Nadiya Hussain won The Great British Bake Off and now presents cookery shows and travelogues. She has written bestselling cookery and children's books, three novels, and a memoir.
398: Bring Your Kids Into the Kitchen
Need some inspiration to get your kids into the kitchen? In this episode, we have Nadiya Hussain on the Mindful Mama Podcast—a British television chef, author and television presenter. You may have watched her win the Great British Baking Show or some of her many other travelogs or cooking shows, but did you know she’s struggled with anxiety and writes amazing children’s books? Join Hunter as she talks to Nadiya Hussain!
Bring Your Kids Into the Kitchen - Nadiya Hussain 
*This is an auto-generated transcript*
[00:00:00] Nadiya Hussain: Being diagnosed with PTSD and anxiety and panic disorder and all of those things. So I've always described my anxiety to my children and I've been really honest with them about my anxiety as my monster, and I thought that is a little book for little children to understand what it means to worry and what it means to carry that worry around with you.
[00:00:24] Hunter: You are listening to the Mindful Mama podcast, episode number 390. Today we're talking about bringing your kids into the kitchen with Nadia Hu.
Welcome to the Mindful Mama podcast. Here it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. At Mindful Mama, we know that you cannot give what you do not have. And when you have calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I'm your host, hunter Clark Fields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.
I've been practicing mindfulness for over 20. I'm the creator of Mindful Parenting, and I'm the author of the best selling book, raising Good Humans, A Mindful Guide to Breaking the Cycle of Reactive Parenting and raising Kind Confident Kids.
Welcome. Welcome my friend back to the Mindful Mama podcast. So glad you're here. Listen, if you haven't done so, please hit that subscribe button so you never miss an episode. And if you get something out of this podcast, please go over to Apple Podcasts or Spotify. Leave us a rating and review. It's. Super important to help the podcast grow more and it just takes a few seconds and I hugely, hugely appreciate it.
So does my whole team. So please leave a reading and review and in just a moment, I'm going to be sitting down with the Nadia Hussein. Nadia Rose to fame after winning the sixth series of the Great British Bake Off. Known in here in the US as the Great British Baking Show. And since winning, Nadia has presented many of her own cooking shows and travel logs.
She has also presented Nadia Anxiety and me and in depth look at how she and others live with anxiety and panic disorder. Her latest cookery show everyday baking. She has cookery books and cookery Dory books for children, and they have reached bestseller status in the UK and other places. She's also written three novels, a trilogy of picture books, and a memoir, finding my voice.
It was such a thrill to sit down with Nadia. We had rooted for her as a family in that season of the Great British Bigney Show. And so this episode I find it inspiring not only to get your kids into the kitchen, but also for you as a person, as a parent, to be more than just a person, more than just a parent, right?
Of course, we're not gonna be more than just a person. But maybe just more than just a parent. And this is super inspiring conversation. And we also talk about how to bring our kids into the kitchen more. So I'm so excited. Join me at the table as I talk to Nadia Hussein.
Nadia, I'm so honored that you have come on the Mindful Mama podcast. Welcome. Thank you so much for having me. This is exciting cuz this is actually the second time we've talked. We've spoken in Abu Dhabi Parenthood the conference, but I'm so excited to talk to you and I wanna, because this is a Parenting podcast, we're often talking.
Changing generational patterns. I'd love to dive in with how you were raised and what was your childhood like? I know that you're second generation Bangladeshi British,
[00:03:48] Nadiya Hussain: Yeah, well, I'm actually first generation British. My parents are immigrants. So I came onto the podcast and, and I always kind of look at the title of a podcast, and, and yours definitely made Mi I'm Mindful Mama, which made me think actually like, am I a Mindful mother?
And, and it just made me think, actually just made me ask myself that question. But I grew up in, if I could describe my childhood in one word, it would be distracted. I think because I grew up in a, I grew up in an immigrant household. And so I think my parents almost tried to replicate what they missed.
The elements of being in a village where the doors were open and everybody came in and out and there was no privacy. And I mean, there are good parts of, there are the good bits of growing up in an immigrant household and there's the kind of not so good bits, but it was like a village. But in our very small terrorist house in Luton and, you know, family were in and out every weekend.
We had family coming over to. And my mom cooked because she thought, well, I never know who's gonna turn up. And you know, even to this day, my mom still has seven, eight curries cooked. None of us live with her anymore. None of us live with her. And that doesn't make sense to me. I always ask her, I say, why mom do you cook so much?
And she says, somehow you all turn up and you all leave with food, don't you? So I'll say, actually, she. Have a point, but I think my childhood, we had really good distractions. And I think all children should have a good distraction. And I think for me, my family or my destruction, because when you have so much, when you have so many family members in and out of your house, day in, day out, you almost forget sometimes when you've got something to worry about or when you are, something's niggling you, you kind of forget because there's always somebody there to distract you.
But I suppose growing up in a family of six children, there's always somebody to talk to. And so, you know, I'm one of six mom, dad, extended family, so it was busy, busy to say the least.
[00:05:46] Hunter: I can I can only imagine. I only had one brother and he was like, leave me alone. So it was not, not quite so busy.
That sounds kind of exciting. And your father was a chef?
[00:05:58] Nadiya Hussain: So dad ran restaurants and we, well, we used to call him, we still call him the spa of our family, which is basically, we, we call him the spa. And it's not a, it's not a bad word, I promise. It's a single point of failure. My dad is, the reason why he doesn't run businesses anymore is because he's too nice.
And he forgets that he's running a business. And so my dad, and also he, he ran front of house. But sometimes when the chef was too slow or the chef wasn't cooking it to his standard, he would then leave front of house, go to back of house, start cooking with the chef, twiddling his. So, you know, I grew up in a, my dad is a busy body, you know, he loves to do stuff all the time.
