Episode 7 - Kate Taylor

 

  

 

In this episode we talk to Kate Taylor, founder of The Food Boss.

Kate, a Registered Associate Nutritionist and Fitness Coach, is also a Food Consultant. She works with clients who want to understand what eating well means for them and give advice that is backed by study & years of experience. Corporates, such as Sky, and SME’s are also part of her clientele where she creates menus that go beyond current diet fads.

 

In this episode we cover:

  • The journey of Kate from studying university in London to getting her qualifications and working for several companies, and now as the founder of The Food Boss.
  • General recommendations and suggestions on drinking coffee, hydration, food and portion size for keeping energy level and concentration.
  • Advice on refueling with food for training.
  • Amount of rest and sleep needed and how it affects your food choices.

 

Links:

Instagram

Twitter

The Food Boss Website

 

Transcript:

FELICITY:          

This is episode seven. Welcome to the ‘All Torque’ podcast, where each episode we interview an inspiring person to share their story with you. I’m your host, Felicity Dales, managing director of Body Torque. Let me welcome today’s guest, Kate Taylor.

 

I  have  here  with  me  today  Kate  Taylor  who  is  the  Founder  of  The  Food  Boss.  Kate is a  registered  associated  nutritionist  and  fitness  coach  who  is  a  food  consultant  and  works  with  clients  who  want  to  understand  what  eating  well  means  for  them. And  works  with  corporates,  such  as  Sky  to  small and medium businesses  to  create  menus  that  go  beyond  current  fads  to  advice  that  is  backed  by  study and years of experience. 

 

Welcome Kate.

KATE:   

Thank you, nice to be here.

FELICITY:

Lovely to have you.

KATE:   

Nice to chat.

FELICITY:

Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey about how you got to do what you’re doing, working on employee wellbeing today with Sky.

KATE:   

Yeah, no worries. I obviously, I’m in London at the moment but are born and bred in Oz. Food, I guess for me, has always been a passion. I’ve always been interested in it since school. I left high school, went to Uni, didn’t like it. This was all in Oz, went travelling, worked in America ended up in London, was in my early twenties and always knew I wanted to go to Uni, but didn’t really know when or what. I just thought, you know what, London’s an amazing city, I’m going to go to Uni here.

I went and did a double degree in Human Nutrition and Sports Science because I’ve always loved food and I guess sport’s always been ingrained in me. I think, as Aussies, we are very much lovers of sport and that’s especially from an early age. It’s always been something that’s been in my family, I did that, I left, graduated in 2011 and then I decided to get my group fitness qualification in 2012. Food and movement go hand in hand for me and I thought, if I could have some sort of qualification in both then that just makes me stronger as an individual and from what I can offer.

I did that, the market in nutrition, at that time, was just up and coming. I think people and businesses were starting to understand that if they invested in nutritious food and beverages for their employees that actually, “Oh we might get something back here.” I got a job in the food service, in the contract catering industry as a company nutritionist. We would go into big, large businesses and provide the catering service that they would have on site, basically. My role there I’d worked with chefs in the kitchen a lot, we had developed recipes. It was really great actually, I delivered a lot of talks and seminars and we worked with some really big name companies.

One of them was Sky, Sky TV over here which are the main sponsors for Team Sky and I got involved in them through the previous company I worked with. But they were really, at the time, pioneering in terms of what they were offering their employees around food. We did lots of work on different types of food on the menus. Over here, typically it was very, I remember when I first got into this industry, I went up and visited a warehouse, like a clothing distributor.

FELICITY:

Yeah.

KATE:   

And they had deep fried Spam on their menu. That was the food they were serving.

FELICITY:

(laughs)

KATE:   

Yeah, I know. That was the food they were serving..

FELICITY:

Oh my goodness.

KATE:   

.. there. I know, that’s kind of what we’re dealing with. For me to be able to work with clients where we were putting amazing rainbow salads that you could couple with a good choice of protein. We were looking at making our own sushi, we did, everything was made on site. Over here it’s colder for a lot of the year, so we would look at doing like really hearty soups but we also had a range of calorie controlled meals that were carefully prepared.

