What does it mean to be healthy?
To be pain-free, symptom-free, medication-free and bursting with vitality. I feel being healthy is really about being conscious and in touch with your body, knowing how you should and shouldn’t feel and not ignoring its communication. When we feel well, we can’t hide it!
Do you follow any specific way of eating?
I mainly follow the Paleo principles, although I don’t consume vast quantities of animal produce and like to incorporate vegetarian and raw foods also. That way, it kind of ticks every box.
Why is it important for you to feel (and look) healthy?
I really suffered in my late teens and 20s with poor health – hormonal imbalances, chronic acne, IBS, poor immunity – I was a mess! I didn’t have any connection with what I was eating – I wasn’t brought up on a junk-food diet, but I equally didn’t think about food in terms of how I felt, or my health.
I pretty much existed on shop-bought foods. My deteriorating health led me down the path of nutrition; I quit my job to return to student life and studied for four years at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition. It was the start of the next chapter in my life, and I now live with abundant enthusiasm for the ongoing learning, as well as the day-to-day practicalities of making health food sexy, happy and delicious.
What do you think are the most nutritious foods?
Green leafy vegetables, essential fatty acids from nuts, seeds and oily fish, coconut oil, apples, berries, avocados and water! I start my day with a green smoothie, which accommodates most of the above. I also cook with coconut water, I make pestos and creams from nuts and seeds, and I drink lots and lots of water.
“I cook with coconut water, I make pestos and creams from nuts and seeds, and I drink lots and lots of water.”
What foods or groups of foods (if any) do you avoid?
I avoid sugar, gluten and dairy. Sugar is pretty much a given for everyone to avoid – the abundant consumption of it in the UK and US, in particular, is certainly contributing to the increase of diabetes, or diabesity as it’s now known. Gluten and dairy are both foods that I am very sensitive to.
I have had blood tests and now know that my immune system reacts to them, causing all kinds of issues from head fog and poor skin to bloating and low energy. I really encourage more people to check to find out what foods might be exacerbating their health.
“I really encourage more people to check to find out what foods might be exacerbating their health.”
Your optimal breakfast?
Usually a green smoothie – it’s a great way to pack in lots of ingredients and supplements all in one go. But other options will be tahini on buckwheat crackers with cucumber and tomato or chia seeds with CoYo yoghurt and berries.
How do you try and stay on track when you travel?
I always prepare my own food and healthy snacks to take with me for the flight. Once I’m there, I stick to my simple meal principle: choose my protein, choose some vegetables, select a portion of fruit, lots of water – you can get this pretty much anywhere.
I do often travel with buckwheat or flax crackers, some pea protein powder sachets and Himalayan pink salt and nuts and seeds for the tricky times.
How do you treat yourself in terms of food?
Wine! And earl grey tea… Quite honestly, I really find fresh healthy food a treat. Eating junk processed food is a form of torture for me. Maybe the odd square of dark chocolate occasionally…
What is your food routine?
I stick to three meals per day with a five hour gap in between. I try to eat before 8pm unless I’m socialising, then I let rules fall out the window, as sharing meals with loved ones is just as beneficial for health.
I tend not to snack – it’s not something I advocate – I’m more of a three-meals-a-day girl, but when travelling and changing time zones, it’s sometimes necessary. If I were pushed to suggest a good snack, I’d say slices of apple with nut butter spread on top.
Have you ever tried a diet or detox that worked for you?
I am a Metabolic Balance® coach and that is the only plan I need. Quite simply, it’s life-changing.
What do you wear to work out?
I’m completely obsessed with my Lucas Hugh red leggings – they make me feel bold and sexy!