My name is Dr. Hazel Wallace, and I am the founder of The Food Medic.
The Food Medic is a product of who I am and what I do; I’m a practicing doctor with a special interest in nutrition and lifestyle medicine, and I am a qualified personal trainer.
I created The Food Medic blog in 2013, when I was at university, to help educate and inspire myself to become a healthier, and a stronger person. I soon realised that there was a lot more value in what I was doing than simply for myself, and if I could share my message and extend it to my patients, and those around me, I could help improve the health of many people, both inside and outside of the hospital.
I like to think of myself as one of the first of a new generation of doctors. I want to work with other doctors and encourage them to think outside the pill box when it comes to managing lifestyle related diseases such as; type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease – The largest killers and percentage of our workload here in the NHS and across the world!
What do all of these diseases have in common? They are all linked to how we live our lives – the food that we eat, how often we exercise, and even the stress that we experience. We have the opportunity to help people take control of their health through diet, physical activity, and stress management.
The benefits of eating well and exercising often extend far beyond looking and feeling great. With the right food, we can actually prevent and even reverse certain illnesses and disease – Yes reverse!
In my book, The Food Medic, I show you how to maximise your health through nutrition and exercise, and teach you, step-by-step, healthy habits for life!
The Food Medic isn’t simply a book with a collection of recipes that will just help shift a few stubborn pounds before a holiday; it is about health, confidence, happiness and feeling great for good.
This is not a diet book, this is the book that will stop you ever having to buy another diet book again! This book is about health, confidence, happiness, and feeling great for good.
Read more about The Food Medic book here
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I adapt my recipes to any intolerance or preference?
I want everyone to be able to make my recipes, regardless of your dietary preferences, intolerances or allergies. So here are a list of some alternatives you can swap into my recipes, however, I can’t promise they will turn out 100% exactly as mine have but I urge you to be creative. The important thing is that you’re cooking from scratch and enjoying it!
Milk alternatives: Any milk or water may be used may be substituted if allergic or vegan.
Sugar substitutes: Any sweetener may be substituted for another depending on preference or dietary requirements. Options include; honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, coconut sugar, and stevia.
Dairy Yogurt may be substituted for non-dairy versions such as coconut or soya. I find coconut works as a good substitute for greek yogurt, and soya yogurt works as a good swap for natural yogurt, due to consistencies.
Peanut butter for any other nut butter, or for those with nut allergies, tahini or other seed butters can be used either.
For egg substitutions you try using a chia egg or a flax egg, this involves mixing one tablespoon of ground chia or flax with 3 tablespoons of water. Whisk together the ground seeds and water until well combined, then place in the fridge to set for 15 minutes.
Would you be able to help with medical enquiries?
I am unable to respond to medical enquiries without a consultation. Please seek out the advice from your GP.
What are your qualifications?
I am a qualified doctor and personal trainer. I have a degree in Medical Sciences (Bsc) from the University of South Wales and a degree in Medicine (MBBCh) from Cardiff University. I studied my level 2 and level 3 personal training certification with ACTIVE IQ through The Fitness Factory Training Academy.
Do you take any PT clients?
I’m currently not taking on any clients for personal training however I have included a workout section in my book which shows you how to tailor make your own workouts.
Where can I get your book?
My book will officially be on the shelves on May 4th 2017 but you can pre-order it now on Amazon as The Food Medic book.
What protein brands and flavours can you recommend?
This is a question I get asked a lot, which is why I wrote a guide to protein powders on my website. As the health and fitness industry has expanded, there have been more and more types of protein supplementation on the market. It is now possible to buy a range of diary and non-dairy protein powders, in hundreds of different blends and flavours – It can be slightly overwhelming!
I would recommend checking out my guide and having a think about what type of protein blends suits you and your dietary preferences.
In terms of my tried and trusted brands, here are my favourites:
- That Protein (vegan)
- Sun Warrior (vegan)
- Neat Nutrition (Whey and vegan options)
- Strippd (Whey and vegan options)
- Purition (vegan and non-vegan options)
what are your opinions on protein bars…Like Quest/ fulfill etc? Are they okay to have once a day or should they be limited to a treat?
Protein bars are a great, convenient way to hit your daily protein requirements. However I always say “food first”, so aim to get enough protein through your diet and only use protein bars as a supplement, and not a replacement for your meals. I’m not going to lie, as a student I ate a lot of protein bars but take a quick glance the the back of the packet and you will see that they’re often just as full of sugars, sweeteners, and flavourings as your standard chocolate bar – they just have much more protein. My advice would be to skip the protein bar, get your protein from better quality sources, and have a chocolate bar that you actually want every once in awhile!
Could you guide me to any books or information that would give me a good starting point to understand food ?
To be completely honest with you, when I first delved into the world of nutrition I couldn’t find anything out there that offered the fundamentals of nutrition. Yes there are hundreds of papers you can read if you’re an academic, or there are health and wellness websites and magazines which offer nutritional advice through very watered down, and often misrepresented, science. I noticed a gap between the information available for the scientists and the public, which is why I wrote my book. I want to make evidence-based nutrition more accessible, less complex, and easy to follow.
With that said, there are a number of good resources online which can help you build on your knowledge of nutrition, here are some of my favourites:
- Precision Nutrition (http://www.precisionnutrition.com/) – The best for newbies looking to grasp the basics of nutrition which easy to read articles.
- The Rooted Project events (https://www.therootedproject.co.uk) – You don’t need any nutrition knowledge to come to their events. They choose speakers who are leaders in their field, are able to use normal language and translate the science into interesting and practical content. London based.
- Sigma Nutrition podcast (http://sigmanutrition.com) – a good option for your morning commute! Every week the show features deep-diving interviews with amazing guests with expertise in different areas related to nutrition, health, performance, mindset and living life to its fullest potential.
- Ben Coomber Radio (https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/ben-coomber-radio/id567519571?mt=2) – another podcast which I first got into back at university. Ben is very much a straight talking guy. There’s no science jargon here but he offers pretty sound advice on everything nutrition, food, mindset, exercise, and sports performance.
- http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/ – Lyle Mc Donald offers scientific information on general nutrition, fat loss, muscle gain, training, and reseach reviews.
- www.thefoodmedic.co.uk and don’t forget you can find lots of information over on my website!
- Periodisation by Tudor Bompa
- Supple Leopard by Dr Kelly Starratt
- Dr.Andreo Spina
Do you think it would be sustainable to continue my 9-5 job whilst gaining the personal training qualifications and if so, are there any good programmes/courses that you could recommend?
This is a question I get asked very often as more and more people are pursuing qualifications in the fitness industry. For those of you who may not know, I am a fully qualified personal trainer! I completed my qualification in May of last year while in my final year of medical school.
To find out how I did it alongside my full time degree, how much time it required, where I did it and my advice on how to pick the best course for you, then head over to my blog post and have a read.