Modern life gets pretty frantic, especially when you’re juggling career, mortgage, caring for kids and/or parents. Add to that the depletion of nutrients from soil due to shortsighted agricultural practices, as well as environmental pollution, and you’ve got a recipe for worsening health even if you’re a green smoothie kind of a gal.
Tying together her interests in social justice, environmentalism, delicious food, and simply being a good global citizen, Leigh hopes her work can help readers realise that there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to health. Blanket recommendations can help most of the people most of the time, but what if your needs are different to those of folks included in clinical trials?
If you’ve ever wondered why the latest weight-loss diet or fitness fad does nothing for you, or why your cholesterol levels stay the same despite major dietary changes, you’re not alone. The beauty of getting older is that you can also get a little wiser; you know your body better than anyone and can start to really figure out what works for you. This is also why, in recent years, Leigh has focused on the field of nutrigenomics, working as a features writer and researcher at MyGeneFood.com.
In her work at for the Ageless, Leigh hopes to bring her expertise in personalised nutrition, a bent for environmentalism and ethical consumption, and a whole heap of positivity and nerdiness. Leigh is also Head of Research at Leaf Score Inc., where she digs into safety data, environmental and toxicology reports to find products that aren’t just greenwashed but are actually eco-friendly and healthy for the whole family. Leigh’s inner academic is currently whispering sweet nothings about pursuing another degree, this time in toxicogenomics, so watch this space.