An Interview with our Nutritionist Rosie

Rosie has spent the last 4 years training to be a Dietician and Nutritionist at King's College London and qualifies this summer. We've been following Rosie's blog since she started and love the way she discusses nutrition with scientific reason and explains it in a digestible way. 



Describe your typical day?
Days are pretty varied for me. At the moment I'm finishing my last clinical placement at Chelsea and Westminster hospital before graduating as a Nutritionist and Dietitian. In the week I'm up at about 7am. I power-walk for 30 minutes on my commute and start work at 9am. I spend the day either on the wards with inpatients, or in outpatient clinics helping provide nutritional support to patients with an array of medical conditions. I'm currently covering: cancer, HIV, pregnancy, obesity, IBS, high blood lipids and liver disease. Work finishes at about 5.30pm. My evenings are spent meeting friends for drinks, working on my dissertation (investigating plant sterols and cardiovascular disease risk), trying out a new restaurant, blogging, recipe developing or planning events such as my gluten-free supper club. Weekends are mostly spent eating tonnes of food, photographing food for my blog (I need natural daylight) and hanging out with friends in South East London.

What's in your fridge?
Greek yoghurt, milk, fruit, ground flaxseeds, vegetables..and in the freezer, frozen berries and spinach for smoothies.

What are your 10 kitchen cupboard essentials?
Tahini, chickpeas, quinoa, chilli flakes, eggs, lemons, oats, garlic, nuts and tinned sardines!


Rosie's Kitchen

How did you get into nutrition?
Like many people on my degree course, I was drawn towards nutrition and dietetics for personal reasons. I was diagnosed with coeliac disease aged 12, where I had to be acutely aware of what I was eating from a relatively young age, and was overseen by a fantastic dietitian for most of my teenage years. My diet needed to be extra nutritious too because I had developed various complications associated with being a coeliac such as osteopenia (low bone density), anaemia and poor digestion.

Although I enjoyed science at school, I was pushed towards the arts subjects and started working in the fashion industry after my first degree. It was during this stage in my life that someone close to me became quite ill with anorexia nervosa. I observed first-hand how a dietitian, along with a multidisciplinary team can help save someone’s life. I found this incredibly inspiring and realised I wanted to pursue a more vocational career. I made the big decision to spend the next year doing the equivalent of my biology and chemistry a-levels in the evening alongside my job, and then applied to King’s College London University to study 4 years full-time. I will finally be finished in June!

Is there anything you don't like?
Yes!!!  Aspic (a dish in which ingredients are set into gelatine) with hard boiled eggs and peas floating in the middle. I was made to eat it at someone's house when I was 13 and couldn't keep it down!

Ideal Sunday night dinner?
Sesame crusted seared tuna steaks with tamari and charred chilli, garlic broccoli. 

One cooking tip?
Use rapeseed oil to cook with as it can withstand higher temperatures before oxidising. Save olive oil for dressings. 

Your 5 tips for eating well?
1) Follow a Mediterranean style diet. Start with plants (vegetables, grains, nuts, legumes, pulses) and work your way out to include smaller portions of fish, meat or dairy.
2) Practice mindfulness at mealtimes- sit at a table, turn off the tv, enjoy your food and be in tune with your hunger signals.
3) Stock up on some core, healthy, baseline kitchen ingredients which make it easy for you to knock up a healthy dish last minute.
4) Use Sunday to prepare for the week. I like to spend an hour making some packed lunch ingredients e.g hummus, boiled eggs, and a large bowel of quinoa.
5) Embrace vegetables for breakfast. This is currently quite taboo for people who feel safer eating their favourite cereal every day. But there is no reason why spinach omelettes or grilled tomatoes with mushrooms can't become more mainstream.

The utensil you use most in the kitchen?
A sharp knife and chopping board...followed closely by my magimix.

Favourite places to eat?
Salon in Brixton village for easy seasonal food, the Begging Bowl in Peckham for Thai and the Clapham Manor for their tasting menu.

Your favourite cookery author and book?
I love Diana Henry's food and writing. Her most recent book A Change of Appetite has a healthy twist.

Your best dining experience?
The Ledbury tasting menu was really special. They even had freshly baked gluten-free bread. I was in heaven! I also loved going to a supper club called Mike and Ollie in Camberwell. They cook using the best local, seasonal and sustainable ingredients. Each course was served on planks of wood that were wheeled down the middle of the table. A portion for each person, to be dragged onto their plate.

Favourite quote?
"The more I learn, the more I realise how much I don't know.” Albert Einstein. I'm always wary of people claiming to be experts in the nutrition industry. What I've come to find along my nutrition journey is the more I learn, the more I realise I don’t know! I now appreciate the vast complexity of nutritional science and I no longer have such a reductionist mindset. I’m also surprised by how critical I’ve become about what I read in the media and elsewhere. My university is pretty research led, which has taught me to approach everything analytically and objectively weigh up the evidence for a health claim. I now understand that to achieve optimum health there is no magic pill; instead, diet and lifestyle as a whole need to be addressed.

Your ultimate holiday?
Anywhere with my best friends and family, lots of silly games and sun. My fiancé is currently planning a secret honeymoon for us though, so perhaps that will top everything!


POTAGE | Eating well made easy