Diet & Nutrition

Why Kiwi chef Chelsea Winter doesn't bother with clean eating

I don’t pay any attention to it, she says.

She’s not afraid of butter or cream, and she hasn’t given up sugar. Carbohydrates pass her lips on a regular basis, as do wheat and meat.
Yes, looking after her health is important to Chelsea Winter, but so is the pleasure she takes in cooking and eating. And she reckons she’s found a way to balance one with the other.
“Food is obviously a huge part of being healthy – you really are what you eat,” says Chelsea.
“My philosophy is to stay away from overly processed, refined, ready-made food as much as possible. Sure, every now and then I might go through a drive-thru – but it’s what you do most of the time that counts. And most of the time I stick to good old homemade, real food.”

So what about clean eating?
“I don’t pay any attention to it,” says Chelsea, resolutely. “Anyone who’s cooked out of my books will see that.”
The title of her fifth and latest book is Eat. Chelsea appreciates this can be a loaded word for anyone who has a tricky relationship with food. She’d like to be a part of changing that.
“What I want is to be giving people back a good relationship with food, because ironically I think the more you get wound up trying to follow whatever diet is trending, the unhealthier it is. There’s enough stress in life without having to obsess about every crumb you put in your mouth.”

Recently, Chelsea, 33, has turned her focus to how she could make positive changes to the way she was living. “I had a good think about things that weren’t adding value to my life any more,” she explains.
She realised what she enjoyed was writing the recipe books and interacting with her community of readers via her Facebook page, which has more than 350,000 followers.

More travel is on the cards, and beach-loving Chelsea and her husband of four years, Mike Bullot, would also love to move away from the hustle and bustle of Auckland. But these days, she doesn’t panic about the long list of tasks she has to get through.
“I wake up and go ‘Cool, I love everything I’m doing, more or less’ and I feel really fortunate.”

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