women

Depute chief sub editor Lyndsey Heffernan, 29, is a qualified nutritionist and leads by example.

‘I’ve always been a bit of a foodie but my interest in healthy eating got serious a few years ago when I went to see my GP about frequent migraines. His advice? Medication – for the rest of my life. I didn’t want to be reliant to drugs every day, especially as they were only treating the symptoms rather than the cause, so I did some research and discovered stabilising my blood sugar could prevent attacks. I upped my protein and started eating every few hours and, incredibly, my migraines stopped almost overnight. Had I listened to my doctor, I’d be popping pills on a daily basis, even now.

Seeing results from such a dietary tweak made me even more interested in the health benefits of food and I decided to train as a nutritional therapist. The course made me see every mealtime as an opportunity to nourish my body, which is why I don’t see the point of wasting my calories on nutrient-free zones like white bread and sweets. OK, there are still times when I.Just.Need.Chocolate. but I choose dark chocolate and eat a few nuts with it to slow the rate at which the sugar’s absorbed into my bloodstream – and stop me bouncing off the wall!

Eating healthily has the added bonus of helping me maintain a steady weight. As a teenager, I tried every diet going and my weight yo-yoed as result. But by eating a mostly natural, unprocessed diet, my weight stays within a healthy range – no Atkins necessary! I find it’s no easy to eat well most of the time but it takes some forward planning to avoid being caught out (for example, being stuck on a train with only greasy snacks on offer) and there are occasions, such as dinner at a friend’s, when food choices are out of my hands. But I believe it’s important not to get obsessive, so I’ll eat (and enjoy!) the pizza and ice scream, but get back to my healthy stir-fries the next day. I really notice a difference in how I feel after eating processed food – it affects my mood and makes me feel low and sluggish – so the sooner I have a carrot stick back in my hand, the better!’

Lyndsey’s healthy eating tips

Boost your meals

‘I rarely have time to make lunch, so I buy cartons of fresh soup, then pimp them up so they’re more filling and nutritious. For example, I’ll buy lentil soup, then add a boiled egg (for protein), spinach (for extra vitamins and fibre), and pumpkin seeds (for essential fats and minerals).’

Stay in control

‘My fiancé calls me an old lady for always having an apple and some nuts in my bag, but if we’re held up and get puckish, it stops me succumbing to unhealthy snacks like crisps, which I’ll only regret later. Planning ahead means you stay in control of what you put into your body.’

If in doubt, cause a stir

‘My default dinner is a vegetable stir-fry with tofu, salmon or chicken. It’s high in nutrients, low in fat, and you don’t have to be Nigella to create it!’

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