Like he does not sit still. And so running a business for him, although he loved it, because he's very, very he's very much a people person, you know, very much loves the company of new people. He is, my mom was what they call the, the restaurant widow. You know, she, she didn't see my dad very much. We didn't see my dad very much.
But he would come home and he would my mom would do all the hard work at home and get us to bed, and he would come home. Rys at one o'clock in the morning and come home with leftovers from the restaurant. And we would sit in our beds and he would be like, okay, this is what I've got. Eat this. And, and, and there I was eating tan chicken at one o'clock in the morning, even though I had school in the next day.
So my dad's a bit of a firecracker. But he loved what he did.
[00:07:20] Hunter: I love that. It sounds like the apple didn't fall that far from the tree. As far as being busy and being a firecracker doing a lot
[00:07:26] Nadiya Hussain: of stuff. I am more like my dad than I care to admit. And I think that we look horns quite a lot because we are very, very similar in temperament.
In just our drive. It's just, it's like we're always looking for something to do and I think, yeah, I think that's probably why we look horns quite
[00:07:44] Hunter: a lot. Like I can relate to that with my, with my father. And I'm wondering, like as immigrant parents, were they pretty strict or were, how were they as far as like the Parenting
[00:07:53] Nadiya Hussain: piece?
Oh, very. I mean, mine, they were also very traditional. I think apart from, apart from this. Immigrants, they were also incredibly traditional. And so, you know, they had, in, in their heads, they had this idea that we would, you know, the boys would go off to work and study and, and and, and kind of take, take advantage of being in a in, in, in a civilized country where education, you know, was available to them.
And so my brothers were encouraged to study and to work, whereas we were definitely very much. It gets to a certain point, sort of 18, 19, and it's time to think about getting married and having a family. So they were very traditional in that sense because that's what they did back in Bangladesh.
You know, men carried on, they either studied or they worked or worked on the family, in the family business or, and, and all the women got married. And so that, they kind of definitely carried that on in our family, or at least very much tried to. And so they were quite strict in terms. Social life, you know, my brothers were allowed to have a social life outside of education.
They could go out and come and go as they pleased, really, you know, and we very much didn't have a social life. It was like, your girls, you need to stay at home, need to keep you safe. And it was always, I, I totally, I mean, I think now as a 38 year old, I kind of look back and I think, okay, I, I, maybe I can understand from their perspective as immigrant parents why they were so, But you know, as a 16 year old, I definitely, definitely didn't understand that or, or appreciate how hard it must have been for them to see, to raise children in a world that was very different to the one they grew up in.
So they were very, very strict, but I was also very, very rebellious. So I never broke the rules, but. I, I fought them, you know, I fought them hard. Oh
[00:09:40] Hunter: yeah, I was wondering about that. Yeah. Cuz I was like I was like you, I was like the rebel and I was fighting all of the dictates from down on high and they were very frustrating.
And, and for me it was like a very tumultuous time when I was a teenager because because of the clash there, you know, where, where suddenly when, at least when I was little, there was. You know, encouragement to be yourself and do lots of things and, and all in some ways very feminist. And then when I was like, a teenager was like, oh, you should do, as I say, because I say it.
And I was like, oh, what is going on? You know? And, and at that point I had enough freedom that it was not a pretty picture, actually in our house. So it sounds like your rebellion was a little, a little quieter rebellion, or, or like louder at home, but you were, you were following the rules. I, I got the grades.
I did that. But at, at home I was like, I'm
[00:10:28] Nadiya Hussain: outta. I definitely, I was, I was very much I got, I was very, I really, I mean, education was something that I always enjoyed, got the grades and, you know, did really, really well in school. But I, I always had questions. It was just like my parents always said, you know, well, this, you shouldn't be doing this.
This isn't appropriate. Or, or perhaps that's not the done thing, but I was always the one to question it. I never really, I never rebelled, but I'd always questioned it. And I think that in. In the culture that I've grown up in is rebellion, you know, to actually question it. That's a big part of that kind of pushing back and being rebellious.
And I didn't again understand that understand that as much as a teenager, but I have teenagers now myself, so I kind of get it. So, yeah.
[00:11:16] Hunter: Yeah. Yeah. And, and I understand that when you were a teenager, you dealt with anxiety and panic challenges that, that ultimately led you to sort of tackle these challenges in a, in a book for kids.
You, you wrote a book called My Monster and Me, so I was just wondering like, You know, how did that experience shape you then and, and make you wanna kind of make this book out of it? I
[00:11:42] Nadiya Hussain: think it's all kind of, it was all in stages of my life, you know with the kind of being diagnosed with PTSD and anxiety and panic disorder and all of those things.
So they all came in stages in my life. And I was fortunate enough to, you know, An amazing publisher at, you know, like I was, I was fortunate enough to be working in an industry where, you know, I was suddenly recognized and so I thought, There's, there's gotta be a purpose. Like for me, purpose is so important in everything I do.
And, and, and day-to-day and, you know, you know, month on month, you know, for me purpose means something like I have to know why I'm doing something. And I remember just having this idea and thinking that's it. Cuz I've always described my anxiety to my children and I've been really honest with them about my anxiety as my monster.
And I thought pass a book like that is a little book. Children to understand what it means to worry and what it means to carry that worry around with you. And so it just literally, overnight it was my monster and me and I said, well that's, that's the book. And then I rang my agent and I said, I wanna write this book.
I really want to write this book. And I thought, I'm never gonna get this off the ground. I don't think anybody will want to write the book. And then, and there it was, you know, sort of a year later. I had this amazing book published that explained anxieties and worries and carrying, carrying it with you and how to deal with it and how it feels.
