Nina Gelbke is a nutritionist and blogger from Dunsborough who lives with type 1 diabetes.
Born in Switzerland, Nina migrated to Australia with her parents and sister at the age of six and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 9 years old. Her journey with diabetes has not been easy. “It’s taken a long road for me to finally reach a place where I can say I’m the healthiest and happiest I’ve been,” she says.
For many years, Nina struggled with an eating disorder which she describes as “practically a death sentence”. She struggled with dangerously low blood glucose levels and malnutrition. “It almost cost me my life, I was nothing but a shadow of myself,” she says, “A lot of that time is just a blur, I don’t remember all that much of quite a few years of my life, but even my parents say I am a completely different person now to then!”
These days, Nina has taken the time to listen to her body and how it reacts to food and exercise. She has learnt to plan ahead and the importance of maintaining her blood glucose levels to avoid hypos. She has invested in a CGM, although refuses to get caught up on the “numbers”. Her advice to others living with T1D is to not let diabetes control you. “As long as you are doing your best in taking the best possible care of your body and diabetes (nutrition and exercise can do wonders for this!) and living a life and doing the things that you want, then you’re doing an incredible job.”
She lives an active lifestyle, she loves being outdoors, going to the beach and walking her dog. She also does CrossFit and strength training to stay fit.
She is passionate about health and nutrition. As a nutritionist and avid cook, she loves experimenting in the kitchen. She enjoys creating delicious, wholesome recipes to share on her website and Instagram account. Her Instagram account, @naturally_nina, features mouthwatering “nourish bowls” and has attracted over 160 000 followers.
Through personal experience and her studies at university, Nina says she has “really come to appreciate the importance of fuelling our bodies well and how it impacts our health and wellbeing, including the importance of mental health and how nutrition and our relationship with food and our bodies plays into that.” She is committed to educating and empowering others to find their own healthy by learning to dissect through the misinformation about nutrition and health and start nourishing their body, mind and soul.
We are pleased to announce that, on Sunday 19 May, Nina will be leading the Diabetes WA team, with Ryan Shand, in our 10th anniversary of the HBF Run for a Reason.
I’m really excited to be an advocate for type 1 diabetes and bring more education and awareness about the condition , what it is and how it affects the lives of individuals on a day to day basis.” Nina says, “I would like to bust some myths surrounding the condition, as well as inspire and empower other type 1’s in pursuing their dreams and passions, seeing diabetes as a small hurdle and learning curve, not a barrier. I will never give up hoping for a cure!”