Episode 172:

Show Notes 

In this episode of the Real Health and Weight Loss podcast, host Dr Mary Barson welcomes Ellie McLean, a nutritionist and holistic weight loss expert, as their guest. Ellie shares her expertise in plant-based nutrition and discusses the challenges and solutions for those who want to adopt a lower-carbohydrate, plant-based diet.

Ellie emphasises the importance of incorporating plant-based options into a lower-carb lifestyle, focusing on diverse protein sources. She recommends good quality plant-based protein powders, such as pea and rice protein, as well as minimally processed tofu and tempeh. Ellie advises balancing protein intake with a variety of plant foods, ensuring a complete amino acid profile, which is essential for overall health.

Dr Mary and Ellie discuss the significance of protein in satiety and metabolic health, encouraging listeners to prioritize protein intake in every meal. Ellie suggests starting with two cups of vegetables and a serving of protein in each meal to support appetite control and overall well-being. The conversation emphasises the importance of plants in a balanced diet and addresses common misconceptions about plant-based nutrition.

The episode concludes with the four-week program designed to address the underlying causes of weight gain and support metabolic health. They invite listeners to explore the program, which caters to various dietary preferences, including plant-based, omnivorous, and carnivorous diets.

Overall, the episode encourages listeners to focus on a balanced and diverse diet that includes plant-based options while meeting their protein needs for better metabolic health and sustainable weight loss.

Ready to say goodbye to weight struggles? Dive into our expert-designed four-week program! Experience personalised guidance, holistic solutions, and mouthwatering recipes! To say hello to a healthier you and visit http://www.rlmedicine.com/4wbr.

If you want to learn more about Elly and her work, you can connect with her on Instagram at @nutritionelly and visit her website at www.nutritionelly.com. For those interested in working with Elly, you can find more information at www.nutritionelly.com/workwithme.

You can also check out Elly’s Podcast Episodes below:

  • Plant Based Kick Starter: https://www.nutritionelly.com/courses
  • Excess Weight as a Symptom - What's the Cause? https://www.nutritionelly.com/post/excess-weight-is-a-symptom-what-s-the-cause

Episode 172: 


Dr Mary Barson (0:11) Hello, my lovely listeners. I'm Dr Mary Barson.

Dr Lucy Barson (0:15) And I'm Dr Lucy Burns. Welcome to this episode of

Both (0:20) Real Health and Weight Loss!

Dr Mary Barson (0:23) Hello, lovely listeners, Dr Mary here. And I'm extremely excited to be joined by a fabulous guest today, we have got Ellie McLean here, who is a nutritionist, and a holistic weight loss expert. She shares so many of the same values that we do about health first, and she's here to share her expertise today. How are you going?

Ellie McLean  (0:52)  I'm good. Mary, thanks so much for being here. I've had you on my show. I'm excited to be on the other side of the mic today.

Dr Mary Barson  (0:59)  Yes, I am, too. We've known each other for quite a while we've worked in the same spheres, both working around the South Coast in Victoria. So I know there's been a lot of back and forth, which I love clients, sending them to you, sending them back to me and working together on helping beautiful people get the best health that they can. And I know you do telehealth, and you work online. And could you just tell our lovely listeners a bit about you, and you know, what you do and how you got started in this space?

Ellie McLean  (1:35)  So I do work purely online now. There was a time when I worked more face-to-face, but I had a baby six months ago. And since then I've decided just to do it online, most people are pretty comfortable with it these days. The way I practice means that I don't necessarily need to be in close proximity with my clients, I use conversation, and test results, whether that be blood, stool, urine or saliva analysis to help direct the path that my clients take. I work a lot in weight loss, which sometimes I think – Oh, does that just make me a really cliche, predictable nutritionist? But then I think no, I want to fly the flag for those people who want to lose weight, do it healthfully do it sustainably and feel like they have an option other than counting calories, because it is just a slippery slope to well, winding up eating nothing for most people if they want to maintain weight loss. So that's a little bit about what I do. It means that I help my clients with nutrient status, hormone balance, stress management, exercise, lifestyle, and of course, what they eat. So there's lots that goes into sustainable and holistic weight loss. And, you know, it's interesting, I think, back to my childhood, and I never want to play the blame game. But, you know, I was raised by my mother, who was always on a new diet, whether it was Jenny Craig,  Weight Watchers, Dukan, the list went on. And so that was my early introduction to nutrition. But I also loved watching sports like AFL, Ironman., and so as a teenager at school, I was really interested in how nutrition might help these athletes. And I was stoked when I found out there was a degree that you could do that looked at exercise and nutrition. And so that's what I went on to study. I finished when I was pretty young though, because I started school a little bit younger than the average. And I felt way too ripe to go and practice and work with adults and tell them to live their lives and what to eat. So I spent that 10 years working in the corporate health and wellbeing space in an Australian startup company. So got a lot of experience there and then started practising one-on-one as a nutritionist in around about 2017. So that is the quick version of me and what I've got here.

