We present Amelia Freer's recipes, diets and healthy eating philosophy in one bite-sized, low-calorie, nutshell.
Amelia Freer is the woman credited with Sam Smith's new svelte look. She's a London-based nutritional therapist and thanks to major successes with the aforementioned pop star (oh, and Boy George), her book, Eat. Nourish. Glow.: 10 Easy Steps for Losing Weight, Looking Younger and Feeling Healthier, is now a bestseller and the wait list to hire her holistic health services is currently closed.
Not ones to miss out on the action, we grabbed a copy of Amelia Freer's book and started taking furious notes. This is what we learned:
1. It's ok to start slow.
Amelia recommends you ease yourself into her healthy eating plan by giving just one thing up. Whether it's dairy, gluten, sugar, alcohol or caffeine, start with your main diet weak spot. Once you've mastered that, you'll feel motivated to give up something else. If you're not sure what to give up first, keep a two-week food diary to help you identify where you might be going wrong.
2. You should have a kitchen detox.
Throw away ALL junk food. So, out go breakfast cereals, processed foods, margarine, biscuits, cakes, sweets, yogurts, gluten grains, salad dressings, canned meals and table salt. In go fish, meat, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables, dairy alternatives like coconut milk, spices, olive oil, coconut oil, quinoa, brown rice and pasta. Amelia also suggests you pimp up your kitchen with good quality knives, a Vitamix blender, cold press juicer, microplane grater and spiraliser.
5 cool things you can do with your Vitamix blender...
3. It's important to figure out what kind of eater you are.
To really get to grips with Amelia's healthy eating plan, you need to figure out what kind of relationship you have with food. Are you a comfort eater? Or a rushed eater? Perhaps you binge when you're drunk or hungover? Yes. Yes. YES. Identify your eating behaviour and start being more mindful with your food.
4. Put down the crisps, you've got to stop snacking.
You know that whole philosophy of eating little and often? Amelia's not buying it. She wants you to stop snacking. But don't go cold turkey (mmm... turkey), she gives you permission to wean yourself off. And if an attack of hunger should strike? Amelia recommends apple slices with almond butter or perhaps cherry tomatoes with walnuts.
100 calorie snacks to help fill the void...
5. You don't have to be perfect.
Don't strive to be perfect all the time. Just being good, consistently, is all right by Amelia. So, you've had a bad morning scoffing on croissants and creamy lattes? Not to worry, make your afternoon count. Apple slices it is, then.
6. Fat is your friend.
We need fat to keep our cells strong and healthy. So, fatty foods like avocados, coconut (oil, milk, cream, butter and flesh), nuts, seeds, oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, tuna), butter, ghee and red meats and poultry are all essentials. It's that old devil, sugar, you really need to stay clear of.
7. Healthy food will make you happy.
Your diet can affect your mood, your sleep, your digestion and your skin. So, really, picking up some healthier eating habits is a no-brainer. If you associate being happy with comfort food such as pizza and pies, there are doable healthier versions that taste pretty great. Amelia has some great recipes for these in her book.
8. Hungry? You're probably just thirsty.
And, on that note, filtered water is the best option.
9. Be wary of supplements.
Supplements should never be taken in place of healthy nutrition. Ever. But, if taken correctly, they can make a huge difference to your wellbeing. Amelia is against self-prescribing but, instead, advises people to see a qualified nutritionist first. As a complete generalisation, most people need probiotics, Vitamin D3 and omega-3.
10. Exercise, exercise, exercise.
Of course, all this healthy eating is pointless if you don't exercise. As Amelia says, there's 'no magic potion, no fairy dust, no one to push you, no one to do it for you.' So, just get off you arse and do it.
Feeling inspired? Try Amelia's pear and almond smoothie recipe...