The Great Australian Diet- Dr John Tickell

I’ve never been one for diets. I find them too restrictive and generally don’t work because you are putting yourself in a state of denial, and our minds don’t work with that too well.

I am one for healthy living and good nutrition though.

I have fallen by the wayside these past couple of years with that thanks to the all consuming blogging lifestyle. Seems to be a common problem.

Craig and I did a liver cleansing diet before we were married. It was full of healthy food choices, basically the exclusion of red meat and dairy.We both lost a lot of weight and felt really great.The great Australian diet Dr John Tickell I recently came across Dr John Tickell’s book, “The Great Australian Diet.” He is the doctor that was seen on Celebrity Overhaul (don’t know what that is but apparently he is good at what he does).

It was recommended to me by my father, someone who used to eat just plain and simple steak and three veg a night. Wouldn’t touch anything else.

Until he had a health scare and decided he needed to investigate a more nutritious diet and, dare I say, alternative health care. It still spins me out when I hear him talk about superfoods and visits to the chiro.

Is this really you Dad?

I swear he’ll be meditating with me soon and I almost got him to book in a chakra rebalancing.

He has always been a super fit man and loves sports and being active. He’s 70 and plays for Australia in the over 60’s cricket team.

He discovered the book and gave it to me to have a look at. Dr John Tickell’s advice about good eating makes so much sense to me.

It is not a diet really, but a way of changing your food habits so that you eat to live rather than live to eat.

It’s based on the diet of the Okinawa people of Japan. A culture who lives the longest and has no incidence of obesity, extremely low rates of cancer and heart disease and no elderly rest homes because they don’t need them….

..that was until their children began being influenced by Western food and boy you should see the difference.

Okinawan people

Okinawan elder meets Western food fan

His philosophy is based on my own and so bloody simple. Eat mostly foods that come from the Earth and have not had human interference. Lay off the animal products because they are full of bad cholesterol and fats.

I love how he slams the Atkins diet (whose founder died of a heart attack, just quietly) and all those low carb diets that promote eating less foods like bananas, tomatoes, and other high carb fruit and veg in favour for more meat.


I have met people who have told me of various low carb diets they are on and the food they can’t eat. My reaction has always been, how does that make sense?

Why would you stop eating fruits and veg? Okay so maybe lay off bowls and bowls of pasta, but fruit and veg?

And I know from my own personal experience that eating rice three times a day is also not bad. Yes. These diets will tell you not to eat rice.

Let’s look at the Asian population, rice is their main staple, and until Western food was introduced, there were little cases of obesity and heart related health conditions.

I have also lived in Thailand, and spent probably close to a year travelling around Asia. I ate rice all day long, and it was the thinnest and healthiest I have ever been!

So The Great Australian Diet rocks.

What is also so great about it, is that it is simple and easy to do, and is pretty much not that different to how I eat anyway.

The first couple of days involve cleansing, so we haven’t eaten much more than minestrone soup and fruit. It has been hard as we are retraining our habits and getting rid of the crap we have digested lately.

We will do a cleanse day once a week from now on and then basically we just have to eat 15 plant foods a day and follow the 1/3 2/3 rule which is 1/3 of your plate should be meat (for us fish and kangaroo), and 2/3 veg.

We also should be walking every day, doing strength exercises (can’t do these yet as I am still surgery recovering) and making sure each day we cuddle someone, laugh, relax, sleep well, and be nice.

What other diets require you to do that?

I tell you after three days I am already feeling less sluggish and can feel the slimming down start to occur.

Thanks for the recommendation Dad!

“Nuchi gusui” That is Okinawan for “May your food and lifestyle heal”

You can buy the book at Amazon. The Great Australian Diet (The Atkins Alternative) (yes it is an affiliate link which will make me peanuts!)