Dr Mary Barson  (4:06)  Fantastic. I love that you are owning that. Yeah, that fat loss, weight loss space, because I believe that for so many people. Weight loss is important. However, it's almost never the most important thing. We want people to have good health and good metabolic health and weight loss is often a part of that and a happy side effect of that. But weight loss at any cost and only focusing on that, I think is it is a slippery slope to like calorie counting restriction, but also just a really, really toxic place for our bodies and our brains. So health first, weight loss is something I completely get behind.

Ellie McLean (4:50)  Yeah, absolutely.

Dr Mary Barson  (4:53)   I've got particular expertise in plant-based nutrition, which I'd love to chat more about because we've got lots of beautiful people who are our clients and our patients who for all kinds of reasons, don't want to eat animal foods or want to eat less animal foods. It can be tricky to navigate this because we have an emphasis on metabolic healing, and for many people to heal their metabolism and to the metabolic hormones and to keep their metabolism increased and get weight loss, you need to reduce your sugars and your starches, you need to have a lower carbohydrate lifestyle. And that can be trickier when you're fully plant-based. And also, there is within that low carb community, a lot of people who eat only animal foods, so the carnivore diet has got quite a strong following. We've had doctors on here who follow a carnivore diet, and we're all about real food, like real food first, and that can be animal-based. And it can be plant-based. And it can be a mixture of both. And we're all about empowering people to have the right information and make the right choices. So could you tell us more about some of the challenges for people who want to be plant-based or predominantly plant-based and how they could best overcome those?

Ellie McLean  (6:19)  And, like, yeah, don't get me wrong. For a lot of people, they associate low carb nutrition with really animal-dominant nutrition. And it's just not the way that it has to be at all. There are so many beautiful lower carb, high protein, higher-fat plant foods that can be consumed under a lower carb template. I think the challenge is time, time and learning about food. Because the most convenient, lower carb, high protein, higher fat foods, arguably most convenient are animal proteins, you know, meat, eggs, and you know foods like tofu, tempeh, for a lot of people, they're not as convenient. So it's time and it's not even huge amounts of time, it's actually just creating a little bit of time, a little bit of planning effort attention into what you're going to eat, so you don't get caught short, you don't get caught short and wishing that you could just put a quick steak on the barbie or wishing that you could, you know, quickly poach some salmon. But you've prepared yourself and you've made a tofu curry or got the ingredients to make a tofu stir fry. So although plant plant-based lower carb template doesn't have to be more time consuming. I think when you don't know your options, as well, it can feel like it's more time consuming, so you can attempt it.

Dr Mary Barson  (8:05)  Thank you so much for that. I think that we can often overestimate how long it actually takes to prepare good food and that we can be pleasantly surprised by how easy it is when we get into a habit and that we could actually get into the habit pretty easily. And yes, having those plant-based options might not be as easy as a boiled egg and some hands straight from the fridge but they can still be doable. But a question we get asked a lot is protein. So on a plant-based diet or predominantly plant-based diet where it's lower in carbs, how do you get your protein because those traditional higher protein foods like your legumes, come wrapped up in carbs. So how do you advise people?

