What does it mean to be healthy?
Healthy for me is “everything in moderation”. I feel my best – my most healthy – when I am actively doing things to make myself feel good. It can be exercising four times a week (my optimum amount), or eating my favourite kale salad, but it can also be enjoying an ice cream or a bar of chocolate. For me, deprivation is the most unhealthy state of mind.
Do you follow any specific way of eating?
I mostly eat green and good. I eat a ton of vegetables, salad and pulses and try to eat organic as much as possible. I am not a massive meat-eater, so I get my protein mostly from fish.
Is there a back-story to why you eat the way you do?
I am a real foodie. I love to eat. For me, food means big dinners around the table with family or friends. I was brought up on fresh organic foods, and with my dinner, my mum always had about three or four salads on the go, so it’s just my default. My idea of healthy isn’t being overly thin. If the way I eat keeps me slim, then amazing, but it’s not my sole goal. I just enjoy eating in a way that makes my body feel good.
“I enjoy eating in a way that makes my body feel good.”
What foods or groups of foods (if any) do you avoid?
I try to avoid refined carbohydrates (white pasta, rice, bread), because they just don’t agree with me – I get bloated quite easily. (Sometimes they’re too good to resist but I almost always regret it.)
What’s your shopping routine?
I always shop in store. I can’t quite get my head around online shopping. Of course, it’s great for washing detergent, water, heavy stuff – but when it comes to fruit, vegetables, anything fresh… I want to see it and choose it myself. There aren’t any farmers’ markets near me otherwise I would go, and the more times I can get to Whole Foods Market in my lunch breaks to stock up, the better.
What do you think are the most nutritious foods?
If I could only eat three things for the rest of my life, it would be salmon, avocado and broccoli. Omegas, proteins, good fats, and antioxidants – it doesn’t quite get better than that. I eat them all the time and they are quick and easy to cook. Where possible, I also try to supercharge what I am eating, so I will sprinkle flax seeds in a salad, coconut oil with my veggies or baobab powder on my breakfast.
“If I could only eat three things for the rest of my life, it would be salmon, avocado and broccoli.”
What is your optimal breakfast?
Natural Greek yoghurt with blueberries, almond flakes, mixed seeds, baobab powder and cinnamon. I could eat it every day and still love it just as much. Oh, and an extra-hot flat white. I have to start the day with a flat white.
How do you stay on track when you travel?
To be honest, I don’t. I find it really hard to eat well when I travel. I think also the idea of being in a new place and trying new things is too tempting. I like to indulge when I am away and then get back to a normal routine when home. I think it makes you appreciate it more and it’s a treat to get back to my superfood salads. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, doesn’t it?
What are your favourite snacks?
Almonds and cashews. Everyone in the office knows me as the nut woman (or that I am just a bit nuts). My drawers are full of them. I also snack on oatcakes mid-morning to keep me going until lunch, and then in the afternoon I tend to go back on the nuts. I also consume about six or seven cups of various herbal teas. Fennel and peppermint are my current favourites.
What is the hardest part of the day for you to avoid temptation?
Probably the afternoon, but I am fully stocked on snacks so I always have something with me that I want to eat. I often think that giving in to temptation is often due to lack of choice. If I am starving and the only thing available is a chocolate bar, I will eat it, but I would always prefer to have the healthier option, which is why I am forever carrying nuts and protein bars around with me.
Describe your workout wardrobe…
Always long leggings (I hate the cropped ones), a sports bra and a floaty top – and usually head to toe in black. I don’t like anything figure-hugging, I just like to be comfortable.
One thing I am very particular about is my footwear. Nike Free Runs all the way. I have them in a million colours and this is where I inject some colour into my workout wear.
Who is your healthy role model?
James Duigan and his wife, Christiane, have the best attitude towards food, life and wellbeing. Their approach to food and exercise is so achievable and attainable – it’s actually quite addictive. I also love that they are real-life, normal, lovely people that are making healthy eating approachable and cool – and the fact they look amazing is testament to their philosophy.