Forget the white coat. Dr Hazel Wallace is one of the growing breed of next-gen medical doctors putting lifestyle first. The London-based blogger, podcaster, best-selling author, nutritionist-in-training and PT (yep, so many hats!) started her site, The Food Medic, in 2012 to cut through the health clutter online. It’s since grown into an institution with over 300,000 Insta followers, all tapping into her delicious–but–refreshingly–simple recipes. Here, she talks about the future of medicine and why being the black sheep isn’t always such a bad thing.
Making science sexy and useful!
“The Food Medic started off as a personal project. After my first year of uni and living away from home, I wasn’t exactly the picture of health, and I’d gained a bit of weight. So, I joined a gym, started researching about nutrition and used Instagram to share a personal log. I wasn’t learning any of it in medical school … which blows my mind because there’s such a huge link between food and health. That’s when I realised I could extend this to more people in more locations, so I turned The Food Medic into a blog. Now, it’s an educational hub, where scientific-based content is shared with a non-scientific audience.”
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Ladies and Gents ? The Food Medic podcast is happening, and it kicks off tomorrow with my first guest, registered nutritionist specialising in sports nutrition, @anitabean1 ?? I was super keen to invite Anita on because a) she has written some awesome books b) Sports nutrition is a very different kettle of fish to everyday nutrition and if there is anyone who knows their stuff, it’s Anita ?? we will be discussing things like pre/intra/post workout nutrient, protein supplementation, and low carb diets and performance. I have my own questions but I can imagine you guys have tons too, so pop your questions in the comments below and we can see if we have time for a few ?? #thefoodmedic #hazelwallace #thefoodmedicforlife #thefoodmedicpodcast ? @ellisparrinder
Prevention is key
“[These days], we’re seeing a whole cohort of diseases that are largely lifestyle related, and they can’t all just be treated with one pill or surgery. Although medication is so important, what we should really be focusing on is the preventative side of things and trying to see what we can do in someone’s lifestyle before [anything else]. When we look at, say, patients who are at risk of type 2 diabetes, and get them to stand up and move around – ‘exercise snacking’ – throughout the day, they improve their blood glucose levels. Getting physically active can save a life.”
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How do you do it all AND manage to stay fit and healthy? – Probably one of my most frequently asked questions! ?It's true, I have a lot going on in my life. We all do. Most people, when asked, will say that they have a busy life. Regardless of what job they have, or how many jobs, regardless of whether they have kids, or parents to look after, if they have a florid social life or spend most of their time alone. The prospect of fitting in time to exercise can send many of us into a frenzy off stress and panic ? I don’t want that for anyone, but promise me when I tell you that exercise is a form of self-care and it is SO important for your health and wellbeing. So here are some of my helpful tips to help you Fit in Fitness – 1️⃣”Book” an appointment with the gym – get your diary out, phone or paper (I’m a paper diary kinda gal myself) and book out 3-4 slots next week to do some form of exercise ? 2️⃣Break it up into chunks or “exercise snacks” instead of trying to tackle a typical 60 minute session in one go ??♀️ 3️⃣Have a handful of anytime, anywhere workouts that you can pull out of the bag when you’re working out at home or in a hotel (there’s plenty on my page!) ?? 4️⃣Leave your trainers and gym kit in work or in the car so that you can grab them whenever you need to ? I’ve always got a spare @triumphlingerie sports bra, leggings and trainers ready to go! 5️⃣Sign up to a class before or after work, or on your lunch break – you’re less likely to cancel if you rope you work wife in too ? ps. Wearing @triumphlingerie sports bra from the AW18 season collection available NOW at @Debenhams. #TeamTriaction #TogetherWeTriumph #thefoodmedic #hazelwallace
True balance takes practice
“Last year, I was in my core training as a junior doctor [and] I was also writing a book and running a business. By the end of that year … I was so tired and run-down. I made a decision to take a step back from full-time training. It’s allowed me to claim my weekends again and I went on my first proper holiday in I-don’t-knowhow- long. [Finding balance] definitely takes trial and error, but it’s really important that when you work for yourself you need to remember to have days off. It’s important to treat yourself well.”
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Just arrived back from the loveliest 24hours with my family celebrating my sisters 40th! ? Birthdays and celebrations remind us that food isn’t just fuel or nutrients, but love and connection, bringing people together through a language that we can all speak ? This is why it was really important for me to include recipes for family dinners, nights in with the girls (or gals), birthdays and celebrations in my book ? If want to treat someone special on their birthday you must try the layered almond and lemon celebration cake from my book The Food Medic For Life ? #hazelwallace #thefoodmedic #thefoodmedicforlife
Own your power
“A journalist once called me the black sheep among other doctors, because I did things differently. My [mentor] consultant told me to not take it as a dig and to see it as a compliment. I’ve now embraced the fact I’m a black sheep. Sometimes it’s not a bad option to do things a little bit differently.”
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