Ellie McLean  (8:48)  They do, those high protein legumes do come wrapped up in carbs and when somebody does want to take a lower carb approach to plant-based nutrition, I almost just like take the emphasis away from lentils and legumes. Not that they shouldn't be part of the diet, but they've got to be just one of the protein options within the diet. So really top of the list for plant proteins. Number one is good quality protein powder, it can be considered real food and in particular, I would recommend looking for good quality pea and rice protein powder. Maybe second to that the hemp seed powder but really a pea and rice protein powder should be the go to and if you're looking for one that has minimal ingredients then we put it in the category of maybe not real food but very helpful food that is not too far away from real food. And then a close second in terms of protein quality, well actually no, this would be number one in terms of protein quality, but a close second in terms of ease factor will be tofu or tempeh. Always looking for organic non-genetically modified tofu or tempeh and in its most real form. So we're not looking for tofu sausages and mock burgers, we're looking for pieces of firm tofu or silken tofu or tempeh. And we're using those as ingredients in a recipe, whether it be seed tofu through a ghetto ghetto, whether it be tempeh cooked within the curry, it's a really good source of protein, and very low in carbohydrate as well. So profile-wise, it's, you know, relatively similar to using an animal protein. They would be the top two proteins in a lower carbohydrate, predominantly plant-based diet. Then we're looking at lentils and legumes. For most women in particular, to get a full serving of protein from lentils, and legumes, we're talking about a cup. And for most women, that is just too much in the way of beans or lentils to consider, right, like it's filling, it is a higher carb even though a lot of that carbohydrate is fibre, it's really filling and it might be quite uncomfortable. So when it comes to lentils and legumes, I usually recommend about half a cup worth. So maybe about 10 grams of protein worth, and then pairing it with something else for a couple of tablespoons of hemp seeds is a great addition to complete the amino acid profile and increase the protein content without increasing the carbohydrate content. Or if it is predominantly plant-based, and there's room for a little bit of animal protein, you know, maybe it could be some eggs paired with the legumes to make a full serving of protein. I would love it if people were looking for a minimum of 20 grams of protein per made meal, but ideally 30 grams of protein per main meal, depending on the gender and their level of exercise, their size, and to some degree goals, whether they've got weight loss goals, for example. But you know, a serving of protein powder, 120 130 grams of tofu tempeh, a cup of lentils, and legumes or half a cup with a few tablespoons of hemp seeds, they would be your equivalents to get that 20 grams of protein as a starting point. That's doable, it's totally doable, you just have to be aware of where that protein is coming from and factored into your planning.

Dr Mary Barson  (12:27)  Yes, I love that. And yet, tofu and tempeh, these are ancient foods that humans have been eating for so long. And I think that they are a world apart from the, you know, processed fake meat, you know, corn sort of products, they're completely different. Having minimally processed fermented soy products, they really are very different. You mentioned completing the amino acid profile, could you please expand on what you mean there?

Ellie McLean  (12:55)  So amino acids are the building blocks of protein, we have nine essential amino acids that we have to get through our diet. When you're looking at animal proteins, they are what we consider complete proteins because they contain all of those essential amino acids. When we're looking at plant foods, plant foods naturally, you know, in one place don't contain all of those nine essential amino acids, which is why it's important to get a range of proteins in the diet to ensure you're getting all of those essential amino acids. As I would to somebody on a non-plant-based diet, I really encourage diversity. So if it is protein powder for breakfast in a smoothie, then it's tofu or tempeh, you know, in a salad or curry at lunchtime, and then it's lentils and legumes in a doll for dinner. So you're getting a range of protein sources over the course of the day. We used to think going back a long time ago now that you had to have a range of protein options in one meal, but it's actually just over the course of the day you need those protein options to get your essential amino acids.

Dr Mary Barson  (14:10)  Thank you. Yeah, that's very clear. And I'd agree with that, that protein content that you say you know, at least 20 ideally 30, we generally say that you want to have about a gram of protein per kilogram of body weight about each day. And so for most people, yeah, getting at least 60 but certainly 90 or more grams of protein a day is excellent. On the days that you picked, like if you do a bit of intermittent fasting every now and again. You don't necessarily have to worry about hitting your targets those days.

Ellie McLean  (14:41)   Yes. It's amazing how much that influences appetite. Obviously, we know that fat incredibly satiating and supports satiety but protein, it's our number one satiety macronutrient. And within the plant-based community, tell you what when they transition from a very standard or sad plant-based diet, which is heavily reliant on, you know, grains and cereals. And then they suddenly start having that serving of protein with every meal, the satiety that kicks into gear, like they're like – Oh my God, I feel so satisfied, and you're not craving sweets after, you know, after a meal anymore. I'm not up and down on this energy roller coaster all day long. So that little bit of, you know, mental application and effort to get protein in every meal makes a huge difference into, you know, on product goals and energy levels and satiety and that's life-changing, really,

Dr Mary Barson  (15:35)  I could not agree more. And it is right down at that cellular level. Yes, it's very satiating, but it's also so good for our metabolic health, for our mitochondrial health, for our energy, for our brain clarity. Yep, protein is absolutely key and essential and yes, you can do it if you want to eat predominantly plant-based or all plant-based. So thank you so much for sharing your expertise there. I think it is extremely important and really useful information for people out there. So if people want to, you know, find you and learn about how they could work with you, where are they able to track you down?

