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10 questions with Dr Hazel Wallace, The Food Medic

posted on Friday, 5th May 2017 | find under Fitness, Nutrition
If you want to know a thing about balance, take a look at Dr Hazel Wallace aka The Food Medic. Junior Doctor, personal trainer, Instagram star, blogger and now author, this superwoman is on a mission to inspire healthier lifestyles worldwide. As one of the first of a new generation of doctors who can expose the myths surrounding the diet industry, here she shares how she begun, her guilty pleasure and two exclusive recipes from her new book The Food Medic: Recipes + Fitness for a Healthier Happier You.

the food medic

Could you let us know how The Food Medic began?

It all began when I was doing my undergraduate degree in Medical Sciences. By the final year of my degree I found myself in a position where I was far from healthy. I'd gone up 2-3 dress sizes, was riddled with acne, my hair was dull and dry and I'd get out of breath climbing up a flight of stairs.

After receiving the news that I had got a place to study medicine, I didn’t want to become a doctor who did not look or feel healthy, so I took it upon myself to change my diet and lifestyle. I joined a gym and started cooking from scratch. I used Instagram as a personal log to make me accountable for my new lifestyle and to keep me motivated. From there ‘The Food Medic’ just grew organically, people began to follow me because of the recipes I shared and the advice I provided. That was about 4 years ago now and it’s going from strength to strength.
As a junior doctor, how do you stay healthy?
I try to be as prepared as I can be. I make all of my lunches for the week on my day off, I bring dinner with me if I know I’m going to be working a long shift, and I wake up early to get in a good breakfast so that I don’t end up ravenous by 11am! I try to make it to the gym three times a week, and when I’m too stretched to go, I will do a few home workouts instead.
What are your top three tips for balancing everything?

1. No is your strongest answer, don’t feel obliged to give all of your free time away.

2. Wake up an hour, or even a half hour, earlier before work to squeeze in a workout before work or prep your lunch.

3. Schedule in your workouts like you would any appointment, and don’t cancel on yourself. Your time is important!
What are the five staple items we’d always find in your pantry

Quinoa, chickpeas, peanut butter, almonds, protein powder.
What’s your go-to recipe from the book?

The rice paper chicken rolls with peanut butter dipping sauce. I first tried out this recipe as an experiment when I was trying to impress someone on a date! It is such a fun dish to make as it encourages everyone to get involved and roll up their sleeves. The rice paper wraps are really light, and combined with the raw vegetables, make this much lighter and fresher than your classic Mexican chicken fajita! For a veggie alternative, swap the chicken breast for avocado.
Describe your morning routine?

I wake up at 5:00 and make a coffee. I then grab my gym bag, lunchbox, and a protein shake and head to the gym for a 45 minute workout before work. After my session I have a quick shower and gobble down overnight oats from my tupperware box before dashing off to work for my ward round at 7:30am.
Favourite workout?
I’m currently loving Crossfit at the moment because I’m a complete beginner and I love a challenge!
Any tips for people who are just getting into fitness?

Be brave! Don’t be afraid of what people will think or say, but also don’t be afraid to ask for help and guidance. The gym can be a very intimidating place, especially the weights area, so grab one of the personal trainers on the gym floor and ask them to check your technique if you’re unsure. I was always pestering the ones in my gym when I started out and they were more than willing to help! They’re not just there to put back the weights.
Guilty pleasure?

I try not to think of any of my ‘indulgences’ as guilty, but my favourite meal for a treat would be loaded nachos with all the toppings and a margarita to wash it down. 
You live in London, where are your favourite places in the city?
I’m very new to London so I still think of myself as a bit of a tourist! My favourite brunch spot is Timmy Green in Victoria. As its getting warmer, I've loved exploring Battersea Park and Portobello Road Market. 

Which recipes have you chosen to share from the book?

My Goat's Cheese Frittata as this recipe is good for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner (find the recipe here). Plus, my favourite Banana Bread, as a little bit of something sweet is good for the soul (find the recipe here). 

Buy Hazel's book The Food Medic: Recipes + Fitness for a Healthier Life here (Yellow Kite),
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