Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten

The Celebrity Shopping Trolley - Heather Mills

Heather Mills is famous for having lost a leg and being a vegan who owns a food company as well as a restaurant, but none of this adds up to a healthy shopping trolley or nutritional knowledge.

Breakfast is OK with a bowl of oats, pre-soaked the night before, grated apple, sultanas and stevia – a natural plant sweetener - plus oat milk; or a vegan protein bar with almonds and sultanas. Using cow’s milk would provide essential iodine when there is none in oat milk; 10 times more vitamin A; three times more potassium and six times more of the vital calcium she needs to prevent osteoporosis.

Lunch is an amazing variety of good things: Redwood’s (her own company) Vegideli vegan ’duck’ with beetroot, carrot, avocado, hemp and sunflower seeds, kale, spinach, arugula – that’s rocket to us ordinary folk - and pumpkin oil with mustard and Braggs amino acids; or mixed veg soup of cauliflower, broccoli, courgettes, onions, garlic and chili.

Eating food that looks and tastes like meat when you’re a vegan seems like hypocrisy to me when there a natural alternatives, but I don’t sell stuff to the daft vegans. Braggs amino acids are very salty and one teaspoon gives Heather a quarter of her safe daily intake and controversy surrounds this product as it may contain MSG.

Sunday Dinner is vegan Redwood ’beef’, roast potatoes, parsnips, sweet potatoes in coconut oil. Or steamed kale with tahini, roasted Brussels sprouts with garlic, roasted carrots with mustard, vegan gravy with shallots. Here we have lots of product plugs and not much cooking except the fake meat in the oven. Why not start from scratch and make a great sauce from the veg cooking water, some mushrooms, herbs and spices thickened with a little corn flour?

Healthy snacks of seeds, nuts, protein bars, bananas, rice cakes, edamame beans fill the gaps, though many of the commercial energy and protein bars have a high fat and sugar content.

Favourite non-alcoholic drinks are Water, Ginger, Peppermint, or Macha tea, which are all fine. BUT she also drinks Vemma, a different thing entirely. Here is yet another over hyped energy drink with no real science and lots of multi level marketing. Over 90% of all these MLM schemes fail and only the originators get rich while the rest of the mugs have garages full of pills, potions, weight loss products and magic elixirs. A fresh fruit or vegetable juice is healthier and a great deal cheaper.

I have interviewed Heather on my radio show and was not overly impressed, but have seriously doubted her credibility since she fronted an anti-milk campaign, largely aimed at young girls. I have no problem with adults who choose to be vegans but would never, ever advise this extreme lifestyle for any of my patients as it has absolutely no nutritional merit and many potential pitfalls.

However, anyone bringing up kids as strict vegans and excluding omega 3 fish oils, essential for brain function, as well as many other animal-based nutrients should, in my opinion, be prosecuted for child abuse!

I admit that I am no fan of Ms. Mills. The first time we met she was all over me like a nasty rash, desperate for the publicity she could get as a guest on my show. When we next met some months later she completely ignored me – she had moved on to bigger things and I was no more use to her.

Writing vegan recipes and owning a food company does not make her qualified to give vital nutrition advice to parents or young children and believing her diet is healthy and that a doubtful drink is the elixir of life leaves me in grave doubt about her critical faculties.


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