And then, you know, that led to writing Today I'm strong and spreading my wings and, you know, and all of these books. Have a little piece of me, you know, a little bit of something that I've carried with me as a child that I've been able to let go through these books. And I think essentially that's the whole point is that, you know, kids get to read these books, understand what it feels like to have anxiety and worry about things, and then be able to kind of let it go and not carry it with them forever.
So one of the best things I've done was writing that book.
[00:13:36] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcast right after this break.
I think that like the, we were taught, I mean, what you're doing is normalizing the experience, right? For kids and you're saying, this is something we all go through and this is how it feels. And, and you know, I am, I've done this too. You know, other people experience this too, or is I think like for a lot of us when we were kids, it was the message from a generation that wasn't taught how to deal with these feelings was basically just don't have those feeling.
And then when we had feelings like fear or anxiety, it was like, what's wrong with me? At least that was the thought that I had in my head was this experience of like, what's wrong with me when I had these fears and anxiety. I mean, I would, I guess I would look at it as kind of like teen angst. That's when I started studying mindfulness for, for me because it was like, oh my gosh, there's a lot going on here.
But I think we, we often just. Taught how to deal with these things. And, and I know that you, you have done some cognitive behavior, the therapy right, to like work with your anxiety. Can you tell me about like how you dealt with it when you were young and, and, and how, what kind of tools though that gave you?
[00:14:49] Nadiya Hussain: think about how Ood is now in 2023, can you imagine 20 years ago how misunderstood it was and how little, how little people knew about it? I think it was something that people knew about, but spoke very little about. And I also come, there's also, you know, there's different layers. There's a generation, a generational issues that, you know, so your generat, your parents' generation, my parents' generation, you know, they, there's this kind of idea that it doesn't exist.
Like if it's not a, a cut or a bruise on your hand or a broken bone, then, then it can't possibly be an illness. So there's that kind of generational ignorance, but there's also a cultural ignorance as well. You know, I grew up in a, in a culture, There is no word for mental health illness there, isn't there?
Just, I can't physically find the word. I have tried very hard to find a word that describes mental illness and I can't find one so. How do you explain something that doesn't have a word? And, and that was one of the hardest things for me growing up, because I didn't know what it was. I just thought that, you know, I went through an early years primary school being told that I was emotional or or, or that I, I needed a little more.
In, in, in terms, and not even in education, it's just kind of, she just needs a little bit more talking to, or she's, she's a little bit of a, a warrior. She kind of worries a lot and so, you know, you get given different labels and so you kind of have to carry those labels for the rest of your life with you.
And, and there has to come a point where you have to shed those labels and give them a proper name. And I think only really when I started to, you know, I was 17 or 18 suffering with anxiety and depression, I told my doctor and, and I got C B T. And I'm we're fortunate enough to have the NHS where, you know, you, you can get C B T on the N nhs.
But I got one session and then they said, you have to pay for the rest. And at 18, you know, I. I was studying, I was working, I didn't have money to pay for cbt, so I was like, wow, it's just something that I'm gonna have to overlook. And, and so scrap that completely. And then kind of went through the rest of my life, had children suffered with ptsd, PTs, anxiety, depression, all of that.
I, I was medicated once at 26. And that didn't work for me cause it. Felt like I just didn't feel like myself anymore. So, you know, I have been through every single process possible to try to understand, or at least kind of manage this anxiety. And one of the things that has helped me the most is the Mindful part of it.
You know, the bit where I actually have to, you know, I've, I've been on depression medication, you know, come off medication and it takes time to really understand who you are. And I think for me now at 38, it's taken me this. To really understand who I am and be accepting of who I am and take those moments.
Because as a mother, I know taking a moment for myself feels selfish. I kid you not, even now when I read a book in bed, I feel guilt. I'm overwhelmed with guilt because I think, oh my goodness, and maybe my daughter wants me to sit with her now, or maybe I should be spending time with my husband, or maybe there's something I could be doing right.
Just reading for 10 minutes, I'm still consumed with guilt. So overcoming things like that has really helped me to kind of understand myself a little bit better and also give myself a bit of time to come out of those feelings. So, yeah, it's been a long journey and no doubt, a long one going forward, but it's, it's the most comfortable.
I've been in myself for a very long time.
[00:18:19] Hunter: Yay, yay to that. I mean, that's I can relate enormously to the, the, I mean, for me, the power of mindfulness was like for, it was a huge game changer for me to have a practice and it really started to like stop any kind of spiraling that I would do. I'd be like, oh, here it is again, my anxiety.
But I wouldn't just like keep going with it. I would take that moment to just be like, huh, okay. Feeling it that tightness that in the throat, et cetera. And then, As I sat with it and I didn't fight it away, then that was, it's was like this crazy paradox that then finally it was like, it just drifted away on its own very easily, you know?
And something else came
[00:19:01] Nadiya Hussain: along. Yeah, it's one of those things that you spend so much of your existence fighting it, but actually you realize the fighting, it just makes it stronger. And that's something that I learned is when I had C B T was, I was told, you know, rather than trying to. It from consuming you to let it consume you and see how far it goes.
And the weirdest thing is, it's like this supernatural anxiety is like this supernatural creature that it feeds off your own sea. And it's like something out of a horror movie and, and I always kind of say to people who don't have it, it's like, do you, can you imagine what it's like to live in a horror movie in your head your whole life?
Like, If you, you can never understand what that's like. And every time I'm scared of it, it gets bigger and stronger. And so I have to learn to let it in. Like, it's like, it, it's like letting them once they're in, and that's one of, that's a really scary thing to do. And it was one of the best bits of advice that I got from my therapist, was just let it in.
