A cuppa with… Samantha Hawthorne

Occupation?
I manage an after school and breakfast club. We are a registered charity and based in an old pavilion on our local park. I also teach Fitsteps dance fitness classes.

What county do you live in?
God’s own country … Yorkshire

What made you choose fitnat?
I’d been with fitnaturally before I had my son as a bespoke client, and after I more than doubled in size during pregnancy I knew it was the thing to get me back on track.

How long have you been with fitnaturally and had you tried other diets?
Just over a year this time. I’ve tried them all! I did Weight Watchers in my 20s and Slimming World. I’ve even done the Body Coach but that was because a lot of my clients were asking about it and I wanted to be able to give them my honest feedback.

What inspires you?
Seeing people achieve their dreams/goals. Love arty stuff like a really great piece of music or a beautiful garden and people who are really excited to talk about things they love.

What’s your desert island food?
Nachos with black bean and corn salsa and lots of guacamole and sour cream!

What are the joys and benefits of fitnat?
The joys are discovering lots of new recipes without having to trawl the internet myself and then going on the fitnaturally hive – which is the private Facebook group for members – and talking about the great thing you’ve just eaten! My partner telling me she loves my cooking at almost every meal. The benefit is that I know we are getting a balanced diet which is so important with a four year old and being such an active family. I also don’t have to think about what we’re all eating. I just pick recipes and order the ingredients which is so helpful as life is pretty hectic.

One piece of advice for anyone living with you?
I’m very untidy. I’m a human tornado – my partner’s words!

Most interesting thing you’ve learnt this week?
The location of an old air raid shelter on our local park! There’s this weird wall in the middle of the plants and I finally found out this week what it was.

What’s your food nemesis?
Crisps….very specifically a white bag of kettle chips. Anything else I’m not bothered about but if they’re in the house I can hear them calling my name.

Favourite fitnat meal?
The pressure to choose just one! Cheesy homemade bean and potato pie (and lentil keema).

Favourite form of activity?
Dancing! I love dancing the Bosa Nova, cha cha cha and Charleston.

What’s one of your family’s speciality dishes?
My dad makes the best chicken stroganoff. My partner would say my roastie chips are my specialty. My son loves to make fitnat tea cup pancakes.

One big thing you’ve learnt from fitnat?
Not to be scared of ‘whole’ products like milk, cheese and yoghurt.

Last thing you ate?
Being totally honest – a scoop of salted caramel ice cream!

What one piece of health advice would you give people?
Portion control. Your body doesn’t need all the food, start to listen to your hunger and fullness signals and eat lentils and beans!

Tell us something about yourself that people will find riveting?
I spent two years volunteering in the gardens at Chatsworth House (the one on Death Comes to Pemberley and Pride and Prejudice). I got my RHS qualifications and chainsaw certificate there. I’m a dab hand with a chainsaw!

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