Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Let's get physical...with The Healthy Ingredient

I recently paid a visit to nutritionist Bannie Williams from The Healthy Ingredient in Melbourne.  I’d been wondering about going to see a nutritionist for a while but kept bailing with the excuse that without a load of weight to lose or the need for a massive diet overhaul, it was an unnecessary expense that could be better spent on yoga, training, meals out….or, let’s face it in my case-clothes.

However a couple of months ago I found myself with a bit of extra cash come the end of the month and decided to finally take the plunge. As you’ll know if you check in on my blog regularly, I already have a strong interest in nutrition and wellbeing so I wasn't going with the expectation of having my mind blown with a tonne of new foodie facts or the secret to instant weight loss.

 My diet had gone a little off track over the winter, so what I really wanted was a way to re-set myself, and gain some inspiration on how to make some better choices. It was never about ‘getting skinny’ as that’s not what I believe in. I was after some guidance and clarification on what foods (and how much of them) I should be eating to maintain a strong, healthy body in conjunction with all the exercise I do. I also have a tendency to rely on exercise rather than eating well so I wanted to try and change that.

The session was really informal and Bannie made me feel completely at ease the whole time. We began by talking about my current lifestyle habits and what my reasons were for contacting The Healthy Ingredient in the first place.  Bannie then went on to focus on a few areas where she recommended I make some small changes, with a real focus on just doing a little bit at a time so I didn’t feel at all overwhelmed. In all I think we spoke for a good 60 minutes and Bannie followed up the session with a  very detailed summary of the session including tips on how to make some changes, some delicious recipe ideas and, what I found most helpful, a 5-day meal plan guide. I specifically asked for some help with quantities so Bannie also made sure to include this in all the meal suggestions.

I can be a pretty harsh critic when it comes to services like personal trainers and nutritionists; when I hand my money over I want to know I am getting good value out of it! So I was really happy to come out of my visit from Bannie feeling pleased with the session and more importantly, positive about making some healthy changes to my everyday diet. There was no mention of cutting sugar or any other food groups, just a focus on wholesome foods in the right quantity.

I also really loved just being able to chat to someone like-minded about my nutrition and fitness goals without being frowned upon as some kind of fitness/diet junkie!

I have to be honest now and say that I haven’t stuck to the advice I was given 100% of the time (hey-you can only try!). However, I can 100% say that it did achieve what I wanted; re-inspiring me to make some better food choices and fuel my body with the right nutrients. Also, I consult my meal planner and the notes Bannie gave me pretty much every day!

Pumpkin with Pearled Barley and Ricotta from The Healthy Ingredient
Image courtesy of The Healthy Ingredient
There is a reason people like personal trainers, nutritionists and dieticians exist; losing weight, getting to the gym and maintaining a consistent, healthy diet can be bloody hard. Plain and simple.

Even if like me you’re genuinely interested in health and wellbeing, unfortunately it doesn’t mean you jump out of bed at 6am, skip to the gym with a smile on your face and never veer from a diet of green juices, superfoods and coconut water (I hate the stuff). It’s ok to need help and I think a lot of people forget that and assume that if they can’t achieve everything on their own they are somehow failing. I can certainly be guilty of this anyway. Yes there are a lot of bullshitters out there who will accept excessive amounts of money for not doing much, but if you do a bit of research and have some focus on what you want to achieve then you should be able to avoid those avenues.

So if you’re trying to achieve a certain goal or make some positive changes in your life, my advice is -give yourself a break, get a bit of guidance and start reaping the benefits. J

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