The former Made in Chelsea stars' workouts and toned body are the subjects of national comment. But, she says, it’s all about being two-thirds healthy and one-third not so much …
Since that certain reality TV show (that’s Made in Chelsea, in case you didn’t know), former make-up artist Millie Mackintosh has changed: she’s designed a clothing line, competed on Celebrity MasterChef, married rapper Professor Green and hit the gym in a serious way. She shares much of that with her 972,000 Instagram followers.
We caught up with the star to grill her on all things food …
Have you always been interested in healthy eating?
“I was brought up being taught to eat a balanced diet so I never really thought of it as 'healthy eating', more of a healthy 'way' of eating. My mum always said that balance and moderation were everything, so I didn’t grow up eating junk food but I didn’t eat salad every day either.
“I have a healthy attitude to food. I grew up with quite an advanced palette: fine wine, fine cheese. I love rich foods with strong umami flavours such as caviar.”
What do you eat before and after a workout?
“I’ll have protein for breakfast, such as eggs and avocado. Sometimes I’ll just have a coffee and eat after exercising. If I work out at 7am or 8am, I'd need to eat two hours beforehand, so I’d rather workout and then eat afterwards. To refuel, I might have scrambled eggs, sweet potato and smoked salmon.”
What are your healthy eating tips as we head into summer?
“Cut out refined sugar. Summer is a really easy time for me to fall into the trap of eating sugary treats such as ice-cream and sweets, but I try to enjoy fruit, dairy alternative ice-cream, sorbets or frozen yogurt.
“I think you can make meals a lot lighter when entertaining in summer. I love barbecuing meats and yummy salads.”
Why did you enter Celebrity MasterChef?
“My mum was a chef and I’ve always loved cooking. After Made in Chelsea, I didn’t want to do just any other reality show or a fly-on-the-wall type show, I wanted to do something that challenged me. I learned so much from doing it, I was researching so many recipes and practising loads.”
What did you learn?
“Just small things like making good sauces, and when you cook mushrooms, you shouldn’t season them with salt until the end because it makes all of the water come out.”
You’re publishing a book later this year. What can we expect?
“It’s coming out in September and it’s a lifestyle book. There will be some stories from my teenage years, what to cook for your girlfriends when you want a healthy dinner that’s still really yummy, and then when you want to have a blowout. It has tips on exercise, meditation, hairstyles … and my little black book of where I like to eat and shop.”
Describe your kitchen
“It’s one big room, modern with lots of glass. We’ve got an island with stools and then a big table with benches.”
What music do you listen to when you’re cooking?
“Singer-songwriter James Bay.”
What childhood meal do you still crave now?
“Shepherd’s pie, chicken pie, apple pie … any pie.”
Favourite junk food?
“Burgers and hot dogs.”
What do you eat when you’ve got a hangover?
“There are two ways to treat it: I either go for the coconut water, green tea, blueberries and antioxidants, or I go to the farmers' market and get a freshly made burger. I don’t want to go to McDonald's though, I want a good one.”
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Tea or coffee?
“Tea. Earl Grey with a bit of lemon.”
Favourite kitchen gadget?
“My blender, it's a Vitamix.”
If you could ban a restaurant dish, what would it be?
“My husband (Professor Green) hates it when restaurants serve a pie that only has pastry on the top. He doesn’t think that it's a proper pie. I hate it when egg whites are too runny, when they’re really slimy. That should not be allowed. Also, when restaurants don’t do non-dairy products as I’m dairy intolerant.”
Who would play you in a film?
What are you useless at cooking?
“Cooking meat can be really difficult: a big joint of beef is tricky when you’re trying to get it medium-rare.”
What would we always find in your fridge?
“Dark chocolate, blueberries, eggs, smoked salmon.”
What would your death row dinner be?
“Gizzi’s crispy chicken skin caviar or spaghetti alle vongole and then a flourless chocolate cake.”
Who are your favourite chefs?
“Jamie Oliver, Nigella, Giorgio Locatelli and Gizzi Erskine.”
What's your most used cookbook?
What are your favourite restaurants in London?
What does a day on your plate look like?
“This morning I had rye toast, avocado, salt, lemon and poached eggs and then a green juice mid-morning. For lunch, I had sweet potato, broccoli and poached salmon. I had burgers for dinner. So, two-thirds healthy, one-third not so healthy."