Hemsley + Hemsley's Feel Good Tips for the New Year
Jasmine & Melissa Hemsley are food lovers with a passion for wellness and delicious, nutrient-dense cooking. Co-founders of the hugely successful Hemsley + Hemsley, which provides nutritious home-cooked food and counsel to celebrities and clients all over the world, their delicious, wholesome food helps you to feel healthier, happier and more energised – who could say no to that!
Authors of best-selling cookery book The Art of Eating Well and regular contributors to British Vogue, the sisters are two of the leading experts in the field of health and wellness. Here are their top tips to Feel Good this year:
1. Embrace The Sunday Cook Off
Making interesting meals from real whole foods is always going to take a little time to prepare. Sure - you can steam and season some quinoa, fold through a bag of baby spinach leaves and dress with lemon juice and olive oil in the same time it takes to cook pasta and heat a supermarket sauce, but unless you’re a kitchen whizz who’s well practised at these foods, then you are going to have to devote a bit more time to being in the kitchen while you master this new way of cooking. The more you do it, the quicker it becomes and with our recipes, you’ll see we’re fans of one-pot cooking and meals that are fuss-free with easy steps. A handful of hours and plenty of containers is all you need to fill your fridge and freezer with delicious home-cooked food. Get a friend involved and it will take even less time and the more you do it, the more efficient you will become. Roasting veg and simmering broth take care of themselves after the initial prep and you’ll save hours of time during the week. We like to think of the Sunday Cook Off as an investment for the working week.
The spiralizer is our go-to kitchen tool of the moment. Great for preparing popular dishes from our book The Art of Eating Well such as our much loved Beef Ragu with Courgetti and Sesame Chicken and Cucumber Noodle Salad, it turns an array of vegetables into noodles and spaghetti like spirals in minutes. It’s perfect for reducing the amount of grain and gluten in your diet with nutrient-rich vegetables, helping you to feel happier, healthier and more energised. This is a fabulous tool for getting the kids involved in the kitchen too! (The Hemsley + Hemsley Spiralizer, £29.95)
3. Help your body to do the thing it does best with good hydration, digestion and sleep (all free)!
We all know about the importance of water but with so many commercial drinks on the market are we getting enough of the real stuff? It's amazing how much better your brain works and how great your energy levels are when you’re feeling hydrated. Be sure to keep a water bottle with you at your desk or keep one in your bag when you’re out and about so you’re not tempted by sugary or processed drinks. Eat mindfully and consciously and most importantly, savour your food and take the time to enjoy each mouthful. Don’t skip breakfast, try to eat your biggest meal at lunchtime and enjoy an early supper. Soups are a great, easy to digest option as your last meal of the day - which will give you better quality sleep, essential for repairing and detoxing your body. Try to get to bed by 9.30pm for a relaxing wind-down routine, and you’ll be asleep by 10pm and inline with the Earth’s circadian rhythm. There is nothing like starting the day feeling refreshed rather than having a food/sleep hangover! Cut down on or cut out caffeine (see below), and try to spend time sans all digital devices pre sleep so you’re night fighting any external stimulants when trying wind down for the night.
4. Make Bone Broth
Simple to make, soothing and nourishing, Bone Broth is one of the oldest, most affordable homemade foods, often used as an elixir to cure ailments and nurture the sick. To get the full nutritional benefits, the broth should be homemade from the bones of the healthiest animals not from stock cubes, which can include a concoction of hydrolysed protein and emulsifiers. Even the ‘cleanest’ ready-made shop- bought stock or bouillon will not have the same benefits as homemade Bone Broth. The key to our philosophy is gut health and good digestion. It’s not just what you eat, it’s what you digest that counts. Without a healthy gut lining, your body will not be able to efficiently digest and absorb vital minerals and nutrients. So even if you are eating nourishing foods, you may not be getting all their benefits. Stomach soothing bone broths form the foundation of many of our meals along with plenty of probiotic foods. And Bone Broth’s anti-inflammatory properties are even more valuable now in our modern life or stress and processed foods. It also improves digestion and digestive disorders are very much an infliction of the modern world and a common complaint that we hear.
5. Cut down on caffeine
Have one less coffee or caffeine-rich drink and replace with something refreshing and zingy like our Pep Up Turmeric Tea. An easy winter pep-up and immune-boosting remedy that can be enjoyed as a caffeine-free brew in the morning or sipped slowly after a meal. Ginger, turmeric, lemon and cayenne – these four ingredients can always be found in our kitchen, but did you know they also form the basis of our medicine chest? We’re all aware of just how good lemon and ginger are, but a lemon and ginger tea becomes even more powerful with the addition of bright yellow turmeric (careful it stains!) and spicy red cayenne. Turmeric is detoxifying, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial (good for viral and bacterial infections). Cayenne aids digestion, relieves congestion and improves circulation, allowing the healing properties of turmeric to reach the site of infection faster. Blend together for an easy winter pep-up and immune-boosting remedy that can be enjoyed as a caffeine-free brew in the morning or sipped slowly after a meal.
6. Choose food that is as close to nature as possible
The headlines are awash with the negative health effects of overly processed and refined foods like sugar. By cutting these out this year, you will see a marked difference in your health and wellbeing - as well as your taste buds, and soon develop a taste for real foods rather than craving addictive, highly processed ones. We love nourishing fats like coconut oil and grass fed butter, which are great for keeping energy levels steady, and nutrient dense foods like Baobab and Moringa to provide us with essential vitamins and minerals. We always carry a pot of organic coconut oil and sachets of our favourite superfood powders when travelling which can be easily added to meals, porridges, smoothies and water when we’re on the go. Moringa is like a plate of greens in a sachet and baobab is sweet and tangy like sherbet!