Just let it in and see how far it grow, how far it goes. See, they can grow any bigger. And the truth is, the second I open that door and let it in and say, yeah, I'm here, go ahead, do your. It just seems to go away. It just, nothing happened. So it is one of the best bits of advice I was ever given. It's really
[00:20:07] Hunter: brave work.
It's really brave thing to do because that is that fear. It's like there's a saying I love that is, you know, you walk with your shadow in front of you. And I think that makes so much sense to me because when it's behind you, it's big, it's scary. You don't wanna look at it, you're running away. And when you walk in with your shadow in front of you, it's like, oh, I see you, you're there.
You know? And you're not so big and scary. And we can. Live life, you know? Yeah. Yeah. That's amazing. I mean, I, to like hear about what you're struggled with and then to know all of the things you have accomplished. Well, let's talk about the baking, cuz of course I learned about you on the Great British speaking show.
We'll, we'll talk about that. Which is called the, it's the Great Bake Off.
[00:20:51] Nadiya Hussain: We, we call it the Great British Bakeoff. And you call it, Baking show, which
[00:20:55] Hunter: we love. And yeah. But is it true that your mom never, never baked and basically used the oven for storage and so you never. Yeah. That's so funny. And it's because, and you've become this baking phenomena, like you even baked the cake for like the queen's 90th birthday party, right?
Like, yeah. Right. So how did this, how did all the baking passion start?
[00:21:17] Nadiya Hussain: I've grown up in a line of amazing cooks, so my mom, my sister's, you know, my aunt's amazing, amazing Sam. Some of the cooks that I've, you know, they would never patch on my fa, you know, like they are such amazing cooks, and I know people listening to this will relate to that because there are so many moms and aunts that are overlooked, that are unseen, that quietly cook this amazing food that don't get, you know, any sh light shed on them.
So I grew up around amazing cooks, never baking those, so nobody in my family baked, the only baked goods we ever ate were bought from a supermarket. Never had any baked goods. And it was only when I started doing food studies in high school that I realized that that's how you bake a cake, you know, in the oven, flour, eggs, sugar.
And for me it was magical. Like even now, sometimes I'm that person that I bake something in the oven, I'll forget that it's there and then I'll walk off and do something. Cause I've always got a timer on so I don't have to think about it. And then I get a waft of that smell and then it's just like, it takes me right back to the magic of baking.
And I think that was it. I think once you've got that bug, it's really hard to be rid of it because I, I started baking at school with my teacher and then I started baking properly when I got married and, and had my own. And that was at 21. So you know, I. I've only been baking 17 years, so not that long.
But you know, for me, the magic of bacon has always stuck with me. And I think also it helps that, because nobody in my family bakes. I'm the, I'm the best at it in my family.
[00:22:48] Hunter: Oh yeah, yeah. You're like a big fish in a little pond.
[00:22:51] Nadiya Hussain: Literally. I'm literally, I'm like, well, if I don't have any competition, I'm kind of the best.
So it really helps my ego.
[00:22:59] Hunter: So you, so I'm trying to like paint this picture. So you were like, yeah, you're young, you've just learned to bake. You're probably at home, I imagine watching the Great British Bake off, right? And then, because you're in the sixth season, right? And you probably watched some of the other ones, and then you.
Ended up winning the Great British Bake Off, which was amazing for me and my family because it was like so great. We were watching it with my, my nieces, you know who they're biracial. They were so excited to see a brown person on tv, you know, and they're, they're a Muslim heritage. They were so excited to see, like you and your head skif, all that stuff.
Like we were all so super excited about. And we were rooting for you and then you won, and then you were doing this like I know while you were a mom. And I love that because I felt like, oh, it's like this mom, she's not just like home with her kids. She's like doing, following her dream. She's like doing this bake off.
And then I later read that in your acceptance speech you said, I'm never gonna put boundaries on myself like ever again. I'm never gonna say I can't do it. I'm never gonna say maybe, I'm never gonna say I don't think I can. I can and I will. And I love that, especially knowing like your history with dealing with anxiety, like that's like incredible bravery.
So tell me about that experience of kind of first jumping into this world of, of TV as like a, a mom of a young.
[00:24:21] Nadiya Hussain: It was I, I, I suffered with anxiety and it was something that my husband just said, look, I think you're really good at baking and I think you should just give it a go. And I laughed in his face.
Honestly, I lost blooded in his face and I said, don't be ridiculous. I'm never gonna do something like that. Just never. And he just said, oh, Colin, just give it a go. And I, he kind of. We had this discussion, lasted all of about 10 minutes. Gone, left, it didn't even think anything of it. Got ready for bed.
And a couple of days later he said, look, I've done the application form, but you've gotta do the kind of other bits that I can't do. And I was like, this is ridiculous. I said, look, this is really stupid because I can't do this and, and I'm not gonna get on the show. And I already have a, a, a list of things that I feel disappointed about and this is just gonna be another thing that I'm gonna be disappointed about.
I just don't need the extra thing on my list of disappointment. And he's like, look, just, just give it a go. See what happens. And I don't know if he knew something I didn't know because he was like really rooting for me and I thought it was ridiculous. I genuinely thought it was the most ridiculous thing he's ever done.
And, and then, you know, six months worth of interviews and baking and back and forth. I made it to the final 12, and I just said to my husband, no way. I'm not doing it. I just, I was so nervous about doing it. I asked him to ring them and tell them that I died. Oh my gosh. I did, I did. I told them. Just tell them I'm, I'm good.
