NUTRITIONIST Cyndi O'Meara might sound too good to be true.
She has no time for low-fat, low-calorie diets and believes that chocolate can be good for you.
The Sunshine Coast-based author, who will be speaking at Ipswich's Wray Organic store next week, believes we should be ditching the standard supermarket fare in favour for fresh food.
Ms O'Meara said people should be seeking fresh vegetables, fruits and meats in a return to our eating habits before supermarkets took over.
Speaking between presentations in New Zealand this week, she told The Queensland Times that eating in such a way would be beneficial to Ipswich residents.
"People think that if it's on a supermarket shelf, that it is good or healthy for them, but that's not the case," she said.
"I think people need to know what they are really buying and what to look out for so they can make informed decisions."
She said it did not mean food had to be boring, with meats, fruit and veg, dairy and more all on the menu if the right products were purchased.
Mrs O'Meara said it was similar to how generations ate before supermarkets, when food was organic and fresh.
She said she had studied the history of food and how consumer habits had changed.
"It's an awareness of what's happening with the food industry," she said.
"I want people to think differently about food."
She said people could fall into the trap of looking at things like fat and salt content on a product's label, when such nutritional information could be manipulated.
Ms O'Meara hoped Ipswich residents interested in her ideas would come to her talk on Oct-ober 12.
"I have been doing this nearly 27 years and I used to get about four people at a talk when I started," she said.
"I've now had up to 1000 people at public meetings.
"People realise they are being duped and lied to."
She said there was more information on her food philosophy at her website www.changinghabits.com.au.
Deborah Wray, owner of the Wray Organic store, said demand for tickets to the presentation had been strong.
She said since the store opened in Ipswich in April, copies of Ms O'Meara's Changing Habits, Changing Lives book had been selling well. "A lot of what she believes in is what we believe in here at the store. Her approach is just very common sense," she said.
Ms Wray said many people were interested in eating healthier and were buying more organic food.
"Since we opened in April, it's been very positive since day one," she said.
"People have embraced what we are offering."
She said they never had doubts about whether the concept would catch on in the city.
"We always thought Ipswich would appreciate our store," she said.
Cyndi O'Meara's presentation at Wray Organic is on Wednesday October 12 from 6.30pm. Cost is $10, including coffee, tea and cake. Tickets can be purchased in store. Phone 3812 3300 for more information.
Qualifications include a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in nutrition from Deakin University in Victoria and the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado.
She has made several television appearances on Kim and David, Today Tonight, Brisbane Extra and Fresh, and has been on national and international radio.
She was named Sunshine Coast Businesswoman of the Year in 2003.
Is the author of two bestselling books, Changing Habits, Changing Lives and its accompaniment Changing Habits, Changing Lives Cookbook.