Bookworm

The Food Medic for life by Dr Hazel Wallace

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I got this book on pre order when it came out. I flicked through it earlier this week after making an epic Food Medic recipe for dinner on the bank holiday and I have to admit, I had forgotten how good it was. As such I thought it was worthy of an, admittedly belated, review.

Hazel’s recipes never fail to deliver and often just hit the spot.

I love the layout of the book, with double pages of words of wisdom interwoven between the recipes. These pages cover topics such as macro- and micro-nutrients, is 5-a-day enough, plant-based diets and sleep. These informational pages are so easy to read.

One of my favourites is when she’s talking about mindfulness and the difference between it and meditation. I just kept thinking yes in my head and smiling! I think mindfulness has the most amazing potential for stress management, letting us see how lucky we are and how beautiful the world is. I have discussed getting into mindfulness using apps such as @calm and @headspace with many of my patients since returning to GP land and those I’ve seen again are always thoroughly enjoying it and seeing the effect it has on their wellbeing.

Hazel also covers the topic of gut health (another area I find fascinating) so well. She discusses simple ways you can help you gut microbiota thrive.

Recipes are laid out according to how much time you have to spend making meals, with a Fuel Up section for hectic days with on-the-go breakfast options, lunches and snacks you can take to work and speedy dinners, and a Power Down for when you have more time, such as lazy brunches and comfort food you can share with family and friends.

She has some great inspiration for lunches on the go (all hail the Tupperwear). I think meal prep is transformational. I can count the times I’ve bought a meal in the hospital canteen on one hand in the 4+ years I’ve been a doctor, whilst others do it every day! It’s often better for your bank balance as well as your health! If you want to get into making lunches for work I think this book is a great place for you to start. (Hazel also has a Lunch Box Club (#lunchboxclub) on Instagram which is worth checking out).

Overall, with a mix of evidence-based lifestyle nuggets and recipes which will keep you wanting more, this book is definitely worth a read.