1. Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from, and what brought you to Singapore?
Sixteen years ago, I hung up my laboratory coat, said goodbye to medical research and opened my first nutrition consultancy, in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, Australia. As an accredited practising dietitian, I ran a busy practice, helping people with weight and health issues, athletic performance, pregnancies and food addiction. When offered the opportunity to relocate to Singapore, our family agreed we were ready for a new chapter as well as a chance to see the world from a different perspective and hence took the plunge.
2. You are known as a longevity expert – what does that mean exactly?
Several years ago, I became intrigued by an emerging area of research called regenerative, or longevity medicine. It was a natural extension to what I had been practicing for years and I readily invested another 4 years of study to become accredited in this field. Longevity medicine focuses on understanding the mechanisms of the ageing process and how we can extend the healthy period of our lives and compress or even abolish ill health in our latter years. Although we may not live significantly longer, we extend our ‘health span’ and live healthier, longer
3. How can nutrition and lifestyle play a role in disease prevention? What type of diseases?
How we eat, drink and live, is the driving factor determining our health and our ability to prevent disease. We are plagued by what are called the ‘lifestyle’ diseases: heart disease, stroke, diabetes and bodyweight issues. They develop slowly over time, gradually impacting our health and ultimately affecting the quality and length of our lives. However, these conditions are largely preventable, can be well managed and even reversed, through making simple changes in our eating patterns and lifestyle choices. Excitingly, new studies are emerging that suggest dementia and most cancers are also largely preventable through diet, lifestyle and exercise.
4. People are very busy in general, what advice can you give about weight management to those who are constantly on the run?
Life runs fast but weight management does not. The key to successful weight control is patience, consistency and time. Keep it simple, don’t strive for perfection, but make sure that there are enough good days in any given week to keep you on-track. Practice a little discipline, accept some discomfort and be prepared to say ’no’ from time to time. It’s OK to outsource and don’t default for the convenient option, its rarely the correct one. If you cannot slow down, at least lock down your main meals – uncontrolled grazing can do a lot of damage. Finally, hold yourself accountable to someone or something. It could be your trainer, friend or a professional, your scales, an App or an outfit.
5. When it comes to stress and fatigue, what are your Top 3 tips to share?
Tip 1. Keep an eye on caffeine. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of waking up tired, surviving the day with caffeine top-ups and then being too anxious and wired to get a restful sleep. Break the cycle by imposing a daily caffeine cut-off at a fixed time and see out the rest of the day stimulant-free. It won’t be easy, but it is a solid first step.
Tip 2. Be wary of sugar and the desire to eat large meals. When you are constantly stressed, your ‘fight and flight’ response is trapped in the ‘on’ mode. During this state of heightened awareness, the body wants fast fuel, so your brain demands sugar. The brain may also try to force a state of ‘rest and digest”, by increasing your desire to eat large, high calorie meals. As a result, many people suffering stress find weight and health management difficult. If you need that sugar hit, go for unprocessed and try fruit first. If you are craving a large meal, keep the fat low and make up the volume with more vegetables.
Tip 3. Chase sleep. If you are well rested, your ability to cope with stress improves dramatically. Make it your priority to improve the quality and length of your sleep. A good starting place is to aspire towards 7 hours uninterrupted sleep per night. We are only just beginning to understand the profound role that sleep plays on our health and our ability to heal.
6. Can you tell us a little about The Wellness Clinic in Singapore and your mission?
The Wellness Clinic is a medical aesthetics practice specialising in non-surgical procedures that help reverse age-related changes to the skin. The clinic adopts a holistic approach and understands the integral role that nutrition plays in achieving enhanced skin health. I joined the clinic with two goals in mind. The first was to provide this valuable nutrition component and create tailored diet plans to support these treatments. The second goal was to bring all the skills and experiences that I have developed to date, and to expand the clinic’s services beyond skin health and into the realm of total health.
7. Lastly, are there any words of wisdom you would like to share about living a balanced and healthy life?
No matter where we stand, we all have the capacity to create more balance in our lives and improve upon our health. It requires a conscious decision on what needs to change, you must make effort and it takes time. You may need more education and be prepared to acquire new skills. If old habits must change, make sure the new ones are compelling and that your psychological ‘toolkit’ is well stocked. Making improvements to your current health and wellbeing changes the trajectory of your future and the upside is beyond measure.
The Wellness Clinic
Address: 501, Orchard Road, #04-01, Wheelock Place, 238880
Phone: +65 6732 0812