I worked there and then I, we also worked with other clients, Vodafone who are a phone company over here. We worked with them as well as some government agencies. I left there at the end of 2016 because it was the right time and I’ve been passionate about providing science to the general public. What I was seeing was, there’s a whole lot of fatty advice out there, that’s driven by celebrity culture, particularly in London and people are really confused. They don’t know where to get advice from and most people that I see now, have gone through years and years of different diets or taking supplements, or spending a fortune on things that actually aren’t backed by any type of scientific evidence. There was a gap in the market to provide science in a fun engaging way to the general public.

Then I set up my own consultancy at the start of 2017, now I’ve continued that relationship with Sky but on a consultancy basis. Now I go in and deliver workshops, so I do the food bit and there’s another guy that does the movement bit and we talk, it’s a half day workshop for their senior leaders and we talk about all things; hydration, how to eat well at work, we dispel myths, caffeine consumption, sugar consumption, portion size, how to eat well while travelling and I do that for them but I also do that for other companies. I also work with clients on a one to one basis, a bit like coaching and then I teach spinning on the side, that’s like my little fitness thing that I do. And I teach at a couple of clubs across London and that’s how I got to where I am, just to drive the scientific evidence through and make sure that what food is really about and that we shouldn’t be scared of it.

We’ve been demonising food and been scared about the one thing that keeps us alive for so long, when really it should be celebrated. So, yeah, that’s it.  

FELICITY:

When it comes to energy throughout the day, for instance if you’re working with these corporates and other clients one to one, I notice that my energy levels go up and down throughout the day. I’m wondering, what sort of things do you take into consideration, because obviously there’s concentration, focusing on the task at hand, having breaks etcetera?

KATE:   

Yeah.

FELICITY:

What do you suggest when you mentioned coffee, what do you suggest when it comes to hydration and coffee and portion size etcetera. Let’s talk about that.

KATE:   

Yeah, of course. Look, there’s lots of different things and I think the first thing I always start out when I speak to businesses, so large groups of people or individual is, if you’re making changes. So if firstly recognise that your energy levels do change throughout the day and you think you could improve it, well that’s great. But let’s start small, let’s not try to change the world in a day. Let’s just make one small change and try and maintain that and then we’ll focus on something else. Typically, a lot of people if they’re busy, particularly meeting to meeting, they have a long commute; hydration is a massive thing.

I say to people carry a water bottle is the first thing, I’m amazed still at how many don’t carry a water bottle with them. But get one that you actually like as well, I know it sounds really crazy but get one that you like, that you’ll carry with you, that fits in your bag. You can get ones now that carry hot and cold drinks, you could put like a herbal tea in there or you could put a cold beverage in there. And monitor that, the best way to monitor your hydration is when you go to the loo. Look at the colour of your urine, basically, and it should be pale straw colour. If it isn’t, then you need to start drinking more and that’s something really easy.

If we move on to things like caffeine and coffee, generally no more than three to four cups of coffee a day. Instant coffee, that is. Tea a little bit more because it contains a lesser caffeine content than coffee, maybe six cups of tea. Anything more than that and caffeine stays in your system for quite a while, so that’s why you’ll find a lot of people don’t drink caffeine after midday, because then you’re looking at things like impacting your sleep. We know that caffeine’s used in the sporting industry as a stimulant and it does that to the general public or anybody, that’s going to work as well.

Look at that, if you’re looking at small changes, it might be, okay this week I’m looking at my hydration. Once I’ve got that, I know that I’m drinking the right amount of water, now I’m going to look at my caffeine, at how many cups of coffee. If I’m having five, I’m not going to not have any. Maybe this week, I’m going to try and have four rather than.

I think we’re very, we want to change everything all at once. Let’s just take small steps. So rather than, we’ll drop it down to four this week and then if we’re cool with that, we might get it down to three and then I’m comfortable with that.

FELICITY:

I was drinking green tea and not realising that I was thinking it was healthy and didn’t realise there was caffeine in it. So I was drinking it all day and then not sleeping.

KATE:   

Yep.

