Health & Nutrition with Rosie Shelley, BA, SAC.Dip, ITEC.Dip
‘This journey isn’t about impressing others, or fitting into a smaller dress size. This is about honouring the extraordinary body I have been blessed with, so that I may live the life of my desires.’
ONE of the things I like about Amelia Freer’s Nourish and Glow: the 10-Day Plan, is her down to earth attitude. Amelia is a leading nutritionist and bestselling author, whose aim is ‘to change how you think and feel about food for life.’
While weight loss will be a side effect, if you follow her plan, more importantly you will relearn how to really enjoy food and all of its health and social benefits.
Offering and accepting food, she says, is an act of love across every continent and culture, so long as that food doesn’t cause any harm in the long term to the wellbeing of our loved ones.
She’s no fan of the so called ‘clean eating’ movement, which reduces our most natural of pleasures to ‘good or bad’, feeds into eating disorders, and ‘has created a lot of anxiety, fear and confusion around food.’
So this is simply a 10-day plan, which you can of course adapt and evolve for the long term, which will help you not just lose weight but reach your optimum energy and health levels, whilst enjoying really tasty food (another thing I really like).
It includes several mental exercises that focus on why we overeat (stress, loneliness, boredom, habit, even guilt or shame about overeating).
Amelia points out that the combination of fat and sugar is highly addictive and moreish—it releases the same feelgood chemicals in the brain that certain drugs do, only making us want more.
The occasional treat is a good thing, but reliance on these foods is a form of self medication. She encourages you to think about what you’re eating, sit down at the table, turn of the screen, really appreciate it, and only go back for seconds if your stomach is actually grumbling. You can tell yourself that you’ll have that treat if you still want it after going for a walk. Cravings for sweet things will pass.
The plan involves eating three meals a day, with no snacking. Some people might find this hard at first, but I find it actually helps because there are no decisions to be made, and because once you have a bite of something it might be hard to stop there.
Amelia also provides advice on how to prevent hunger and cravings: be sure to have protein and some healthy fats at every meal, to fill you up and prevent blood sugar dips that leave you cranky and starving; eat oily fish (omega 3s) and greens (magnesium) to balance your mood; stick to two or three coffees a day, drink plenty of other fluids (thirst can be mistaken for hunger), and look after your gut bacteria with a wholefood diet rich in fibre and fermented foods.
Heat some coconut oil in a frying pan, add leftover roasted vegetables (see Roast Chicken recipe), add spinach, then 2 whisked eggs with salt, pepper and herbs, and goat’s cheese if you wish. Finish under the grill.
Lunch: Rainbow Abundance Bowl
Steam sugar snap peas and broccoli florets for a few minutes, refresh in cold water, pat dry. Arrange in a bowl or lunch box with grated carrot and courgette, halved cherry tomatoes, sliced red pepper and a handful of salad leaves. Add a dollop of hummus, extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, and top with spiced seeds.
Spiced Seed Sprinkle
Preheat oven to 170C. Combine 180g mixed seeds, 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp curry powder (or flavouring of choice). Spread out on a lined baking tray and bake for 10 mins. Stir, then bake for a further 7-10 mins, keeping an eye to stop them burning.
Dinner: Roast Chicken with Roasted Vegetables
Preheat the oven to 200C. In the bottom of a roasting dish, place onion halves, carrots halved lengthwise, and a halved garlic head. Stuff the cavity of the chicken with more garlic, onion and a halved lemon, and some fresh herbs if you like.
Place the chicken upside down on the veg and season with salt and pepper. Pour about 1cm of water into the dish, and roast for about 45 mins. Meanwhile, chop more garlic along with aubergine, red pepper, red onion, cherry tomatoes and leek, place in a large baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, seasoning and herbs.
When the chicken has had 45 mins, lower the heat to 160C and put the veg in, for another 30 mins or until the chicken juices run clear. Leave it to rest for 10-20 mins while the veg finish roasting. Serve with a green salad or steamed greens.
In your biggest saucepan, place the broken up chicken carcass, any tray juices and trivet veg, a roughly chopped leek, 2 chopped carrots and celery sticks, a few peppercorns and sprigs of thyme. Cover with water, about 3cm over the top.
Bring the pot to the boil, turn the heat right down, cover with a lid and simmer for as long as you can (2 to 5 hours if possible). If you have a slow cooker you can just throw it all in and leave it on low overnight. Strain through a sieve, and once cooled leave it in the fridge. You can then, if you wish, scoop the fat off the top.