The Hemsley sisters, Jasmine and Melissa, have a fresh approach to healthy cooking that focuses on nutrition and always looking out for options that are better for you
Trying to eat healthier? The Hemsley sisters, Jasmine and Melissa, have a fresh approach to healthy cooking that focuses on nutrition and always looking out for options that are better for you, even when you're busy and have to make a quick choice.
Their new book, Good + Simple, is out now and filled with recipes that will help you reset your appetite. Out with processed foods and sugar cravings, in with fresh produce, better fats and what they call "bone broth", or homemade stock.
"It's really all about digestion, constitution and not having any overly processed foods in your diet and then you can work it out from there," says Jasmine.
So how can you start to take on their philosophy, which the sisters have been honing for 10 years? What quick changes can you make to the way you eat? We asked Jasmine and Melissa to share their healthy eating tips...
The better than’ principle
We actually use the phrase eating smart’and cooking smart’, as it’s an easy way to say cook cleverly, says Melissa. A lot of people think eating healthily means missing out or that it’s hardwork, but it’s about being clever, whether that’s with your time and how much you cook in one go, as well as being clever with your choices. We all have choice. When we’re in the supermarket, we’re thinking, will this food nourish me? Will this do me good? Ask the question. A lot of people say they want to eat more healthily, but then they mess up or binge. We have to get away from the good food, bad food thing. I like to think of it as, is this going to nourish me? Is there anything better for me than that? I completely understand that it can seem hard. We live in London, we’re working girls. Not everyone has time to make their lunch every day and take it to work, so go for the better for you option in the supermarket. Maybe there’s a quinoa salad, a lentil salad or a roasted vegetable salad, then pimp it up – buy an avocado and a lemon and have those on top."
Check the label
Understanding food labels is another way to eat smart, says Melissa. For us, it’s super important to highlight that to people. It’s easy for people to get confused and fed up and think they’re being lied to. If something is too good to be true cheap, it probably is. Once you start reading labels, it’s addictive. The ingredients are listed in order of volume, so if the second ingredient is sugar, that’s crazy."
Use real sea salt
Proper sea salt is a big one, says Melissa, when we asked her for a quick tip for how to eat better. You use salt in all your food. Proper sea salt such as rock salt is full of minerals. Table salt tends to have been deodorized, bleached, stripped of quite a lot of nutrients and you have to add a lot to get the same effect. Proper salt is really salty, so you don’t need as much. The good stuff is good for you, but the bad stuff is really bad for you.
Plan your snacks
Have snacks and think ahead, says Melissa. It stops you feeling like you have to have whatever is there because you’re starving. I’ve always got some almond butter on me and I love it on apple. I have hummus all the time. If you buy hummus, look for ones with extra virgin olive oil. Or make your own - it’s the kind of thing I make on a Sunday and have it for the week. I don’t buy chopped crudités, as I don’t know when they were cut – instead, buy a whole carrot or a cucumber or a courgette and have those for dipping instead. I know it sounds a bit funny, but soft boiled eggs are the ultimate portable food. They are so good for you. Have one as a 4pm snack." The Hemsley sisters' healthy mint chocolate squares make a guilt free treat that's gluten and dairy free.
Cook in butter or coconut oil
Pick heat stable fats to cook with, which are solid at room temperature. We prefer to save extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil and cold pressed oils to drizzle over things or use them in dips, says Melissa. Coconut oil or butter are better for frying in. If you fry with olive oil at high temperatures, it changes the chemical structure and you can lose out on the good things that are on offer. Swapping oil is really good for you.
We massively champion soups, says Jasmine. Soups are much easier to digest than raw food and we live in a cold country, so we are looking for foods that warm you up from the inside. Soups are a great way to detox and fill you up and get you into very precious foods, like bone broth." For more healthy eating inspiration, see how to eat like Deliciously Ella or look at our healthy recipe collection.
Health guru sisters Hemsley + Hemsley have teamed up with Vita Coco coconut oil to share their tips, tricks and coconut oil recipes.
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