Cherry Healey Talks Healthy Eating
Cherry Healey Talks Healthy Eating
Television presenter, and soon to be mum again, Cherry Healey chats to Mumazine about her love of food.
Has becoming a parent made you more concerned about what is in the food you eat?
Oh yes, definitely I think reading the back of the packet is so illuminating, and can be quite scary. You always want to maintain that balance, you always want to make sure that you don’t become neurotic and have a nice healthy, relaxed attitude towards food, but I think the more educated you are about food, the more you can have a relaxed attitude in the knowledge that you’re feeding your kid and yourself well. As I get older, I’m getting more and more conscious of how my body reacts to things and making sure I look after myself so that I’m as healthy for as long as possible. I don’t want to just survive until I’m 90, I want to be strong and healthy and if that means educating myself about food now, then so be it. I wish I’d started doing it earlier, I wish I’d known more about labels, packaging, foods and what they do for you. I personally think that we are generally, really misinformed about our food, and its so important. It's almost controversial to say that what we put in our mouths is medication, but it is, it's what we put in our mouths that is going to determine how healthy we are.
Dieting is everywhere, in the papers, magazines, on the bookshelves, are you a little worried that your daughter will be exposed to all these different diets?
Yes totally, there’s no way of avoiding it in today's society. All you can do is to try and set a good example, eating healthily, but happily. Be happy about it; be excited about cooking a delicious meal. I personally think there is no point in telling a girl that she doesn’t have to be healthy with what she eats. If you want to fit into a size 12 jeans or below, then you have to be careful; you can’t just eat chips and cake and not care. Any girl that says you can is either extremely lucky or just lying. So I hope that I will teach my daughter that there is loveliness in fruit and vegetables and healthy foods, and that treats and processed foods are for the odd occasion and not all the time. One of the other things I strongly believe is there is no diet that we should all be following. I think that the really healthy thing to do is to experiment with different things, maybe you’re not a breakfast eater, there isn’t one thing that works for everybody. One of the great things about being a little bit older is that you know what works for you and what doesn’t. I will teach Coco that she has to listen to her body, to what foods make her happy, what foods don’t work for her and she can formulate her own pattern and way of eating that suits her body.
Have you ever been worried about your weight?
Of course! It's something that I’ve thought about and struggled with a lot, and it's taken me this long to realise that there is no one way, there is no magic cure. So actually, for a long time, I didn’t listen to my own body and was very, very confused about what to eat, until I realised that I was very different to the girl next to me who was eating burger and chips, as actually she has a different metabolism to me and I needed to be more careful. I felt a lot happier when I realised that I didn’t have to go on any crazy diet, I just had to listen to my body and work out. It’s been a real process to educate myself about food and trying to understand how best it works for me. That is essentially, everything in moderation. For example, if I eat a high carb breakfast, then I’m starving by 11, so I try and have a very light breakfast or something with more protein. You know I’m in my 30s and I’ve only just worked that out!
With all the weird and wonderful stuff we are taught at school, isn’t it just bizarre that we don’t get taught how to live a healthy life…
I know! And we are taught that you will not get up until you’ve finished your food – well why? So you’re in your mid 20’s and you have to relearn how to moderate your fullness. If you are full, you should stop eating. Why, as children are we told to not get up until we are finished eating, it’s ridiculous! Especially seeing as the portion sizes are massive sometimes if you go out for a meal. Its really lovely to sit down and have a big meal altogether, I love social eating, I think its incredibly important, but realistically, it's not that good for us to have massive, massive meals and feel unwell. I think it's quite good for us to have little and often and not pig out.