founder of the detox kitchen
What makes you feel healthy?
I feel healthy when I feel energised and happy.
How would you define your relationship with food? Do you find there is a link between what you eat and how you’re feeling or do you tend to be quite detached from it?
I guess I have always had a very healthy relationship with food; I have always seen it as something that should be enjoyed. People often say that you either eat for pleasure or for necessity but I very much eat for both. I know the foods that make me feel good and I know the ones that make me feel rubbish, so I avoid them. When it comes to cooking, taste comes first.
When it comes to cooking, taste comes first.
What do you believe are the cornerstones of a healthy, balanced diet?
Cook from scratch. You can’t really go wrong if you know exactly what is going into your food. Buy the best-quality ingredients you can afford. Listen to what your body needs and most importantly know when you have had enough.
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 just follow what my body tells me. If I’m tired and sluggish I’ll eat lots of energising fruit and veg, if I have a break out on my face I’ll avoid dairy and make sure I’m getting lots of antioxidants. To be honest the only diet you should follow is one that works for you. We are all so different and one rule doesn’t fit all. Get to know what makes you feel good, what helps you to shift those extra pounds, what makes you less bloated, and stick to those foods.
Does your diet change throughout the year? Do you find yourself eating different types of meals or food depending on the season or weather? Or are you consistent?
I have a very varied diet and definitely eat seasonally. There is nothing better than a root vegetable stew in the winter and you can’t beat a flat peach salad in the summer. Seasonal eating means that you are getting the tastiest ingredients possible and they are likely to contain more nutrients too.
What do you think are the most nutritious foods and how do you fit them into your diet and life?
You can’t go wrong with a load of fruit and veg. Eating the rainbow is good advice as it ensures you are getting a variety of macronutrients. I try to squeeze in four fruits and vegetables by 2pm.
Eating the rainbow is good advice… I try to squeeze in four fruits and vegetables by 2pm.
What is your food routine? Do you eat three conventional meals per day or do you have smaller portions throughout the day?
I generally stick to three medium-sized meals and a few snacks. I don’t really have timed meals and tend just to cook when I’m starting to get hungry.
What are your favourite snacks?
Brown rice cakes with avocado and cucumber; Brazil nuts and almonds.
Are you a breakfast ‘lover’? If so, what is your ideal way to start the day?
I love breakfast. I have anything from poached eggs on toast, avocado on toast, home-made muesli or granola and a big fresh juice.
How do you treat yourself in terms of food?
Pass me a full-fat brownie and I’m yours! But I do know I’ll probably feel a bit rubbish afterwards so I normally just have fatty/sugary treats once or twice a week.
Do you believe in diets or detox programmes? Has anything ever worked for you?
I believe in our detox programme. It’s not like other programmes, we simply believe that you should eat a diet rich in whole, plant-based foods and try to reduce the amount of processed foods in your diet. It is a simple message but if you can stick to it, it works incredibly well and all of our customers report better energy levels and skin. I have seen a massive improvement in my general well-being since founding The Detox Kitchen.
What would be your biggest piece of advice for people looking to kick-start a healthier diet?
Find five really delicious, simple recipes that you absolutely love and that are quick to make. The easier and tastier you make healthy eating, the more likely you are to stick to it. Always cook from scratch.
Find five really delicious, simple recipes that you absolutely love and that are quick to make. The easier and tastier you make healthy eating, the more likely you are to stick to it.
Is there anyone you look up to as a healthy role model – someone who does it right in your opinion?
Yvonne Wake, an amazing nutritionist.
How do you stay on track when you travel?
I just make sure I am drinking loads of water. Holidays are for indulging and I enjoy exploring culture through food so I never restrict myself. I’ll just be extra good when I get back!
When you go out to dinner, how do you navigate the menu? What are your tips for healthy eating in restaurants?
Again, restaurants are for indulging. I tend to pick a starter and main rather than a pudding as they are often laden with fat and sugar.
How much emphasis do you put on your children’s nutrition? What is most important to you about what goes in their little bodies?
My baby is young and so far I have only breastfed him but I am going to start weaning him soon. I will definitely only be giving him what I eat – so lots of avocado and banana!
What do you believe is the best way to instill a love of healthy food in children?
Don’t overthink it. When I was growing up I never even thought about food as good or bad. Mum and Dad just cooked lovely home-made stews and roasts. I guess the best way is to show your children how to cook from scratch.
What is your go-to meal when you’ve had a busy day but still want to prepare something wholesome quickly?
Stir-fried veg and chicken; it’s so easy and delicious. I use lots of ginger, garlic and onion to pack it full of flavour, then lots of coriander and lime to finish it off.
What do you like cooking when you have friends or family come round to dinner? Do you have a speciality dish?
I love cooking stews and curries so that we all sit around a big pot of food. I often serve them with cauliflower rice, which is a favourite of mine at the moment.
What are your pantry essentials?
Tamari, fresh ginger, nuts and seeds.
If at first it doesn’t work, tweak it and try again!
Which ingredient was your greatest discovery and how did it transform your cooking?
I think once you master cooking with onion, ginger and garlic you can pretty much make anything taste nice. I am very experimental with my cooking and I think that leads to the best recipes. If at first it doesn’t work, tweak it and try again!