If you’re like me, then no doubt you’re interested in the health and wellbeing habits of other people, and especially nutritionists! I’ve been interviewing some degree qualified nutritionists around the country and today we have Jessica Campbell of Body Balance Nutrition.
I connected with Jess recently at a Nutrition Symposium on Food Allergy and she kindly agreed to be interviewed for my blog. Jess is a passionate Nutritionist with a postgraduate degree in nutrition and is committed to an evidence based approach to wellness. She loves to continually educate herself and as is about to become a full time medical student.
Here’s my interview with Jess:
1. Firstly, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what makes you passionate about nutrition?
I’m an Auckland based nutritionist, Mairangi Bay is home, and I love the North Shore beaches!
I’ve always had a keen interest in the goings on in our bodies and how food, lifestyle and stress can affect the way we function. So I guess studying nutrition was a natural progression for me.
I’ll be taking that interest a step further next year as I start a medical degree; it’s exciting to have a strong nutrition background underpinning my practice as a future Doc! I’m of the opinion nutrition, and registered nutritionists, still have a lot more to offer within our health system both in the promotion of good health and the management of illness.
2. One thing people are always interested in is what nutritionists eat! What would a usual day of eating look like for you?
What I eat depends if I’m in clinic late or not! If I have a late one then I’ll usually eat more in the morning and lunchtime, with a light dinner.
Tues-Thurs I’m often working with clients through to 8:30-9pm so it’s important I start the day with a substantial breakfast. I’ll opt for eggs – poached on grainy toast with roasted tomatoes and spinach, or I am a fan of stove top oats with cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins, apple and a good sprinkle of pumpkin seeds, almonds and walnuts.
Lunch, I’ll have a mix-and-match salad (loads of veggies, some protein – maybe fish, chicken or beans and chickpeas, and some crunch – nuts & seeds). I love micro greens, we have a kitchen top jar sprouter and it’s awesome watching the seeds sprout before adding them to salads and sandwiches!
Dinner, will be some sort of lean protein, a small portion of carbohydrate – whole grains or root vege and plenty of vegetables. If I’m really late maybe an omelette, toastie or pumpkin & parmesan soup.
3. What are your fridge and pantry staples?
FRIDGE: Trim milk; plain unsweetened yoghurt (yes, low fat!), a draw full of leafy green and colourful veges, fruit, hummus, pickles and cheese.
PANTRY: Dense grainy bread, eggs, rolled oats, Quinoa, brown rice, chickpeas, lentils, wholegrain crackers, corn-thins, low salt canned tomatoes and a selection of herbs and spices. Oh and Olive oil – my partner’s family grow olives and their oils are delish!
4. What are your three favourite foods/meals?
– Avocado, avocado, avocado. On toast, in a salad, half with lemon juice and coriander, in a guacamole… I LOVE AVO!
– A great tiramisu.
– Anything Japanese; Musashi in Milford & Tanuki’s Cave are definitely faves.
5. What is your food philosophy?
Focus on a plant based diet. In my experience, if we bump up the green leafy and colourful vegetables, we start to crowd out the rubbish. A wholefood approach is best, and it’s important to eat for nourishment rather than filling up on empty calories.
6. What is your favourite way to keep fit?
I enjoy walking; Auckland has plenty of great walking tracks and beaches to explore. I’ll also do core/pilates exercises at home through winter and in summer we’ll be at the beach a lot, my partner is a keen surfer but I prefer stand up paddle boarding or swimming.
7. Can you share with us your favourite piece of advice for eating well and staying healthy?
Get to know the difference between genuine hunger (for food!) and emotional hunger, or habitual hunger. If you can identify that you are eating for reasons other than genuine, biological hunger and begin to feed those feelings with something other than food it can be game changing!
8. What’s one topic in nutrition that you see people are most confused with and what is your opinion on this?
What to eat, when to eat, how much to eat! There is so much information available to us that many have simply forgotten how to eat and end up fretting over every decision or choice made when it comes to food.
I am a big believer in intuitive eating, it’s a step up on mindful eating, and I’ve seen some amazing results in women who have been plagued by years of dieting, yo-yo weight gain and body image issues. There are several misconceptions underpinning the struggles these women have with food.
1. Foods should be labelled as “good” or “bad”/ “treat” or “everyday foods”
2. The scales are our only measure of success, and that number on the box I stand on shall determine how well today will go
3. The only way to lose weight is by dieting, with clear rules and plans.
It’s really interesting when working with a binge eater or chaotic emotional eater that when we give unconditional permission to eat ANYTHING the hang-ups with cakes and chocolate, for example, fall away. It’s no longer a forbidden food and all the control and internal battling begins to dissipate, in fact many become ambivalent to old “trigger” foods. Sure relearning to eat intuitively isn’t an over night thing, but it’s definitely a great platform to remodel our relationship with food on!
Check Jess out at her website and social media links below.