Whether you’ve experienced the Detox Kitchen’s home delivery service, have sampled the London-based delis’ dizzying array of salads or are one of the brand’s 164,000 Insta followers, it’s clear founder Lily Simpson is onto something. One of the capital’s coolest wellness entrepreneurs, she’s a true authority when it comes to healthy eating.
To mark the start of her ‘Week with SheerLuxe’, we sat down with Lily to chat all things wellness – read on to discover how the chef-turned-entrepreneur stays healthy, her food philosophy and her opinion on the clean eating movement...
Do you have a food philosophy?
Keep it simple, use whole foods and cook with ingredients you love. Eating is one of the greatest pleasures so make an effort to make sure every mouthful is delicious. Unless you’re a vegan or vegetarian, be wary of cutting out entire food groups, but make an effort to scale back on refined sugar and processed foods – these can wreak havoc with energy levels and the immune system.
What makes you feel healthy?
I feel healthiest when I’m in tune with my body, and this usually happens most easily in nature. There’s nothing better than going for a long walk and then having a nourishing meal with family and friends.
What does a typical day of food look like for you?
I love starting my day with a big bowl of porridge or if I fancy something savoury, avocado on toast. I’m often in one of the delis at lunchtime so make the most of what’s on offer – lunch will typically be a salad with a base of quinoa or brown rice to keep me going in the afternoon, as well as plenty of seasonal veg. My ideal supper would be a vegetable stew or curry with homemade flatbreads.
Do you calorie count?
No – if something is consciously produced and the body responds with sustained energy, strong immunity and consistent energy levels, it’s what we should be eating. I eat until I’m satisfied and think it’s far more important to focus on portion control and quality of ingredients.
Any tips on cooking healthily for family and friends?
One-pot cooking saves on washing up, and the possibilities really are endless – from pasta dishes to curries. Another simple tip is to pre-cook a load of quinoa or buckwheat – keep it in the fridge and add it into meals and salads during the week to speed up cooking time. Flatbreads are also a great way to make healthy pizzas – just add your favourite toppings and cook in the oven for 15 minutes.
Do you have a fitness routine?
I used to do a lot of yoga but struggle to find the time now in between running the business and looking after two young children. On a good week, I’ll manage a couple of classes but I also make sure I walk everywhere – you’d be surprised how quickly steps add up and walking is such a great workout both for mind and body.
How do you treat yourself in terms of food?
Green& Black’s almond chocolate is my guilty pleasure – you’ll always find at least two bars in my cupboards. Food aside, you can’t beat a full body massage, ideally at the Lime Wood Spa.
What’s your alcoholic drink of choice?
I’m not a massive drinker but believe everything should be enjoyed in moderation. If I’m out for dinner I’ll have a couple of glasses of wine but am also a big fan of a white wine spritzer.
Do you ever do juice cleanses?
No – you’ll never find me doing a juice cleanse. Despite the name ‘Detox Kitchen’, we’re not about deprivation. Listening to what your body needs, rather than telling your body to fast or just drink juice, is far more effective.
How do you try to get more healthy goodness into your children’s diets?
The trick is to pack in as much veg as you can without them noticing. My repertoire includes broccoli cornbread (your little ones will never know the greens are in there), sweetcorn fritters, veggie burgers and fish cakes. I also give them both a vitamin D supplement on a daily basis.
What do you think of clean eating?
The fact that clean eating has made it fashionable for people to pay more attention to their diet and consider the nutritional value of food is a positive outcome. However, clean eating isn’t rocket science and I think the industry has been swept up in its true meaning. Forget the fads, as clean eating really is much simpler than all of that – eat whole foods from the ground as much as you can and avoid overly processed food.
What’s the biggest nutrition myth out there?
That fat makes you fat. This couldn’t be further from the truth – fat is essential to our diet. Eating the right fats – think avocados, olive oil and even butter – will make your brain work better and faster, balance hormones and improve your hair, skin and nails.
For more information visit TheDetoxKitchen.co.uk