FELICITY:

And suffering from insomnia. Actually one of the colleagues at work said, “Oh Flick, you know you’re drinking green tea,” I go, “Yeah” and not realising that it had caffeine in it.

KATE:   

Yep.

FELICITY:

I wiped that out, I am sensitive to caffeine so I, like you suggested, would just drink it in the morning and not beyond 12 o’clock.

KATE:   

Yep. And I think that’s really interesting. Say the point that you mention around being sensitive, this is all general recommendations around having caffeine and having coffee but there are exceptions to the rules. If you’ve drunk coffee your whole life and you have a coffee at two o’clock every day and you still get a decent night’s sleep, then let’s not change that. Because, and there are people that can deal with more caffeine than others, that’s just life. It’s like some people have a faster metabolism than others, and that’s where I think next on the agenda for businesses will be looking at personalised nutrition.

We’ve worked for so long around this one size fits all, let’s all go on this same diet and let’s all do this sort of thing and actually the only way that you can achieve optimum nutrition is find out what works for you is by getting professional assistance that works for you. Because every single person is different and there isn’t, this is all brilliant but like I say, take it into consideration within your own life.

The other things that I say to people, quick and easy things that they can do at work around energy levels. Particularly around food, is chew your food. The amount of people that are pressed for time, that don’t actually concentrate on what they’re eating and that typically leads to things like bloating. Which then leads to things like you feeling unhappy, sluggish, we consume our food at a rate and we normally do it while we’re doing something else.     

FELICITY:

Yep.

KATE:   

So take time, I normally say around 15 chews of each mouthful because that’s the first part of digestion. So chewing your food can really help and just taking time and then particularly for people that work at a desk, our screen time should be broken at least every hour. If you’re somebody that you can lose three hours sitting at your laptop, set a reminder, set an alarm, get somebody to tell you to move a little bit.

It’s all of these easy, little things..

FELICITY:

That’s right.

KATE:   

But if you say you’re going to do one thing a week for the next month, you might have made four positive steps to improving your energy levels and how you’re feeling throughout the day.

FELICITY:

You can do a phone trigger, I’ve done a phone trigger for that. Because it’s easy to lose track of the time and be totally immersed and then.

KATE:   

Yeah, totally and I also think that it’s really important that we track these things as well. Because if you are, if you’ve decided yeah I’m actually going to do that, I have noticed that at about two o’clock in the afternoon I start to feel really tired and maybe it’s just because I need to get up and walk around for five minutes. Then make a note of these changes that you’ve done because at the end of the month, I can guarantee you that if you haven’t written it down somewhere you will have forgotten and be like, “Oh well, I haven’t.” It’s easy to be negative towards yourself and say, “Oh I haven’t really done that much” but when you look back, you’ll go, “well actually, yeah I have.”

“I’ve dropped my caffeine intake and at lunch time now, I’m chewing my food more which means I don’t need that snack in the afternoon.” Because I’m recognising that I’m full.  

FELICITY:

You’re losing your Aussie accent, Kate. You’re sounding quite English there.

KATE:   

Oh, am I?

FELICITY:

Yeah, you are.

KATE:   

It comes and goes, depends on who I’m talking to. I get it, sometimes people recognise the accent straight away and then other times, it takes them a while.

So yeah, that’s a few things that I..

FELICITY:

Yeah.

KATE:   

.. typically start with.

FELICITY:

Yep, well that’s good to consider for people and you do ride yourself, which is fantastic and you’ve done some triathlons and now you’re actually training for a marathon. Which is not long now.

KATE:   

No.

FELICITY:

No. On the tape ring part of the training..

KATE:   

Yeah.

FELICITY:

.. is there any piece of advice or recommendations that you can suggest from the training you have done and currently are doing.

KATE:   

Yep.

FELICITY:

I know you do spin classes and so you’re really familiar with pushing yourself and then having to bounce back and work through the day.

KATE:   

Yep.

FELICITY:

Is there any advice that you could give to our listeners in relation to that?

KATE:   

Yeah, around training. From a training perspective, you’re probably one of two people – you either like to train in the morning or the evening. Would you agree?

