The Rurbanist Q&A: Tim Spector
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The Rurbanist Q&A: Tim Spector

Asking the big questions

Tim Spector on health misinformation, procrastination, and the power of good red wine.

Getting to Know Gut-Health Guru Tim Spector

Tim Spector in kitchen with food on table in front

What’s bringing you joy at the moment? ZOE members stopping me in the street to thank me for the work we do. It’s a huge privilege.

What’s annoying you most right now? There’s a lot of social media influencers trying to convince people that vegetables are bad for you. The latest I saw tried to claim that broccoli is bad, which is outrageous. Nutrition misinformation annoys me as it can be harmful and it’s very confusing for those trying to improve their diet and their health.

What advice would you give  your 15-year-old self? Stop procrastinating and get on with it!

What keeps you awake at night? I love my sleep so thankfully nothing at the moment.

Best life hack you can share with us? Don’t forget to have fun and enjoy what you do. Life is hard so it’s up to us to make the best of it.

A moment that changed everything? Giving my gut microbiome talk at a conference where my ZOE co-founders were sitting in the audience. The rest is history.

Where do you go to escape? I love skiing with my family in winter and going to the seaside in Spain in the summer. Nothing beats an early morning swim in the sea. 

What’s the best way to put a smile on your face? Sharing a good meal with friends or simply bringing some good cheese and a bottle of red wine over for a catch up at home.

You wouldn’t know it but… I meditate every day and have been doing so for over 30 years.

What is sustainability? Being aware of the wider impact of our choices.

How can we save the world? If I had the answer to that I would already be working on it…

Your greatest failure? No such thing, all opportunities to learn.

Your greatest triumph? Enjoying the ride so far.

What does a life in balance mean to you? Having some flexibility for life to happen and plans to change.

Tim’s Quick Fire Favourites

Wild Artichokes by Jane Baxter

Wild Artichokes by Jane Baxter

Scent A good red wine

Box set Dr House

Chocolate bar Cocoa Runners

Song Life on Mars by David Bowie

Dish My Catalan fish stew

Gadget My bike

Restaurant Wild Artichokes by Jane Baxter in Devon

Tim Spector OBE is a Professor of Genetics and co-founder of gut-health programme ZOE;