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.
“People often say that you either eat for pleasure or for necessity but I very much eat for both.”
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.
“Listen to what your body needs and most importantly know when you have had enough.”
Do you follow any specific way of eating?
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?
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?
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 are your favourite snacks?
Brown rice cakes with avocado and cucumber; Brazil nuts and almonds.
Are you a breakfast lover?
I love breakfast. I have anything from poached eggs on toast, avocado on toast, home-made muesli or granola and a big fresh juice.
Favourite food treats?
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?
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.”
Do you have a healthy role model?
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!
How much emphasis do you put on your children’s nutrition?
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 instil 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.
“When I was growing up, I never even thought about food as good or bad… The best way is to show your children how to cook from scratch.”
What is your go-to meal on a busy day?
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.
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?
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!