Eat your way to better health

by | Jan 14, 2019 | News

Solveig Sigurdardottir (Iceland)


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Good morning to you all. I don’t believe I’m standing here today. I do come from the patient council of EIHO.

And we don’t have a loud voice in a conference like this. So I would like to thank you so much for having me today. Thank you.

So let’s start. If you want to know more about the patient council and the stories about the patient in the EIHO, you go to the website and you find the patient council and you can click and find my story among many others from all around Europe. Thank you.

So eat your way to better health. Sounds really nice. But is it possible? Changing my views on how to live healthy is probably one of the most important things I have done in my life.

It was a big step forward, but it didn’t happen overnight. After trying practically everything the industry had to offer on dieting and weight loss, I sat down to rethink I couldn’t go on carrying this burden of weight around. It was hard enough just getting through the day, a struggling pain every day, and the endless negative thoughts about myself was getting unbearable.

I was my worst enemy. My life was getting very difficult and my MS was progressing very fast. It was very exhausted, physically and mentally.

It all started with my one year program in Hilsjöborg in Reykjavik, Iceland. I became fascinated by the way of dealing with obesity. By changing my lifestyle, the diet improved and I began to be interested in healthy food and healthy living.

Today I work with a team of specialists to help others change their lifestyle. I have attended numerous cooking classes, both in Iceland and in the UK. All of them empathize healthier cooking.

Today I have my own demonstration as well as tasting of healthy and nutritious food at Hilsjöborg. Those courses are in collaboration with Erik Lagerberth, doctor at Hilsjöborg. First he educates about healthy lifestyle and diet and then I take over with my cooking and information about food.

I teach cooking and how to prepare healthy meals as well as assisting with grocery shopping. I find that so important. Today there are thousands of people who have attended those courses.

It’s becoming more popular every year. We also work in collaboration with Sidekick Health. That’s an app where my recipes and other information are on the app.

I have a Facebook page with about 11,000 followers, which is quite good considering that the population of Iceland is only 360,000 in total. I also have held lectures and cooking courses in various places in Iceland. So that’s Hilsjöborg, that’s our new center and located in Reykjavik.

The 12-month multidisciplinary program where professionals and former patients work with patients both individually and groups to get the best result. Education, training and online support is included. I find that really, really important.

The program is also adjusted for those individuals who plan to have a bariatric surgery and support them after surgery as well. That is very important. The family physician, Erlageri Sveinsdóttir, is one of the Hilsjöborg’s founders.

For more than a decade, she has been assisting people fighting obesity. She was the president of the Icelandic Association for the Study of Obesity for six years. Hilsjöborg offers various clinical care, diagnosis, treatment and psychothoracic support along with the lifestyle change program.

Hilsjöborg’s multidisciplinary approach is based on assisting people to make change in their daily life towards a better health. Respecting individuals needs small changes are made at first, allowing the body and mind to get used to the new way of life. There are four main areas that needed attention.

This I never knew before. I just thought of like losing weight. That’s nutrition, exercise, sleep and peace of mind.

Combining those things in daily life is challenged. It includes giving the body the nourishment it requires and nutrition the soul at the same time. The key is to choose an individual approach that each particular can sustain lifelong.

This method is more likely to result in a long lasting weight loss. As people have changed their daily habits to fit their own way of life. Good nutrition is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle.

That’s the fact. Effort goes into getting people on a good track regarding nutrition, using healthy, unexposed food, diverse and appealing foods. To relearn how to eat healthy food and feel good about it.

Not to starve yourself, but to eat better food and enjoy it. In this diet, nothing is forbidden. Gradually people start to choose food that supports their health.

Little by little, it will become easier and more natural. Strengthening the body with exercise, improving sleeping habits and working towards a balanced mind will make that disease a diverse piece in the puzzle of come together. No one can change your lifestyle except you.

However, you can find support, encouragement, education and ideas from others. Step by step, you will reach your goals towards improved health and better quality of life. And that’s all I think it is, is better quality of life.

And for me, that was the most important thing when I sort of find my way into a new lifestyle six years ago, was to change my lifestyle. Was to take the pressure out of putting people on a strict diet. Thank you.