My 2018 Highlights

2018- what a year you have been!  There have been moments of celebration and moments of darkness, all part of  the rich tapestry of life. As the year draws to a close I want to share my highlights with you and take the opportunity to express gratitude to some special people who have inspired me along the way…

 

Meeting the Hadza tribe in Tanzania

The Channel 4 show, Food Unwrapped travels the world to explore industry secrets behind foods found in our supermarkets. Since joining the Food Unwrapped team over a year ago I have travelled to Tanzania, Poland, Spain, Amsterdam, Ireland and all over the UK exploring the world of food. From harvesting sprouts in Boston to climbing trees with the Hadza tribe in Tanzania! What a journey it has been. The highlight for me was  without a doubt spending 2 days with a family of Hadza people in Tanzania- a truly humbling experience. The Hadza are one of the only remaining hunter-gatherer tribes in the world. They have no livestock,  live off tubers and fruit  and the men go out  hunting for meat. They are well known for having a diverse gut microbiome largely due to consuming 5 times as much fibre per day as we do in the western world! Thank you to Helen Purvis and Sue Ayton for your all your support and believing in me. 

You can watch a clip from this episode below and see the Hadza men harvesting honey from a Baobab tree.

 

Working for the BBC – Britain’s Best Junior Doctors  

It was an absolute honour to work alongside the comedy legend that is Jo Brand on BBC 2’s Britain’s Best Junior Doctor to mark the 70th anniversary of the NHS. Teams of junior doctors from across the country battled it out for the golden stethoscope! I was on hand as the medical expert, marking the contestants and providing feedback through the rounds as we put the junior doctors through their paces. This was my first appearance on BBC and the first time I had been under the spotlight as a medical professional! I loved the studio environment and the adrenaline rush of being put on the spot and having my medical knowledge tested! Thank you Jo for our lovely lunchtime chats in the sunshine on the terrace. 

If you missed the series which aired in June you can catch up HERE

 

A turning point in my career

In January 2018 I attend the UK’s first ‘Prescribing Lifestyle Medicine’ course hosted by Dr Ragnan Chaterjee, Dr Ayan Panja and Michael Ash.  250 healthcare professionals from around the UK all with a common belief in the power of lifestyle medicine, coming together in one room- I felt energized and inspired and spent most of the day with a tachycardia as I was overly excited!  I can honestly say, following the conference  I have never felt more inspired to take action. This one event  gave me the confidence to pursue Lifestyle Medicine, and to pitch my vision for Lifestyle Medicine in the NHS to OneMedical Group. It was a turning point in my career! Thank you to Ragnan and Anya for inspiring me and so many healthcare professionals and giving us the confidence and tools to enable us to practice lifestyle medicine within the NHS. 

Book on to the next ‘Prescribing Lifestyle Medicine’ course HERE

 

Lifestyle Medicine  in the NHS

In April 2018 I pitched my ideas for incorporating  Lifestyle Medicine in to the NHS to OneMedical Group. I now work for the organisation as Lead GP for Lifestyle Medicine and Wellness and in 2019 I will be running NHS Lifestyle Medicine Clinics and Group Consultations with a  Lifestyle Medicine twist, amongst other exciting projects. Thank you to Dr Will Dawson and Rachel Beverley-Stevenson for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to make my vision a reality within the NHS.

 

I found my tribe!

I joined the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine (BSLM)  and volunteered as a Regional Director earlier in the year. BSLM is a charitable organisation and brings together  individuals all with a common passion to promote Lifestyle medicine as central to health and wellbeing.  The highlight for me was the BSLM annual conference in Edinburgh in June! I was totally inspired by some wonderful and passionate speakers and delegates. Thank you to Rob Lawson, founder of the BSLM for giving us the platform to live our passion – you are an inspirational leader!

Become a member of the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine  .  Sign up to my Lifestyle Medicine mailing list here HERE

Don’t miss out on this  ‘Movement and The Mind’  BSLM event in partnership with Dr Lucy Loveday .  Get your tickets HERE

 

 

The NHS at 70

It was an absolute honour to be asked to deliver the Keynote speech for Dorset NHS Healthcare  Trust annual awards ceremony. I have worked in the NHS for over 8 years and preparing for this speech I learned so much about the history of the NHS. I was totally inspired by the staff and the strong sense of community and team work.  Thank you to Sally Northeast ( Deputy Director) for inviting me and making me feel welcome. Happy 70th to the NHS!

This is the video I featured in my speech. To me it gives a real sense of how it feels working for the NHS. No frills.Thank you to the nursing staff- you are the heart of the NHS. 

 

Creating new healthy habits in 2018

In january  2018 I set a new years resolution to spend more time outdoors, be more active in my down time and to spend less time on my phone in my free time. I am proud to say that I now have a weekly ritual of a  phone free Sunday afternoon walk. Before this I use to spend sundays on the laptop catching up on work, or indoors doing house “stuff”. Living in Yorkshire you’re never too far from beautiful countryside and over the past 12 months I have discovered beautiful parks and countryside, on my doorstep. My favourite walk was the Ingleton Waterfall Trail in the Yorkshire Dales with a picnic stop by the stunning waterfalls. Sunday afternoon walks give my mental health a boost, my muscles and heart a workout and provide the perfect opportunity to connect with nature and loved ones mindfully. 

Do you struggle to keep your new years resolution? Read my blog post  How to Keep Your New Years Resolution for 2019

 

My proudest “achievement”

It’s fair to say it has been a busy year, juggling my NHS GP working alongside my career in the media, lots of travel and time away from home. Throughout it all my family and husband have been the one constant and a continual source of love and support. I trained to be a GP in London but moved back to Leeds after qualifying to be close to them. I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to achieve my dreams in 2018 but the new title I am most proud to hold is “Auntie”. Thank you to my brother and sister in law for bringing such a beautiful little being in to the world. She brings love and light into our lives and has brought us even closer as a family.

 

What are your highlights from the past year? I’d love to hear from you! Please share your memorable moments  below…

 

 

 

 

 

RIP Grandma- you are forever in our hearts 

 

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Hello and welcome! I’m Dr Helen Lawal. You’re in the right place if you’re curious about health, nutrition, exercise, well-being and lifestyle medicine….

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