Sophie Michell has cooked for stars such as Leonardo DiCaprio and Claudia Schiffer, as well as for Princes William and Harry at the annual Royal Polo tournament, penned cookbooks and appeared on multiple TV shows including Channel 4's smash hit show Cook Yourself Thin. Here, Merchant Gourmet's new wellbeing chef and the UK's youngest female executive chef shares her top tips for finding the new, healthier you...
Sophie Michell has cooked for stardom and royalty. Here she shares her health tips with HELLO! Online
Busy chef Sophie gives us 10 ways to kick off 2016 the healthy way
1. Eat mindfully
I'm big believer in mindful eating, which can be really tricky when constantly surrounded by food. I tend to eat well and not let myself get too hungry, so I don't consume the wrong items at mealtimes.
2. Rise and shine for breakfast
Being busy means you can often deprioritise rest - I'm guilty of it! Rising and hitting the hay at the same time every day helps you stay on form. Ensuring you have a nourishing breakfast to coax you out of bed helps - I prepare spelt bircher overnight and wake up with an energising breakfast to kickstart the day.
Making sure you rise and shine for breakfast is key to a good kickstart to the day
3. Keep your finger on the pulse
2016 is International Year of the Pulse, prime time to introduce super healthy pulses and grains to your diet. I'm a massive fan of spelt for a tasty alternative to meat. I make at least one meal a day with pulses and grains and even have spelt porridge on my menu at Pont St at Belgraves Hotel.
4. Healthy fast food
Eating well quickly is possible provided that your larder remains well-stocked with ready-to-use quality ingredients that can be combined with fresh fruit and veg. I keep a stock of ready-to-use pulses and grains such as puy lentils and quinoa, which can be mixed with fresh ingredients really simply for handy, healthy meals when you're time poor.
The busy chef turns to pulses for healthy dishes. Pictured here is her burrata, sunblush tomato, salsa verde and beluga lentil salad
5. Snack well
I stop myself from snacking on restaurant food by keeping a handy stash of protein-filled snacks to hand to graze on throughout the day. I nibble on crunchy snacks like nuts, cheese and ham.
6. Free up time with apps
Making room for "me-time" is tricky when juggling a busy job and homelife. Productivity apps are my secret hacks for managing hectic schedules. I use them to manage my work and personal to-do lists and automate admin tasks.
7. Move more
Being a chef is an extremely active job. As I spend most of my time in the kitchen, either recipe testing or working with my team, I'm constantly on the move throughout the day. I use my smartphone app to track movement and make sure I'm hitting the 10,000 healthy steps target. On other days, I hit the gym, as this clears my mind and is like meditation for me, or go for walks with my dog.
Nuts are a great healthy snack, says the UK's youngest female executive chef
8. BYOB - hydrate with water
When we're dehydrated we become easily tired, our skin looks dull and we feel lethargic. I keep a bottle of water in my handbag and in the kitchen to keep me topped up - adding some slices of lemon and lime helps keep it interesting too.
9. Treat yourself
My failsafe way to feeling good involves indulging in a pampering treat every now and again. An occasional manicure, haircut or relaxing massage is very good for the soul.
I find it very hard to make time for friends and family with two restaurants to run, but I still try to make it a priority. Laughing and taking a time-out from work means I can manage when I am back there again.