Maye has had an incredible journey. She is the only dietitian to write the registration exams three times, once in Afrikaans, twice in metrication, once in imperial measurements, and pass the exams the first time each time. These exams are very hard. At 48 she wrote her USA exams with 21-year-olds, having to study the Krebs cycle and periodic tables which she never needed in her private practice.

Maye started her dietetics career in South Africa at 21-years-old after graduating from the University of Pretoria with a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics. It was hard to study sciences while learning Afrikaans, but she did it! Soon after she got married, had three babies, and started her nutrition practice in her home.

When she was divorced at 31, she moved to the Durban area and had to build up her practice very quickly to survive. She had to become an entrepreneur immediately by marketing herself to doctors, consulting to food companies and giving talks on health. This was a constant struggle to survive so she could feed her three children.

At 34, she moved to Bloemfontein for her Hospital Internship to become an expert on diets for chronic diseases, studying again in Afrikaans. While there, she received a scholarship to do research work with colostomy patients, for a Master of Science degree, with support from the Cancer Association. She graduated at 37.

Then she moved again. This time to Johannesburg, to be near family and because her model agent wanted her there. She had gained a lot of weight through stress-eating and became very popular as the first plus-size model in South Africa. She built up a large practice and gave talks to medical professionals on how to run their own business. This led to her becoming the first Representative of the Consulting Dietitians of Southern Africa.

At 41, she returned to Canada, her country of birth, and settled in Toronto. She rewrote the exams to register as a dietitian in Canada and worked as a research officer while obtaining her second Master of Science degree in Nutritional Sciences from the University of Toronto. She presented her research on dialysis patients at a medical conference in the USA and her findings were published in a medical journal. She was also President of the Consulting Dietitians of Canada.

At 48, she moved to San Francisco as her children had graduated and wanted her to come to the USA. She rewrote the dietetic exams, again, to register as a dietitian in the United States. This time in imperial measurements. That wasn’t easy. Starting over had it’s challenges, and she doesn’t recommend it, but her children called. Family first! During this time,  Maye was excited to be the first dietitian featured on a cereal box with her book, Feel Fantastic, published in 1996, now out-of-print. She stayed for nearly three years, until her sons sold their company and offered to buy her a home.

So…. At 50, she had given a talk in New York City and loved it. She chose to buy an apartment in Manhattan and started over, again, running her private practice and traveling the world to give talks. She soon became the Chair of the Nutrition Entrepreneurs, Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition and then received the Outstanding Nutrition Entrepreneur Award in the USA.

At 64, her daughter, Tosca, asked her to move to Los Angeles to help with her newly-born twins. Family first! Maye started a private practice, again, taught public health at a school, and gave talks. She also wrote her book, A Woman Makes A Plan, not knowing this would change her life!

At 73, she returned to New York City. She no longer had a private practice as her book had become a best-seller, so she was booked for many talks based on its contents, which includes nutrition.  At this time, she became even more active on social media which increased her work tremendously. She shows that it’s never too late to start over. Her book is now available in 30 languages and 100+ countries.

One week before turning 75, the most exciting recognition happened. The University of the Free State honored her with a PhD, Doctor of Dietetics, due to her continuous research and promotion in the dietetics field.

Don’t give up!

  • Doctor of Dietetics (University of the Free State, South Africa)
  • MSc in Nutritional Sciences (University of Toronto, Canada) 
  • MSc in Dietetics (University of the Orange Free State, South Africa) 
  • Hospital internship (University of the Orange Free State, South Africa) 
  • BSc in Dietetics (University of Pretoria, South Africa) 
  • Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (USA, previously Canada and South Africa) 
  • Member: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics 
  • Chair: Nutrition Entrepreneurs of The American Dietetic Association, 2003 – 2004
  • President: Consulting Dietitians of Canada, 1993 – 1995 
  • Representative: Consulting Dietitians of Southern Africa, 1987 – 1989 
  • Appetite Response and Food Intake, Nitrogen Balance and Mood in Patients with End Stage Renal Disease: Amino Acid vs. Dextrose Dialysate. Thesis, University of Toronto, 1992 
  • The Characterization of the Nutritional Experiences of Series of Black and White Patients with Colostomies. Thesis, University of the Orange Free State, 1987 
  • A Practitioner’s Perspective. Top Clin Nutr, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 199–203, 2003 
  • Effects of Amino Acid Dialysate on Appetite in CAPD Patients, M. Musk, H. Anderson, D. Oreopoulos, L. Leiter, J. Bargman, J. Petit, M. Jones. Adv Peritoneal Dialysis, 1993 
  • Contributor: World View of Nutrition for book: Nutrition, editor Dr. Paul Insel, Stanford University 
  • Nutrition columnist for 2 years for, Sun Media, Canada 
  • Costco Nutrition Newsletter, Reviewer for Medical Accuracy 


WIBA Award
Best Female Empowerment
Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation
For Cancer Research
Novus United Nations Global Goals Award
For Excellence and Leadership in Good Health and Well-being
Outstanding Nutrition Entrepreneur Award
In recognition of Excellence in Entrepreneurism and Dedication to the Field of Nutrition
Ontario Dietetic Association’s
Peer Recognition Award

Her book “Feel Fantastic” was featured on one million Special K cereal boxes in Canada.

Her book “Feel Fantastic” was featured on one million Special K cereal boxes in Canada.

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Paige Sisley
Cooke McDermid


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Anna Sherman