About Simon Hill
Simon Hill is a qualified expert who is passionate about making nutritional information simple and accessible so that people can make informed decisions about the food they feed themselves and their family.
In 2008, Simon completed a Bachelor of Physiotherapy and began working as a Sports Physiotherapist in Melbourne both at a leading private practice and with professional AFL & VFL footballers.
Over the years, however, Simon became increasingly curious about the role nutrition played in nourishing the body and preventing disease. By using his research skills developed during his honours degree, Simon dove deep into the available literature on nutrition & disease and soon became fascinated by the vast evidence out there that proved that simple lifestyle changes could help people prevent and sometimes even reverse many of the leading chronic diseases that plague the western world today.
Concerned with the fact that this information was not reaching people but was instead getting lost amidst the myriad of marketing ploys pushed by industries who were more interested in profits than the health and general well-being of the public, Simon shifted gears in his career.
Going back into academia, Simon completed a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate course at Cornell University and soon thereafter began a Masters in Nutrition at Deakin University, which he is currently finishing. During this time, he set up plantproof.com and began hosting world-renowned doctors and public figures in the plant-based realm on the Plant Proof podcast. Through these channels, Simon’s hope is that consumers will take control of their health by becoming more informed, mindful & conscious about the choices they make.
Why Plant Proof?
People regularly ask me “Why? What’s the motivation?”. Initially, I was fascinated by reading about the key dietary contributing factors to cardiovascular disease and many other lifestyle diseases which predominately include saturated animal fat, cholesterol, hormones, antibiotics and a lack of vitamins and minerals. I observed my diet and noticed that although I ate what I considered to be a healthy ‘gym’ diet comprised of chicken, sweet potato and broccoli or eye fillet and a small side salad, I was not only most likely exposing myself to some of these nasties, but I was importantly not fueling my body with all the added vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and dietary fibre that a plant-based diet offers. A decision was made – no longer would ‘meat’ be the star of my plate. To be 100% transparent, this decision was not made in a single moment and when I started the switch away from animal foods, I had doubts. Here’s how it unfolded.
Initially, I did 3-6 months of experimenting with a wholefood pescetarian diet. At this stage, I was doubtful I could give up eggs as I enjoyed poached eggs a few times a week and I wanted to include fish for ‘protein’. This seems to be a common starting point and, although I wish I had switched to a 100% plant-based from Day 1, I appreciate this part of the journey as a way to ease into a new way of living and thinking.
During the initial pescetarian period, I continued to listen to my body and educate myself. I would feel better after days of just plant-based eating. My body would feel lighter after meals and I would feel more energetic in mornings so from there, the switch to a 100% plant-based diet was an easy and instinctive one. I started to notice I was able to lift more and my recovery from workouts was way faster. I couldn’t explain it then, but it felt like my body was thriving with the new foods I was feeding it, so I continued and dug deeper and deeper to making sure what I was eating weekly was made up of ‘premium fuel’ and no longer the ‘diesel’ I’d been putting into my unleaded petrol tank. Having now been eating 100% plants for several years with zero animal products, these are the benefits I have personally noticed first hand:
- Zero bloating or prolonged heaviness after meals or that ‘yuck I overate’ feeling which I would so often have after heading out in previous years for a meat-based meal. I really never ate that much beef (maybe once a week or fortnight) but every single time I went out with friends and had an eye fillet I would always feel sluggish for hours after (makes sense now that I understand the time it takes to break down).
- Stronger in the gym and way more endurance. I used to walk into gym and at 30 minutes be tired and ask myself what I’m doing here and make an excuse to leave. Now I get to 30 minutes and want to push harder and longer to finish off the session and make some proper improvement in strength and endurance. I walk in every time with intent to get the most I can out of the session and my body is allowing me to do that.
- Leaner and more vascularity.
- Quicker recovery post workout which I now credit to reduced inflammation in the body.
- Clearer skin.
- Reignited my passion for food and creativity in the kitchen which has become an outlet for me to stimulate my brains away from my daily work.
- Improved ability to switch off and sleep – I now get a solid deep sleep for 7-8 hours straight per night and when I wake up at 6am, I am super alert and ready to go.
- 6 month blood tests show lower cholesterol, which is a great indicator for avoiding cardiovascular disease in future years.
Best of all, these are just some of the few benefits that I can actually feel and notice. I have no doubt that beyond what I can perceive, my body and overall health is entirely in a better place with the amounts of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and anti-inflammatory compounds I am consuming each day.
Think about it, without your organs running on premium fuel, your outside youthfulness, vibrancy and health will only be short-lived.
“But isn’t it a bit extreme to cut out all animal products and isn’t it hard when eating out?”
I can appreciate from the outside it can seem a restrictive way of living or radical decision, but for me the only thing that is extreme is to be fueling my body with foods that have been clearly linked to negative health consequences and that don’t allow me to thrive during my finite existence. I can get everything I need and much more without needing to ingest animal proteins, cholesterol, saturated animal fats and hormones/antibiotics. The eating out part is very simple and made easier by the fact most restaurants and cafes are adding plant-based options – I haven’t found a restaurant that won’t accommodate for my choice in fuel. In fact, it’s quickly becoming the ‘trendy’ thing to open a Vegan restaurant or have a Vegan menu. If you’re looking for vegan-friendly places to eat out at a good starting point is the Happy Cow app @happycow.
Through the Plant Proof podcast, recipes, blogs and social media, my wish is to provide you with the agenda-free information you need to help you live at your fullest potential. It won’t be long before you stop thinking “where do I get my protein from?” and you start thinking “how did I previously function properly all those years”.