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As an interviewee, Lorraine Pascale is tricky. Not because she has a model-like aloofness, or is in any way selish with her time. It’s because she is so keen to talk about other people. ‘We all have a story to tell,’ she insists. ‘Everyone has a story that will make us cry. Everyone has a story that when shared, will help someone. We just have to have the courage to share it.’ Each anecdote we embark on eventually ends this way, expanding to make room for plural pronouns and inding its home in philosophical musings. But if anyone has a story to tell, it’s Lorraine. Scouted aged 16 by the same agent who discovered Naomi Campbell, she swapped Oxfordshire for the catwalks of New York and in 1994 became the irst black British model to grace the cover of US Elle. Unconvinced modelling would serve her well in future, she dabbled in both hypnotherapy and mechanics, before completing a cookery course at Leith’s in 2005. Armed with her diploma, she made a name for herself as a specialist cake-maker, and hit our TV screens in 2011, presenting the BBC’s Baking Made Easy. A lurry of further series and accompanying book deals later and she’s known for being a judge and mentor on a number of Food Network shows in the US. What about before the success? Her early life in and out of foster care is well-documented, but when talk turns to her upbringing, a self-efacing thread still weaves through her words. ‘My childhood, like so many people’s, was challenging,’ she concedes. ‘I was in and out of care, adopted, then back in care again. At the age of one, I was severely neglected, and social services had to take me away – this was when I was staying with my biological father for a short time.’ She pauses. ‘I guess it was pretty crappy. But I did have a lot of good people who looked after me during that time, too; great foster carers who took me in – some of whom I still speak to today. Of course, our early experiences shape who we are today, so it’s easy to be a victim of the past. But when you come to adulthood, you have to be responsible for yourself. There’s no point staying angry at the past.’ Perhaps, with her inclusive outlook and propensity for forgiveness, Lorraine’s mind-set has hit the happiness jackpot. You’d certainly be hard-pressed to knock points of her in the altruism scores, the practising of which we know comes with a wealth of mental health beneits. Her social feeds follow a similar pattern to our interview – every post, update or tweet comes back to focus on her followers. ‘I do this as I have a platform where I can make a diference, and I think it’s important to give back,’ she says. ‘I’ve been lucky enough to have had some great therapists, so I want to share that knowledge with the people around me.’

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About Healthy Magazine

Introducing the brand new healthy! We’ve got a fresh new look and have spruced up our content, including challenging new franchises, a dedicated vegan section and inspiring real life stories. Our central theme this issue is mental wellbeing – a challenge that doesn’t seem to be getting any easier, even as we are getting better at talking about it. Hopefully our ‘safe space’ is just that – somewhere you can explore and develop your own mental health. We’ve also investigated the gender disparity in football, explored the growing (though illegal) trend of microdosing, and chatted to chef turned wellness advocate Lorraine Pascale about her own mental wellbeing journey. Plus, we’ve brought in an expert panel to review all our content, ensuring you’re getting the very best and latest health, fitness, food, beauty and wellness advice. Find all this and more in the new issue of healthy