It may be fashion month, but here at Grazia HQ we are also busy celebrating the fact that we are 10 years old. To honour the occasion we are hosting a celebratory exhibition at the Getty Images Gallery in central London (it's open to the public so do pop in), and with it, beginning a series of TenTalks (check out all the info on the forthcoming talks here) with the industry's biggest movers and shakers.
On Friday we were joined by healthy eating experts Ella Woodward of Deliciously Ella, The Hemsley Sisters, Natasha Corrett of Honestly Healthy and the wonderful Anna Jones, who shared their insider tips on how to eat right for now.
The days of fad diets are on their way out, and healthy eating means something entirely different than it did ten years ago. In the last few years the healthy food industry has seen a massive surge of interest, largely thanks to the rise of food bloggers and writers such as our #Grazia10 panellists. People are beginning to understand and place importance on the correlation between what they eat and how they feel. Indeed, during the recession, health eating cookbooks were the only thing that saw an increase in sales. And, while there may be numerous contradictory dialogues on the importance of eating meat, the use of butter and so on, there are a few main principles that everyone agrees on. As Jasmine Hemsley put it: "wellness is a soft, lovely, inspiring word now and people want to get on board."
Watch a video of the talk below...
Allow us to introduce our six best bits...
1. It's All About Mindful Eating
"Lots of people are living a guilty back-and-forth life, and that's not healthy, for your head, or your body," said Jasmine Hemsley, one half of the Hemsley + Hemsley empire, whose book The Art Of Eating Well is currently topping the Amazon Charts. ‘When it feels like a diet it messes with your mind and you're not happy," agreed Ella, who, after being diagnosed with debilitating illness POTS in 2011, started paying more attention to what she ate. Ella’s new cookbook is out now.
Jasmine continued, ‘There are loads of different ideas about what's healthy. When I was a model I realised I was adhering to those but still sometimes felt very tired in the middle of the day, or got really bloated. So I started looking into it and being very observational about what I was eating and how it made me feel," she added.
"It's all about being more conscious and doing what feels right for you," said Anna Jones, whose book A Modern Way To Eat is credited with revolutionising vegetarian cooking. Becoming a vegetarian after years of working as a chef, Anna described how it allowed her to open up her cooking in a completely different way, learning how to discover new senses and layer up flavours.
2. No one 'superfood' will save you
These days there are a whole host of superfoods and trendy supplements which claim to provide the answer to any number of ailments, but our panel of experts aren't convinced. "I don't believe in superfoods," said Ella. "It's just about making conscious choices, even if it's just adding an extra portion of veg to your meals. It's a lazy approach to say 'oh, if I just have spirulina [or whatever] every day it's fine.' You need to get a balance of nutrients; it's about trying different things and having a range of different foods in your diet," she added. But if there reaaally had to be one? "Coconut oil!" said the Hemsley sisters. "No one food can change your life but coconut oil is pretty amazing. You can even use it to take off your make up or whiten your teeth!"
3. It can taste good and be healthy
"Comforting has become almost like a bad word, but it shouldn't be!" said the Hemsley sisters. "It's just about finding healthier alternatives," added Natasha. "The recipe for gluten free lasagne that I've got on my blog is one of the biggest hits on my blog honestlyhealthyfood.com," she said, and having had a look at it - we can see why!
Indeed, it's a persistent preconception that if something is healthy it's going to taste, essentially, like nothing, but it's a misconception that our panelists, among others, are fighting hard to change. "In Italian restaurants you can even ask for your favourite pasta sauce like pesto or whichever on vegetables instead of on spaghetti. It's delicious and you still get that taste you were craving as well as an added hit of vegetables," suggested the Hemsley sisters.
There are plenty of alternatives for everything these days. You can subsitute brown rice, pasta and bread instead of white. You can make your favourite cakes and baked treats by replacing flour with ground almonds and sugar with coconut/palm sugar or date syrup.
And you can just go for the 70% rule. "I eat homemade food 70% of the time but I'm a big foodie and love eating out so I'll be a bit more relaxed about 20 or 30% of my meals per week," said Natasha.
4. Read the label and don't be easily fooled
One of the things we - and seemingly the rest of the population - struggle with, is not falling into the 'oh, but it must be healthy,' trap. Our panelists enlightened us on a number of common misconceptions such as that porridge isn't actually all that great of a thing to have for breakfast. "Porridge and other 'ready made instants' aren't nutritious and won't keep you full," said the Hemsleys. "To keep you satisfied and full of energy it should be eaten the traditional way by adding a 'good fat' to it; like butter, coconut oil, avocado and almond milk," they recommended. Topping it with honey and banana only serves to spike your blood sugar levels, so you'll feel hungry a few hours later.
5. Food is fuel
If Ella's journey isn't enough of an indication of the power of good food, eat well for a few weeks and see how much better you feel. Indeed, changing her diet even helped Natasha who got rid of her polysistic ovaries in three months and has witnessed it help a number of ailments in others. As Natasha puts it: "If you had a Ferrari would you put diesel in the engine? Our food is our fuel. We ask so much from our bodies, we have to give back."
6. Preparation is really important
"Half the battle is having everything prepared," said Anna. "Make sure you have easy things in your cupboard, otherwise it will just be too easy to resort to pizza," agreed Ella. Have a pantry full of spices and store essentials like brown rice and pasta and grains. Try to cook the untreated versions (be wary of the quick-cook versions, check labels for added nasties). One tip all our panellists do and recommend highly is making extra food when cooking and popping it in the freezer for a later date. "Whenever you have time cook loads then pop it in the fridge or freezer in portion sizes," suggested Ella. "It's the easiest way to stay healthy."
Please drop in to the free exhibition or book a place at a TenTalk. The exhibition runs from 23rd February - 14th March and is open to the public Monday Friday (10am-5.30pm), Saturday (12-5.30pm). Please note the gallery is closed when the #Grazia10 talks are on.
Touch Cara Delevingne's eyebrows
**See the list of Tentalks and ticket links below.
Can't make these? Don't fret! **If you do miss out on tickets to any of the events, you can enjoy #Grazia10 highlights every day right here at Graziadaily.co.uk.**