Aoife on...

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Cover Story -

‘Baby’ weight: I’m still not back into my own clothes, but I’m kind of happy in my own skin in gen­eral. Try­ing to get the good stuff in is def­i­nitely im­por­tant. It’s so easy to reach for a bis­cuit when you have a cry­ing baby in your arms. If you can, have fruit or nuts ready. I mix dairy and dark choco­late with brazil nuts, it’s re­ally nice.

Breastfeeding: Women don’t know what to ex­pect. They are told ‘it’s easy, it’s lovely’. It would be bet­ter if we were hon­est and said ‘the first few weeks are re­ally tough and you may be in your py­ja­mas for a month’. I did a breastfeeding sup­port class with Clare Boyle [mid­wife and breastfeeding con­sul­tant] in Cork be­fore I had Dy­lan and it was the mak­ing of me. She re­ally made me be­lieve I could do it.

Di­et­ing: Any­thing that is a diet, no mat­ter if it works or doesn’t work, you are get­ting into that diet men­tal­ity. I’m pas­sion­ate about par­ents not in­still­ing that in their chil­dren. My mam never had mag­a­zines in the house. I never re­mem­ber her men­tion­ing her weight. I never re­mem­ber her be­ing on a diet.

‘Clean’ eat­ing: The premise of it, in terms of mean­ing un­pro­cessed food is ob­vi­ously a no-brainer, but there’s no such thing as dirty eat­ing. We have to be very care­ful with the lan­guage we use around food, es­pe­cially with girls, and de­vel­op­ing a healthy re­la­tion­ship with food is prob­a­bly the most im­por­tant thing.

So­cial me­dia nu­tri­tion­ists: “The prob­lem is that every­one has ex­pe­ri­ence with food so it’s ex­pert by ex­pe­ri­ence rather than train­ing. We are reg­u­lated by Health & So­cial Care Pro­fes­sion­als Coun­cil, the na­tional body for health pro­fes­sion­als. If I do some­thing wrong and I mess up, there are con­se­quences for me. Nu­tri­tion­ists and nu­tri­tional ther­a­pists don’t have the same bound­aries. They can do harm and there is no-one reg­u­lat­ing them.

Go­ing gluten-free: Gluten-free is re­ally only for peo­ple with coeliac dis­ease, and that’s 1% of the pop­u­la­tion. The whole idea of gluten in­tol­er­ance, the ev­i­dence isn’t strong enough to back up whether it is ac­tu­ally a thing. The re­search seems to sug­gest it is wheat in­tol­er­ance that is more of an is­sue. For peo­ple with ir­ri­ta­ble bowel syn­drome, of­ten wheat can be an is­sue. It can af­fect 15% of the pop­u­la­tion, which is a much big­ger per­cent­age.

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