About Me

Nutrition has been of interest to me for as long as I remember, and my desire to learn more deepened when I switched to a vegan lifestyle in 2010.

Coming from Estonia, I relocated to the UK, Aberdeen, to study nutrition, a path which ended in me working as a professional chef in various eateries in London, including leading two start-up vegan kitchens.

Since then, I qualified as a dietitian in Cardiff, Wales, and have specialised in weight management services, drawing on motivational interviewing and behaviour change models to coach people towards their goals.

Besides talking about and making food, my other passions include learning languages, climbing, martial arts, singing, music, gardening, travelling, and living as environmentally sustainably as possible.​

Career History

NHS Cardiff and Vale Chronic Conditions Service

I have been working within NHS Cardiff and Vale Chronic Conditions Service in the community since 2021, which focuses on providing support and education for people with type 2 diabetes and/or obesity. As part of my role, I was working within an undernutrition service, aimed at improving the nutritional status of individuals who may struggle to meet their requirements and have experienced unintentional weight loss.

Food and Fun School Holiday Enrichment Programme

I have also experience working within public health as part of the Food and Fun school holiday enrichment programme. I have delivered nutritional sessions in Welsh and English, and quality assured several others. I have worked within hospital settings on various wards, including general medicine, stroke, EMAU, geriatric and more.

Restaurants And Food Outlets

During more than 3 years I spent in London, I worked in various restaurants and food outlets, honing my plant-based culinary skills. I worked in several places including Farmacy, RAW at La Suite West, Rawligion, Bhuti, The Gate, and more. I had the pleasure to run the kitchens and my team of chefs at Rawligion and Bhuti, doing recipe development and training staff, besides setting up suppliers, partners, and streamlining work processes.

Pop-Up Dinners

I have held several pop-up dinners, including raw 4-course dinners at Bhuti, and co-hosted a pop-up with my dear friend Tomi (the Vegan Nigerian) in 2018, serving food of various culinary regions for 40 people.

Qualifications / Training

Motivational Interviewing

A counselling approach to tap into your values and motivation to make the changes you want to make for bettering your health and well-being. By evoking the internal desire for change, it is shown to be more sustainable to change behaviour.

Bridges Self-Management

I have completed the Bridges programme for healthcare professionals, which aims to increase collaborative work between professionals and service users to empower self-management. With several principles outlining their ethos, Bridges looks at what makes a good self-manager, and thus the professional to explore the different
areas and coach the person to gain confidence to manage their condition and health as optimally as possible.

X-PERT Diabetes Educator

X-PERT Health is a diabetes education programme delivered globally. It aims to motivate the people attending to understand and take control of their diabetes. There is no one diet fits all and X-PERT programmes aim to show a balanced choice of approaches one could take, and debunk many myths about diabetes, with the latest evidence in mind. I have been delivering X-PERT courses since 2022, seeing many people increase their confidence to manage their diabetes effectively.

Counterweight Plus Deliverer

I am trained to deliver the Counterweight Plus programme aimed at helping the client put their type 2 diabetes into remission, using nutritionally complete total diet replacement products by Counterweight. I have worked within the NHS diabetes remission service for a year and seen several lives turned around by improved blood glucose control without the need for medication. The programme is based on the evidence from the DiRECT study showing high rates of diabetes remission with 15kg/15% body weight loss within 6 years of being diagnosed. I have worked with clients who have had diabetes for 10 years and have succeeded to put their diabetes into remission, whilst reducing their blood pressure towards healthier ranges and being able to reduce their daily medications.

HCPC Registration

‘Dietitian’ is a legally protected title regulated by the Health & Care Professions Council, to ensure every dietitian has gone through adequate training to treat nutritional problems. You can find me on the HCPC register HERE.

British Dietetic Association Full Member

The BDA is a community of over 80% of dietitians in the UK. Besides benefitting dietitians with updates in research, they also do excellent food fact sheets on various topics, which are useful, clearly written summaries.

British Dietetic Association Diabetes Specialist Group Member

The Diabetes Specialist Group aims to provide a forum for dietitians with a specialist role or interest in the care of children or adults with diabetes.

My Publications

Neacsu M, Vaughan NJ, Multari S, Haljas E, Scobbie L, Duncan GJ, Cantlay L, Fyfe C, Anderson S, Horgan G, Johnstone AM, Russell WR. Hemp and buckwheat are valuable sources of dietary amino acids, beneficially modulating gastrointestinal hormones and promoting satiety in healthy volunteers. Eur J Nutr. 2022 Mar; 61(2):1057-1072. doi: 10.1007/s00394-021-02711-z. Epub 2021 Oct 30. PMID: 34716790; PMCID: PMC8854285.

I won the Basil Davies Memorial Trophy (Tlws Basil Davies) in 2021 for the highest points in the higher level Welsh exam.

On Radio Cymru with Bore Cothi for the finals of Learner of the Year (Dysgwr y Flwyddyn)

On BBC Cymru Fyw’s article about the learners of the year finalists.

Welsh magazine Golwg article about my journey from Estonia to Wales and Eisteddfod.

On the Welsh TV channel S4C programme Heno talking about my journey to Wales and Welsh and my love of climbing.

My Education

2018 – 2021

BSc (Hons) Human Nutrition and Dietetics, Cardiff Metropolitan University

A condensed 3-year degree covering all bases of dietetics and nutrition, including 6 months of placement in North Wales, Ysbyty Bodelwyddan. My dissertation explored the reported dietary intake of 300+ people following a vegan diet compared to national nutritional guidelines.

2011 – 2015

BSc (Hons) Health Sciences (Health and Nutrition), University of Aberdeen

​This degree explored health sciences more broadly, from public health to nutrition, biochemistry, sociology and psychology. I had the chance to work on my dissertation as part of a study at the Rowett Institute, comparing the satiety of several plant-based protein sources to the baseline of meat.