Hemsley + Hemsley's Jasmine And Melissa On Post-Workout Snacks And Why Puppies Are Great Fitness Buddies

Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley are the sisters, food lovers and fitness fanatics behind wellness brand, Hemsley + Hemsley, (think quinoa... and lots of it).

The duo are well known for their international bestselling cookbook The Art of Eating Well, a 150-page cookbook filled with nutritious recipes and coveted by foodies.

We caught up with the sisters who are helping to spearhead a wellness revolution, to find out how they incorporate fitness into their busy lives.

How important is fitness in your life? How often do you do it?

Melissa: In a section of our book, The Art of Eating Well, we give the tip to ‘move your body and sweat for 20 minutes every day’. I like to do that each day, whether it's on a mat at home, at a class or preferably outside, so I can get some sunshine and fresh air.

I tend to wear black leggings most days in the hope that I can catch a class at some point throughout the day.

Jasmine: Very! I don’t think of it so much as fitness, more like anti-static.

Some days we’re on the move, others we're stood around all day in a kitchen doing demos or at our desks writing. Fitting in some movement, whether it’s shoulder rolls or folding over and touching your toes, is really important to me.

On Saturdays I like to catch up with friends and make a day of hanging out at Frame in Shoreditch or Queens Park, Peckham's Yoga Rise or TriYoga Soho. I dip in and out of every type of yoga class from Kundalini to Rocket.

During the week if it’s especially busy I’ll make do with a few squats and jumps to loosen up my body and then a quick run around the block. In the evening I'll do a 10-20 min yoga class online, which really helps me to sleep well.

Were you always interested in working out?

Melissa: We’ve always danced. Growing up, at one point as a teenager, I was going to ballet, jazz, rock n roll, ballroom and contemporary (we used to do some very interpretive routines to Michael Jackson hits).

I also loved playing netball at school. In fact I miss team sports and would love to do more.

A friend introduced me to yoga in my late teens and since then, I’ve always tried to fit in some form of exercise each day if I can. Sometimes it's just a very brisk walk from one meeting to another.

I always feel better when I exercise regularly and get my blood flowing.

Jasmine: I modelled for about 15 years so being in shape was important, and exercise was a regular part of it.

I’ve always been sporty - I used to run and do high jump for my school but I’ve never been mad on the gym so I have to mix it up with a variety of indoor classes like pilates or rebounding and over the last few years I‘ve been enjoying tennis in the summer.

Are you each other's fitness buddies?

Melissa: With our private clients it’s always good for one of us to be available and we’re still a tiny company, so we tend to take it in turns to be 'off' for a few hours.

Sometimes we bump into each other at the same classes and whenever we go abroad, we always look up the local yoga studio or get up early and do some exercise in a hotel gym - it’s a great way to beat jet lag.

Having a fitness buddy or gang is great as you can keep on motivating each other and bring each other post workout snacks.

Jasmine: My fitness buddy is now my puppy. I get up early to take her to the park and we have a new routine running from one end of the park to the other - she understands 1, 2, 3, GO! - or I’ll do lunges and squats while playing fetch with her.

What type of exercise do you like to do?

Melissa: I love the Beyonce dance workshops, reformer pilates and yoga at FRAME. I also love doing yoga outdoors if the weather permits.

I do weekly personal training sessions with Joan (co-founder of FRAME) to an excellent and ever-changing soundtrack - 80s hip hop is our current favourite. Each class is different to keep things interesting and to keep the body guessing.

Jasmine: Pretty much everything except the gym.

If I’m staying in a hotel then I’ll have a go at their gym because it’s new and exciting, but other than that it’s all about classes: rebounding, reformer pilates and my first love which is yoga.

Running is brilliant when you’re travelling as it gets you outside in the fresh air and you can explore at the same time. My boyfriend and I will usually head out for an explore first thing and look for a breakfast spot, then take a leisurely stroll back and if we’re on our holidays we love to fit in a hike somewhere.

Which is your favourite fitness brand/items of sportswear?

Melissa: So many... Because I tend to wear fitness clothing most days. I love Manuka which has beautiful soft yoga pants and I love the ‘Pip’ leggings from the Whistles x Frame collaboration. I look out for new brands on the Hip & Healthy website too.

Jasmine: Usually some loud leggings, a good sports bra and an old t-shirt. My favourite leggings are by Lululemon and Sweaty Betty (for style and fit), and I’m a big fan of Lucas Hugh sports bras - I like their graphic patterns and the fact they're comfortable and supportive.

My favourite outfits are by Wellicious, some harem pants and a matching top; as well as a pair of shorts from Stella McCartney which still look as good as new six years on.

I’ve been wearing VivoBarefoot trainers for the last six years and can’t imagine wearing those clumpy, heavy trainers that I used to wear anymore. They make such a difference to my running - I actually look forward to springing around rather than making myself do a heavy jog.

What do you like to eat before and after a workout?

Melissa: A mug of broth with an egg stirred in at the end and some miso is delicious post-workout. I carry a green smoothie around in my Hemsley stainless steel canteen for a mid-morning or afternoon snack - in fact, I’ve always got something food related in my bag.

Jasmine: I’d have to recommend our tahini bliss balls which I make every few months and keep in the freezer - a hunger-busting delicious mix of fats and protein made with coconut and tahini. They take no time at all to whip up and work brilliantly as a small breakfast, pre-workout or to tide me over until I get to a meal.

As a post-workout meal I’ll go for an egg, avocado and salad breakfast with friends or I’ll bring a thermos with hot chicken and veg soup.

How does fitness make you feel emotionally?

Both: Brilliant. Eating well and being fit keeps us happy and ready to take on our packed schedule. It also keeps us grounded - physically and mentally.

Hemsley + Hemsley are joining Rachel Khoo, Valentine Warner and the Great British Bake Off's Richard Burr at the Liverpool Food and Drink Festival (19-20 September 2015, Sefton Park).

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