Busy But Healthy: Dr.Annita Antoniadou: “Healthy people are those that have found balance in life”

1 .Name/Surname: Dr Annita Antoniadou

2. You are a successful Lecturer and Archaeologist. How did you decide to work in archaeology?
Archaeology is one of those fields where you need to study hard and work harder. I teach archaeology and I make archaeology, since at the same time I spend a majority of my time outdoors, walking for miles on field surveys, digging for hours into the dirt and generally getting completely filthy. I grew up with a love of history and a passion for human culture. I realized I wanted to become an archaeologist at the very early age of 8. Staring at everything from ancient building columns, Greek gold jewellery and Roman military gear, and even long buried Egyptian sarcophaguses, I marvelled at the thought of the experience of pulling out of the ground something like that, hidden and forgotten for centuries.

3.What do you mostly like in your job?
My job at the university is as fascinating as the research work I do at the excavation. It’s not all lectures and books I have plenty of opportunities to travel, get outdoors and explore cultures and civilizations. Human history is not confined to one place so neither is archaeological enquiry and that’s what excites me more.  I enjoy getting my hands dirty, looking for past human activities hidden mysteriously in the ground. I like it how I can add a tiny piece to the world heritage and educate the generations to come. I grow my students to appreciate how the analysis of the past tell us a lot about how human society has developed and what could be more fascinating than that?

4. Why did you decide to improve your nutrition habits?
Due to my long teaching hours I have not always eaten very healthily and with consistency in order to have health problems. Though vegetables and healthy proteins used to form most of my nutrition I have always tended to eat meals infrequently due to my workaholic way of leaving. I made a conscious effort to improve my nutrition habits by having a regular dietary program and consuming foods containing nutrients. I come to understand that what we eat and when we eat it eat affect our health and our risk for certain diseases, hence adopting new, healthier habits may protect us even  from serious health problems.

5. How would you describe your diet in one day?
Usually I have an early start especially during the excavation period where would be a very early start. So typically, a bowl of serials for breakfast, lean meat or fish with steam vegetables and a salad for lunch and a cheese and turkey wrap with grilled vegetables for dinner. I do not struggle avoiding chocolate or ice-cream, a piece or a scoop in the afternoon boosts my energy to keep me going. During the day I have a coffee at work and lots of mineral water.

6. In your opinion, in which way can a busy woman keep herself healthy and in shape?
Honestly, I have never really found that work-life balance, but by re-evaluating priorities it was my way to effectively overcome stress and take the time to invest in my future health and wellbeing. In my opinion you should stop punishing yourself for what you ate yesterday.  It’s not serving you or your body. In fact, your body listens to this negative clutter, which creates unwanted stress within the body! Stress is the number one health killer.

7. Could you give us the top 3 changes you have made to your diet for energy and wellness?

  1. More water: I’m sure you heard this one before, but staying hydrated contributes to your overall wellbeing. By always having water on hand, you’ll be more likely to skip sugary beverages, which saves you a ton of calories.
  2. Having breakfast: Eating breakfast is part of a healthy lifestyle that helps you making wise food choices at other meals later in the day. While it might seem you could save calories by skipping breakfast, this is not an effective strategy. Breakfast it is and has always been since the ancient time the most important meal of the day.
  3. Carrying snacks: Carrying snacks in your purse or in the car, will stop you from eating meals infrequently. A few bites, a fruit or some nuts every few hours will help to ward off intense cravings for junk food.

8.  What kind of advice would you give to a busy woman who would like to change her relationship     with food and improve her body and health? 
Change the way you think about food, think nutrition, think health…your health. Female nutritional needs vary according to pregnancy and/or hormone levels so it is important to think all these parameters when you wish to improve your body and your health. My advice is to pick goals and be incredibly specific with your goals so that you can actively plan what steps are needed to achieve them. Rome wasn’t built in a day! A lifestyle change is a slow and steady progress. Healthy people are those that have found balance in life. If you make a bad food choice, try to let it go! Your body listens to what you do most of the time, not sometimes! Most think “well I ate that ice cream so I may as well just keep going” … well your body does not mind the ice cream so much but it will start to mind all the rest that you fill it with. It simply does not know what to do with it all at once. Sometimes a girl just needs to let go with some chocolate, and maybe a glass of wine, too, enjoy it and move on with your life.

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