Interview with Hello Day’s Nutritionist Lily Soutter

Seasonal Health 14 November 2022

Can you tell us about your journey into nutrition?

My passion for health and nutrition stems from when I was a child suffering from chronic psoriasis which covered me from head to toe. No medical treatment seemed to help me and by my early teens I was 

determined to do something about it. Upon seeing a nutritionist and making some simple dietary tweaks, it was the first time that my psoriasis went into remission. 

I became fascinated with the power of food and how it could be used to improve health, so I decided to study at one of England’s best universities to obtain a BSc (hons) in Food and Human Nutrition (AfN accredited). The large amount of research conducted by Newcastle University really caught my eye as well their focus on evidence-based science.

I then went on to complete a 2-year postgraduate diploma in nutritional therapy, where I learned how to provide better advice for individuals. The science of nutrition is constantly evolving and you can never stop learning, so I recently completed an MSc in Nutritional Medicine (AfN accredited) at Surrey University. They have amazing researchers assessing major aspects of nutrition, including intermittent fasting, the gut microbiota, obesity, and antioxidants. 

I now specialise in workplace wellness, providing nutrition advice to maximise employee health. I am also the resident nutritionist at Hello Day, an amazing supplement company stocked at John Bell and Croyden, which combines nutrients with plant extracts to support health and wellbeing throughout each season. 

How do you instill wellness into the workplace and help employees reach their full potential by optimising their diet?

What we eat at work can provide as much as 60% of our total daily food intake which means our workplace diet can significantly impact our health, happiness and even work productivity. 

I’m on a mission to educate, empower and inspire employees so they can make healthier choices for themselves whilst at work. I carry out nutrition-focused lunch & learns which are efficient ways of empowering busy people with knowledge that will enhance their energy levels as well as cognition or stress management skills – even mood! Alongside this is my cooking workshop where participants put what has been learned into practice by making dishes from scratch using fresh ingredients.

Together we create healthy lunches and snacks to boost brain power, productivity and work performance. Lastly, express nutrition consultations give employees a chance to gain personalised advice about their wellness both in or outside of the workplace.

Are there any diets that you feel work particularly well?

The best diet is one which is healthy for the individual and can be sustained long term. For the majority of the population, when it comes to health and wellness a balanced diet which includes key food groups such as fruits, vegetables, protein, starchy carbohydrates, and healthy fats will support that individual with receiving the nutrients required for health. 

There is a wealth of increasing research to suggest that the Mediterranean diet is associated with better health outcomes such as weight management, cardiovascular health and may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes (1,2,3). Whilst this dietary pattern may not suit everyone, it is a healthy, non-restrictive, and balanced way of eating, which can have benefits to wellbeing. 

In a world of convenience food, how can people live longer, healthier lives?

When people are busy and time poor, it’s all too easy to forgo attention to good nutrition, sleep and exercise. Following a healthy diet for some may seem overwhelming. However small sustainable changes can make big impacts long term. Rather than trying to make too many dietary changes at once, picking just one change that can be sustained long term-term canhave bigger impacts to health. 

For example, consuming wholegrains in replace of their white refined carbohydrates may over time reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes by up to 30% (4). Preparation is the key to diet success, and by having the right food to hand in the kitchen means we’re more likely to make nourishing choices. 

Lastly, with so many of us leading fast paced lifestyles, supporting our body to achieve optimal wellbeing with an easy, yet natural and holistic approach is key. Hello Day provides a great solution with their seasonal supplement boxes, tackling the challenges we face during each seasonal change. For example in winter we are more susceptible coughs, colds, and our nutrient requirements differ due to the darker and shorter days. 

However during summer we’re more likely to suffer with hay fever from pollen and grass. With a combination of vitamins, minerals, plant extracts, omega 3 fats and probiotics, each box has been carefully curated to support our wellbeing throughout the year. 

Why do you think people are taking more of an interest in their Health?

There is an increase in knowledge about diet and wellness, which is most likely due to the fact that there are so many online sources of information, such as social media platforms.

The information found on these channels isn’t always credible, which can lead to contradictory messaging and confusion.

Registered nutritionists can provide you with the knowledge and tools needed to make better decisions when it comes  to your diet. They offer accurate advice on what nutrients are good for certain conditions, as well as how much of each food group you should consume in order to maintain optimum health.

What are your favourite go-to ‘cheat’ foods?

I love chocolate, especially the bitterness of dark chocolate. It tastes amazing in so many recipes and is definitely my favourite go-to. 

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By Written for ABODE2 Magazine by Julia Millen