The #WeDigDietitians series is all about introducing you to our favourite dietitians—and busting a few myths about what they really do (and don’t do) along the way. Today’s Feature Dietitian is Ashleigh Keep (of @akeytohealth fame).
1.TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF
I live in the northern suburbs of Wollongong with my partner. We are blessed because all of our family live close by making catch ups nice and easy (and very regular!). I love spending time in my backyard, going on nice long bushwalks and heading to the beach in the warmer months.
2. WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A DIETITIAN?
I was always the girl in the kitchen, helping Mum make dinner, pretending I was a chef at a restaurant and always offering to make the birthday cakes. The sporty type at school, I was always participating in team sports, dancing and spending my time outdoors.
It was in my early teens that I got a real passion for health, wellbeing and eating to nourish your body. I loved Food Tech and PE subjects at school and learning about the relationship between what we eat and the physiological response on our body. When we started looking at career paths in high school, it was actually my Aunty (a healthcare worker) who suggested I look at following my passions and becoming a Dietitian. After looking into what a Dietitian does, I thought “Yep – that’s what I want to do!”
3. WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY IN YOUR LIFE LOOK LIKE?
On a general weekday, I tend to wake early and head to the gym on my way to work. Working in a clinical setting I make sure to get outside on my lunch break, whether it be to go on a walk or sit on a picnic rug in the sunshine. Coming home I tend to seek new recipes to try for dinner and sit and relax with my partner in front of the TV.
Of a weekend, I love to take my English staffy for a morning walk, grab a coffee and go to the local fruit market to stock up with a box full of fresh fruit and veg for the week ahead!
4. CAN YOU SHARE AN AVERAGE ‘DAY ON YOUR PLATE’?
Breakfast is always greek yoghurt with seasonal fruit (at the moment it’s mango, passionfruit and berries! The taste of summer…) and my home made maple granola followed by a coffee.
Morning tea is often an apple and nuts followed by a lunch of a salad or wholegrain wrap, always with a protein (at the moment I am having spinach and feta turkey burgers – yum).
Afternoon tea consists of a homemade snack – protein balls are always a winner to satisfy my sweet tooth craving.
Dinner will always consist of a protein and plenty of veg – I am always up for trying new recipes so often don’t repeat the same dinner!
5. WHAT’S YOUR DEFINITION OF GOOD HEALTH, AND HOW DO YOU STAY HEALTHY?
Good health is not only about choosing wholesome, nourishing foods for your body and exercise; but also a healthy mind. To me, good health is being happy with yourself, your relationships, your body and a positive mindset. It means enjoying your life, your food, time with friends and family.
I like to keep active – it makes me feel good about myself and full of energy! I like to incorporate my family and my partner in this routine – spending time together, going for bushwalks and taking my nephews for outings. I choose wholesome, nourishing foods to make up the majority of my diet but also do not hold back when I am out with friends or a celebration and enjoy that molten chocolate brownie with ice cream! Food is there to enjoy, we have to remember that…
6. WHAT’S YOUR PERSPECTIVE ON SOCIETY AND BODY IMAGE TODAY?
We have been programmed to think a certain body image is “perfect” and are often striving to meet this, feeling let down when we don’t. However, we have to remember we are all born with different attributes, each of them which defines us. I am 161cm tall and have come to terms with the fact that I will never have the lean long legs or arms of the 178cm model plastered over the covers of magazines – and I am ok with that (now).
Fitness and wellbeing is not a size, a weight or a six pack – it is energy, reduced disease risk and enjoyment of food and life.
7. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP THREE FAVOURITE BLOGS/WEBSITES?
8. WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
Sunshine, the outdoors, my family.
9. SHAMELESS PLUG TIME: DO YOU HAVE A SERVICE, BOOK, BLOG OR SOMETHING SIMILAR YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT?
Instagram account @akeytohealth
Ashleigh’S Maple Granola
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup almonds
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup walnuts
1/3 cup linseed
3 ripe bananas, mashed
3 Tbs maple syrup
2 Tbs tahini
1 tsp cinnamon
Step 1: Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper. In a large bowl mix together dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine banana, maple syrup and tahini.
Step 2: Add wet mixture to dry, mix everything until well coated. Spread evenly over baking tray and place in oven for 15min.
Step 3: Remove tray from oven and stir well, return to oven for a further 15min. Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
I like to add mine to fruit and greek yoghurt for breakfast or atop my fruit smoothies!