[00:25:41] Hunter: Sorry. She has passed away recently. It was that last cake. You can't do it anymore.
[00:25:48] Nadiya Hussain: And he said, that's ridiculous. You can't do that. He said, that's not gonna happen. And then, He said, you're gonna have to ring him and tell him he died. And I said, well, that's ridiculous cuz I can't call him from the dead, can I?
And so we had this a, we had, we had this totally absurd, absurd conversation and in the end I kind of cried myself through it and got myself out and, and I says, you know what? I'll do it. I did it and, and, and, and, you know, I got to the very end. And, and people always ask me if I'm, if I made that speech up, if I'd written the speech, and I said, no, no.
I, I, I absolutely did not write that speech. You cannot write something like that because that came from somewhere deep inside and, you know, my producer and my cameraman just. Stood there for 20 minutes while I cried and they just gave me the time to just cry. And those were the very first words that came out.
And they came from somewhere deep. And I think lots of people that watched that resonated with that because I think there were women, Muslim women, you know, immigrant children, you know, so people of color all looked at me and saw a piece of me in them and themselves in me and, and kind of, I think they came on that journey with me for the full 10 weeks.
And I know there are hundreds of thousands of people. Rooted for me. And you know, I, I never really understood that till after winning Bakeoff and really being able to meet a lot of these people. But there was something in there that I think everyone knew wasn't about cake. I think when I cried and I said those words, it wasn't cake that made me cry.
It was something much bigger and much deeper. And I think in that moment, you know, I'd realized that. I had limited my life to my horizons being my walls, the walls of my house. And in that moment I felt like even the sky was a horizon too close for me. You know, I wanted, my horizon was so far and so stretched that even I couldn't see it in that, for me, I'd never dreamt like that before in my life.
And I think in that moment something big happened and something big changed inside of me. And you know, and I know lots of people went on that journey with.
[00:27:49] Hunter: That's beautiful. I mean, and, and I think that's so interesting considering, like you were saying that you were, you feel guilty for like reading a book.
There's so many, you know what I mean? There's so many people who, who limit themselves because of mom guilt. Right. And I think personally, I mean I think personally that it's, our kids need the model, right? Like our best Parenting is not in what we say, it's in the life we live. Right? It's like living the.
That, you know, you, we need to live what we want our kids to learn. We need to live, you know, learning how to take care of our difficult feelings. Learning, you know, doing things that are bigger and scarier than, than we thought. And, and all of that gives our kids like models for what's possible and what we can do in life.
Right? They can, they can see. And I, and I'm, I just love that you have that, you know, along with, you know, from this place of like where you were raised to just, you know, kind of be a wife and a mother and then you did this and. Kind of props to your husband, man, that's amazing that he was like so incredibly supportive.
I love that. So since then, you've done like multiple TV series, you've done travel logs, you've done cooking shows, you've written so many books, you've written novels, cookbooks, all these things. Like how do you find time now for. And self care in this really busy schedule in this, you know, whirlwind experience.
I imagine that has been since that experience in that season.
[00:29:24] Nadiya Hussain: Yeah, I think if I look back to the last seven, I'm within this for nearly eight years now, so it feels like such a long time and my children have grown up so much since then. And somebody said to me, oh, they need you a lot less when they're older.
And that's a lie. That's a complete lie, because that's not true. I think the, I mean, once you've had children, they'll lead you forever, and it's no less or no more. It's just, you know, they will always need you. And even in those moments when they, you think that they don't need you and they're independent and, and, and, and you just.
One text message and, and then you're like, oh my God, you needed me this whole time. I knew it. So what I try, I find it really, really difficult. I think I like I know where I was going. As the kids have gotten older, I was told that they need you less. And the truth is they don't. I feel like they need me a lot more now than they did when they were little because.
I could put them to bed at seven o'clock and then I could find time to have a bath and read a book, whereas it's not the same anymore, you know? Now my eldest, my son goes to bed after I go to bed cuz he's revising and he's in, he's studying so I'll yeah. So I, I find that I find that it's harder now to find things to do for myself.
And so I will, you know, there's little things that I really, really love doing and I, I. The one thing I find is I love doing, I, I become, as I've become older, I've really started to enjoy my own company. I really enjoy. Before, when I was younger, I, I feel like my head was so full of thoughts that I would hate to be in my own comfortable because I'd be surrounded by my own thoughts and actually quite like, The person I am when I'm calm and I like my thoughts.
And so if, if I'm not gardening, like I love gardening, so that's the thing I'll do. And even if, I mean, like right now the weather's dreadful and there's nothing to grow. You know, I have, I love rose bushes, so I'll go prune the rose bushes or you know, I just collect leaves and it sounds ridiculous. But I go around the garden and I collect the leaves.
And I find that really Mindful. But, you know walking, I love reading. So any opportunity I get, I, I kind of try to read. And this year I've made a, I made a, a pact with myself that I would try to read more and I'm definitely reading a lot more. And having a bath, you know, that's the only place they don't bother me because I'm naked and they don't wanna see me naked.
So they're like, well, I, yikes.
[00:31:44] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.
Oh, I love those. Those are, those are, yeah. And I think you're right, like a, as far as like our kids needing us in a, in a totally different way. My daughters are 13 and 16 now, just turned and you know, I really wanna make sure that my workday ends earlier, right? Like, I wanna be there even if they're kind of locked in the room for part of that time.
Right. That ability to be available when, when they need. Is really, I, I value that as far as like having a schedule that allows for that. I feel really grateful for
[00:32:23] Nadiya Hussain: that. Yeah. I mean, but I'll, I'm also a serial hobbyist, by the way. Can I just say, I will pick up a hobby every week and never finish it. I will pick up a hobby every two weeks that I will never, ever finish it.
