Meet Charlotte & Jonny from The Eight Hours!
Melbourne based foodies from London addicted to health 🍏💪
Tell us a little about yourself
We are both originally from London but left to 2 years ago to travel and now we live in Melbourne.
What is your relationship with health and food?
Probably more an addiction, we both love food and trying to lead as healthy a lifestyle as possible, I think it’s one of the most important things we can all do.
When, How and Why did your interest for health food start?
We always tried to eat healthy but the main turning point was when I was diagnosed with GastroParesis about a year ago and had to completely change my lifestyle and poor Jonnys. I also suffer from a few allergies and intolerances making eating much trickier than normal. It was because of this we started playing around with recipes and finding alternatives so we could still enjoy recipes and our favorite meals but using safe ingredients. Like with our recipe for our GF Raw Avocado Cheesecake - Cheesecake was my favorite, but I can’t eat it so we played about and came up with a GF / low in Sugar and preservative alternative and it tastes amazing. Having dietary requirements shouldn’t mean you still don’t get to enjoy amazing tasty meals, you just need to find alternatives that work for you.
How often do you cook?
I’d say literally every day, breakfast is essential so we make sure we always have something whether it’s a smoothie or eggs for the protein. For lunch we make salads or soups and dinner we love to experiment with different recipes. We love eating out but realistically it can be quite tricky.
When creating recipes what do you always keep in mind?
Practicality, flavour and benefits. Realistically when it comes to cooking most of the time you want something quick and easy especially if it’s after a long day at work but this doesn’t mean you still can’t create something great. We try to make our recipes pretty simple and achievable - as much as we’d love to we don’t all have a cupboard full of crazy ingredients and the latest gadgets or all the time in the world. Our meals have to be full of flavour and most importantly we try and focus on ingredients that will give strong benefits and antioxidants - it’s key especially for me that my meals contain vital healthy qualities.
Where do you get your inspirations?
A lot of it comes from our travels, we love going somewhere new and trying dishes we’ve never even heard of, then when we come back home we try and recreate them when we are feeling nostalgic. Or we get inspiration from the local farmers markets, I love walking round them and seeing what’s in season and what looks fresh and then just playing around with it in dishes.
What are your staple items?
There are a few things we always have in the fridge or cupboards because they can be used in so many ways: coconut oil, honey, eggs, garlic, tomatoes, or a tin of chickpeas or beans to make into dips.
What gives you energy in the morning?
We usually make a smoothie in the morning, a great way of getting key nutrients, my favourite is usually something with: dates, berries, avocado, chia seeds, yoghurt and juice. Or we will make scrambled egg and our smashed avocado mix.
Top 3 foods you can’t live without?
Cheese, garlic and avocado
Where is your go-to restaurant?
In London our favorite was Saporitalia in Nottinghill - for their amazing Anti pasti plate. Here in Melbourne it’s Drugstore Espresso - Great coffee and these amazing healthy breakfast bowls.
How often do you create new recipes?
All the time, we are always playing about with different combinations or I’ll write down something I want to try and create.
Do you study others for new recipe ideas?
I love Deliciously Ella and what she stands for, she put natural, healthy eating on the map really. Browsing Instagram is also a great way of coming across great looking meals and ideas.
What is your kryptonite? – If you could cheat and eat anything?
My biggest vice is cheese - no one ever puts enough on dishes. Jonnys would be cookies.
Favorite toppings on a salad?
Depends on the mood, sometimes you can’t beat a simple Caprese with Avocado but recently we have been making a lot of Thai style salads. Or simply chopping or grating in some fruit is always good.
Sweet tooth or Savory?
I’m definitely a savory person hands down, Jonny has a bit of a sweet tooth.
What do you eat when you get a sweet craving through out the day?
We make these amazing Peanut Butter Balls that are probably my favorite snack to have and pretty sweet with the honey and date combination.
Where do you compile all your recipes?
We will put our favorites up on our blog: The Eight Hours - https://theeighthours.wordpress.com
What would you consider the most challenging in maintaining a healthy eating lifestyle and habit?
Honestly probably the cost, it’s pretty backwards but the healthiest ingredients and meals are usually the most expensive. It is cheaper to buy a bag of pasta or a ready meal than if you were to buy all your fresh food and veg for the week to make smoothies or healthy meals. I also find it ridiculous that Gluten Free products are double the cost of the normal product, it’s like you’re being punished for having a health issue.
Are you active? If so what fitness regime do you follow?
Well we definitely try to be, we both practice yoga as much as possible and we have started running. Jonny surfs a lot which is great exercise or we go for long walks around Melbourne.
If you could give advise on someone adapting to a new healthy life style what would it be?
That it is worth the extra cost or time it takes to cook a healthy meal. Nothing can compare to how good you will feel in yourself. At the end of the day it is your body and your health so why wouldn’t you want to feel as good as possible. I spent too long pushing my limits on what I could eat even when I knew it was bad for me and it’s just not worth it.
Do you plan your meals in advance?
Yes most of the time we plan our meals for the week, it sounds silly and I remember I used to tease Jonnys mum because she’d write up the family meals for the week on the fridge but it makes so much sense. This way you know what ingredients you need to buy and you can plan what you’re having. Cost wise it is a great help - I used to go to the market and come back with a load of random ingredients and half would be wasted because I’d never use them, if I plan recipes I know exactly what to buy so you don’t come home with a mix of ingredients that don’t even make one recipe.