Dr Tracy Chandler is an integrative general practitioner from England. Her passion for whole foods, exercise, mindfulness and meditation has inspired her to gain further qualifications and experience in sports medicine, with a focus on nutrition in order to help her patients and family improve their health. She lives in New Zealand with her husband and their five children.
Tell us how you came to be in the role you are today…
I moved to New Zealand when I completed my medical degree in England in 2000. With two young children at that stage, I quickly settled into the outdoor lifestyle and general practice. I enjoyed the consults that allowed me to share my knowledge of preventative medicine, in particular the nutritional aspects. I knew from my training that good nutrition has an amazingly powerful role in preventing disease and keeping people well, both mentally and physically.
In New Zealand, I also further specialised in cosmetic medicine (which fulfilled my artistic side) and completed a course in homeopathy. With a continued thirst for knowledge (and with five kiddies I wasn’t quite busy enough!) so I decided to further my nutrition knowledge and combine it with my passion for sport by completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Sports and Exercise Medicine.
Lately I have been avidly learning about, practicing and advising my patients to adopt mindfulness. In particular, advising patients how they can make better food choices if they eat more mindfully.
What would be your best advice to someone starting out on the same career path as you?
Develop good relationships with like-minded colleagues. Don’t trust all the medical research – so much health can be achieved by JERFing (just eating real food). Don’t forget to care for yourself and your family first as that will make you a more compassionate clinician.
How do you relax when you’re not busy answering questions at I Quit Sugar?
Mindful play with my husband and five children, particularly exploring the outdoors and dancing with my family (despite my kiddies embarrassment!). My athletic passions are hill running, tramping and mountain biking with my husband. I also love yoga and reading inspiring books early in the morning whilst listening to the morning bird sounds.
What’s the hardest thing about your job?
Having the knowledge and passion to help patients to live happier, healthier lives but struggling with the majority who are not willing to make simple changes such as reducing their sugar intake, quitting smoking or moving a bit more.
In five words, tell us the most important qualities for someone in your particular role…
Compassionate, patient, mindful, good listener.
What do you enjoy most about working in your field?
Seeing patients improve their health by following my advice about eating real food, moving more, being more mindful and meditating. The smiles and gratitude of grateful patients. Working out what’s wrong with complex, challenging patients.
What’s next on your horizon?
I am setting up an online consulting service to reach patients who are enthusiastic about wellness. This will enable me to help them achieve wellness by passing on all my nutrition, medical, exercise, homeopathy and integrated health knowledge and experience.
If you weren’t a General Practitioner, you would have been a…
CIA or FBI agent. I love James Bond movies! Or perhaps a yoga teacher as the calmness and flexibility would be great for my family and I.
Why are you such a firm believer in the I Quit Sugar philosophy?
I’m a massive hoarder of leftovers (much to my family’s disgust!). I’ve always struggled with throwing food away but have not really been sure what to do with it (apart from reheating it!) until I read I Quit Sugar. Thanks Sarah for some great leftover tips – now I just need to get my family on board! I also am a massive convert, since experiencing my own health benefits of more energy, from eating less sugar (and processed food generally). I have so many patients that would benefit from quitting sugar (or at least reducing it).
The IQS Team are coming for dinner. What are you cooking for us?
I would cook my favourite dish of a white chunky fish, such as gurnard, which has been pan-fried in coconut oil. With that I would serve a salad made of seasonal organic vegetables such as kale, spinach, julienned beetroot, cucumber and carrots. I would dress the salad with a range of raw nuts and seeds and would toss it with a lemon and nut oil dressing. My mint mojito (alcoholic or non-alcoholic, depending on people’s preference) would be a great accompaniment to this dish.
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