n4 nutrition

Interview with Ashley Ng

Kids and Parenting, Diabetes, Diets, General Nutrition, Heart, Cardiovascular & Blood Health, Weight - Body Shape and Composition, Tests & Diagnostic Tools, Autoimmune Diseases, Healthy Eating, Obesity
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1.     What course are you enrolled in?  
I’m currently undertaking my Master of Dietetics at Deakin University.
2.     How did you find getting into your current course?
Deakin has always had a high reputation when it comes to health and dietetics. Therefore, it came as no surprise as to how competitive it was to get in, with only 50 spots available. I graduated from the Bachelor of Health Science with distinction in 2011 and majored in nutrition and psychology. In 2012, I completed my Bachelor of Food Science and Nutrition (Honours). My honours project looked at the effect of nutritional supplementation on the healing of diabetes related foot ulcers. My supervisor was Associate Professor Tim Crowe and my co-supervisor was Tanya Gilliver from the Northern Hospital where my study was conducted.
3.     What is your passion in relation to nutrition and dietetics?/ What made you interested in this?

I have always loved food (which dietitian doesn’t?) and have been interested in the diet and disease relationship. All of this became extremely relevant to me personally when I was diagnosed with T2DM in 2009. I’ve always been told that I’m an atypical diabetes case study as I’m not overweight and am physically active. So, I started studying more about metabolic processes to better understand how diabetes works in the body and maybe find some answers for myself. Although I haven’t really found any answers and have perplexed many specialists in the field, I am still enjoying learning more about this complex disease. What makes it even more rewarding is helping other people living with diabetes understand these processes a bit more and empowering them to manage their own diabetes. I guess in a way, you can say that being diagnosed with diabetes helped fuel my passion for dietetics.
4.     What are you doing at the moment?
        Firstly, I’m working hard to get through my Masters and survive the process. I’ve also just been selected to be part of the Young Leaders Program with the International Diabetes Federation. In conjunction with this, I will be attending the World Diabetes Congress, which is in Melbourne this year, and meeting with other Young Leaders to learn the skills to develop a program or support service to help other people living with diabetes in the community. Specifically, I hope to be developing a service for all young adults with any type of diabetes to provide them with the skills, knowledge and a support network to better self-manage their diabetes.
5.     What’s your favourite food?

Chicken. Definitely chicken. And tofu. I love tofu. And carrots. And mushrooms. I just love food! (Also, if my mum is reading this, my politically correct answer would be: mum’s cooking)
6.     Where do you want to be in 5 years’ time?
In 5 years time, I would like to be out of uni, but we all know that will be highly unlikely. I would very much like to complete a PhD in diabetes management with a dietetics focus to it. A dream of mine is also to set up a diabetes clinic specialising in young and middle aged adults simply because there isn’t much out there for us at the moment. Watch this space!
7.     What do you do other than study?

Apart from study, I try to be fairly active within the diabetes online community. This is particularly important for me both personally and professionally. With new medical technologies on the rise, it’s important to keep up with what is going on internationally when it comes to diabetes management. This also gives me a great opportunity to compile a wish list of new diabetes technologies/apps I want to try when it finally hits Aussie shores. One of the things I like working on when I have some spare time is to blog about living with diabetes. I write about things I have encountered and observed and mostly my reflection and experiences. You can find my blog at bittersweetdiagnosis.com.

In my other spare time (I secretly have a time turner), I play clarinet in the Western Region Concert Band.
8.     If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
I haven’t had the opportunity (or money) to travel very much to date. I grew up in Singapore and went to Japan in high school. That’s the extent of my travels! One day, when I have more spare time, I would like to explore London, Broadway, Paris, Venice, Italy, New Zealand, Ireland, anywhere really!
9.     Why?

I love learning about different cultures, getting to know the history behind the places, and of course the food! Travelling isn’t worth doing if you don’t go with an open and curious mind and heart. I’m ready for the travel bug to hit me.
10. Where can we read your blog?

bittersweetdiagnosis.com. I have yet to try my hands on a nutrition blog. Although I daresay that diabetes may eventually take over that too. But…watch this space!


Tracey Emney: Founder and CEO n4 food and health

What a bright future!

Great interview Jessica and Ashley! What amazing experience you have gained already. You are a wonderful role model for other young people living with diabetes and will no doubt be a thought leader in this area. Good luck with your Masters and we look forward to watching your career take off!
By: Tracey Emney: Founder and CEO n4 food and health
Posted on: 2013-06-27 19:47:26