Meet Hannah from Prosperous Healthy Life!
21 years old! Vegan Rower and such an Inspiration 🍏💪
Tell us a little about your self.
I’m Hannah, a second year engineering university student in England where I am also in the rowing team. On the side, I have my Instagram account (prosperoushealthylife) that I enjoy to check in on daily! It gives me a nice balance to all my everyday stress. Cooking and creating delicious dishes has definitely become a hobby of mine, and I’m glad that I’m able to share this passion of mine.
What is your relationship with health and food?
My relationship to food has not been the greatest in the past. Having battled with a case of severe anorexia nervosa in my past, my relationship towards food has improved dramatically. Food is no longer the enemy. Food is nourishment for my body; it is what makes me thrive. Following a plantbased, mostly wholefoods lifestyle has only left me thriving. I’m feeling vibrant, energetic, and so much more in tune with my body, as I’m finally able to listen to my body and what it needs.
When, How and Why did your interest for health food start?
My interest in health food really started in the summer of 2014, when I was experiencing recurring stomach problems and feeling very fatigued. I started researching and delving into the issue, only to discover that going vegan would eliminate these problems over time. It did not take long until I became vegan in August 2014. Since then, I have continued to educate myself on the vegan lifestyle and have become very passionate about it. I see all vegan food, so plantbased wholefoods, as health foods - Nature provides us with everything our body requires and thrives on.
How often do you cook?
I cook for myself multiple times a day. I prefer to cook fresh meals daily, rather than having one day dedicated to cooking in advance. Even with university taking up a lot of my time, I also make time for cooking and preparing myself food to take with me. I much prefer home-cooked meals to eating out.
When creating recipes what do you always keep in mind?
My one motto when it comes to cooking and creating recipes is to “cook with what my body craves at that moment”. It leads me to being very experimental and trying out combinations of ingredients that I haven’t used before!
Where do you get your inspirations?
My inspiration definitely comes from Instagram. I follow many great accounts that influence my cooking.
What are your staple items in your fridge?
At the moment, given that winter has started, I prefer hearty comfort food – a variety of warm potato salads, curries, dahls, vegetable stews. Therefore my staple items at the moment are: potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, eggplant, zucchini, carrot, broccoli, red lentils, chickpeas, kale, tomatoes, beetroot, rice, and polenta.
What gives you energy in the morning?
In the morning, I’m currently thriving on a raw breakfast of some kind of fruit monomeal (where you eat one type of fruit). This provides me with quick energy to wake up fully in the morning and get started with the new day ahead.
Top 3 foods you cant live without
That’s a difficult one to answer, as there is so many! If I had to pick just 3 foods, they would have to be: Medjoul dates, Basmati rice, and broccoli.
Where is your go-to restaurant?
My two favourite restaurants are definitely Tibits and Nama in London! Their vegan food is absolutely delicious and never ceases to amaze me.
How often do you create new recipes?
This varies depending on how busy I am. I created a lot of new recipes during the summer when I had ample of time. Now during term time at university, I aim for at least one new recipe a week.
Do you study others for new recipe ideas?
Not particularly, I simply get inspired by scrolling through my Instagram feed as well as just being experimental and going by my instinct.
What is your kryptonite?This definitely has to be Medjoul dates! I am absolutely obsessed with them and need to have my daily fix.
Favorite toppings on a salad?
I’ve recently just discovered adding pomegranate seeds to salads, adding a new level of complexity and giving the salad that “extra crunch”.
Sweet tooth or Savory?
I’ve always been a savory person for as long as I can remember! This is also why I mainly create recipes for savory dishes.
What do you eat when you get a sweet craving through out the day?
Medjoul dates are my go-to when it comes to getting a sweet craving. Not only are they sweet and juicy, but they also have so many health benefits.
Where do you compile all your recipes?
All my recipes are compiled on my Instagram as my meals are posted there. In the future, I’d like to create a recipe book that contains them all in a neatly fashion.
What would you consider the most challenging in maintaining a healthy eating lifestyle and habit?
For me at the moment, the most challenging aspect is definitely balancing maintaining a healthy eating lifestyle with my hectic schedule of university and my extracurricular activities. I often leave my house at 6 am and do not get back until dinner time, if not even later. For those long days, I prepare my food the night before because eating home-cooked meals, that contain so much nourishment for my body, are worth the effort for me.
Are you active? If so what fitness regime do you follow?
Yes, I am active. As I mentioned before, I’m a rower and part of my University rowing team. The training consists of a combination of sessions from ergometers (rowing machines), to outings on the water, cross-training, weightlifting, circuits and stretching.
If you could give advise on someone adapting to a new healthy life style what would it be?
My advice would be to learn to listen to your body in all aspects of your life. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. Eat what you crave and don’t force yourself to eat a certain food because someone else claims that it’s the best thing ever. If you feel like moving and being active, then go do that, but if you’d rather have a relaxed day, there’s nothing wrong with that either! It’s all about finding a nice balance and seeing what works for you and makes you feel your best.
Do you plan your meals in advance?
I usually roughly plan what I want to have for the entire day the night before. Although sometimes when I get completely different cravings before I actually start cooking, I go with that. I feel that it is important to go by what our body wants; yet I also think that having a rough idea and structure to your day is good.
How does planning your meals in advance help?
It helps me figure out what ingredients I need to buy to have available in my pantry. It also saves me time as I don’t have to think about all the possibilities of things I could cook if I already have a dish planned.