iEat with Vanessa Thornton

by Mary de Ruyter / 22 December, 2014
How the clinical head of emergency care at Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital stays healthy during the holiday mayhem.
Vanessa Thornton
Dr Vanessa Thornton.


Dr Vanessa Thornton has been clinical head of emergency care at Auckland’s Middlemore Hospital for five years. We wondered how she maintains her own health during the hospital’s “ridiculously busy” holiday period.

Is it usual for emergency department doctors to miss meal breaks on busy shifts? There are no timed meal breaks – you just squeeze one in when you can. We try to encourage at least one 20-minute break [per shift].

So how do the doctors maintain their energy levels? Do you find yourself eating muesli bars in the corridor at midnight? The cafeteria closes at 7pm – that’s when we start the fasting 2-5 diet: no eating until the next morning. There are always the dreaded [snack] machines, but most of the team bring their own food from home.

What’s your favourite childhood food memory? Eating ice cream in the sun at the beach.

My typical childhood summer holidays were spent … camping at the beach.

Is healthy eating a priority for you? Yes, absolutely.

My typical breakfast is … muesli with blue-top milk.

My go-to workday lunch is … typically nuts, crackers and cheese grabbed on the run.

My typical evening meal is … salad and steak.

How often do you snack and what foods do you snack on? I rarely snack, but if I do it’s crackers, dried fruit and nuts.

My favourite meal is … lamb, potatoes and salad.

What’s the biggest food-related issue in New Zealand? Too many sugary drinks and [large] portion sizes.

 

Follow the Listener on Twitter or Facebook.

 

Latest

How you can help crack the insect code at Te Papa
101529 2019-01-23 00:00:00Z Science

How you can help crack the insect code at Te Papa

by Sam Button

Te Papa is on a mission to decipher the secret life of insects.

Read more
Bill Ralston says goodbye to Auckland
101333 2019-01-23 00:00:00Z Life in NZ

Bill Ralston says goodbye to Auckland

by Bill Ralston

Our columnist finally turns his back on the congested, costly city of his birth.

Read more
Decision to force woman to pay likely abuser will have 'chilling effect'
101496 2019-01-22 11:12:54Z Crime

Decision to force woman to pay likely abuser will…

by RNZ

The lawyer of a woman ordered to pay $28,000 to her likely abuser has urged the justice minister to intervene.

Read more
7 traits that show how unsuited Trump is to the White House
101194 2019-01-22 00:00:00Z World

7 traits that show how unsuited Trump is to the Wh…

by Paul Thomas

Instead of striving to be disciplined, dedicated and presidential, Trump is flitting between seven characters that have no place in the White House.

Read more
Why vitamin D production is slower in old age
101151 2019-01-22 00:00:00Z Nutrition

Why vitamin D production is slower in old age

by Jennifer Bowden

Getting our quota of vitamin D becomes more important – but more difficult – as we age.

Read more
Why ethical eating often stops at the restaurant door
101520 2019-01-22 00:00:00Z Food

Why ethical eating often stops at the restaurant d…

by Rachel A. Ankeny and Heather Bray

Can a chef promote foraging, seasonality and plant-based eating, yet also serve meat and other animal-derived protein products on the same menu?

Read more
Why the Dunedin Museum of Natural Mystery is bound to attract the curious
101463 2019-01-22 00:00:00Z Life in NZ

Why the Dunedin Museum of Natural Mystery is bound…

by Ellen Rykers

Artist Bruce Mahalski's museum is the result of a lifetime of collecting.

Read more
Gillette ad isn't anti-men, it's anti-toxic masculinity – it should be welcomed
101480 2019-01-21 16:59:29Z Social issues

Gillette ad isn't anti-men, it's anti-toxic mascul…

by Nicola Bishop

The backlash against the Gillette ad shows how painfully little distance we as a society have covered since the #MeToo movement.

Read more