FELICITY:

Yeah, definitely.

KATE:   

I’m a morning person, I train in the morning which normally means that my training is faster and it’s not that I don’t do that for any specific reason. I don’t find that there’s any particular gains although I know there is research at the moment, going into particularly around cardio training. But that’s just because I prefer it and I feel that it sets me up for the day. The biggest thing would be is around refueling and making sure if you’re really doing really heavy resistance training or full on cardio session in the morning, just making sure that you’re having something after, within, they say 30 minutes. The research suggests 30 minutes is optimum time particularly for protein intake. But anywhere up to two hours, that you’re getting an adequate source of protein and carbohydrates particularly after your training.

What I see a lot is carbs are still getting a really bad wrap and they’re really, they’re not thought of highly and they’re not, a lot of people don’t, they’re not eating them correctly. And I think particularly after training, you need that. Your body is depleted, you’re tired and you’re fatigued and if you don’t particularly get carbs and protein after you’ve exercised then you will have started the day brilliantly because you’ve trained but then you’re going to fall in a heap by mid-morning.

What I typically say, over here porridge is the most popular breakfast that people eat. So porridge made with a semi-skimmed milk, maybe with some nuts or flaked almonds or something over the top, would be great. Eggs are my go to, or a smoked salmon bagel, eggs on toast, anything like that you’ve got a really good balance. Obviously making sure that the bread’s wholemeal or seeded is really good.

And then I think if you train in the evening, it’s just the same, just making sure that your evening meal has a balance of carbs and protein as well, after it.   

FELICITY:

Is there a ratio that you recommend, to that? I know one ratio that’s been recommended to me is like a handful, palmful of protein to two palmfuls of carbs.

KATE:   

Yeah.

FELICITY:

That’s what I’ve, and then make sure that you cover off on the oils as well.

KATE:   

Yeah, it depends. If you’re really into macro tracking, in terms of protein then you can go at it from grams. So typically between 1.2 to 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day and then you can break that down into three meals. I don’t get too much into macro tracking but if you’re looking at a relative thing for somebody to use, that they can then yeah a palm, so the size of your palm for protein is typically something that I use normally for people that haven’t really explored their nutrition before. So a palm, then I typically say like a fist size of carbs and then in terms of fats and oils, just a really, really small amount.

I think it’s challenging because it’s quite difficult when you look at a plate of food, you don’t typically. You might be getting protein from let’s say chicken, but you also might also have some protein from if you’ve got an egg that’s in there as well or you might have oils coming in but you don’t really know how much, because you’ve made two portions. Does that make sense?

FELICITY:

Yes.

KATE:   

So it really depends, you might have avocado in there which is a high source of fat but then you might also have some olive oil as a dressing.

FELICITY:

That’s right.

KATE:   

What am I trying to say? A palm size thing of protein is great, a fist size of carbs and then really the rest should just be fruit and vegetables.

FELICITY:

Yeah.

KATE:   

High fibre, typically.

FELICITY:

Yes.

KATE:   

As a guideline.

FELICITY:

Yeah and we talked a bit beforehand about rest and we were commenting about sleep and the importance of that. Apart from the food and nutrition side, there’s also, for recovery, there’s also the sleep and rest side. You did mention a study around that, can you share with the listeners about that?

KATE:   

Yeah, of course. There’s a lot of research at the moment going into sleep which I’m sure people have seen in the media and just around the impact that it can have in our day. There is a book and I can send you the, I don’t have to hand, but I can send it to you so you can put it up with the notes on the show. That was released in America by a Professor around the impact of sleep, of a detrimental amount of sleep and what it can do to your food choices.

On average, people that have not enough sleep or disruptive sleep will eat around 350 calories extra per day without even realising it. I think that comes down to the fact that you’re fatigued, so your brain isn’t functioning properly because it hasn’t had enough rest. Therefore, the choices that you make generally throughout the day..

FELICITY:

Are compromised.