Your Turn to Share Tips:

What sort of diets or nutritious eating plan do you follow? What have your results been like?

posted in: Health
tagged with: , , ,

  • Christine

    I love love LOVE the sounds of this! When I was in WA, I met with an Aboriginal guy and chatted with him about his family’s eating habits. They pretty much only eat seafood and kangaroo–no Western meat–and then local fruit and veg, using the local trees and bushes for their medicines and everyone in his family has lived to be incredibly old with no weird Western illnesses, like cancer. Now that I’m in Bali, I’ve been eating so much fresh fruit and veg, only eating fish as my meat, and drinking lots of fruit juices and water. Add in lots of yoga and swimming and being outdoors, and I feel so incredibly healthy. It feels amazing to be back to (almost) vegetarian and not to be tempted by processed and packaged and sugary food! Best of luck with your cleanse–I’m interested in checking this book out!


    • Caz

      I LOVE the sound of your days in Bali!! Living the life- I love that so much about Asia, it is healthy living.


  • Veronica @ Mixed Gems

    I have to confess I was downing chocolates when I read your tweet. They have now been put away. #forshame


  • Roy Marvelous

    I think the problem with the word “diet” is that people think it’s short term. These are lifestyle plans so whichever people choose, it needs to be sustainable long-term. I like the philosophy of eating food which has as little processing as possible. I think that’s the huge problem with the western diet – processing destroys nutritional content and additives toxify the body.


    • Caz

      Agree Roy! Diets are short term which is why they don’t work. You can only make changes if you change your lifestyle as that is what got you in the unhealthy position in the first place. John Tickell is big on eating foods that have very little human interference


  • Scott - Quirky Travel Guy

    I think different diets work for different people, which is why losing weight can be so hard. Atkins must work for a lot of people, otherwise they wouldn’t stick with it. For me, I wish I could eat 3 bowls of rice a day, but my body just can’t handle a lot of carbs.

    I’m confused, though. The “1/3 2/3 rule” – eating meats and vegetables – sounds suspiciously similar to Atkins. How is this diet different – just that you can also eat fruit?


    • Caz

      Atkins is about no carbs which cancels out a lot of plant food as they have a lot of carbs in them. The 1/3 2/3 rule is that you must always eat 2/3 plant products and then 1/3 other/meat And he advocates fish and kangaroo- very little beef and chicken


  • Michelle

    This sounds like a great diet! For the past year and a half, I’ve been on the Mediterranean diet, which consists of the same philosophy – plenty of nutritious natural foods like seasonal veggies, fruits, legumes, and yes, rice! (though you’re allowed the occasional thin slices of cured Iberian ham and platters of fresh sea food). It really is all about balance. As long as we move our bodies enough and eat right, it’s completely okay to indulge every once in a while, right? 😉 Not to mention that lacking a car forces me to literally run errands – rain, snow, or shine – whether I want to or not!


    • Caz

      A Mediterranean diet is one of the best you can have. I think as long as you have that balance and you mostly eat good food it is okay to indulge. Dr John Tickell says that, just don’t overindulge- that is when the problems starts. I wish we didn’t have a car, I love having to get aroudn without one. A much healthier option


  • Steph

    Love the idea or the 1/3 2/3 rule, it is simple and seems to work! I will give it a try and let you know how I get on!


  • ann gnias

    where can I buy the book the great Australian diet


  • Ralph Graham

    Hi Kaz, love the presentation here!
    First Dr Tickell speak in the 80’s, good value. Any move toward natural foods is going to improve health.
    Another good book to review: Reverse and Prevent heart disease by Dr Caldwell Esselstyn
    Heart disease is busily killing people we know every day. Just one of the diseases created by the western diet. If preventing it is a challenge then reversing it might be a big ask? Yet, both are squarely met in the longest trial of its type ever undertaken. The studies show the Mediterranean diet lowering death by heart attack radically. One more step into the dietary life style set out by Dr Esselstyn brings heart attack deaths to zero. A delicious, plant based alternative to sickness and dying early. Feast on it!
    Ralph Graham


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *