Hello lovelies! I hope you have all enjoyed a gorgeous weekend of spring sunshine. I have spent today in my kitchen prepping all sorts of tasty food. For the next 10 days I am going to be following Amelia Freer’s “Nourish and Glow: The 10 Day Plan”. I’ll be taking pictures and recording my journey on instagram so pop over there (links on the right hand side!) to follow along. I’ll also do a full review of the plan here on the blog when I’ve completed the 10 days.
Why this Focus on Food?
As you know by now thesportsing.com is all about finding fun in fitness. I want to write about exercise and healthy lifestyles in a way that is accessible for everyone. To be crystal clear: my focus is not on crash diets, losing weight or getting thin. That said, pursuing a healthy lifestyle inevitably requires some discussion about food. What we put in our bodies is as important, if not more so, than how often we move our bodies.
And, to be honest, I’ve been feeling really tired lately. The last few weeks have been fairly stressful. There are some exciting things coming in my life (it is still a bit of a secret but all will be revealed soon!) but the added pressure has definitely been taking a toll. I’m shattered all the time and my motivation to exercise is suffering.
On top of this, I have been eating mindlessly. I’m not crazy-obsessed with healthy eating. I like to think I’m sensible most of the time but I am easily tempted. I turn to sugar when I’m stressed and my doughnut consumption has increased drastically in the last few weeks. Enough is enough!
Why choose “Nourish and Glow: The 10 Day Plan”?
I’d love to say that I spent hours researching which healthy eating plan I should follow to get things back on an even keel. But that would be a lie. The truth is I wandered into my local book-shop (shout out for the Bookseller Crow in Crystal Palace!) and this was the book that caught my eye.
Amelia Freer is well known for the “Nourish and Glow” book series. Her new book, “Nourish and Glow: The 10 Day Plan” provides a practical day-by-day eating plan. This appealed to me. I want something that is easy to follow and requires little to no willpower or choices. My willpower is exceedingly thin on the ground at the moment.
What is the philosophy behind “Nourish and Glow: The 10 Day Plan”?
Having purchased the book on a whim, I am pleasantly surprised by Amelia’s philosophy around food. It was the recipes that caught my eye in the book-shop but I was fully expecting the healthy-eating spiel at the beginning of the book to be all about “clean-eating”. Luckily, it seems that Amelia is just as skeptical about the clean-eating nonsense as I am.
Granted, her plan does call itself an elimination diet. The recipes are gluten, dairy and refined sugar free. I think elimination diets are fine, indeed they are important, if prescribed by a medical professional. Otherwise, I think they are just a bit silly and pointless. I feel they verge dangerously on the “detox” territory. Out of interest, I searched Amelia’s site to find out her opinion on detoxing and, thankfully, her opinion is one I share:
I am against any sort of extreme diet, ‘detox’ or otherwise, especially ones which have no absolute proof of benefit – which is, at the moment, the case for specific detox diets.
Also, I don’t think that any concept that encourages us to associate food with sin, contamination, ‘toxicity’ or guilt is helpful. We have to eat, after all, and I worry that ‘detox’ diets, particularly the more extreme ones, not only run the risk of being dangerous, but also potentially set the stage for an increasingly anxiety-provoking relationship with food. Bad news all round.
So, Amelia, I’m going to trust you on this one. I’m going to go with gluten, dairy and refined sugar free but with some caveats. First, I take milk in my tea. That is non-negotiable. Second, the oats I have in my cupboard are not gluten-free so, that’s that. I’m not buying another packet. Third, sugar. Actually, Amelia, I agree with you on sugar. It is bad stuff and there is plenty of reputable, peer-reviewed research that demonstrates this negative effect on our bodies and our brains. Cutting down on my sugar intake for 10 days can only be a good thing.
What will I eat following “Nourish and Glow: The 10 Day Plan”?
Amelia has created a plan that is varied and interesting. As you would expect there is a strong focus on fresh fruit and vegetables and lean protein. I spent this afternoon prepping some of the meals for this week including:
- Beetroot humous
- Spiced seed sprinkles
- Nut granola.
Tomorrow’s breakfast is also ready: Turmeric and Spiced Mango Chia Pot. I’m actually excited to get up and eat it!
If you want to follow along with what I’m eating everyday I would encourage you to follow me on instagram. I’ll be updating that daily with pictures of everything I prepare and eat.
“Nourish and Glow: The 10 Day Plan” – The Review
Check back in with thesportsing.com in 10 days. I’ll be posting a full review of Amelia’s 10 Day Plan. My goal, remember, is not to lose weight or become obsessive over calorie counting. I’ll be judging the plan based on other criteria, including:
- Do I have more energy?
- Is my skin clearer?
- Have I enjoyed the food?
As Amelia says herself in “Nourish and Glow: The 10 Day Plan“:
Try to remember that what you are doing is definitely not just a diet – this is about life, about health, about relationships and about your own happiness. It might seem like those are bold claims to make, but I have seen this first-hand so often that I genuinely believe it to be true. And isn’t that a more cheerful thought to start from, than one with critically says ‘just eat less and move more’?