Passionate about spreading the message of health and wellness throughout London - in this week’s guest edit, Contributing Editor at British Vogue and Wellness Expert Calgary Avansino shares with us her healthy lifestyle ethos, travel tips and a new-found organic beauty mantra she has dedicated herself to adopting this Summer.
With so many different types of ‘diets’ and food fads around at the moment do you have a personal nutritional philosophy?
Diets are the most negative creation ever! They don’t work and they inevitably leave everyone who is on one feeling discouraged and disheartened. Clean, healthy living is a lifestyle - forever - not a fad or a quick fix. A balanced diet consisting of fresh, wholesome and nutritious foods eaten in their natural state is the ideal. Avoid foods that come in plastic packaging, that are trying to convince you they are healthy with elaborate marketing schemes, and foods with an incomprehensible ingredient list. Wherever possible, head to the farmers’ market or the green grocer and talk to those who have grown the produce themselves; find out more about the food, what is in season, how it will taste when cooked and which flavours would compliment it well.
While my diet is predominantly vegetarian, I am flexible and I try to live a 80:20 ratio, taking into account the times when foods I want to eat just aren’t available or for when I am rushing from meeting to meeting. Ultimately, cooking, food and sharing meals should be enjoyed and cherished. It’s not about counting calories or cutting down, it’s about learning how delicious nutritious food can be, eating it three times a day (never skip meals!) and feeling better than you ever have!
With holiday season fast approaching, what are your favourite snacks to have on hand when traveling?
The foolproof foods I always have in my carry-on for me and my kids are apples because they don’t bruise easily, plain and tamari flavoured almonds, cashews, gluten-free pretzels, gluten-free oatcakes, rice cakes, seeds, dried fruit, LoveRaw bars and any homemade healthy cookies I have in my freezer at the time of travel. Before we leave, I also chop up raw vegetables (carrots, fennel, celery – anything that won’t get soggy) and bring them on-board in Ziploc bags along with peanut butter or almond butter sandwiches made with gluten-free bread, which my kids and I love.
- -Eat more plants and vegetables
- -Eat A LOT less sugar
- -Learn where sugar hides
- -Eat a nutritious and low sugar breakfast
- -Don’t buy processed food and definitely don’t eat it
- -Cook your own food – never fry it!
- -Enjoy delicious nutritious food three times a day
- -Never diet
How do you maintain a healthy routine of eating well and exercising when on holiday?
This is the way I live - full stop! So no matter where I am or how far away from home I am, I stick to the habits I believe in as much as possible. I always order vegetables with any meal I am having out, I drink a lot of water and I walk. If I’m at a hotel that has a gym or classes even better! I try to use holiday as a time to try new things like intervals on the beach or a different kind of yoga they may offer. Of course my normal eating schedule changes when I’m on holiday and I eat many things I wouldn’t normally, but that’s OK as long as you keep the basic principles consistent.
What are your travel beauty must-haves?
I don’t travel light when it comes to my health and wellbeing. I always bring my own food and snacks on flights because I can’t bear the thought of eating that “dead” food. I also always bring sachets of freeze-dried greens from Pukka or Amazing Grass to pour into my water bottle. In terms of my skin, my motto is hydration, hydration, hydration. I drink lots of water throughout and bring along an assortment of oils, creams and spritzers to apply. Otherwise my face and hands get incredibly dry. I also believe in homeopathic remedies, which my wonderful healer prescribes for me whenever I have a trip coming up.
Do you have a favourite natural beauty discovery for Summer?
Very soon is The Soil Association’s Organic September and, with that on my mind, I’ve been doing a lot of research on all the amazing certified organic products and brands that are now available. They work as well as the conventional products and they look and smell as beautiful, so I have dedicated myself to having an organic skincare summer - using nothing else. I’m pretty excited about that.