Lee Sutherland is a nutritionist and personal trainer who says she can boil everything she’s learned about health into one sentence — keep reading to learn what that is.
The editor of Fitness in the City, Sutherland also believes nutrition shouldn’t send you broke: she’s devised Healthy on a Budget, a nutrition workshop for Voome that also includes a four-week workout program. She shares some of her know-how in Coach’s 5 Fitness Questions.
1. We’re always being promised “the secret” to getting and staying healthy. What’s yours?
Not eating rubbish! It’s really not rocket science and we all tend to over complicate it at some point in time. But if you just strip it back and think “eat whole foods”. Eat real food as close to its natural state as possible (that is, not in a shiny wrapper), and that is it. Many years of study in one sentence!
Consistency is the other “secret’. Sadly, one week of eating like a health god/goddess won’t erase the three weeks of eating like kid in a candy shop.
2. What’s something you know now about health you wish you’d known five years ago?
I wish I knew to listen to my own body and not copy something I read in a magazine about the latest trend, because only you know how food feels after you eat it — if it makes you feel bloated or constipated, if it gives you energy or makes you want to go to sleep. Once you get in tune with your body and when it responds correctly, that’s where the magic happens!
3. How do you approach nutrition?
Once upon a time I may have been overly strict and serious about what I could and could not eat, but now, I just follow the 80/20 approach. Most of the time I eat to nourish my body and then the other times I just listen — and if I want chocolate, I eat it! Sure, I try to make sure it’s good quality chocolate but life isn’t about depriving!
But it’s also not about eating rubbish all the time and thinking that is living foot loose and fancy free, because I’ve also done that and felt tired and heavy all the time as a result. That’s why I’m so passionate about educating people to eat smarter because I want them to know how amazing they can feel.
4. What’s one area of your health, fitness or wellbeing you’re working to improve?
Right now I’m getting back into consistent training post-baby and working on core strength and reducing my ab separation. To help get momentum I’m doing an eight-week challenge at Noosa Flow (Pilates and yoga) and already I feel the effects on my life – not just by body. So good to have a goal to work towards — it helps with any mental blocks.
5. What’s one thing you’d advise a friend to do if they asked you to name something they can do to improve their health, starting today?
It’s just to start. One step at a time. Drink more water today. Go for a walk tomorrow. Stretch the next day, do some body weight movements the following – it’s all building blocks to form habits until they become a routine. Also, don’t give up, if you hate running, then try yoga – there is something for everyone!