What makes you feel healthy?
Consistent exercise and eating well – I love the feeling of waking up and feeling light, bright and full of energy.
How would you define your relationship with food?
Since starting to eat a predominantly raw food diet, I’ve become far more in tune with my body and am very aware of how what I eat can significantly affect how I feel both emotionally and physically, also of how very true is the phrase ‘you are what you eat’.
Do you follow any specific way of eating?
I discovered the raw food way of eating about 18 months ago and decided to try it out as an experiment but I was so blown away by how amazing it made me feel after a few days that I carried on. As well as the fantastic health benefits of eating raw, I find it also gives me incredible energy, improved mental clarity and a general feeling of calmness, harmony and well-being – it’s like nature’s happy pill.
“As well as the fantastic health benefits of eating raw, I find it also gives me incredible energy, improved mental clarity and a general feeling of calmness, harmony and well-being – it’s like nature’s happy pill.”
Do you eat different foods throughout the year?
I find it easy to eat raw in the summer as our bodies naturally crave lighter and fresher dishes. In the colder months I tend to eat more starchy fruits and vegetables – lots of banana-based smoothies and heartier salads with plenty of grated carrot and cabbage.
I also make richer, creamier or more strongly-flavoured salad dressings, and add fresh ginger to my juices as it’s so warming; sometimes a bit of green chilli for extra kick too.
What do you think are the most nutritious foods?
Dark leafy greens and I try to eat a wide selection of them. I eat greens at virtually every meal – in juices, smoothies and salads.
Medjool dates, ripe bananas, pears and green smoothies.
How do you treat yourself in terms of food?
After eating raw for a period of time your taste buds really crave ripe fruits and fresh vegetables so every meal feels like a treat, but saying that, raw banana ice cream and raw chocolate always feel special and a bit decadent.
Do you believe in diets or detox programmes?
When I ate a standard diet (if there is such a thing!) I always struggled to maintain a consistent weight, however when I started eating mainly raw my body weight stabilised easily. I believe our bodies work hard for us to detox our systems every day but I am a fan of ‘cleansing’ periods to give our digestive systems a rest. I love to do a juice cleanse at every change of season and I’m a big believer in the benefits of short-term water fasting too.
“I am a fan of ‘cleansing’ periods to give our digestive systems a rest.”
What would be your biggest piece of advice for people looking to kick-start a healthier diet?
Try to incorporate more fresh fruit and especially fresh vegetables into your diet and eat them in their raw state as often as possible. Don’t be put off thinking you’ve got to go all out with eating healthily. It works for some people but choosing to eat just one healthier meal a day is a great way to start and the more healthy food you eat, the more your body craves it.
And if you fancy giving the raw lifestyle a try it’s as simple as incorporating more raw fruits and veg into your diet, be it in the form of juices, smoothies or salads etc. You don’t have to be 100 per cent raw to feel the benefits and starting with one raw meal a day is a great way to put yourself on the highway to super health and happiness!
“You don’t have to be 100 per cent raw to feel the benefits.”
Do you cook every day? If not, how do you fit cooking into your weekly routine?
I take great pleasure in the preparation of food so unless I’m away from home, I make every meal from scratch. I’m lucky to have my office and studio at home so the kitchen isn’t too far away! If I know I’ve got a busy morning ahead I will prepare the ingredients for my morning green juice or smoothie the night before by washing and chopping them and popping them in the fridge so all I have to do in the morning is run things through a juicer or blender.
What’s your go-to meal on a busy night?
A big salad takes no time to prepare at all and I usually have a jar of dressing of some type in the fridge so I can put a meal together in minutes. Otherwise I’ll blend a protein smoothie, which is the perfect ‘fast food’ option!
“I like to grow a selection of things myself, such as herbs, tomatoes, courgettes, lettuce, radicchio and Swiss chard. They have to be easy-to-grow things as my fingers aren’t very green!”
I love good cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil and my most used ingredients are lemons, leafy greens, apples, chia seeds, fresh herbs, ginger, celery, almonds, Medjool dates, coconut water and good vanilla pods.
Do you power up for exercise with specific foods – if so, what are they?
I prefer to exercise on an empty stomach so if I work out in the morning I won’t consume anything beforehand and if I’m exercising in the evening I’ll leave it until 3–4 hours after my last meal. However if I’m gearing up for a longer distance run I’ll have a small banana and date smoothie about an hour and a half before I start so I’ve got some instant energy to help me along.
What is your greatest motivation to work out when you are feeling sluggish?