Eat Well and Look Great with the Hemsley Sisters

Since the fashionista cooking sisters Hemsley & Hemsley took the healthy cookbook world by storm in June, we've been fascinated to learn more. Eating well and looking fantastic are not their only skills, Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley know tonnes about the most nutritious ingredients and cleverest cooking techniques - they got us well and truly into spiralizing, and have just brought out their own spiralizer! The sisters sat down to answer our questions about everything from their healthy eating philosophy to their style icons. 

OB: Tell us about your transition into healthy eating?

HH: We’ve always loved food and early on realised the relationship between food and good health. The more we tuned into our bodies the more we realised the impact the food we ate had on how we felt. Working as a model highlights how you need to eat well to be well. You have to show energy and vitality on a shoot and lighting can’t always hide a night of no sleep or the results of a bad diet.  Food really shouldn’t be confusing or complicated, but more often than not it is made out to be just that with so many different ideas and diets being propounded.  We’re all about taste, we didn’t want healthy and tasteless. This recent movement on ‘healthy’ eating being all about low fat, fake ‘health foods’ - often full of sugar - did not appeal to us and more importantly does not make sense. We were confident that we could make better food than what’s on offer commercially.  We realised that by taking things back to basics and making it all about real food that nourishes you, we felt so much more alive and full of energy.

OB: There are so many different popular ways of eating well these days (vegan, paleo, sugar-free, etc), what does “ The Art of Eating Well” mean to you?

HH: Wellness begins from within so we need to get creative in the kitchen rather than relying on convenience and packaged health foods. Food has only recently become so complicated. With so many ideas of what’s healthy and what’s not, it’s become easy to lose your way on what eating well really is. We help navigate through all the confusion and misinformation and take it back to basics by focusing on real, whole foods so you can tune in to your body and find out what works for you. Simply put; The Art of Eating Well is mindful eating and enjoying the foods that make you feel good from the inside out. Real whole foods, prepared properly, free from pesticides, chemicals, added hormones and any other unnatural ingredients. Food that delivers on taste and health. Our book guides you with delicious recipes to eat well and feel better. It’s not complicated and once you start, you’ll want to eat and feel like this for life.

OB: How can your readers expect to feel if they adopt your way of cooking and eating?

HH: Healthier, happier and more energised.

OB: What ingredient couldn’t you live without?

HH: Homemade bone broth is our secret weapon. A nourishing all-rounder packed with vitamins, minerals, collagen and keratin which makes it amazing for skin – including the dreaded cellulite! The healthy fats in the broth help you to assimilate important vitamins including Vit D. As with any animal foods (and food in general) it’s all about provenance – a healthy animal is key for the nutrients that it can provide you. Easy to do and kind on the pocket, use homemade bone broth to steam veggies and as the base of soups, stews and quinoa risottos. Add to sauces or anytime a recipe calls for stock or water, or even easier - enjoy a steaming hot mug with a grind of sea salt as a snack or soothing bedtime drink.

OB: If people want to change the way they eat, what’s the one thing they should do first?

HH: Start making bone broth and incorporating it into as much of your cooking as possible. If you struggle to keep up your vegetable quota on a day to day basis then get into the habit of blending up green, veg packed smoothies - these will keep hunger at bay, ward off cravings for junk and get some vital nutrition into you - they also make a great snack on the go.

OB: How do you incorporate superfoods into your diet?

HH: We love superfoods and include a lot of them in our recipes. Super greens like Spirulina and Chlorella are amazing additions to our green smoothies. However, we don’t forget the superfoods that are closer to home, you can’t beat watercress, broccoli, bone broth, grass fed butter and chicken livers.. Nothing is more super than a seasonal, locally grown pesticide free or naturally reared produce.  No one food has it all thank goodness as variety is the spice of life! We focus on meals based around high quality meat and green veg, this is superfood your body will thank you for. OB suggests checking out the amazing 'Go-To Green Smoothie' by HH

OB: In the OB office, we absolutely love your style, who are your fashion icons and has working with Vogue made an impact on your wardrobes!?

HH: Thank you! Working with Vogue has meant we’ve automatically been elevated in the style stakes by association, but it’s also meant we’ve really had to up our game, ha ha! Doing the Vogue Today I’m Wearing month was lots of fun and after a long winter (of writing our book, recipe testing, wet tea towels, and dirty aprons) it was fun to rummage around in our wardrobes and put together our favourite outfits - and of course have a great excuse to go shopping! We love chatting with our friend - super stylish Fran Burns - fashion editor at Vogue.  She often calls up or pops round for recipe ideas so of course we’re always picking her brains about fashion and coveting her outfits!

By Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley

Melissa and Jasmine are the sisters behind London-based food business Hemsley + Hemsley, which provides nutritious food to high profile clients. They contribute recipes to Vogue and recently released their first cookbook, The Art of Eating Well (£25 Ebury Press), which is packed with over 150 delicious and nourishing recipes, all gluten, grain and refined sugar free. 

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