Annabelle Baker: The Balanced Approach to Nutrition
Whether it’s the start of a new year, a new month or even a new day, we should always take the opportunity to take a step back and evaluate our wellbeing. Do I sleep enough? Am I getting enough exercise? And a common question: Am I eating healthily? Oxford-based nutritionist Annabelle Baker tells us about her own diet and explains why a professional nutritionist can help us reach our wellbeing goals.
After completing a degree in Nutrition at Oxford Brookes University, Annabelle went on to become a fully-accredited Associate Nutritionist (ANutr). So what made Annabelle want to focus on a career in nutrition? “I love good food! I’m seeing the world around me drift to convenience and a lazy approach to eating. I want to reconnect people and their families with fresh, healthy ingredients and the joy of preparing food. My approach is back to basics, and a non-judgemental philosophy to long-term, sustainable change in people’s diets.”
Annabelle is all for the simple, balanced approach. “If you’re eating an apple or yoghurt, go for organic or natural. If you’re preparing a meal, combine the raw ingredients together. A great example of this is Thai green curry. That way, you know exactly what’s gone into making a delicious meal.”
What does a nutritionist’s average daily intake of food look like? Here’s Annabelle’s food diary.
Scrambled eggs (three whites, one yolk) with chilli and turmeric on seeded wholemeal bread with spinach and cherry tomatoes. Plus my usual americano coffee with semi-skimmed milk. I drink water regularly throughout the day.
Time for ‘easily transportable’ seasonal fruit. Today’s snack was a pear.
Lunch: a homemade chicken salad with my favourite grains, Freekeh! Then two handfuls of mixed berries in my trusty Tupperware and plain yogurt. (I’ll let you in on my secret to a healthier life on the go…Tupperware. It’s that simple! Be organised and think ahead.)
My pre-workout snack: a handful of mixed nuts.
Training finished, it’s time for 330ml of milk (pre-packed in my travel thermos!)
Dinner is chicken vegetable medley; a rainbow of vegetables with turkey (or Quorn chicken pieces), herbs and garlic. Delicious!
A camomile tea.
Annabelle’s passionate about her clients achieving a balanced diet, but what exactly is ‘balanced’? “Plain and simple, eating a variety of raw ingredients. This can often be described as eating the rainbow or avoiding a diet that looks ‘beige’. I encourage my clients to read nutrition labels on packaged foods.”
Seeing a nutritionist is like taking control of your lifestyle; it’s you putting your health and wellbeing first. Annabelle explains, “A nutritionist understands food in greater scientific detail. I work with clients on personalised diet plans, weight-loss or weight-gain (muscle mass) plans, offer advice on sports nutrition, nutritional or hormonal imbalances, digestion (IBS) and help manage and prevent chronic diseases.”
In June, Annabelle will be hosting an exhibition stand at FitFest Oxford, offering example diet plans, sports nutrition and IBS advice, and personal training plans and exercise referral advice from Nick Baker, a Level 3 Personal Trainer. They will also be offering personal BMI sessions on the Bioelectrical impedance scales (10-minute slots to be booked in advance by visiting Annabelle’s website). Annabelle will be giving goodie bags to the first 30 clients!