We were recently joined by Melissa Hemsley at an event for professionals at Sky View. Melissa is one half of the Hemsley & Hemsley brand. She’s appeared on Sunday Brunch and Saturday Kitchen. She’s been featured in The Times, Vogue magazine and lots of other places.
Melissa specialises in “Feelgood food for busy people”. And because we’re all about making life count, here were her top tips on the night.
It’s now 10 a day
Melissa asked, “How has it gone from five to ten?” But it has, and she says there are several ways to get the right level of vegetables in your diet. She also shared some other food hacks too.
- Grate courgette into everything – it’s white so you can’t see it, no one will know, it’s easy!
- Buy mozzarella, halloumi and feta – they’re good sources of fats and protein and they’ll last for ages in the fridge
- You’re not a failure if you don’t eat kale! For more energy, roast chickpeas and make smoothies. If you’re having a crash in the middle of the day, think about why that might be. Think about your meals.
- If you like baking, can you use fruits like bananas, apples and dates in your recipes instead of sugar?
As well as talking about diet, Melissa also discussed about other factors to help you be healthy. She spoke about mental health and championed the new movement, #WheresYourHeadAt, as a way of helping raise mental health awareness. Here are a few other things she mentioned.
- Put your phone to bed at bedtime – in our audience, around 70% of people said they check their phone just before they go to bed. Instead, try leaving it out of the room and buy an old-school alarm clock.
- Don’t be an over perfectionist – Being an over perfectionist can spoil life. It means nothing can be good enough from other people. And you look back at achievements as failures. Melissa said, “I’ve been working on being an imperfectionist over the last few years.”
- Everyone has good and bad days. If you’ve got Sunday night blues, don’t go on Instagram to see how “perfect” everyone’s weekend was. Unfollow people who make you feel rubbish, watch something relaxed liked Countryfile and cook yourself some wholesome food for the week ahead.
Retrain your taste buds
- It only takes three days to retrain your taste buds. If you rely on sugar in your diet, try and have three painful days where you ease yourself off it.
- On a night out? When you drink there are so many options. And you don’t have to drink alcopops. You can buy biodynamic wine. But also, think about 1) Why you’re drinking – is it a crutch to mask other problems? 2) How much do you want to drink? 3) Make choices about what you’re drinking – go for the purest, least processed option if you can.
Eat homemade food
- Never write an email on an empty stomach!
- The number one thing we could all be doing is home-cooked food. When you cook, cook big. Buy some Tupperware and fill your freezer. You’ll have “bolognese for days”, as the students say.
- Use your colleagues too. If you’re making a banana bread, make an extra one for people at work. Why wouldn’t you? Be nice and help each other out with healthy snacking.
Want to find out more about #WheresYourHeadAt? Visit the website and sign the petition here. Melissa has also just released her latest book, Eat Happy. You can buy it here.