Ellie McLean  (16:14)  Well, nutritionelly is my website. So that's nutrition with E-L-L-Y on the end, we'll play on words there. So nutritionelly.com is my website. It's a home for lower carbohydrate plant-based recipes, as well as articles designed to help those maybe wanting to learn about things through a slightly plant-based lens. However, I am very welcoming to people of all preferences, and definitely support people, you know, who are omnivores, or plant-based, maybe less than the carnivores. So my website nutritionelly.com, or Instagram, which is @nutritionelly.

Dr Mary Barson  (16:54) And what would be your parting words of wisdom for people out there who just want to start like they are interested in metabolic health? And they're not really sure where exactly to start. Like, what would be your little pills for these beautiful people?

Ellie McLean  (17:10)  Start with two cups of veggies with your main meals and see how that starts to transform your appetite control, your energy levels, your mental clarity, and your tastebuds your preferences .it'll be so much easier to start to reduce the carb content of a meal if you've got two cups of veggies that you're filling up on. And then of course, in a perfect world, I'd say can you also get a full serving of protein.

Dr Mary Barson  (17:35)  Yeah, good, good. That's a great place to start. I like that. Anything else you'd like to add?

Ellie McLean  (17:41)  It's incredibly important for people following lower carb nutrition, from my point of view, whether it be a plant-based version of that, or omnivorous version of that, to put a huge emphasis on plants, you may have had, you know, carnivore specialists on the show before but from a long term health point of view, there's got to be plants included, our gut microbiome is so heavily influenced by plants. So I just want to invite people to really value the inclusion of plants in every meal. And that's why I say like, can you just start with two cups of veggies when you're building a meal and and then and then go from there? Because these plants are the home of fibres and antioxidants, and so many minerals and nutrients, which, you know, the total of those, we can't even quantify how they influence the human body.

Dr Mary Barson  (18:37)  Now, I like that, and that we use plants to feed our gut. I could ask if maybe you'd want to have a bit of a right of reply, that there's a well-known carnivore doctor out there. And I'm fairly moderate in this debate, who says all plants are trying to kill you. And with reference to, you know, phytonutrients and anti-nutrients and components within plants that yeah, sure, they do try and fill themselves up with toxins to avoid being eaten by animals. But what would you say to that?

Ellie McLean  (19:09) We know that there are these components of plants that are trying to protect themselves, but the way that we prepare that that plant food will change, you know, the level of like toxicity and our ability to digest and also the state of our gut microbiome and will influence how we interact with that plant food and how it influences us. So I don't think that the plants are necessarily trying to kill us is, I would say, a dramatised statement.

Dr Mary Barson  (19:38)  I think that's fair. I think that's fair. Definitely. And we've evolved to, you know, deal with all of these different parts of plants because humans have been eating plants of very, very, very, very, very, very long time. Cool! thank you so much for sharing your expertise. It's been absolutely invaluable. And I look forward to having you again on the podcast. just very very soon.

Ellie McLean (20:02)  Thanks, Mary appreciate it.

Dr Mary Barson  (20:05) Good health and weight loss is all about rebalancing your body about getting to the actual root cause of the metabolic root cause that can make us unwell in the first place. We have got a fabulous Four Week Program that has been designed by myself Dr Mary and Dr Lucy. It is designed expert doctors, weight loss experts. This Four Week Program gives you everything you need to address the underlying cause of being overweight, to be able to boost your metabolism to lose weight without being hungry. And we have got information there if you are plant-based, if you are an omnivore, even if you're a carnivore, you can use the beautiful information in this program to get you started on your very last weight loss journey. So to check out more, go to our website, rlmedicine.com/4wbr our Four Week Body Rebalance. You can also click the link in the show notes and you can learn more. Ah beautiful people! I love talking about health. I love talking about real food and I have loved being here with you today. Thank you so much for tuning in. And you will hear us again next week. See ya!

Dr Lucy Barson (21:32) The information shared on the real health and weight loss podcast, including show notes and links provides general information only. It is not a substitute, nor is it intended to provide individualized medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, nor can it be construed as such. Please consult your doctor for any medical concerns.

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