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Rachel Riley shares debilitating struggle after 'being ill for 10 years'

The Countdown host is married to former Strictly dancer Pasha Kovalev


Rachel Riley on Lorraine show
Sharnaz Shahid
Deputy Online Editor
16 June 2023
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Rachel Riley has opened up about she made one life-changing decision to help overcome a health battle which spanned over ten years. 

During an interview with MailOnline, the Countdown presenter - who is married to former Strictly dancer Pasha Kovalev - revealed that both she and her husband became vegan to alleviate some of her symptoms.

Rachel Riley at the press night afterparty for The Merchant of Venice 1936 in March© Getty
Rachel Riley has opened up about her health woes

"We are all vegan in the house, and you just try and do small things," she shared. "In 2018, Pasha and I went vegan and there were loads of reasons but I was ill with food, so I cut eggs and diary and I started eating in vegan restaurants and realised the food was really good and we didn't have to eat meat and then we gave up fish." 

She also took a few food supplements when she became pregnant. The 37-year-old is a doting mother to two daughters, three-year-old Maven and 18-month-old Noa, both of whom she shares with husband Pasha. 

SEE: Rachel Riley and Pasha Kovalev look absolutely smitten in stunning new wedding selfie 

"I was ill for over ten years and the doctors were quite useless about it and I gave up some foods and was literally so much better overnight," added Rachel. "I didn't realise how bad I was feeling until I wasn't feeling bad." 

Pasha Kovalev with his daughters
The TV star shares two daughters with husband Pasha

The mum-of-two previously revealed she had adopted a vegan diet following years of battling food intolerances. In an interview with BT Home back in 2018, she revealed: "A few years ago, I stopped eating eggs and dairy and I've gradually gone vegan. As soon as I stopped eating a lot of foods, many of my symptoms went away almost overnight."

Rachel and Pasha have even incorporated vegan food into their daughter Maven's diet. Speaking to HELLO! in December 2020, the maths whizz touched upon the way the family manage to include Pasha's Russian traditions into their home life. 

WATCH: Rachel Riley struggles with baby Noa in adorable clip

On how Russians celebrate New Year's, the star said: "They have a huge table of celebration food. We've introduced Mave to some Russian food and she loves it so far – and we're vegan as well so we do the vegan version of mixed salads with beetroot and carrots and tofu."

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