And the only thing that I've picked up that I've actually carried on is archery. So I have my own bow and arrow. I go down to the woods and I have my. I have my target and I go out there and I do archery when I'm feeling really frustrating and I go into archery. So, but you know, in that time I've also learned to knit and crocheting and to do needle work and all sorts of other things that I'm just never gonna do again.
[00:33:00] Hunter: You sound like my daughter. My daughter's like, I, I don't think I'm gonna learn to knit. And then like in two hours she's like, I've made a bralet with my, I'm like, how are you doing? That's amazing. But I love the idea of archery. You're inspiring me. I think I would find that really satisfying. You know that there's like a clack, right?
And it just like a, oh, the sound. Yeah. Yeah. That sounds great. Yeah. I love this as like a new self-care. Yeah. Suggestion. All right, so you were married you married your husband in a arranged marriage right in, in Bangladesh, which is a very common practice around the world. And then you married him again in 2018.
I was just curious if you wouldn't mind telling us about the second time you married him. Like, was, was it about kind of choosing this commitment? Like what was behind your impetus to.
[00:33:51] Nadiya Hussain: Well, so we got married first time around and it was kind of a semi arranged marriage. We kind of knew each other, but we didn't really spend any time together, but we kind of felt like we were suited, so we got married.
And when we got married, I think I'd spent all of about four minutes with my husband in total, in person before even marrying him. So that was, I. I mean risky, yes. But it's a risk that I took that paid off. But it was sort of, yeah. So years later I just said to my husband, we really need to, you know, like properly get married, like in the eyes of the law and all of that.
We should just do it. And he said, we will, we'll do it. And you know, as the kids were growing up, it was an expensive thing to do and we couldn't afford to do it. And. You know, we were in a position where we could financially afford to do it, and it wasn't that expensive, I say, but, you know, for us back then it was really tough and we're like, well, it's a choice between getting married or, or going to the cinema this month with the kids.
And we always picked the cinema because it was much more worth it than getting married. And then we and then we said, look, look, we can do it. And so we did it and it was, we kind of started off with this huge intention of having a massive party and inviting all our, our family and our friends. And making a day of it.
And then in the end, it ended up from being sort of nearly 400 people that we knew, we whittled it down to just us. And in the end we realized what we wanted was just something where we got to tell each other how much we love each other and, and showed that commitment to one, I mean three kids and, and like five chickens.
This commitment, I would say. But we wanted to do it. And so we did it on a day where we had the afternoon off work and he wore a suit and I wore a lovely dress and I went over and, and we had two witnesses and we went over and did it. And then we had to go run home because we couldn't even go out for brunch, which we intended on doing.
But we had to go home because my son was at home with a vomiting and diarrhea bug. So we had to go home and clean up. He's sick. So, so it was normal life presumed. Oh
[00:35:50] Hunter: wow. Wow. And, and he is, how is he really supportive? I mean, you have such an international, huge life with so many TV shows and all of these things.
Like, it sounds like he's like a incredibly supportive of this as, as imagine this hard for a lot of people.
[00:36:05] Nadiya Hussain: You know, it's, it's definitely had an effect on my family. You know, I think I hadn't realized that doing something like this would have such a huge impact on my family, and it hasn't so many levels.
Lots of levels that people probably wouldn't even think about has affected. It has affected my family and not just, I mean, it's affected my husband and my children, but it's also massively affected like my siblings and my parents and, you know, the people that I'm closest to. So it has, it's had such an impact.
I, I haven't really thought of that. So, Whilst I'm doing my job, I'm also having to kind of always think about protecting them and making sure that they're okay and making sure that they're protected. And, and there are moments where, you know, my husband just like, he just, he will say, I just, it's nice just to have you, you know, it's just nice to have you, because in those moments where he gets to just have me, you know, he, you know, he realizes that that moment is short-lived and then he has to share me with everyone else and.
I think to him, I think for him it's, it's we, when we have moments where it's just us, it's really special if, whether we're going on a holiday or a day night, you know, for us those moments are really special. And it's really interesting cuz I just watched eight part theories on Julia Childs. So the Cook, Julia Childs on Si and I just watched that and I kid you not, I could relate to that woman like you wouldn't believe.
And her husband, oh my goodness, it was incredible. I was like, It's that weird feeling of, I kind of love it, but I kind of don't, I'm not sure. So it just people should watch that. It's a really good show.
[00:37:37] Hunter: All right. All right. So understand, we'll, we'll watch Julia Childs. Oh, I bet he he has to like, appreciate you enormously because.
You're gone a lot of the time, and the world is like, Nadia, we love you. And so when you come back, it's like an enormous appreciation. I I, I imagine so you, you have then you wrote the, all these children's books. Can you tell us about writing that first book for kids? Bake me a story.
[00:38:00] Nadiya Hussain: That was again, one of those, it was a passion project too.
Something that was just, I was desperate to do. Once I had the idea, I kind of had this idea. I love reading, and I've always, it's, and my kids were very young when I wrote those books and I published them. And it definitely, you know, my kids had a big hand in creating those books because I would read the stories back to them and, and they would say, oh mommy, I like the story, but perhaps you could change that.
So I took very active feedback from them. So, and I love that part of writing that book, but I wanted to, what I wanted to do was to create the two things that I love, which is reading and baking, and. With that, I thought, well, why not write stories with a bake attached to them so you can bring those stories to life?
And I remember at the time I wrote the book and, and my daughter was five. And I wrote I did some Raspberry Muffin breakfast muffins, and I told her the little story of Ruby, Ruby Red, which is Little Red Riding Hood, but changed up a little bit. And then, and I wrote this story and I, and, and we'd done the baking, and then I read, we sat down with the bakes and the, we, we read the story and she just looked up at me and she said, Mommy.
