After 15 years of being a stay-at-home mum, I decided that I needed to do something for myself that I was passionate about. I have always been interested in food and wellbeing, and how to encourage a healthy environment in the household, therefore I chose to become qualified as a Community Nutritionist.
I went back to college, and at the age of 35, I became a student again! I took a Science GCSE, then an Access Course and finally my Bsc Degree in Nutrition, Excercise and Health. I loved every moment and met some great friends along the way.
Since I have been qualified, I have had many opportunities to work with a wonderful array of people, offering them hints and tips that have helped them lead healthier lives.
I do lots of work in the community. One week this might mean cooking with a group of people with learning disabilities. The next it might mean talking to carers about how to make simple and quick meals so they have more time for themselves. Another time I might be cooking with parents and children, helping them resolve issues around fussy eating and healthy diets. What all these groups have in common is the need to become more confident: confident with nutrition knowledge, confident with cooking skills and confident in themselves.
I love what I do. The satisfaction I get out of seeing changes over the course of a few weeks is what motivates me. I have worked with many different groups of people and have learnt so much along the way. I am always humbled and inspired by people that I have met.
I do this work through my community interest company Wise About Food CIC. This works in the Hertfordshire and London areas, working closely with local councils, housing associations, schools and hopefully soon with primary care networks.
So often my work involves cooking. Food brings people together. Preparing, cooking and eating food changes people’s relationship with what they eat. By the end of these sessions it is great to see the group buzzing with enthusiasm. Friendships are made, relationships improve, people leave prepared to make changes and try things.
Food is a truly emotive subject. It affects all aspects of our lives. Bad habits are formed quickly and are difficult to break. We allow food to be a reward for good behaviour. We can get into all sorts of difficulties with body image and self-esteem, all stemming from our relationship with food. Despite this nutrition is far from being about weight control and obesity. What I do covers so many other areas, about habits, eating as a family, hydration for the elderly, saving money by eating on a budget, food waste. The list could go on.
As you might have gathered, I would love to change the world!
To reach out a little more, beyond the groups I work with, I have written some downloadable booklets and factsheets covering all the different issues I obsess about. I’ve tried to get across in this written form, the messages that I put to my groups.
There are more booklets and factsheets to come. This is just a start. If there are any areas that you would like to see covered then please get in touch. I am always interested in researching new areas and love a challenge.
If you are interested in the group courses I run through Wise About Food, then please get in touch. I would love to hear from you. If funding is an issue, then do not be put off. I am currently seeking grant funding applications, so it is possible to make things happen.