Passionate about both fashion and nutrition, model and certified nutritionist Danielle Copperman is a force to be reckoned with. The Burberry and Chanel face launched her own food blog Model Mange Tout in 2014 (which now receives over 50,000 hits a month) and not long after launched award-winning quinoa-based granola brand Qnola. We caught up with the model-turned-businesswoman to talk all things wellness and find out her golden rules for staying on track...
Going Paleo a few years ago gave me a sense of control and more understanding in what and how I should be eating, and led to my current food philosophy of eating only natural foods. I avoid eating too many simple carbohydrates such as bread and pasta, and avoid gluten and dairy most of the time too, as they affect my skin. I also avoid refined sugar and try to keep even natural sugars to a minimum, as they tend to mess with my hormones and create chemical imbalances, leaving me with headaches and low energy. Having said that, I do love a good sourdough pizza from time to time and couldn’t be without raw chocolate.
We all make poor food choices when we’re busy and on the go. Look in my fridge and you’ll always find plenty of avocados, fresh berries, coconut water, broccoli and bananas as well as nuts and, of course, Qnola. If your fridge and cupboards are well stocked then it’ll be easy to throw together a simple supper after a busy day in the office – for me, it’ll be a bowl of steamed broccoli and other greens with quinoa or brown rice and a simple dressing (usually miso or tahini based).
Teas made with adaptogens (a unique group of herbs used to improve the health of the adrenal system and strengthen the body’s response to stress) make me feel instantly healthy and cleansed. I also feel super healthy when in nature – walking, hiking or doing yoga – and when I sleep well.
Regardless of whether you find yourself in a rush most mornings, you should always make time for breakfast – as well as helping you set intentions for the day, it’ll balance blood sugar levels and ward of 11am sugar cravings. I start every morning with a couple of glasses of water followed by a herbal tea. If I have time, I’ll have some variation of eggs and avocado or a bowl of Qnola with almond milk or dairy-free yoghurt and fruit. If I’m pressed for time, I’ll make a smoothie.
Eat For Health
My career as a model has taught me the importance of proper nutrition and helped me to appreciate my body. Of course, there’s a lot of judgment and comparison in the industry, but I tried not to let it affect me. It was only as I got older that I truly became interested in food and nutrition and how I could use it to my advantage rather than being hostile or resentful towards it. You really are what you eat.
Have A Tipple
There’s no denying alcohol is full of empty calories and can make you feel sluggish, but it can be part of a balanced diet. Instead of sugar-laden drinks, try tequila with tonic and lime or Kamm & Sons botanical ginseng spirit with tonic. It’s fine to drink in moderation, so don’t beat yourself up.
Be Wary Of Snacking
I used to snack a lot as I’d read somewhere it would keep my metabolism active, but it used to really tire my digestion. Nowadays, I try to eat only when I’m really hungry, and I mean physically not mentally just in the mood for something. I try to have a big breakfast, big lunch and a small evening meal – while avoiding snacking in between.
If you’re still calorie counting, it’s time to move on. Science has shown it’s fat and sugars that really make a difference when it comes to weight loss, so focus on these and eat a whole, natural diet for real results.
Taking the time to prepare and eat your food can make a huge difference to your mood and energy levels as well as your relationship with food. When I first set up Qnola I was snacking and eating constantly but never really experiencing what I was eating; for me, eating mindfully is about being present and being aware of how and what you’re eating. It’ll boost your digestion, too.
Mix It Up
It’s only human to get bored of the same gym routine, so be sure to have a varied workout plan. I try to do yoga every day, even if I don’t make it to a class, and find running, walking, hiking, cycling, boxing, HIIT, barre and TRX are all enjoyable and effective.
Diet and fitness play a big part in living a healthier lifestyle but I truly believe that there are initial steps to take on a much deeper level to ensure your body and mind are aligned, your hormones are balanced and your digestion is functioning as it should. For me, it all comes down to reducing stress, both physically and mentally.
Well Being by Danielle Copperman is available now on Amazon priced £16.88