What does it mean to be healthy?
To me ‘healthy’ is a holistic term comprising of body, mind and spirit. Each facet needs to be taken care of in its own way.
Do you follow any specific way of eating?
I naturally gravitate towards a diet rich in vegetables and fish but every now and then I love to eat meat.
Why is it important for you to feel (and look) healthy?
A few things influenced my thinking. My parents have always been healthy eaters (following a largely Mediterranean diet, which in London and Scotland, where I grew up, was not the norm) so that influenced me. I then moved to California and was exposed to the incredible produce and the concept of organic, local and seasonal, which affected me greatly.
Lastly, I’m a big believer in food as an immune protector – my young son has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (an auto-immune condition with no family history), so now one of my personal quests is how he can eat a normal diet that will enable his blood sugars to remain stabilised.
What foods or groups of foods (if any) do you avoid?
Anything processed. One of my great friends, Gregg Renfrew (founder of the Beauty Counter) taught me to have my kids read the labels and if they can’t pronounce the ingredients then we shouldn’t eat the food… It’s effective! Also, I learned that the top three ingredients make up at least 50 per cent of the food – that’s a shocker sometimes.
“One of my great friends taught me to have my kids read the labels and if they can’t pronounce the ingredients then we shouldn’t eat the food… It’s effective!”
Do you cook every day?
I don’t cook every day but I do try to cook at weekends and on holiday.
What’s your shopping routine?
I love the farmers’ market but it really is a luxury shopping experience so when I’m time starved I go to Whole Foods Market, which I love. My friend Julia Hartz (founder of Eventbrite) told me about two websites that I now use all the time: Good Eggs and Instacart – both are amazing for anybody short on time!
What do you think are the most nutritious foods?
I think a balanced diet is really important but if I had to pick just one food that as a family we all love, it’s kale. My kids love to make kale chips, which everybody eats. I eat kale and veggie soups, the kids have kale as a vegetable and I drink kale juice – it’s my superfood!
Do you cook and eat the same types of foods as your children?
We do eat the same and always have. Yet another piece of great girlfriend advice was from a friend who encouraged me to always serve the same food but have the children pick at least one vegetable of their choice – that way they control what’s on their plates but they have to eat their vegetable. My view is, ‘this is what we do in our house’.
“A friend encouraged me to always serve my children the same food as us, but have the children pick at least one vegetable of their choice – that way they control what’s on their plates but they have to eat their vegetable.”
How much emphasis do you put on your children’s nutrition?
I think about it constantly and have done from birth. My children are both young so right now it’s about expanding their palates and educating them to make the right choices when they are out of the house.
My daughter gravitates towards vegetables, pasta and fish. She doesn’t like to eat meat and I don’t force her, as long as she gets a balanced diet with the other options. My son loves to eat anything, although if he could eat bacon all day, he would! With him, I’m just trying to expand his repertoire of vegetables and legumes. We’re also trying gluten-free products – with mixed success.
What is your optimal breakfast?
For me it’s steel-cut oatmeal. For my kids it’s cereal, toast, eggs and fruit.
How do you stay on track when you travel?
I bring my own snacks and tea. I never eat on planes unless it’s a dire emergency – or it’s the afternoon tea on the British Airways flight back to San Francisco!