Hala El- Shafie is a registered dietitian, and the founder of Nutrition Rocks. She is also a presenter for the BBC, ITV1 and Channel 4.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Well, I’m a Registered Dietitian by profession and hold an Honours Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics – I’ve always loved science and I love cooking and great food…I’m a serious foodie, I love food, I studied food and now I talk write and present about food too ! When I’m not doing that I’ve also made it have made it my mission to help women repair their relationship with food and support them with positive body image – My back ground is in eating disorders and severe obesity so the psychology of eating is truly where my area of expertise lies.
In between doing all of that, I have also somehow miraculously found myself presenting on TV – BBC1, ITV1 and Channel 4 to be precise! I’m still trying to get my head around that also.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
Ha-ha ! Well, not exactly, it’s been an incredible journey and one I didn’t exactly plan out I was actually meant to study medicine but at the ripe old age of 23 felt I was way too old to defer a year and got offered a place to study Nutrition and Dietetics – I spoke to my father who is a Consultant Anesthetist who said ‘Brilliant Hala. Nutrition is the medicine of the future go grab that degree’ – so I did and actually was the best career choice I ever made – so thanks Dad!
Have you faced any challenges along the way and if so, how did you deal with them?
On a typical workday, how does you start your day and how does it end?
I frequently have breakfast meetings right through to dinner which are usually very long days and non-stop but always with amazing food in between. I get to eat in some incredible restaurants and sample a lot of the amazing food that London has to offer just through my work. Generally I’m either tied up in meetings, writing for magazines, TV meetings and the work for Nutrition Rocks is never ending.
Have you ever had a mentor or a sponsor or anyone who has helped your career?
So many mentors. My Dad was my greatest and first mentor, my amazing lectures at Leeds and my amazing Aunty Eileen who sadly past away a few years ago – I spent hours with her – she was an incredible home economics teacher and actually encouraged me to write and follow my passion doing what I love – I actually love cooking and she’d always save recipes for me and encourage me – she was and still is a huge inspiration to me – I still can’t bake anywhere near as good as she can so I won’t be making any surprise appearances on bake off sadly! But what I lack in technique I definitely make up for in effort – I usually get away with Eton Mess unsurprisingly.
If you could change one thing for women in the workplace, what would it be?