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Rachel Ama: “My Morning Ritual is Essential for my Mental Health

2 MIN READ • 30th November 2021

The vegan recipe creator talks Caribbean roots and her exercise for mental fitness

What is your daily routine?

“My morning ritual is essential for my mental health. Even if I have 10 or 20 minutes, I’ll always have my cup of tea and peanut butter on toast – that’s my consistent Rachel moment. It really sets the tone for my day because I’ve created time for myself and helps me stay in the present.”

Can you share your earliest memories of cooking?

“I remember peeling the carrots and potatoes as a little girl with my mum in preparation for a roast dinner. I grew up in London where there’s a wealth of culture and cuisine, but prior to going travelling, I was a very basic, university student cook! Now, I live by plant-based, nutritious food that’s a source of fuel for my body.”

Tell us about your book, One Pot: Three Ways?

“My inspiration always comes from Caribbean food because of my roots. There are so many myths around vegan cooking, so I wanted to make sure the recipes delivered on flavour, but weren’t complicated. The main focus was trying to help save people’s time and making plant-based cooking easy and delicious.”

How do you like to exercise?

“I really enjoy strength training and I found it useful during pregnancy too. I love anything that makes me feel like I’m getting stronger, so that gave me a real confidence boost when my posture improved. Pre-lockdown, I used to do a lot of Muay Thai – the punching and kicking moves are great for my mental health!”

How have your priorities changed now that you’re a mum?

“When I had my son, I felt that extra responsibility to take better care of myself to benefit him. I thought, if I’m not healthy, that’s going to affect him, so my main priorities are staying well myself and ensuring that he eats well.”

What does balance mean to you?

“It’s a combination of health, fitness, sleep (even when there’s lack of it!), calmness, gratitude and all the things that keep you in the present moment. Staying in tune with my body and listening to it is also really important to me.”

What is your number one tip for wasting less food?

“If you have fruit that’s going bad, just freeze it and at the end of the month, you’ll have a load of versatile ingredients. My simple chia jam from the book is made from stewed fruit and chia seeds, which can go on toast or in a bowl of oats. Or, my easy berry cobbler made from three ingredients is the perfect pudding for all the family.”

Do you have any advice for your younger self?

“It’s so easy for us to be kind to others, but we can often be really hard on ourselves. I want to give the younger version of myself a big hug and tell her that she’s doing an awesome job!”

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