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Sometimes you just have to GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK

Rachel Khoo’s quest for balance has helped her to build a repertoire of recipes for life, as well as cooking…

She’s just published her sixth cookbook, The Little Swedish Kitchen, she’s made a succession of TV cookery shows, she runs a creative studio in London called Khoollect, and an online lifestyle platform of the same name. But despite bursting on to our screens in 2012, seemingly a fully formed domestic goddess, 37-year-old Rachel’s success is down to good old-fashioned grit. Originally from Croydon, she swapped a career in public relations for the student life in France in 2006, attending a three-month Le Cordon Bleu course in Paris (supporting herself via stints as an au pair and selling perfume at chic store Printemps). Within four years, while working at a cookbook store and café, she had two French-language books and opened up her flat as a mini restaurant. ‘It was when my Little Paris Kitchen TV show first aired on the BBC that everything exploded for me,’ she says, ‘but there was a tremendous amount of hard graft behind all of that. There were years of me knocking on doors that didn’t open, and persisting. I have always been somebody who is willing to try things and take a risk. I might fail horrendously, but I will try. The same goes for now. I’m still trying out things and it doesn’t always work out, but I just keep on going.’ Despite her tenacity and drive, there are still times when Rachel can’t help feeling in low spirits. ‘People don’t talk about that, but I do get down,’ she reveals. ‘I have a lot of projects I’ve been talking about since January that I’m still trying to get off the ground. Just last week I had a moment when I thought, “You know what, I’m not going to work. I’m going to have a cup of tea and a biscuit and watch Netflix for an hour.”

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About Healthy Magazine

How are you feeling today? I’m asking as this September edition is our first-ever dedicated healthy mind issue. With growing awareness of, and discussion around, mental health (one in five of us experiences mental health problems, according to the Government), we wanted to unpack some of the most commonly experienced problems, such as anxiety, depression and stress. The aim: to give you a ‘mental health toolbox’ to help you feel empowered as you navigate the obstacles of modern life, such as feeling at breaking point doing your ‘third shift’ (the first shift being your actual job and the second being chores at home; the third shift is managing your digital life). See our self-care strategies in Your Healthy Mind Protection Plan, p32. ‘For me, it’s definitely a very personal battle against an ongoing buzz of stress – a racing mind and heart in the middle of the night, or when I wake up – that I am just Not Going To Get Everything Done. Somewhere, a ball will be dropped. The only remedy that regularly works for me is exercise – cycling, swimming (my favourite for mindfulness) and, now, as I prepare to take on the Three Peaks Charity Challenge with others in my office (including our writer, Hattie), it’s walking whenever I can. We deep dive into the idea of exercise as prescription on p120. ‘Elsewhere, we’ve gone mad for manuka honey, which is definitely having A Moment. Discover why this wonder stuff is better than ever, p17, and what exactly you can do with it, p108. Editorial director @elliehughesUK PS If you want to know how Hattie and I get on in our mission to climb up (and down) the UK’s three tallest mountains in 24 hours this August, we’ll be keeping you updated on our website, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Delicious and nutritious – now that’s my kind of superfood!’

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