One half of the Hemsleys, the culinary sisters whose food business, Hemsley + Hemsley has pioneered contemporary, healthy, easy, home cooking, Melissa Hemsley was in Dubai for the Emirates LitFest with her first solo cookbook. She talks to Viki Shah about all things ‘Eat Happy’.
HEALTHY EATING IS SUCH A CONFUSING TERM THESE DAYS; WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO SAY ABOUT IT?
I would say, ignore the labels. If you are happy and are feeling good, then you are in charge of your own self. Of course, you need to seek expert help for specific issues, but I would say your health is mostly in your hands, you cannot expect anyone to do it for you. You have to listen to your body, your mind, look at your sleep and think about your digestion, think about when you eat a particular food, does it make you feel good? What uplifts you? So, it all depends on you. When you are on a holiday, completely relaxed and looking after yourself, you come back feeling refreshed and rejuvenated and you go, “I feel really good,” but the rest of the year you go on and on and don’t feel that great and you get so used to feeling like that, used to a 4-hour sleep, used to not chewing your food and so on. It is then that you realize that, ‘Oh my gosh I could feel better if I just used some simple tweaks like chewing food well, sleeping well etc.’ I feel that when you say the word healthy, people listen more, so now I say the word healthy because it sums up what I am talking about,
but my book, is called Eat Happy. I call it 30 minutes feel good food, so I talk about food making me feel good; so not good, not bad, not vegan, not paleo; simply food that makes you feel good and my food is naturally gluten free.Vegetables are gluten free, chickpeas are gluten free. It is all about the whole picture for me.
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