As we celebrate the release of Forking Wellness – Your No-Nonsense Guide to Health and Nutrition, we are delighted to be joined by authors Sophie Bertrand and Bari Stricoff – Welcome!
Q. Can you please tell us a little bit about the book and what inspired you to write it?
A. The book really does demonstrate a 360-degree approach to health and nutrition. Often we see two ends of the spectrum in the nutrition industry that leave people feeling like there is no grey area. We take into account different lifestyle factors that may impact your outlook in regard to nutrition and give you the tools you need to make positive changes to improve your overall wellbeing. We wanted to provide a resource for people that was easy to digest and provided a more “doable” approach to wellbeing.
Q. Who would you say this book is aimed at – and how do you think it might improve their lives? I think it’s fair to say that it’s both an inspiring – and liberating read!
A. For anyone that wants to learn more about nutrition and the impact it can have on our health – both physically and mentally. Whether you lead a busy on the go lifestyle, are a full-time parent, or take a more laidback approach, there is something in this book to suit everyone.
Q. Forking Wellness is also very relevant within these times of lockdown and COVID. As well as helping us with the bigger picture – that life-changing attitude towards food and diet – are real benefits there for increasing our immunity, helping our states of mind etc.?
A. The approach we take intends to help improve your overall wellbeing – something we can all benefit from during these times. The book is packed with nutrition information that can help us maximise our health. Besides the food we eat, our approach includes prioritising self-care, stress management, and sleep – ensuring you have a 360-degree approach to health. Now, more than ever, it’s time to invest in yourself and your health.
Q. You are both very high profile on Instagram and run the fantastic Forking Wellness podcast – how do you find the time to also work full-time as nutrition professionals – and write a book!
A. We are both very passionate about what we do and if you love something, you have to dedicate time to it. We dedicate ourselves to our work and like to show up for those who follow us and our messages. We are so appreciative for our following and we want to engage and communicate the best we can.
Q. The fact that one of you is a dietitian and one is a nutritionist seems to work remarkably well in terms of the subject matter covered in the book. The balance if you like – something you talk about in the book in terms of eating. Can you explain to us the difference between a dietitian and a nutritionist – and why your partnership works so well?
A. Dietitians are clinically trained and often work with chronic or ongoing health conditions. Registered Nutritionists tend to work more in the public health sector with the aim of improving individuals’ wellbeing, using their nutrition education. We both have worked in many different roles in our careers yet share very similar views and approaches when it comes to nutrition and the messaging in which we deliver information.
Q. Bari – while you now live in the UK, having studied for your MA here – you were born in the US. Do you find there are different attitudes to wellness and nutrition here compared to those across the pond?
A. Personally, I haven’t noticed too much of a difference. With that being said, I do personally feel the UK has higher standards for food quality and emphasize the importance of nutrition research a bit more. However, there’s more food variety in the States, which can also help people reach their nutrition-related goals easier (yet, it can also add to the nutrition-confusion due to manufacturers’ health claims). At the end of the day, I think they’re pretty similar.
Q. Bari and Sophie – if you had to name one favourite UK food – what would it be? And your favourite US one?
A. I think we share an unconditional love for halloumi, which is hard to come by in the States! And when it comes to the US, it will have to be NY pizza, 100%!
Q. Forking Wellness includes some truly fantastic recipes – do you have a favourite?
A. Oooo this is really hard! All of the recipes are truly delicious. Instead of selecting our single favourite, here’s what our ideal day would look like…
Breakfast: Sweet Potato Hash-Brown Frittata
Lunch: Mixed Bean Chilli
Dinner: Pesto Veggie, Chickpea and Halloumi Tray Bake
Dessert: Brown Butter Cookies
Q. Many of the recipes are plant-based, some include fish. Can someone who eats meat easily alter your recipes to suit their lifestyle?
A. Absolutely! Our recipes reflect our personal eating preferences, but they are incredibly flexible. For example, you can swap the lentils for minced beef for our bolognaise, or add diced chicken instead of tofu for our Thai-inspired salad with edamame. Forking Wellness is all about defining what wellness looks like to you, which will be different for all of us. If your version of wellness includes meat, that’s great. Our recipes are definitely adaptable and can be changed to meet your preferences.
Q. Though you don’t promote dieting as such, would you say that there is a way a person should eat to feel their best?
A. Of course! Nutrition plays a big role in our overall health which affects our mood, energy levels and how we generally feel day-to-day. However, there’s no ‘one-size-fits-all’ model to defining what that looks like. When we stop relying on external indicators (diet messages), we can start listening to our bodies and deciphering what we really enjoy eating. We discuss the principles of Intuitive Eating in the book, but this is a brilliant way for everyone to figure out what their body needs and wants in order to feel their best.
Q. What one message would you love your readers to go away with from your book?
A. We’d love for all of our readers to walk away from the book feeling empowered to make their own decisions and truly define what wellness means to them. We hope to educate and inspire each individual to connect, or re-connect, with their bodies, learn about evidence-based nutrition, and choose food that truly serves them so they can be happy and healthy – in their own way, of course.
Forking Wellness: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Health and Nutrition is available now through good bookstores and online retailers.