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Over 5,000 people made their way to Herbert Park, Dublin, last weekend to attend Wellfest, Ireland’s only health, wellness and fitness festival. One of the event headiners, Dr Hazel Wallace aka The Foodmedic, spoke about her personal wellness journey, explaining that her career path was an influencing factor in her decision to prioritise her health.

“I didn’t want to be a doctor who was advising my patients what I wasn’t putting into practice myself”. Her interest in nutrition means that her patient’s plate is one of the first areas she will examine when making a diagnosis. She highlighted the importance of wellness, as external factors such as stress, sleep, and food can play a central role in our overall health and wellbeing.

WHO figures have warned that Ireland is on course to becoming the most obese  nation in Europe. Dr Wallace touched upon this issue, stating that the sources of many deaths in the Western World are obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. “These are issues that can be tackled by simply altering the approach to diet and lifestyle. But it’s so difficult for a doctor to change these habits in a 10 minute appointment window. Some patients may have been eating the same way for over 40 years. “If it were up to me, I would place a nutritionist in every GP practice so that patients could make positive changes before it was too late”.

Wellfest is a two-day festival that offers its Irish attendees the opportunity to hand pick their own day of wellness from a range of classes, workshops and seminars on offer. International and national stars alike took to the various tents to share their tips, give exercise classes, or host sessions on all things health, nutrition, fitness, and wellness-related. These included Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, The Happy Pear, Roz Purcell, and Derval O’Rourke.