KATE:   

Yeah, they’re not your best. And when that comes to your food, rather than maybe thinking about what you want to have for lunch, just pick up the first thing that’s there rather than thinking about what that’s going to do to you throughout the day. And obviously then that has the knock on effect of that, so eating an excess amount of calories obviously if you’re tired, you’re probably less likely to be moving or being active because you’re already tired. You might have been thinking about going out on your bike after work but you’re too tired because you didn’t have a good night’s sleep, so you’re eating more but then typically you might be moving less.

That then can lead to weight gain which obviously we know has lots and lots of other factors linked to it, in the long term around type two diabetes, cardiovascular disease, to name a few. Really interesting, work going on with sleep. What I am seeing though when I speak to some of my private clients is that they’re starting to freak out a little bit about sleep, so they’re worried that they’re not getting enough. Which then causes them not to sleep, so now we’re going in the reverse where we’re trying to get them to not worry about sleep because that’s keeping them up at night. Does that make sense?

FELICITY:

Yeah, yeah that’s a problem.

KATE:   

Yeah.

FELICITY:

Catch 22.

KATE:   

Oh gosh I’m reading all of this stuff about the importance of getting sleep and then I just think about how I’m not getting enough and then we go back. We now explore things like meditation or looking at sleep habits, so turning your smart phone off at least an hour before you go to bed, limiting screen time, having a sleep routine, making sure that your bedroom is free of any technology, all that kind of stuff. Bring back alarm clocks rather than setting them on your phone, I know it’s crazy but all of that stuff leads to..

FELICITY:

Makes a difference.

KATE:   

.. improved sleep. Yeah it does, it really does.

FELICITY:

I notice, if I go to bed by a certain time, say 10 o’clock then I’m usually well rested and feel like getting up at six o’clock because I like eight hours sleep. I find that when I stick to that routine, I feel really well balanced and well rested and so I respond better. I react differently and can step up.

KATE:   

Yeah.

FELICITY:

Once you compromise that, as you say, you do operate differently.

KATE:   

Yeah and it’s interesting actually because us having a sleep routine is one of the things that people forget about because we all, on a weekend might get up a little bit later but actually that can cause your sleep to be disrupted. If you get up and go to bed at the same time every day, including weekends, it’s actually better for your sleep habits than even though we all love a lie in and I’m certainly not suggesting that we shouldn’t have one, every now and again. But if you are struggling with sleep and your sleep habits, it might be that just for the next few weeks or month, that actually seven days a week you go to bed at get up at the same time if you can. Within reason.

FELICITY:

Well I think, a lot of cyclists I know get up even earlier because they ride before work or bunch ride and particularly especially in Queensland, they might be getting up at five o’clock or actually riding at five o’clock because of the heat.

KATE:   

Yep.

FELICITY:

I think the people that get up early, they still don’t really necessarily go to bed earlier, some of them might. I still think your body, you can train your body to have less sleep, can’t you? I’ve found that with certain friends and they’re used to operating on maybe six hours and so you have to retrain your body to have more sleep.

KATE:   

Yep, definitely. I think it’s exactly like what we just spoke about with caffeine, some people just have a higher threshold level. They can cope, they can deal with more. Some people can deal with less sleep, it’s really only starts getting dangerous when you get down to the three or four hours, that’s consistent. Six is okay, and like you say, if it becomes a habit and that’s what your body is used to then that’s absolutely fine.

FELICITY:

I’d really like to thank you for that Kate, for your contribution and sharing what you’ve learnt with our listeners and as well as learning about your journey. It’s fascinating and sounds like it’s been a really fun journey living there in London. 

KATE:   

Yeah, it has.

FELICITY:

Very challenging, I’m sure but also rewarding.

If you would like to contact Kate, you can touch base with her on Instagram or Twitter on   @thefoodboss or her website is www.thefoodboss.co.uk so for further information and details. If you’d like to touch base with her, I’d like to thank you for being with us today, Kate. It’s been really great to host you on our podcast and I look forward to seeing what you get up to in the future. 

KATE:   

Thanks, it’s been a pleasure. Really, really delighted to talk.

FELICITY:

Nice to chat. Thank you and all the best in your marathon, as well.

KATE:   

Thank you.

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