Today we are chatting with Alison Tehan. Alison is a qualified Nutritionist and Health and Wellness Coach based in Mt Eliza on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula. She is passionate about helping people understand how whole food nutrition is vital to achieve optimum health and wellbeing. We wanted to chat with Alison to learn more about her health journey, discuss her thoughts on how to drink more mindfully and find out which Australian native edible you will find on Alison’s shopping list.
Tell us a little about you and your health journey?
I grew up on a farm and there was always a huge emphasis on eating whole foods and learning to live off the land. I had access to an amazing and extensive vegetable garden and a mother who passed on her love for cooking real food in a simple but delicious way. I feel so lucky from a young age I developed a good relationship with food
It wasn’t until I had my first child when I had to focus on providing for my own baby that I realised I had a natural understanding and instinct for eating well and understanding the importance of real food. Also at that time I found myself surrounded with family and close friends who were experiencing chronic gut issues. It was a time when there wasn’t a lot of information around or available about gut issues. It was a turning point for me trying to help those around me and realising my natural passion for everything food and feeling good.
What does mindful drinking mean to you and how does it correlate to a healthy lifestyle?
Mindful drinking for me is about being more intentional about why and when you drink. It’s also an opportunity to pause and consider your why and how it will affect your health, how you feel and show up each day.
I often remind patients in clinic to listen to their bodies, tune in and help them understand what their bodies are telling them, how is their body communicating with them especially if they are drinking regularly. If you are in the habit of drinking alcohol often it can be easy to lose touch with what feels good. When you drink alcohol it affects your sleep. You can wake up tired and rely on caffeine to get through your day. If you are stressed and not eating well you can feel wired and tired at the end of the day which then can lead to more alcohol to wind down and then it becomes a vicious cycle. Alcohol also affects how your gut moves and how energised you feel so it’s important to remember the impact it’s having on your body.
In the clinic Alison often discusses how to support people to reconnect and learn to trust their own intuition around food. This can easily translate to what they are drinking too. So we asked Alison to give us her top 3 tips for those who are looking to be more mindful with their way of drinking?
- Write down a plan for the week. If you are choosing to drink alcohol, having a plan and being intentional about it can be a helpful tool. If you are choosing to go alcohol free, stock the fridge with some delicious alcohol free options (such as ETCH!) so you can enjoy a delicious drink, just minus the alcohol.
- If you regularly catch up with friends over a drink, try to think of other activities you can do together that doesn’t involve drinking but also provides an opportunity to connect in a different way.
- If you are going out, think about what sort of night you want to have beforehand. Play it forward and think of how you would like to feel the next morning. Things may not always go to plan but becoming more aware of why you are drinking and how much you want to drink can be really helpful in increasing awareness around drinking rather than mindless drinking.
The incredible health properties of many native Australian ingredients are being recognised as superfoods. We ask Alison if she has a favourite native ingredient that she likes to work with and how people can incorporate eating them into a healthy diet
I love Kakadu plum, it’s the richest source of vitamin C in any plant and actually 50 times more vitamin C than an orange. As a powder, it’s so easy to add to any drink or food. During the cold and flu season in winter I love to add it to any dish such as a smoothie or a pasta sauce to support my families health. I’ve been buying Kakadu plum powder for years and absolutely love that it’s becoming more popular and easier to access.
Finally, we know you are a wonderful supporter of our drinks. Can you share if you have a favourite ETCH flavour and why?
ZST is my favourite. I find the flavour really refreshing and it’s not too sweet, it’s a beautiful balance which I love.
NUTRITIONIST | WELLNESS COACH