Hannah Patterson - spreading the word about healthy eating
PUBLISHED: 00:00 20 October 2016
Congleton presenter and blogger aims to make healthy food mainstream
Hannah Patterson is on a foodie mission - to make healthy eating as mainstream as burgers and southern fried chicken.
The presenter and blogger who lives in Congleton has discovered a passion for wellbeing that has taken her around the world in a search to make healthy food even more delicious. Now to demonstrate that this is no flash in the pan she’s currently working on a masters degree in nutrition at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Hannah quite readily admits that like most young women it was looking good that was behind her initial interest in diet and exercise.
‘I had always been interested in food but in my 20s I got into it more as it was about keeping down my weight and looking a certain way,’ she reveals candidly.
‘It was all about the low fat options but at the same time wanting to keep lean and healthy and energized. Then I found yoga and became more interested in natural foods.’ However, it was a trip to Australia when she was 30 that made Hannah aware that healthy eating didn’t have to be about calorie-counting.
‘They are out in the sunshine and on the beach all the time and have a lot of smoothie and juice bars. The Australians look at nutrition so differently. It’s trendy to be healthy over there. So I really got into that and then I took a trip to Bali and went to a spiritual place where there were lots of raw food restaurants. I saw food in a different way there. I saw it as a medicine, not just something to keep you looking a certain way.’
When she returned from her travels Hannah decided to embark on a career that combined her media presenting skills with her new-found vocation creating delicious raw and vegan dishes.
She now has a blog called Make it Healthy With Hannah and is in the middle of writing a thesis about chocolate - perhaps not everyone’s idea of a health food but she has discovered some quite surprising nutritional aspects to one of the nation’s favourites.
‘I’ve been looking at the benefits of raw chocolate which is minimally processed to those you get in the regular chocolate in the supermarket and have just done all the analysis,’ she explains.
‘It sounds really technical but it is actually quite simple in terms of results as it shows that raw chocolate is far better for you in terms of beneficial heart compounds called flavanols so it’s been very interesting.
‘All very scientific too, which has been a bit of an awakening as I’m not from a science background. I’ve thrown myself in at the deep end but I now have a more balanced view about what people should be eating.’
Hannah’s five tips for healthier living
1. Drink more water
Even if that’s all you do - just a couple more glasses a day - and it will be of benefit. Not only is it about being hydrated and physically increasing your energy levels but about being more ‘mindful’ and in the moment.
2. Sleep well
Sleep is massively important. I went to a conference with the Dalai Llama and someone asked him ‘what is the secret of happiness?’ to which he replied: ‘just be happy and if you can’t be happy have a sleep because everything is better after a sleep.’
3. Eat more fruit and vegetables
Not just for vitamins but fruit and vegetables are important for their fibre content and they can help increase the good bacteria in your body. They don’t have to be eaten raw either. In fact tomatoes and carrots are actually better for you when cooked.
4. Get creative in the kitchen
Even if you are only making a bowl of porridge on the stove rather than the microwave put some music on and enjoy the experience.
5. Eat chocolate
10 grams of good quality dark chocolate which is about two squares is good for the heart.