Celebrity Health - Lorraine Pascale

“Why kids should grow their own food”

Celebrity chef Lorraine Pascale talks to Liz Parry about her involvement with a new healthy eating campaign for children

Q: What do you do to ensure that you lead a healthy lifestyle?

Lorraine: I try to free myself from drama and stressful places, people and situations first and foremost. I take lots of walks, surround myself with positive people, eat as well as I can and I lift weights for strength training which is so important after the age of 30.

Q: What are your favourite healthy foods?

Lorraine: I love berries, avocado, kale, organic meats and fish and extra virgin olive oil.

Q: You are currently involved with the Sow and Grow campaign. Tell us more about this.

Lorraine: The innocent and Grow It Yourself Sow and Grow campaign is all about encouraging children to grow some of their own food. The aim is to get 100,000 children in the UK involved in growing their own food, which should increase their likelihood of actually eating it. As a mum, I know how difficult it can be to get kids to eat their all-important portions of fruit and veg. For me, one of the best ways to get kids excited about the healthy stuff is to get them involved in making their own food – and that starts with growing their own. My daughter Ella and I have enjoyed growing lots of different types of veg over the years, and I’m absolutely positive it has played an important part in her healthy outlook on nutrition.

Q: Is this an issue that you feel passionately about?

Lorraine: Yes. I am a baker by trade and so it is important that I balance that out with lots of eating healthy. I did grow lots of herbs and things with my daughter and she loved doing things like picking thyme for dinner. And she always tries new foods.

Q: Do you think that more needs to be done to educate children about the importance of eating healthy food?

Lorraine: I think a lot is being done to educate children about eating healthy food, which is great – the more the better. I think educating children about eating healthy food should also involve the parents as they are the ones who decide what the child eats.

Q: The dangers of sugar have been highlighted a lot in the media in recent times. Do you consciously make the effort to avoid or cut down on sugar yourself?

Lorraine: I am a baker by trade and so do work with sugar. But I believe that the main problems are the sugary drinks and hidden sugars in food which have become a problem. I wonder if the focus should also be on having more healthy and interesting food available, which is affordable, in the same places where there are sugary snacks and drinks, so people have more choice. At the moment it is expensive and challenging to eat healthy regularly for many people.

Q: Your last cookery book, Eating Well Made Easy, focused more on healthier dishes. What inspired you to create a cookbook like this?

Lorraine: I am all about balance and I wanted to show people a book demonstrating how I eat when I am not baking cakes.

Q: Do you take any particular vitamins or supplements?

Lorraine: I take things like magnesium, vitamin D, selenium, spirulina and B vitamins.

Q: You post a lot of pictures of yourself in the gym on Instagram. Do you enjoy exercise or is it ever a chore?

Lorraine: Sometimes it is very difficult to get to the gym, yes... and some days I do not go, but now I do not beat myself up about it... life sometimes gets in the way and as long as I can manage four days in the gym a week then I am happy.

Q: What is your best tip for living a positive, healthy, happy life?

Lorraine: Be around positive, mentally healthy and happy people and avoid spending time with people who bring you down or who are negative. If you cannot find work that you love, find a hobby that you love. Spend time outside, exercise, eat as well as you can and try to find ways to be grateful and enthusiastic about the good things in your life.

Images of Lorraine Pascale courtesy of Myles New: mylesnew.com

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