How to Live Healthily: Interview With Health and Nutritionist Coach Suzy Sumner

Nutrition and health are two words that swarm the internet with a myriad of articles on new health foods and fads. It’s often easy to become bogged down in the amount of conflicting information and be demotivated by the seemingly lengthy process of staying healthy, but health isn’t something that you should overlook.

“Your body is like your machine, you need to give it what it needs to keep it going, and the better you feed it, the better it will work for you,” says Suzy Sumner, a health and nutritionist coach working at Aspria who focuses on personalized diets that cater for busy people. Her idea is that each person works best with a tailored diet that suits them, but the core principle of eating healthy remains throughout.

Suzy Sumner, health and nutritionist coach working at Aspria

Suzy wants to highlight that eating nutritious food and staying healthy shouldn’t be a chore, and her website shows tasty and healthy recipes that can all be done in half an hour. Her goal as a health and nutritionist is to teach people to learn for themselves how to live healthily, so here are some of her healthy living techniques.

What foods should people eat more of to be healthy?

I think that people should go back to basics. If you go to a shop and an item has ingredients in it that you don’t recognise or preservatives, then imagine the difficulty your body has in recognising and dealing with them. Plant-based food and fruits are fully stocked with things your body needs.

Be wary of eating too much pasta, bread, things with sugars, as these will work for a short period, but will have your body going through spikes of energy, bringing you up and then crashing you back down a short while after. You need sustaining food. There are great farmers markets in Brussels where you can get organic food cheaply, and the variety of tasty meals that can be made quickly with them are endless.

What are the main problems people have with eating healthy?

People cut corners, and when you do, you can slowly find yourself in a cycle where you are consuming more unhealthy food just to compensate the energy you are missing from a healthy diet. They might be too tired to make some food, so they’ll eat out many nights, or for lunch they get something quick that is quite heavy and not nutritional, and they’ll eat another heavy meal at dinner for that boost of energy. This will leave them tired and feeling sluggish and result in them not utilising their evenings as they would like; such as going to the gym.

People have busy lives, so it seems like the easier option, but really, it’s only going to make you feel more sluggish and more tired. It’s really worth just going to the market and spending an hour or two making a few meals at the weekend so you can eat healthily and nutritiously when you get home or as something to bring to work.

How will you know when you are working at a good level?

You don’t struggle to get out of bed in the morning, you don’t get hungry from lunch to dinner, your not looking for a chocolate bar or don’t need a boast from cups of coffee to keep you going throughout the day; some people would also notice that their concentration and thinking becomes better and that your not yawning through the day and living in a work-eat-sleep cycle. You have more energy to do things.

Is there a quick exercise people could do every morning?

Salut the sun. A short yoga exercise that can be done in around 5 minutes when you wake up in the morning and it could get you on the right track to start your day.