London-based Louth native The Food Medic aka Dr Hazel Wallace has many strings to her bow including Instagram sensation, author and personal friend of Gary Barlow no less. 

She spoke to Dave Fanning on The Ryan Tubridy Show about the tragedy that inspired her to first start blogging about food and lifestyle for health.

Read our interview with Dr Hazel when she was in Ireland for WellFest

"When I was 14 my dad had a stroke at the dinner table, I remember it exactly. 

"For the first year, I didn’t really grieve. It wasn’t until about two years later when I was growing up and it really hit me and I fell out of love with food and wasn’t really eating very much and also was very, very severely depressed and that was really my first insight into how food can really heal you."

From there, Hazel found her calling as a doctor but she wasn’t content to accept things as they were.

"Throughout my medical training I realised, we’re really not talking about nutrition at all or learning about physical activity but it was so apparent to me that the diseases that we’re dealing with today are largely related to our lifestyle."

She continued: "There is definitely a lifestyle component to the majority of them from diabetes, heart disease, depression, Alzheimer’s, which is why I started the Food Medic."

Hazel started her blog six years ago as "a bold medical student", as she says, and initially faced a backlash but now it is accepted that overall health and nutrition are profoundly intertwined.

"Through my professional work and the diseases I see in my practices, although I might be doing A&E or breast surgery where they’re acute problems and we deal with them with pills and surgery, I would argue that 99% of my patients all have a disease that’s related to their lifestyle whether they’re suffering from depression or back pain or high blood pressure or type 2 diabetes. 

*We all are suffering from, I guess, the impact of a fast lifestyle and if I can help prevent the onset of that happening to a handful of people then I think I’m going a good job."

Click on the video above to listen back to The Ryan Tubridy Show.