This week saw the launch of The Detox Kitchen Bible, a new cookbook by Lily Simpson (founder of The Detox Kitchen) and Rob Hobson (nutritionist). The Resident caught up with Lily between book signings to find out about the cookbook that promises to leave you feeling cleansed from the inside out

Interview by Stefanie Packard

How did The Detox Kitchen come about?

I set up my own catering company in 2010 and worked as a private chef for two years. Although I loved cooking indulgent food, I definitely felt that I wanted to make food that made you feel great too. A friend had tried some food delivery services and wasn’t overly impressed by the quality of food so I decided to set up The Detox Kitchen and made sure my focus was on producing really delicious, great quality, healthy food.

It grew quite quickly, why do you think that was?

From day one I focused on quality and taste. I spent 16 hours days in the kitchen getting the recipes right. I also did all the deliveries myself to ensure that everything went smoothly. For the first 6 months I basically did everything because I needed to make sure it was perfect. I knew that our audience would expect the best and I also knew that I would need them to be repeat customers if the company was going to grow. Within our first year over 80% of our customers had ordered more than three times and we grew through word of mouth.

Tell us about your new cookbook The Detox Kitchen Bible?

Our whole team has been working so hard, we have created something that we are really proud of and want to share with as many people as possible. It took us over a year to write The Detox Kitchen Bible and hopefully it shows. Rob Hobson has been our nutritionist from the very start, so it made sense to team up with him for the book. The cookbook, much like our kitchen, is founded on food and flavour- we then send the recipes to Rob so he can analyse them and ensure each dish packs the right amount of macro nutrients. From the recipes expect vibrant salad dishes and spice combinations which bring food to life, incredibly light and indulgent desert options and plenty of smoothies (mango lassi is my favourite!). We also have 12 detox plans in the back, each tailored to different health needs such as fatigue or bone health. Each detox includes a seven-day recipe plan, which you can follow- or perhaps dip in and out of.

What advice would you give to someone who’s starting to think about eating healthily?

The Resident: Rob and Lily, writers of The Detox Kitchen BibleRob and Lily, writers of The Detox Kitchen Bible

Be mindful when you eat high sugar foods, once you really recognise the negative way they make you feel (jittery, tired, foggy headed) you will be less likely to reach for them as quickly the next time around. Reduce the amount of high GI foods, (potatoes, pasta, bread, white rice etc) and try and cut these out totally after 4pm. Boost your diet with a vegetable juice every day, I like to have cucumber, spinach, celery and a little apple to sweeten it. I find my skin reacts to dairy so I try to cut this down to 50ml per day (a few dashes in my tea) and it really helps my skin to glow.

What advice do you have for time-poor people who eat on the run, do you have any staple desk lunch recipes you can share with us?

Take a whole avocado to work with you and keep some brown rice cakes under your desks, then you can have a delicious fresh snack in minutes by smothering half an avocado on the rice cake. Make a big batch of cooked quinoa, it will keep in your fridge for at least five days and then just portion some out each day and add different ingredients, I love to add some toasted nuts and seeds, tomatoes, cucumber, chopped spinach, lemon juice and some pre-cooked prawns. Easy!

Where are your favorite places to eat out in London?

My favorite restaurant in the whole world is Nopi, and the best posh restaurant is Pollen Street Social. I am in love with the Peruvian food at Lima, plus my husband and I go to our two favorite restaurants in Maida Vale The Summer House and Maguro regularly.

What tips would you give for staying healthy when you’re eating out?

I never avoid food for health purposes when I’m eating out (going out should be relaxing, indulgent and enjoyable) but when the waiter comes over and asks if i want to refill the bread basket I try to say no! I love eating fresh meat and fish and loads of veggies so I always go for that option on the menu anyway. I always pick the most seasonal option as you know it is going to be more nutritious and tasty. I normally order a side of extra green veg to ensure I’m getting a nice boost of nutrients.

There has been a bit of a healthy eating revolution in London over the last few years. What changes have you seen in the way Londoners eat and to the restaurants that are opening?

The Resident: The Detox Kitchen Bible is available for pre-order on AmazonThe Detox Kitchen Bible is available for pre-order on Amazon

People want to know what is in their food, they want good honest cooking and I think that’s why our deli has been so successful. I overheard a lady in our deli the other day talking about our salads saying ‘this is just how I would make them at home’ and that’s what people want. It’s brilliant that so many people are now making the connection with food and how it makes you feel.

How much does what we eat influence elements in our life other than just our weight?

Our customers find that the effect on their mood is the most rewarding part of our packages. They can’t believe how clear headed they feel. I am a massive believer that food affects your mood, if I eat too much sugar I feel really sluggish after about 30 minutes and my brain feels foggy. When I eat really well I feel I am much more efficient and pro-active at work.

Is there one food that we simply have to include in our diets?

Salmon for protein and Omega 3. Green vegetables for macro nutrients.

What three ingredients do you always have in the kitchen?

Onions, ginger and lemon juice, with those three things you can make anything taste good.

What can we expect next from The Detox Kitchen?

It’s amazing what can happen in a year, we’re currently planning the opening of our new deli in Fitzroy Place, which will have a restaurant offering, as well as our popular grab-and-go salad bar. We’re also due to release The Detox Kitchen Bible in the US in July with sight of opening a third stand-alone deli by the end of the year.

The Detox Kitchen Bible

By Lily Simpson & Rob Hobson

Published by Bloomsbury, £25.00