It's like, it's like the story came to life in my hands and I said, that's exactly it. And so instantly I knew, I knew straight away. I was like, she loves it. This book is gonna be amazing. Kids are gonna love this book. And I wrote three, so it was so much fun, so different to writing an adults cookbook. Mm, I
[00:39:23] Hunter: bet, I bet.
And, and, and from what I've read of the reviews, it's like this fairy tales are not as scary, and it has been as some of the old-fashioned fairy tales, and there's like a lot of like gentleness in it, which is so great for little
[00:39:36] Nadiya Hussain: kids. Yeah. It's not the, it's not the brother's grim for sure. Yeah,
[00:39:40] Hunter: yeah, yeah.
Yeah. All right. So my, my listener would be like screaming at me if I had you on and I didn't ask you anything about cooking. So what, how can we get small children involved in cooking? Obviously we can go get listener to your listener. We can go get, bake Me a story and you can bake those stories and then read the stories there.
But I'm sure you have other ways of kind of getting them involved in, or you did in your.
[00:40:04] Nadiya Hussain: Yeah, so I go look back at, so my children are my eldest, nearly 17 now. So you know, I look back at how I, and it was a, I think for me it was a subconscious thing. I kind of did it naturally without even really thinking about it, but it's one of the best things I did was.
Getting them to, you know, as soon as they could sit, you know, it was just sitting down and maybe chopping a banana or, or, or, you know, just like anything soft, giving them an avocado and saying, could you just smush that up for me? And they would sit there and they would think that they were helping, but really most of it was on the floor.
But actually they felt like they were useful in the kitchen. And I think often with children and with adults, there's this kind of, there's this kind of idea that the kitchen is meant to be for adults and it's not a space for. And I think first we've gotta kind of dispel that completely, is the kitchen is a place for everybody and it can be.
As long as you know what you're doing and how to use tools properly. And so from a very young age, I've always kind of got my kids involved. And they're really good at using knives now. Really careful. They kind of know how to handle them, so I trust them completely. So when you are with little children, you know, start small.
My, my advice is start small. You know, they don't have to, you don't have to start vegan, get them in the kitchen and have them cooking omelet straight away. You just don't have, cuz that could, you know, Temper tantrums, mess, you know, like all sorts of things that could go wrong. So start small little things.
Get them comfortable being in the kitchen. You know, get them to stand on a stool and, and do the dishes. You know, do the dishes, maybe work, you know, wipe down the work surfaces. You know, fun jobs. Fun jobs that they will really enjoy doing. And slowly as you get them comfortable in the kitchen, get on to chop something.
You know, give something a little chop or why don't you shake some seasoning into this or get your hands in there and make those kebabs and you know, so little by little. And before you know it, they're 17 and cooking dinner for you. So you know, baby steps.
[00:41:51] Hunter: That's the outcome. I love that. I think a lot of time we just wanna get it done right?
Like, we're busy, we have things going on, and we wanna just, you know, we, we tell the kids, we give 'em the iPad, go over there and let me cook. Right? And, and unfortunately, like, it kind of gives this message that. You child are like, have this v i p status in your, in the house where your, your job is to be entertained while I do the work.
Right? And that's not really the message that we actually want to send to our kids. So I love this idea of what you're describing as like being. Invitational, you know, making it something that's, you're not special, you're not, you know, you're not an outsider. The jobs aren't. This is also for you come in here but I want to invite you into this world.
I wanna make it welcoming. I wanna make it fun. Does this require like a change of mindset from us as the adults dealing with the kids and, and getting our meal done? I mean, yeah. Tell me.
[00:42:49] Nadiya Hussain: Oh, absolutely. Let's listen. I'm a control freak just like anyone else. I love my kitchen to be tidy and immaculate, and I like the idea that when I leave something somewhere, it will stay there.
But that's not the reality. I mean, it will only last till they're teenagers and when they're teenagers, they'll be in there doing whatever they want anyway. So I think we have to, as as adults, we have to learn to let go a little bit. I think we live in this rigid world where everything has to. As is and, and so, so, but it doesn't have to be, you know, it doesn't have to be perfect.
We do, I think because of social media, we live in this world that's meant to look perfect and feel perfect, but that's not the reality of life. It just isn't, you know, things are not perfect. And, and also I, I think I, it's the mom guilt thing again. You know, I think sometimes when they come back after a really long day at school and then all the extra extracurricular activities, they kind of look at them and they're tired.
I don't have the heart to tell them, could you please just clean that work surface? Or would you mind taking the laundry out? Or would you mind just chopping those onions for me? But it's take you, it has taken, even for me as a mom of older kids, I have to really talk myself out of being so so scared to tell them to do things.
So now when they come home and they are a little bit tired you know, I don't say this needs doing do it right now. I kind of, I kind of just word it slightly differently. I really need these onions doing and I need them done by this time. But you know, whenever you get an opportunity, if you're downstairs, would you please mind?
Just get them really help me out. And somehow the second you say, oh, it's that, that would really help me if you got that done for me, something switches in them and they're human too, and they're just like, okay, yeah, fine, I'll do it for you. So I often use that trick. I'm like, that would really help me.
Well, really, I could do that right now and get that job done. And. But they feel like they're helping me. And I think that is the shift that I've made mentally is where I kind of could just get it done and have it tidied and put away and and sorted. But actually I let them believe that actually by doing it, they're really helping me out.
