Three minutes with Janella Purcell

Q: Do you ever give into temptation and binge eat?

A: So many people ask me that! No, I think you binge eat when you deprive yourself and I don't deprive myself. When you have a balanced diet you don't crave foods.

Q: Have you ever been tempted to eat what Gary Mehigan has made on Good Chef, Bad Chef?

A: For sure and I do. He made this thing the other day with condensed milk and cream, and it was one of the most delicious things I've eaten in my life. You can't eat it all the time but the food he makes is just heaven. I don't eat meat so I'm not tempted to eat the kind of stuff he makes.

Q: If you could encourage everyone to make one change to their diet, what would it be?

A: Eat less. We all overeat. We're always in a rush and shoving food in, and we don't chew properly so we don't get the nutrients we would have had if we weren't wolfing it down. Eat less, eat less, eat less.

Q: You've called white carbs the that going a bit far?

A: They're a ‘sometimes' food. There's nothing good about them except for the pleasure you get when you're eating them.

Q: How would you sum up your experience on the Biggest Loser?

A: It was a massive privilege, every issue those people had, I've had as well, so I didn't feel separated from them. You don't know what it's like to be overweight until you've been overweight. It was amazing to watch them shrink every week. I can't wait until next season.

Q: What's the strangest thing you've ever eaten?

A: Maybe some Japanese food (sea vegetables) – people think they're crazy and weird because they don't know what to do with them, but they are so good for you. They don't taste like anything, and they're great for weight loss and your skin.

Q: In your opinion what is the best super food?

A: I'm a bit suss on super foods, I think they are fads. I think the best thing you can eat is really good quality fruit and vegetables...and fish, and beautiful wholegrains and spelt and good brown rice....and people aren't eating millet. I reckon it's just about getting back to the basics. That's all you need to do.


Q: How do say no to sugar when it's all around you?

A: People say don't you ever crave McDonalds? But I'd rather put a needle in my eye! If you eat properly you won't want to eat it, and if you do want something sweet you'll want a beautiful dark chocolate almond meal cake. Your taste buds will freak out when you eat something sugary. I had a little dark chocolate ball made of dark chocolate, dried fig and rose water the other day and it was absolute heaven.



Q: You drink alcohol. Is that alright for our bodies?

A: Yes! I don't think binge drinking is alright for our bodies but a few glasses of red wine a night is actually really good for you.


Q: Do you still eat your mum's Lebanese cooking?

A: Yes, I have tabouli in the fridge right now, and I make Lebanese beans and tahini and hummus. My parents are really health conscious so they came along for the ride with me. They eat the same way as I do, and so do my siblings and their partners, which is great. I used to eat Lebanese rice (white rice) and Lebanese bread and meat. It was great but I always ate too much.

Q: Can anyone be a good cook or does it come down to natural ability?

A: It's the same as an artist - you have to want to do it. When I need to relax I go straight to the kitchen, but it depends on what you like to do. Anyone can cook basic healthy food, it's really easy to do. You just chuck something under the grill, brown rice and steam the vegetables. Some people don't like to eat food – they'd rather take a pill – they're not going to be good cooks. Like anything practise makes perfect.

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