We’re talk­ing to…

The ju­nior doc­tor, PT and so­cial me­dia star, 26, tells us how she stays on top of her game

Health & Fitness - - Contents -

Dr Hazel Wal­lace, aka in­sta­gram star The Food Medic.

1. WHY DID YOU SET UP THE FOOD MEDIC BLOG*?

‘I en­joyed the stu­dent life a lit­tle too much while study­ing med­i­cal sciences. I was about to train to be­come a doc­tor, but could hardly look af­ter my own health. So I joined a gym and changed my diet. I started los­ing weight, my hair and skin looked bet­ter, and I had a new en­ergy and fo­cus. Once I re­alised how im­por­tant food is to how we look and feel, I wanted to learn more about it and share it. I’m very proud to work for the NHS, but I think doc­tors could help tackle life­style dis­eases such as type 2 di­a­betes and high choles­terol by ask­ing peo­ple what’s on their plate be­fore pre­scrib­ing a pill.’

2. HOW DO YOU JUGGLE EV­ERY­THING?

‘Time man­age­ment. I sched­ule ev­ery­thing into my di­ary, from work­outs to meet­ings – and my gro­cery shop! But I don’t put my­self un­der pres­sure to do ev­ery­thing, ev­ery day. I al­ways pri­ori­tise my down time to dis­con­nect from work and so­cial me­dia by med­i­tat­ing for 10 min­utes ev­ery day, us­ing my com­mute to read for plea­sure, and see­ing friends at the week­end. If you love what you do and you’re mo­ti­vated, you’ll find time.’

3. WHAT’S YOUR BEAUTY ETHOS?

‘I keep my In­sta­gram [@the­foodmedic] as real and au­then­tic as pos­si­ble – you’ll of­ten see me be­ing make-up free, with messy hair and wear­ing sur­gi­cal scrubs when I’m on call! I’m very com­fort­able in my skin but I do have days where I feel bloated, have break­outs or bad hair. My skin­care rou­tine is very sim­ple. I’m obsessed with the Ori­gins GinZing range (ori­gins.co.uk), and use the face wash, eye cream and mois­turiser daily.’

4. WHAT’S THE SE­CRET TO HAV­ING LOTS OF EN­ERGY?

‘Good food, ex­er­cise, sleep and rest. I don’t be­lieve in cut­ting out any foods un­less you have a med­i­cal or eth­i­cal rea­son to do so, and while ex­er­cise may feel ex­haust­ing at the time, it im­proves your health and qual­ity of sleep in the long run. I can strug­gle to get six and a half hours’ sleep some­times, but my men­tal clar­ity and fo­cus is al­ways bet­ter when I get more. If you don’t rest, you never re­cover. Life is stress­ful enough, so take time out to do the things you love.’

5. HOW DO YOU DEFINE ‘GOOD HEALTH’?

‘Be­ing healthy is about how you feel as well as how you look. I tell peo­ple not to fo­cus on aes­thetic goals, such as get­ting a six pack, but to build lit­tle habits – make your lunch ev­ery day, walk to work, do 10 min­utes of med­i­ta­tion, get to bed half an hour ear­lier… It’s the lit­tle changes that make the big changes. You’ll soon find yourself feel­ing more re­laxed and en­er­getic and maybe a lit­tle lighter phys­i­cally and men­tally.’

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