17th March 2017 | Blog
A tea party with...
Hi Emma, please tell us a little bit about your journey so far.
My name is Dr Emma Kirke, I am an entrepreneur, the woman behind the Medicinal Kitchen brand, I am a UK based Doctor of Osteomyology and Clinical Nutrition, I am a health, food and fitness blogger and try to use my social media presence as a positive influence.
What inspired you to become a nutritionist?
I began the Medicinal Kitchen concept as a consequence of my own journey to health, overcoming the consequences of permanent spine and nerve damage and a diagnosis of breast cancer. I have battled through eating disorders and 7 stone weight loss and I wished to use it as a platform to show people that eating healthily can be enjoyable, uncomplicated and easily incorporated into a busy lifestyle such as my own. I also hoped that those following would take positivity and realize they could take some control back for themselves in their fight for health insight of whatever condition they may have by manipulating their food and fitness to have a positive impact.
What has been the biggest highlight of your career so far?
Wow, this is a very hard choice. I have been so overwhelmed on so many occasions with events throughout my journey, but I suppose the most recent one was reaching the finals of the UKBlog Awards for my work on the MedicinalKitchen.co.uk site. This was very special to me as it showed how much I have truly touched people’s lives. I think when you are behind a computer screen and posting content, you can never really gage the reaction of people or whether they are enjoying what you are delivering. This showed me how much I am appreciated and just to reach the final is amazing.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to become healthier whilst leading a busy lifestyle?
1) Be prepared. - Prepping your meals and writing a meal plan means you spend less in the supermarket, waste less on buying food you throw away, and you can cook in advance so that you don’t feel a takeaway might be an easier option.
2) Buy yourself a slow cooker - honestly they are a godsend. I have 4 in my house of varying sizes. It allows me to either cook something overnight to take to work, or to batch cook for the week, or to have the tea ready as soon as I walk in from a long day in the clinic.
3) Take each day as it comes - don’t beat yourself up about something you did today. Tomorrow is a new day and you will feel better if you don’t dwell on that 1 thing you ate that was “naughty”! Life is a race not a sprint. Do not expect results overnight and you will not undo all your hard work with one tiny decision.
What is your go to recipe at the minute?
To be honest I have a couple. Snack wise I am loving the Bakewell bites https://www.medicinalkitchen.co.uk/cherry-bakewell-protein-bites/, mainly because I adore cherries. However, I am also loving ostrich steak kebab with a fresh mint dressing & salmon and black Thai rice risotto too.
Three big meals or several small meals a day?
The meal plan I am currently using requires me to eat 6 meals a day. They are fairly sizable but I am attempting to build muscle mass. I find most of my patients prefer to eat 3 meals and 3 snacks in between. They seem to prefer this as they don’t feel the need to deviate from the plan. It is though whatever suits.
What’s the one food you would tell your clients to stop eating?
Ha Ha anything they are allergic too!! To be honest unless there is something they’re allergic to I wouldn’t tell anyone to stop eating anything completely. Favorite foods can be incorporated into any long term meal plan. It’s about balance and moderation. There are some foods we would reduce depending on the goal of the individual but I never remove anything entirely.
What’s the best piece of nutritional advice you can give?
Eat a well-balanced diet that you enjoy and can incorporate into your lifestyle. Nothing should be termed restricted or bad or banned. Nothing should be so difficult that you lose energy to maintain it. A good balance of protein, vegetables and whole foods are invaluable. With those foods you really enjoy making an appearance every now and again. I am not advocating eating ice cream for example everyday but if you like it you should allow it to make an appearance. I would advise people to look at the source of their calories for optimum nutrient intake for the larger element of your diet, whilst keeping in mind a general idea of calorie intake and calorie output in order to achieve their goal, be that maintenance, fat loss or muscle gain. We are all individuals and our meal and exercise plan should reflect this, there isn’t a one size fits all plan.
If you'd like to find out a little more about Emma's work, click here.