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Lunch with Alesha: terrible twos, mother’s guilt and feeling healthier than ever.

Lunch with Alesha: terrible twos, mother’s guilt and feeling healthier than ever.

July 7, 2016 - By Sam Mann

Mumazine Editor Sam Mann caught up with Alesha Dixon to talked about the work, fame, the terrible twos and getting quality family time.

I’m in the fortunate position of having met many famous and talented people over the years in my role as an entertainment journalist. MJ, Madonna, Pitt, Clooney - I’ve spent time with them all (even if it was for 5 minutes at a time with a watchful manager shooting me a ‘stick to the promo questions’ stare). I’ve also interviewed and seen my fair share of ‘5 minutes of fame’ celebrities come and go.

Playing the fame game

The one thing that fascinates me is how people in the spotlight deal with fame. Let’s face it, it can’t be easy having a long lens practically shoved up your nose 24/7. On the flip-side, I can see the attraction of having a team of flunkies to fetch a flat white every time you click your fingers. I’ve decided being famous is an art in itself. Some people can’t help but let the attention go to their heads while others take it all in their extremely talented stride.

There are a few people who have got the fame game down to a tee. I’ve noticed a correlation between level of talent and the ability to handle fame. Basically, it’s the ones who are genuinely talented who accept a certain amount of interest in their lives is inevitable and crack on regardless.

Take gorgeous Alesha Dixon for example: singer, rapper, dancer, presenter - someone who’s been in the spotlight for more than 15 years. Each time I’ve met her she’s been gracious, fun and down to earth.

From Mis-Teeq to Model Mum

I first met her when she and 4 other girls performed on a show I was presenting. I remember sharing a dressing room (or perhaps it was the toilet) with the then little-known Mis-Teeq and the girls were giggly and full of excitement.

Over the years I’ve interviewed Alesha for various glossies and during my time as entertainment editor at Capital Radio. It’s always been a pleasure. She's had her ups and downs in the great British press (like most celebs) - but whatever’s been thrown at her she's always stayed dignified.

And look at her now! Happier than ever, she’s in a loving stable relationship, she’s mum to a gorgeous two and a half year-old daughter (Azura Sienna), her pop career is still going strong and she graces our screens in a coveted role as a judge on ‘Britain’s Got Talent’.

Healthier than ever

When I recently met up with Alesha at a special lunch for mummy bloggers hosted by Swisse - she is the UK ambassador for the top vitamin brand, she genuinely looked fabulous in the flesh. She told me she felt happier and healthier than ever, putting a lot of it down to a change in her diet and the supplements she was taking. She told me she finally followed in her mum’s footsteps and became vegetarian 4 years ago (her mum hasn’t eaten meat for 20 years).

“I almost became vegan until I realised I was pregnant, although I have since learned that I could have gone ahead and it would have been safe. I’ve cut out a lot of diary though. I feel so much better for it. I’m still a big foodie, I love good food. It’s about getting the right balance, if you eat healthily most of the time, it’s Ok to treat yourself once in a while. And it’s important not to feel guilty.”

The terrible twos

While Alesha may be eating a balanced diet her two and a half year-old daughter has other ideas.

“She’s refusing to eat anything but baked beans at the moment. She’s now fully in the terrible twos phase. My friends did try to warned me that she’d hit two and turn into a terror, and I said, ‘no she won’t’. I was so wrong!”

“I love it though. I look at her and think, ‘wow, look at all that character you’ve got’. She’s just expressing herself.”

Another little performer in the making perhaps? I’m sure Simon Cowell will already have his expert eye on her.

Juggling fame and motherhood

Talking of Mr Cowell… Alesha has been super busy of late with another series of BGT and has been popping up all over the place. So how does she strike a balance between her mummy duties and work?

“I try to make sure that there are at least 3 or 4 days a week that I’m with her. Sometimes it’s not always possible, but every week I do what I can to make sure we get enough quality time. I’m very lucky because she’ll either be with myself, my partner or my mum. She’s at the age now where she understands that mummy is going to work. She’ll give me a kiss, tell me she loves me and literally push me out of the door!

“She loves spending time with my mum. If she was crying and didn’t want me to go I’d find it much harder.

“I don't feel guilty at all. I love her seeing me walking out of the door to work. I want to be a role model. That’s life in this day and age. In most families now mum and dad have to go to work.”

Alesha’s top tips for working mums

  1. Don’t feel guilty when you have to work. So long as you balance that out with good quality time, remember you’re setting a good example to your child.
  2. The time you are away working is a good opportunity for your partner or grandparents to spend quality time with the little ones.
  3. Plan days when you can spend quality time with your child without distractions. A small amount of undivided attention is much better than having more time together with constant distractions.

Find out more about Alesha's partnership with Swisse here

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