Donna Ida Thornton
CEO of Donna Ida
In your opinion, what does it mean to be healthy?
Getting enough sleep and drinking enough water. For me those two things are becoming more and more important. Each day I wake up and work out how much sleep I’ve had and how much I can get the following evening. I can tell you how much sleep I have had almost to the minute by the way I feel.
Do you follow any specific way of eating? For example, are you vegetarian? Or a raw foodist? Do you follow a Paleo diet, etc.? Can you explain a bit about why?
I go to Petronella Ravenshear at Chelsea Nutrition. With her I try to follow the metabolic balance plan, which is an alkaline diet. When I say ‘try’, I’m probably on it 50 per cent of the time.
Why is it important for you to feel (and look) healthy? Is there a back-story to why you eat the way you do?
I’m food obsessed – I love it. I tend to eat the way I dress – a mixture of high- and low-end. My husband is the President of The Restaurant Association so we dine at the best restaurants all over the world, but I can also be found with a tin of Heinz cream of tomato soup and a Mars bar. I always know when I’ve been eating well though and ideally a good mix of protein and salad is what works for me, along with a lot of water.
Do you cook every day? If not, how do you fit cooking into your weekly routine?
I hardly ever cook but I do enjoy cooking. I work long hours so just throwing a salad into a container is a massive achievement in terms of organisation for me.
What’s your shopping routine? Farmers’ market, grocery store, online?
Online – I use Ocado.
What is your optimal breakfast?
I make a courgette omelette almost every day and eat it on the way to work.
How do you try and stay on track when you travel?
I don’t. Every time I get on a plane I think of Calgary Avansino. I know she would take a packed lunch and I always end up eating the food they give me. One day I’ll be Calgary.
What are your favourite snacks?
Cashews when I’m being good; cookies or chocolate when I’m being bad.
What is your food routine? Do you eat three conventional meals per day or do you have smaller portions throughout the day?
I go for three meals throughout the day with five hours in between, as dictated by Petronella Ravenshear of Chelsea Nutrition.
When you go out to dinner, how do you navigate the menu? What are your tips for eating healthily in restaurants?
The first battle is the bread basket; I win about 50 per cent of the time. Then I tend to order what I want. I want to be the girl who orders the fish and asks for it to be grilled, but I’m not. I don’t choose pasta though.
What is the hardest part of the day for you to avoid temptation?
Evening. If I can get home and safely into bed without hitting the fridge, then that’s a big win. I also try to avoid alcohol. I don’t drink a lot but if I have just one drink then all resolve dissolves.
Have you ever tried a diet or detox that worked for you?
I’ve done loads – detoxes and juice cleanses – but generally speaking I don’t think depriving yourself of food is a good idea. Eating clean – very, very clean – for two weeks is good.
I’ve done loads of detoxes and juice cleanses – but generally speaking I don’t think depriving yourself of food is a good idea. Eating clean – very, very clean – for two weeks is good.
What’s your exercise routine/schedule?
I used to have one but haven’t been to the gym for six months now because work has been too hectic. Right now I’m trying to do little routines with the help of apps, but it’s sporadic. I feel much worse for not having regular exercise.
What do you wear to work out? Do you have particular styles for particular workouts?
I wear Hey Jo leggings, Lululemon and Sweaty Betty. I generally keep it black but love a lairy trainer.
How do you fit exercise around your work schedule? Do you have to do it in the early morning? Lunch hour?
It has to be first thing in the morning for me otherwise it doesn’t happen.
Do you have any tips for fitting exercise into a busy schedule? The perfectly-packed gym bag? Classes that don’t necessitate showering?
Right now the apps are all I can do. I downloaded an app for squats, which is good; you can do it while getting dressed in the morning and it’s a good way to do at least something if you’re as busy as me.
Is there anyone you look up to as a healthy role model – someone who does it right in your opinion?
I keep Calgary and Gwyneth Paltrow in mind – they’re my healthy role models.