Leah Itsines on Nutrition, Careers and Growing a 400K Following

Leah Itsines talks transforming her #sidehustle.

Leah Itsines
Image: Amy Agnew Photography

You know the saying — if you love what you do, you’ll never have to work a day in your life. And if you’ve ever scrolled through Instagram whilst sitting at your desk at a snooze-fest job, wishing you could just make a living out of your passion for health and nutrition, we’re here to tell you that it isn’t too late to do just that! (Disclaimer: Flat lays are a separate skill altogether, and have you ever tried taking a pretty pic of your smashed avo on toast? It’s actually harder than it looks).

Food blogger and recipe developer Leah Itsines is one Aussie success story who has managed to build a cult following out of her love for all things health and nutrition, and although some might say it’s in her DNA (her sister is world-renowned fitness guru, Kayla Itsines), she kinda just fell into it unexpectedly before realising she was onto something:

“I started casually posting my meals and began to create a small but incredible community of like-minded and health-conscious people,” Leah shares. (Leah now has 379k Instagram followers). “I loved seeing people make my meals and I loved creating new and exciting things every day! I began networking, meeting new people and getting pulled in the right direction, I felt in my heart it was right, and that doing something you love is the absolute key to happiness.”

Why a career in food and nutrition? For some, it’s their love for cooking or a personal journey that’s been a motivator, for others it’s the science behind how our body works or simply just having the knowledge to make well-informed choices when it comes to what you eat. For Leah, more than anything, it’s about being able to help people.

“I’m so passionate about health, nutrition and healthy eating because I can see the way it can change people’s lives, day in, day out,” Leah tells Sporteluxe. “Every day I wake up to messages from people struggling when it comes to their food, and the fact that I have the tools to create a platform where people can come to learn, be inspired and start a healthy journey is so incredible to me.”

“The fact that something like nutrition can absolutely change somebody’s life with a small push in the right direction, makes me want to do more for people and makes me more passionate because I can see it changing people’s lives.”

But make no mistake, it hasn’t all been about creating Insta-worthy acai bowls and indulgent Nutella pizzas (*drool*), she’s basically self-taught, which means trial and error aplenty.

“I networked, I asked questions, I trialled things, I failed, I learnt from it and made it better the next time and most importantly, I wasn’t held back by fear.”

Her best piece of advice? Learn and trust the process.

“I did many things that I look back at now and cringe, but if I didn’t go through those experiences, I would never be able to grow and move forward into bigger and better things.”

“I set out my goals, set out where I wanted to go and how I was going to get there and began the process. At times, it can be so hard mentally and financially, but if you have your goals and your mindset is driven, you can achieve anything.”

Always dreamed of a career in health and nutrition but don’t know where to start? A university degree is your best bet. Not only will this set you up with the skills and knowledge you need to make your mark in the industry, it’ll give you the qualifications and credibility you require to dish out nutrition advice.

Torrens University Australia collaborates with Australasian College of Natural Therapies (ACNT), Southern School of Natural Therapies (SSNT), two of the longest-standing natural therapies institutions in Australia, to bring you a variety of nutrition courses to open doors for you to a meaningful career in nutrition.

Torrens University offers two nutrition programs with flexible online delivery, which include the Diploma of Nutrition and the Bachelor of Nutrition. The Diploma of Nutrition is ideal for those seeking to enter the health industry or for a professional development opportunity, while the Bachelor of Nutrition will provide students with advanced knowledge of Nutrition from a Community and Public Health perspective. On the other hand, ACNT and SSNT’s Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional Medicine) provides solid practical training for those interested in a clinical nutritionist career. Find out more about these courses now to get started.

And if you don’t particularly plan on being a nutritionist but enjoy other aspects of health and nutrition, there are so many other pathways you can take. Apart from creating and sharing recipes, contributing to online publications and working on building a health-conscious community, Leah will soon be releasing her second e-book consisting of a 4-week meal plan accredited by a practising dietitian. Further to this, Leah is writing her own published recipe book (out in July). Beyond 2018, she’s hoping to grow in the digital space and create an even bigger platform for people to learn and be inspired to eat and live a balanced lifestyle.

Are you ready to take the plunge? RSVP to Torrens Open Day on Jan 20 to join their information sessions, take part in hands-on workshops and learn more about their student support network.