I love living in South West Australia, and I’m lucky to get to meet some awesome people through my blog. I first met chef Tony Howell in 2011 when we were delighted by a degustation menu created and cooked by him for our 25th Wedding Anniversary when we stayed at Cape Lodge in Margaret River.
These days he’s a celebrity chef, and I so I was honoured when he agreed to take time out and share his thoughts about staying healthy, and living as free range as possible after the age of 50.
Tony Howell shares his thoughts about staying healthy.
1. What are your 5 top tips for staying healthy after 50?
I’ll let you know when I get there! As a young 49-year-old, I’d say it’s important to make the right food choices and keeping active. I bush walk as often as I can – I love being surrounded by nature whether it’s the ocean or bush. Mental health is also important, and for me spending time with my family is good for my mental health. So, my tips are: make good food choices by choosing quality local produce, stay active, spend time in nature, look after your mental health and spend time with loved ones.
2. In your opinion, what does a healthy diet consist of after the age of 50? What do we need to pay attention to and also avoid?
Hey, I’m still a spring chicken! Haha. I’d say a balanced diet is important, lots of fresh organic or spray-free vegetables and fruit, quality free range protein, and cutting back on sugar, coffee and alcohol.
3. I hear that you are the Lilydale Free Range Ambassador – how do you feel about Lilydale’s philosophy and why is it important to purchase free range chicken?
What you put in your body is what you get out. After visiting the farms and seeing the happy chickens, I’m very happy to support Lilydale. What many people don’t know is that the Lilydale chickens sold in WA are raised in WA, so it’s local, from local farmers. Not only do you know you’re eating well, but you feel better about what you’re eating knowing the chickens are looked after.
4. What does it mean to live free range, and how does this impact holistic health?
Like the question above, what you put in is what get out. Think of your body like a high performance car, if you add bad fuel to it, it’s not going to run well. So it’s important to make an effort to eat and drink as much organic, spray free and free range produce as possible. I love seeing a snail or bug on my food – it means it’s organic. Free range living to me is also getting outdoors. There’s nothing better than breathing fresh air or diving in the ocean.
5. How important is it to support local producers?
It’s more important than anything in the world. If we don’t support out farmers, these producers, they won’t be around. If they’re not around we’ll die without them or be forced to eat mass produced food treated with goodness-knows-what. Our farmers are like bees, they are the workers for society, and without them we can’t exist. At every opportunity, I buy from a local producer or farmer – it’s something I’m very passionate about.
6. What are your thoughts about imported produce vs fresh local produce?
Oh no, don’t get me started. With imported produce, you have no idea where it’s come from, there’s no regulation. It’s not just the produce but also the workers. If it’s not in season in your local area, don’t eat it. I try not to use anything outside of Western Australia. Reducing food miles is important to me too.
7. Exercise – how do you keep fit?
Now that I’ve moved away from the ocean into the countryside, I keep fit by walking the dog with the family, which we try to do most days, motorbike with my kids and push bike, and generally working around the farm.
8. So glad you are back at Cape Lodge 🙂 We love it! But … Please tell us a little about what makes it so special for you.
I have to say it’s great being back at Cape Lodge, it’s like putting on a pair of old slippers, it’s comfy. It’s like coming back to family – not just people I work with, but guests too. Cape Lodge has regular guests and it’s so nice to hear positive feedback from them when I chat to them.
9. Anything you’d like to add?
Lilydale’s philosophy is one that aligns with mine, and the way I try to live my life. I wouldn’t have put my name to something I didn’t believe in.
Thanks so much Tony!
Lifestylers, what tips do you have for living a free range life?
Here’s a healthy, fabulous easy brunch recipe for you to try.