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My Story

My name is Dr Marissa Kelaher - I am a New Zealand trained doctor (MBChB),  graduating from Otago University in 2004

I am fully qualified as a family medicine doctor (FRNZCGP) and have additional training in childrens health (DCH), as well as nutritional and environmental medicine, womens health, lifestyle medicine and the gut microbiome

I am currently working towards a full fellowship with the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine.

I also write magazine articles on lifestyle medicine, and run social media platforms (see links in menu), with the aim of sharing evidence based lifestyle tips and information

I have been working in General Practice since 2010- in between completing my junior doctor years and starting General Practice, I travelled overseas for several years to explore the world! 

Having the privilege to see how different cultures approach health, and how different approaches to wellbeing can be incredibly powerful, made me realise there was far more to well-being than simply prescribing medications


This started me on my journey learning more about the role of lifestyle and food in medicine - taking a holistic yet scientifically based approach to preventing, managing, and even reversing disease

I have a particular interest in the role of plant focused whole food diets to improve health, and in how stress (and stress reduction) can impact wellbeing. 

I am actually Canadian by birth but grew up in beautiful Golden Bay, a little slice of paradise at the top of the South Island. Spending my childhood in an area close to nature, and with a strong emphasis on wellbeing, family, the outdoors, and healthy food has played a huge role in shaping who I am today. I was very fortunate to be raised on a plant focused, whole food, mostly home grown diet, and have been vegetarian since my early teens. As a result, I have always had a focus on using nutrition and lifestyle to maintain and improve health, and have experienced the benefits in my own life, and the lives of my family.

When I discovered lifestyle medicine after over 15 years of working in traditional medicine, it instantly clicked with me - treating people to optimise health rather than just manage disease was something I had always been looking for..

Being able to empower people to prevent, treat, or even reverse illness is something I believe medical care should truly be about - rather than being the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff

My dream is to see lifestyle medicine become part of standard western healthcare - to improve the wellbeing of our local and global community!

Outside of work I LOVE to travel (my alternate dream job would be a travel writer and photographer!) and I have had the privilege of visiting over 80 countries around the world, experiencing different cultures, adventuring, and meeting new people along the way

I am also the mother to two young vibrant active boys who have been bought up on a vegetarian diet, and seeing them thrive and grow has given me a whole new appreciation for how food and a healthy life can nourish true health. 

My other passions are outdoor adventures with my family (partner and two young boys), music, yoga, mindfulness, meditation, photography, and continuing to learn and discover the amazing ways we can heal and help our bodies naturally

Thanks for visiting my page, and I hope it helps you on your journey to wellness!

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