A Day In The Life of ‘Rachael Wilkinson, ANutr’
What does my day look like? First imagine the scene for Blackpool; a seaside resort where walking along the promenade, listening to the sound of seagulls, you can smell fish and chips, burgers and fried sugary doughnuts on the sea air, and see candy floss and sticks of rock for sale at every turn. Blackpool: this is the place I work, for ABL Health, leading the delivery of a Healthier Catering Award to transform the food environment to one where the healthier choice is made the easier choice for customers to make.
No two days follow the same pattern. The award aims to encourage establishments and workplaces to make small changes to their catering practices and offers which will benefit both their business and the health of their customers – the residents of the town. Yes, there are the usual admin tasks, but working with the various types of local food establishments across the town mixes my day up. I can be doing anything from dropping in to establishments to see how they’re getting on with action plans, phoning suppliers, seeing changes being put in place, promoting the award and attending visits with the Environmental Health Team. I recently presented at Blackpool’s Business Leader’s Group meeting to promote the award to over 100 local businesses and recruit more to the award. The presentation went well, but I did get upstaged by an animated T-Rex which was walking around! Proof the life of a Nutritionist can take the most unexpected of turns.
Part of my role also includes providing healthy eating support for the delivery of Blackpool’s Health at Work Award. This involves participating as an expert advisor on house committee meetings, speaking to the catering team, viewing planograms from vending machine suppliers to identify which foods meet the healthier guidelines and organising networking events for the businesses.
On a wider remit across Blackpool I sit on the Health & Well Being Boards Healthy Weight Strategy steering group and the Blackpool Sustainable Food Network group.
Every day I seem to come across a new product or miracle idea about how to lose weight. It astonishes me and disappoints me at the same time that the message of what healthy food and good nutrition is, is being confused.
This is one of the reasons why I was so excited to register with the Association of Nutrition and thrilled to be added to the register. It gives me a great sense of pride that I am recognised as a professional in nutrition and I am able to provide advice to make small changes to make catering practices and meals healthier. My portfolio is already underway to take the next step and I am looking forward to being able to say I am a Registered Nutritionist in the not too distant future.
Registered Associate Nutritionist since 2014
Graduated from St. Martin’s University (BSc) and University of Chester (MSc)