And I think that just makes for more caring children, you know? And they care a little bit more about the fact that they're helping me, and I think that's really important. I
[00:45:00] Hunter: couldn't, I couldn't agree more. I mean, I think that's so, so important. You're helping your kids have, you're giving them life skills that they're gonna need.
When they're older. And what I'm also hearing from you say, what you're saying is that there's a little bit of like like patience practice for you where you're like, I could just get this done and get it outta the way and it'll be perfect. But you're practicing to bite your tongue, you know, step back a little and give them some space to do it.
Not expect them to be robots and do it like right away, boom, boom, boom. But to also to give them some space. Let them be. And let them do it from out of intrinsic motivation, out of that intrinsic caring for you. It's very Mindful, Parenting of you, Nadia. That's be really beautiful.
[00:45:47] Nadiya Hussain: Don't do it all the time.
Don't get me wrong. I don't do it all the time, but you know, that I, I do have to think about it quite a lot. But it's working.
[00:45:54] Hunter: Awesome, awesome. Well, this has been such a pleasure. I really enjoyed being able to sit down and talk with you in a much lower stress environment than the last time we talked on a ginormous stage with huge lights shining down upon us.
So the very last minute it's. It's really been a pleasure. Is there anything that we missed thinking about like, you know, this relationship of, you know, between food and, and life and stepping out into your, into your, you know, your, your gifts and things that, that you wanna leave the listener with? I think
[00:46:28] Nadiya Hussain: often we as people, we as a society, we get told what we can do, what we can't do, what's right for us, what's good for us.
You know, I grew up in, in a community where that was done for me quite often. You know, it's just everyone had a path for me and I had to follow that path and, and there was no alternative. And I think society, this society is no different to the culture I grew up in. There is, there is an ideal for all of us, whether that's being a mother, whether that's being a wife, well, whatever relationship you might be in there is an ideal version of that.
And, and all I say to the listeners is, Down with the ideal because it's the ideal that's actually killing the joy of the relationships that we do have. And for me, I think try to kind of embrace the good enough parts of you, cuz that's really important just to embrace the good enough parts of you so you can kind of be done with the ideals.
[00:47:23] Hunter: Amen. And look at like when you embrace the good enough and, and you say, You know, I, I'm never gonna say I don't think I can. I can and I will. And, and look what can happen. It's that your, your incredible inspiration to me. Dear listener, I invite you to like, go find Nadia's cookbooks and the children's books.
The cooking that she does is so fabulous. I'm super inspired to make an. Easy egg lunch thing with, with a tortilla wrap that I watched on YouTube preparing for this interview. I'm so psyched to make that with my daughter. Thank you so much, Nadia. I I really, really appreciate you coming on and it's been really such a pleasure to talk to you again.
[00:48:06] Nadiya Hussain: Thank you so much.
[00:48:14] Hunter: I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Nadia Hussein. She's so inspiring, isn't she? I mean, she just blew me away. Talk about just this beautiful confidence and I think the, the lesson of how she talked to herself in these moments is so, so powerful. Right. And, and the power of nourishing great cooking.
I, I. Listen. If you enjoyed this podcast, please go ahead and leave us a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. I wanna thank the latest five star reviewer, Texas Mama in 1975, she wrote, love this podcast. I've been a subscriber to the Modern Art Parenting blog for a year, and stumbled upon this podcast there.
I'm so glad I did. I have a seven year old with Down Syndrome, and these podcasts have provided great. Yay. So glad Texas Mama that it has helped you. Please help this podcast by leaving your own rating interview. It makes such a big difference. And me and my whole team appreciated enormously. We've got a whole bunch of us that work on this podcast.
A Mama of five young boys, a Mama of two, a dad of a teenager. And so much so we, we all appreciate those reviews because it helps the podcast grow and helps us to keep doing what we're doing cuz we love doing this, making this podcast. It's so great and your comments and interactions just make it, make it for us.
So thank you. Thank you for your review, your Apple podcast review. Hey, I hope you have a great week. I hope this has lightened your load this week. I hope that it's maybe smile maybe a little bit, which would make me happy and and yeah wishing you ease. Wishing your moments of peace, rest, fun, dancing, fresh air, all the good things in life, and hugs and snuggles, all that stuff.
Wishing that for you this week, and I can't wait to talk to you again next week. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much for listening. Namaste.
[00:50:39] Nadiya Hussain: I'd say definitely do it. It's really helpful. It will change your
[00:50:42] Hunter: relationship with your kids for the
[00:50:43] Nadiya Hussain: better. It will help you communicate better and just, I'd say communicate better as a person, as a wife, as a spouse, it's been really a positive influence in our lives, so definitely do it. I'd say definitely do it.
It's so worth it. The money really is inconsequential when you get so much benefit from being a better parent to your children and feeling like you're connecting more with them and not feeling like you are yelling all the time, or you're like, why isn't things working? I would say definitely into it.
It's so, so worth it. It'll change you no matter what age someone's child is. It's a great opportunity for personal growth and it's great investment in. I'm very thankful I have this. You can continue in your old habits that aren't working, or you can learn some new tools and gain some perspective to shift everything in your Parenting.
[00:51:42] Hunter: Are you frustrated by Parenting? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create cooperation?
Hi, I'm Hunter Clark Fields, and if you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to seriously consider the Mindful Parenting membership. You'll be joining hundreds of members who have discovered the path of Mindful Parenting and now have confidence and clarity in their Parenting. This isn't just another Parenting class.
This is an opportunity to really discover your unique lasting relationship, not only with your children, but with yourself. It will translate into lasting connected relationships, not only with your children, but your partner too. Let me change your life. Go. Mindful Parenting course.com to add your name to the wait list, so you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership for enrollment.
I look forward to seeing you on the inside, Mindful Parenting course.com.