Spilling her guts: the life and loves of the gut health dietitian, researcher and author.

As the science behind the importance of gut health becomes ever more popularly accepted – and ever more deeply researched – so too do experts in the field abound. But, as in all things, there are the real deal authorities – and then there are the rest.

Australian-born, Dr Megan Rossi Sc PhD RD is firmly in the former camp and, inarguably, a luminary light in the field. A registered dietitian, nutritionist and research fellow at King's College London, she has a PhD in gut health and has been garlanded with nutrition awards for the work she does with patients at The Gut Health Clinic, which she founded. Considered one of the foremost influential experts on the gut internationally, her passion lies in helping her patients to take charge of their bodies, their health and thus, too, their happiness.

It is this drive that has also seen her write not one but two books – all amidst running her clinic, conducting research and looking after a baby. As the living embodiment of the increased energy a diverse and healthy microbiome can bring, she is surely the very best advert. Both books aim to equip readers with the tools and knowledge to live well and eat a healthy diet that is delicious, inclusive and, crucially, makes no restrictions on the pleasure of eating good food.

The latest is Eat More, Live Well, which hit the shops on 30 December and joins her already best-selling Eat Yourself Healthy. Want to start your day the right way by feeding your gut a host of diverse plant goodness and prebiotic yogurts? You can also shop Bio & Me, the range of gut-healthy granolas, mueslis, porridge that Dr Megan co-founded.

She tells us why any restaurant with a tasting menu gets a big tick from her; why her nightstand is bare but for research papers; and how Jamie Oliver has been a pillar of support on her mission to improve all of our microbes.

Favourite place in all the world?

My family farm, just outside of Cairns, QLD Australia. It’s where I grew up – and my best memories are there: building cubby houses in the forest; fishing and camping on our riverbank; hunting out bush berries.

Dream holiday?

Greece! The food, the people, the ocean, the culture. We were meant to go there for our honeymoon, but unfortunately COVID scuppered those plans.

Most coveted item right now?

My new Huskee coffee cup, in beige. The perfect sip.

Proudest professional moment to date?

Can I pick two? Being awarded a science prize by HRH Princess Anne. And receiving the Young Australian of the Year in The UK Award, presented by the Australian High Commissioner.

Your dream future project?

To launch Bio&Me internationally! Making science-backed gut health more accessible to all.

Who has been your most inspiring mentor, professionally or personally?

My mum. She singled handily raised my brother and I and, even after losing my sister, she kept strong and gave us a solid upbringing.

Where would you live if you could live anywhere?

Somewhere warm and on the water. Yes, I would miss the buzz of London, but with the sun on my skin and ocean in my hair, I think I’d get over it.

What book is on your nightstand/ kindle right now?

None! I am so obsessed with the microbiome that when I get some free time for reading, I prefer to read up on the latest scientific papers.

Best film you’ve seen recently?

The Help. Cried my eyes out! A very powerful movie that I’d been wanting to watch for ages. Having to isolate with COVID was my first opportunity to do so.

Best binge-watched TV show?

The Queen’s Gambit. We watched it when Christmas was cancelled last year, my husband and I were stuck in our London flat alone and I was six-months pregnant.

Top podcast of the moment?

With an eight-month-old, I don’t get much time for podcast listening. My husband, who is a GP, is intrigued by Russell Brand's podcast at the moment.

Your hero?

Rob Knight, the leading microbiome scientist.

If you were an animal, what would you be?

My Boston terrier, Pistachio. He has the best life!

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A babysitter.

Worst job you’ve ever done?

Worked at a café – making coffee is not a strength of mine.

Favourite dish to cook?

Currently my prebiotic rocky road! I love showing people how you can turn a notoriously ‘treat’-like food into one that not only tastes good but does you good, too. The recipe is in my new book, Eat More, Live Well.

Favourite café/ restaurant?

Anywhere with a tasting menu. I love trying new foods! I recently went to Roka – their seven-course menu was such a treat.

What tune always makes you want to dance?

Jack and Diane – I’m very old school with my music.

Favourite website or app?

Borro, a brilliant website for baby clothes.

Most useful thing on your desk?

A picture of my little boy! He keeps me motivated and focused.

Which five people, dead or alive, would you find most interesting to be stuck in a lift with?

Barack and Michelle Obama. As a role model for so many, his perseverance, patience, communication and leadership continue to inspire me. And Michelle’s campaigning and advocacy work for helping to increase access to better nutrition for children was hugely important. Jamie Oliver. His passion, resilience and commitment to making changes in the food industry is certainly something I admire. He’s a very genuine person and I’m very grateful for the personal support I’ve had from Jamie over the last few years, too. Oprah Winfrey. An embodiment of female empowerment, her sheer determination and strength to overcome many challenges inspire me to never give up, even when things might get tough. Melinda Gates. An incredible businesswoman and philanthropist, whose foundation with is also recognising the importance of gut health and investing in gut microbiome-based therapies.

United States Senate, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Favourite building?

The Shard. We used to live right next to it, and it makes the best way to get your bearings when lost in London.

Favourite Instagrammer or tweeter?

@Foodandpsych. I love her brain and her nutrition content.

Your screensaver?

Hubby, baby and puppy. Naturally.

What would your biography be called?

Hard work pays off.

What would be your epitaph?

Devoted to the science.

By Nancy Alsop
January 2021

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Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.