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Tricks of the Trade

What you can learn from the way a nutritionist eats!

By AUT Millennium Nutritionist Claire Turnbull

Believe it or not, I sometimes eat cake. Yes, there you go, I am a nutritionist and will go as far as to say that carrot cake is the best, by far! Apparently, being interested in healthy eating means that people expect me to live on lettuce and tofu and somehow be repulsed by the merest waft of an ice cream wrapper – really?! As if!

As a nutritionist I am of course an avid fan of piles of veggies, healthy balanced meals, keeping active and having plenty of fluid (and no, I don’t mean wine!).

However, I love eating out, love the occasional great glass of NZ wine and thoroughly enjoy good food, so…how do I get away with eating the foods that I love, and still maintain a healthy weight?

Well today, I am here to share my tricks of the trade!

1 = I take responsibility for own nutrition

Sometimes people can make you feel like you HAVE to eat certain things, however that feeling is actually only controlled by you! In other areas of your life, you may have heard the expression ‘no one can make you feel anything without your permission’, well the same applies here! If you enjoy a glass of wine and the odd treat, that’s fine – because hopefully you had the choice to eat or drink them or not. However, if you are regularly eating and drinking more than you want just to make other people happy or not ‘upset’ them…think again, this is YOUR LIFE!

2= My base diet is as good as it can be

With a little planning, healthy shopping and a good routine, I ensure that 90-95% of the food I eat is as healthy as it can possibly be. My portions are controlled at home and work and when I go away for the weekend – I take healthy things with me. Then, when I find the odd treat I LOVE, I have it, without the guilt and I REALLY enjoy it!

3 = I adapt my recipes and watch my portions

At the start I said I eat cake, and I do, but – let’s be honest it really isn’t that often. I would have a piece of carrot cake about once or twice a year, I reckon. If I do have other sweet treats the portions are very small and if I make something myself, I will have adapted the recipe to be healthier. I don’t just eat desserts just because they are on offer and everyone else is tucking in.

4 = I know that food will be there tomorrow.

GREAT food will be around today, tomorrow and forever. Just because you see something you love, doesn’t mean you need to have it every time! I eat treats every now and then, but they will be amazing, super-tasty treats in small doses! The junky, everyday compound chocolate, palm oil packed biscuits and chocolate slices are just NOT worth the KJ or hours at the gym!

5 = I try to make some of my social catch-ups not all about food and booze!

It’s so easy to catch up with people over a beer, wine and fries or coffee and cake. What’s wrong with going on a walk or playing tennis then having a coffee?  For your next social catch-up, see if you can make it healthier for yourself and your friends!

I never used to be like this I have to be honest, it is over time that I have developed these healthy habits and feel so good because of it; I couldn’t go back if I tried. I believe that being the best you, the happiest, healthiest version of yourself, is just about building up healthy habits – one at a time!

Claire :)


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