Neo Khama

Shona Hampel

Neo Khama
Shona Hampel

Your name: Shona Hampel (The Model Advocate)

Occupation: Model/blogger 

Name and age of your little one(s): Arthur (8), George (5), Miranda (3) 

A little bit about yourself: 
I started a brand and blog The Model Advocate (tagline: Be the best you can be) which aims to inspire people to lead healthier lives. We share expert approved fitness, nutrition and lifestyle advice. I’m obsessed with finding ways to improve our health and happiness via nutrition and fitness and I love sharing all the tips I discover that actually work. I re-started a modelling career in lingerie after three pregnancies – I want to share what worked for me in case it works for other mamas! 

A sneak peek into your fridge (the good, the bad and the ugly!):
My fridge is quite angelic. Vegetables, wholegrains, lean protein and healthy fats are probably 90% of my diet. I was raised by a mother who has a PhD in nutrition so I just know too much to get it wrong. That said, balance and moderation is probably the number one nutrition tip I hear from the world’s top nutritionists! I eat chocolate every day.

Fav meal:
Coconut milk poached seabass with black rice and wilted spinach (recipe on my site!)

Favourite thing about being a mum:
One thing is almost impossible to pick – motherhood has completely transformed my outlook, personality and lifestyle, all for the best! I guess the main one would be that you stop sweating the small stuff in life. If your kids are healthy, really there is nothing worth losing sleep over. The other one I can’t help mentioning is that I didn’t realise how much kids would make me laugh. I laugh ALL the time as a mother.

What is the one product YOU couldn’t live without:
Coconuts. I drink the milk, I cook and moisturise with the oil, I sweeten our treats with the nectar. High in calories but with various nutritional benefits, including that coconut products contain inulin, a fibre that helps reduce cholesterol and also binds to some calories in your food within the digestive tract so that you don’t absorb them. 

What is the one product your child couldn’t live without:
I’ve learnt over my 8 years of parenting that in the end they really don’t need anything except me. I’ve forgotten hitherto thought “essentials” – you can get around them with imagination and resilience. If I had to name one hero product, I’d say the Stokke trip trapp chair – it grows with your kids, I love those chairs. Best high chair by a country mile.

Why do you feel it’s important to live healthily?
There is nothing in life you should prioritise more than your health, especially as a mummy.  It increases the quality of your life so dramatically in untold ways. I simply couldn’t handle the stress, germs, sleep deprivation, juggling etc. that is the reality of life as a working mother of three young children without the endorphins, energy, good health and clear positive mind that comes from good nutrition and maintaining some level of fitness. 

Your top tip for other parents:
A nutrition one: Always have crudités and lightly steamed veggies ready in the fridge – when they are starving, it is easier to get these in and stops you reaching for trashy snacks too! Don’t ask me for sleep tips - mine regularly get into bed with me! I’m too soft! 

Best #parentingfail story:
Falling asleep on the floor beside my daughter’s cot with my arm stuck in the bars. I dislocated my shoulder. 

Your favourite quote:
If by Rudyard Kipling – but that is a bit long! I’ll stick with: “The more you put into life, the more you get out of it”. True of everything, from career to relationships to your health to parenting! Or “Go for it now – the future is promised to no-one”. 

One key life lesson you learnt from your mum or dad?
That attitude is everything. It is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure. It is the difference between a bad day and a good day. You have no control over what happens to you, but you have control over how you deal with it and let it affect you.

One lesson you hope you’ll teach your children when they’re all grown up:
The resilience and attitude described above. Learning to see the best in people and situations and making the best of whatever cards life deals them. Always being grateful, honest and kind.