Tradies build healthy habits this August

12 August 2016 | Cancer Council NSW

August is National Tradies Health Month and Cancer Council NSW are encouraging tradies to have a crack at a healthier lifestyle and reduce their cancer risk. One third of cancers are preventable by maintaining a healthy diet and weight, using effective sun protection, reducing alcohol consumption and not smoking.

With a reputation for revamping leftovers from the night before into healthy, tasty lunchbox meals, Dane Ellevsen, better known as The Healthy Tradie, provides his top tips for blokes across the state to make nutritious but simple food choices.

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Photo’s courtesy Dane Ellevsen (@thehealthytradie) Instagram


The Healthy Tradie’s top tips

  • Nutrition is extremely important – a diet with loads of fruits and vegetables will help to reduce your risk of cancer.
  • Eating whole foods like the way grandma used to make is always a good idea. I try to avoid all unnatural colours, flavours and additives.
  • Try to make your own food –  that way you know exactly what we are eating and how it was prepared.
  • Aim for an array of colours within the foods you eat. Beetroot, pumpkin and all the colours of the rainbow. My friends used to call me #RainbowBoy as I always had colourful dishes. Complementary colours also make for good Instagram photos.
  • Seek out professional advice if you have diet or digestive issues. I tried my own elimination diets for a couple of years and actually made my tummy worse off. 
  • I like using leftovers from dinner to create tomorrow’s lunch. I always cook more meat and vegetables for dinner for this reason.
  • I like to fill my eskie with healthier snacks like a handful of nuts and fruit. I like citrus fruits for the flavour and berries are easy to eat in a rush and are high in fibre.
  • Drinking loads of water throughout the day is essential for my skin to look healthier and plump. I had acne when I was younger and it really shows up when I’m dehydrated. The way I remember to drink water regularly is to have multiple bottles in my car and next to my tool bag on site. And steer clear of soft drinks and energy drinks – they are full of kilojoules and added sugars.
  • Use sunscreen everyday – I was never big on sunscreen but as I get older, I’m realising/being informed of the damage I’ve done in my earlier years. Playing soccer, tennis and surfing exposed me to a lot of sun growing up. I now keep sunscreen with me every day, all year round, and when I’m working outdoors, I reapply every two hours.

Cancer Council is working with the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) to extend their message on how to stay safe and injury free on-the-job, providing broader messaging on how tradies also can reduce their cancer risk. Throughout August, the APA will promote health and safety tips as part of the Tradies National Health Month.

Find more ideas and recipes for lunchtime and smoko snacks.

Find out more about how a healthy diet can help you avoid cancer.

Download our Health Workplace guide.