Thursday 22 February 2018

Roz slams critics of clean eating: 'I concentrate on advising people to eat natural wholefoods, and there is nothing unhealthy about that'

Model Roz Purcell chills with her colouring book on Dublin's Dawson Street. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Model Roz Purcell chills with her colouring book on Dublin's Dawson Street. Photo: Frank Mc Grath
Roz Purcell at Taste of Dublin . Photo: Fergal Phillips
Niamh Horan

Niamh Horan

Irish top model and food blogger Rozanna Purcell has hit back at the backlash towards the 'clean eating' lifestyle.

Clean eating has exploded in popularity, selling millions of recipe books and winning an army of loyal followers in the process.

But now a number of high-profile names, including The Great British Bake Off's Ruby Tandoh and celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, have slammed the trend for promoting 'food evangelism' - warning that it makes other ways of eating seem dirty or shameful.

But this weekend, the Tipperary beauty rubbished the theory. She told the Sunday Independent: "You cannot say anything bad about living an unprocessed healthy eating plan. I have never advocated cutting out entire food groups. I concentrate on advising people to eat natural wholefoods, and there is nothing unhealthy about that. "

Roz went on to say that, rather than blaming lifestyle gurus, people need to take responsibility for their own relationship with food: "It's very individual; it's whatever works for you. You know your diet is good by how you feel. If you have energy, if you wake up and feel good, if you don't feel bloated the whole time - that's a good diet for you."

Now following a healthy nutrition plan - enjoying everything in moderation - the model said she had to own up to her own problems following "wasted years" of guilt.

Roz Purcell
Roz Purcell

Describing how she used to feel like a failure every time "forbidden" foods passed her lips, she said: "If I used to eat something 'bad' I would have let it get me down. It's an overwhelming feeling. And you don't really understand why, but you think 'I am a failure now'.

"I wasted three or four years like that - I was caught up in a vicious cycle and I think that a lot of girls do the same. That's one of the reasons I started to start my 'Natural Born Feeder' blog - so I could share my story.

"Then you realise you can eat what you want and get into whatever shape you want. But you have to take responsibility for yourself. It's your life, your responsibility. No one knows you but you."

She advised: "Don't go over the line and get obsessed. It took me a while to come back from that. Now good fats are a huge part of my diet. I follow and 80/20 approach and I eat carbohydrates when I'm training. But I had to educate myself."

She also explained how a positive mindset - rather than one of exclusion - is the key to a healthy approach: "Focus on the foods you can eat rather than the foods you cannot - otherwise all you are going to think about is wanting to have it."

She also advised girls to take what they see on social media with a pinch of salt: "I think it's important for people to remember that you are only seeing the edited version of someone and, with myself, you are only seeing the best of the best pictures of the millions that I took that day."

Roz was at Taste of Dublin to launch her healthy dips for O'Donnell's gluten-free crisps, owned by her cousins.

She also put on a cooking demonstration with Knorr.

Roz will also spend Father's Day today at Taste of Dublin in the Iveagh Gardens, where tickets are still available online at www.tasteofdublin.ie or at the box office. Prices from €20 including booking fee. There are two times to choose from: 12pm or 5.30pm.

Sunday Independent

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