Breakfast with Ed X The Food Medic
We caught up with Hazel Wallace aka The Food Medic on all things food, fitness & life! Watch the interview here...
WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?
My job, and my platform. As a doctor with the following of ultimately a small town of people, I feel it is my responsibility to look out for my community and offer them the best information, advice and support. Seeing and hearing the feedback and the impact you can make on someones life is motivating in itself.
HARDEST MOMENT IN YOUR CAREER?
I think the first time one of my patients died. It was on a respiratory ward and the patient had end-stage lung disease, and so death was expected, but I still took it very hard.
HOW DO YOU SPLIT YOUR TIME BETWEEN NUTRITION, EXERCISE AND BEING A DOCTOR?
One of the first things you learn as a medical student is how to prioritise in order of importance and urgency and I carry that same skill into my day-to-day life. My job comes first, but outside of working hours, I make sure to schedule in time for exercise and also relaxation. I also know I work better when I have good food to fuel me through the day so I always make sure to make time for breakfast, bring a packed lunch and cook in the evenings when I get home. Good food and cooking is a form of self-care in my eyes.
YOU HAVE A NEW BOOK LAUNCHING WHAT CAN READERS EXPECT?
Yes, The Food Medic for Life which is out April 19th!
I wanted to create a collection of beautiful recipes that are not only nutritious and great tasting, but super quick and simple to make, using only a handful of ingredients. The Fuel Up section is designed for just that - it is where you will find my recipes for grab-and-go breakfasts, lunches on the run and dinners that take less than 30 minutes to satisfy you after a long day at work! However, I truly believe that when we do have time to cook a meal, bake some bread and sit down with friends and family to share some food, we should totally embrace those moments. This is where the Power Down section comes in: for when you're not in a hurry, I have included my chosen recipes for lazy weekend brunches, family dinners, loaves of bread and teatime treats. This is a cookbook that will help you fall in love with cooking and improve your relationship with food so that you approach it not only with a great source of nutrients but also happiness, satisfaction and health. I also have feature pages scattered throughout the book covering nutritional advice as to how to meet your 5-a-day and meal prep basics, plus features on how to live well for optimum health, with information on sleep, meditation and mindfulness.
WHAT'S A STAPLE FOOD IN YOUR DIET?
I try to keep it varied but I have the same ingredients that I can come back to time and time again. In my new book, I have 5 staple 'hero' ingredients that I feel are really versatile that you can keep in your cupboard for ages and always come back to. They are chickpeas, sweet potato, eggs, oats and lentils. They all tend to have quite a long shelf life, they're all nutrient dense, high in protein and really versatile so with each of those in ingredients I have 10 different recipe ideas, so you've got 50 different recipe ideas with 5 ingredients. Out of them, I'd say I eat eggs every day in some shape or form, if not eggs, then oats. They're so cheap and you can do so much with them!
3 PIECES OF ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE OUR READERS ON FOOD?
1. Variety! Here in the UK we notoriously stick to the same foods - very beige food. Try and get as many different nutrients into your diet by having lots of fruit and vegetables, different grains, different fish and meats depending on what your preference is. Variety is key, variety is king!
2. Fibre! We don't get enough fibre in the UK. It's not only good for your digestive system but we also know that your gut health affects your mood, affects your cardiovascular health, can reduce your blood cholesterol so there are so many benefits to having more fibre that can be found in fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
3. Cook from scratch! Some people think that's a huge ask and I think that now we can order food on our phones it's too easy to get a delivery or to get a grab and go meal. I think that when you cook from scratch you develop a deeper relationship with food; you know what's gone into it, you have more control, you can add extra vegetables. You don't have to buy expensive ingredients or niche ingredients. Just encouraging people to be more experimental!
WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU?
For me, it's really trying to get the brand of The Food Medic out there. In terms of me as an entrepreneur, this blog started as a hobby and not something that I make a living from and as cheesy as it sounds, in my eyes it's my calling and something that landed on my lap that I need to run with. Trying to balance that with medicine has been difficult but I'm trying to balance both alongside one another. I would love to have my own food products in high street stores and supermarkets and that's something I'll definitely look towards.