I think of health about being more than what you eat and how much you exercise – I call my three pillars move, munch and meditate. In my book, meditation doesn’t have to involve ommm-ing, it could be mindful colouring or maybe a walk. The important thing is to make time to relax to balance out all the go-go-go in our lives.
Getting the glow changes how we look and feel and even how we think. I want to show you how eating well, moving more and calming down can make you feel happy to be you.
I wasn’t always this healthy. In fact, as a teenager I ate really badly and was constantly on a diet. My skin was dull, my hair was lank and I constantly complained of being tired. Unsurprisingly, living off diet cola and low-calorie ready meals meant I developed terrible digestive problems: bloating, cramps and all sorts.
Gradually, I realised I had to change my destructive ways. I learnt to cook and started eating whole foods and found I was gradually falling in love with food, life, and most important of all, myself.
My taste buds bloomed, that 4pm energy slump was eliminated, my skin began to glow, calorie counting went out the window and I beamed from ear to ear. All that came from giving my body what it needs! It’s such a good feeling.
I studied nutrition, coaching people who wanted to eat well, and started creating my own glow-getting recipes. I started this website to share my passion for delicious and nutritious food with you.
I want to show you how easy it is to eat good food, to stretch out and make time to relax. This isn’t a diet; getting the glow is a way of life. I love to see pictures of your recipe recreations and find out how you’re learning to glow from the inside out, so please do pop over to Instagram and say hi.
I know water isn’t food, but it’s the best thing to hit your lovely lips in the morning. Always hydrate before you caffeinate. Aim to drink two large glasses of warm water with freshly grated ginger upon rising. Then throughout the day, drink 2-3 liters of water. Try to consume clean filtered water to remove unwanted chemicals, bacteria and pathogens.
Some adverts have led us to believe that cereal is the best way to start the day, but really we are pumping our bodies with buckets of sugar and chemicals that leave us groggy and reaching for coffee and cake at 11 a.m. Switching to a protein-powered breakfast will fuel you until lunchtime: no slumps, no snacks. Don’t skip this one, it really works. You can also up ya protein through grass-fed meat, fish, eggs, quinoa, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes.
I believe healthy living isn’t about dieting or depriving yourself it’s a lifestyle. Telling yourself you can’t have something makes you want it more. It’s like being a kid again! It’s time to master your mindset. Start looking at food as something that nourishes your body, that boosts your energy, makes your skin shine bright and is always a pleasure to eat. Focus on crowding in, not cutting out. Fill your plate with lots of delicious veggies, fresh fruits, healthy fats, good-quality meat and fish, legumes, grains and nuts and seeds. You’ll find that you don’t think about food as much, that you can sit back and enjoy your life. Trust me, diets don’t work, so stop depriving yourself and start living.
It’s time to start using our teeth. This may sound strange, but there is a reason why I’ve made this one of my key principles. Most of us don’t chew our food. We wolf it down on the way to a meeting, while checking emails or sat in front of the TV. But doing this means you aren’t digesting your food or absorbing the nutrients efficiently and neither do you register when you’re full. Digestion starts in the mind, so get present while you’re eating - no distractions, no eating and no tweeting. Sit down, breathe and chew your food 10–15 times. Just relax while you eat, don’t rush. Watch your bloated belly disappear, your body will feel calmer and your desire to grab something sweet will diminish.
Ah, the terrible F-word... The thing we don’t want to be and the foods we have long avoided. But fats are so good for you! They will make your hair shine, your nails grow and your skin glow. They are an amazing source of energy, keeping you full all day long. They boost your immune system and contain essential fatty acids that are vital for your body. Healthy fats play a crucial role in maintaining your health. Fatty acids help absorb fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. So up your fats from healthy sources like nuts, seeds, fish, eggs, olive oil, coconut oil and avocados.
I always try to make sure I have plenty of fibre in my diet. Fibre helps the digestive system work more effectively and is a good source of nutrient to feed a healthy gut. A healthy gut equals a healthy body. Try adding Chia seeds to your porridge or stewed apple to your yoghurt, these are great ways to keep the bowels working efficiently and feeding those microbes. I also love to top my salads with beans and pulses , the more natural and unprocessed the food is the higher it is in fibre.
Who doesn't love a rainbow! Eating a wide range of colourful fruit and vegetables every day ensures you get your essential vitamins and minerals. The more diverse, the better for you. I love adding colourful berries to so many dishes, whether it be breakfast, a snack or desert, they have great anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which is an added bonus. It certainly helps me to have a more aesthetically pleasing plate, this gets my taste buds going.
Sleep should be sacred and treasured. It is anti-ageing, it allows you to repair your body, reduce stress and control your appetite. But so often we feel restless at night and find it hard to switch off. Try and stick to a regular sleep pattern, such as 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., or 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Ditch the tech: turn off technology and keep it out of the bedroom. No more late-night instagrammming, internet shopping or email checking. Put your phone away after 9 p.m. – anything on it can wait until the morning. Cut out the coffee after midday and stick to herbal tea so you’re not stimulated by the rush of caffeine. Get some herbal help by drinking some chamomile tea before bed, spray some lavender oil over your pillow and take some magnesium citrate – these will all relax you into a sweet slumber.
Exercise is a great energy booster, so don’t press snooze on that alarm – get up and go to that class! I used to let life get in the way of making time for exercise, but what has helped me is to schedule it in my diary as if it’s an appointment I can’t miss. Still, I know that we are living increasingly busy lives, so if you really can’t make that gym class, start trying to increase your incidental exercise and move your body in other ways. It might be that you walk, cycle or jog to work, or get off a few stops early on your normal commute to work. Take the stairs instead of the lift, or volunteer more often to make the tea round! I find cleaning my apartment is a workout in itself. These little spurts of energy throughout the day really add up, so get going!
Stress is the big bad wolf, and it affects us all. It’s hard to eradicate it completely, but you can learn to manage it. When it all gets too much, I find the best way to de-stress is to have breath breaks, where you step out of the office for some air. Think of it like a fag break, but with clean fresh air instead! Close your eyes and count to 4 as you inhale, then repeat as you exhale. Do this for a minute until you feel calmer, and repeat it as regularly throughout the day as you need to. Don’t feel guilty about taking a time-out; we all need it.
It is important you find your own tool kit and what works for you. I have also found Meditation and Journaling as I get older to be hugely helpful remedies to combat stress.
Another stress buster is to connect with nature. When I lived in Australia, my world revolved around the sea. I would dive deep into that ocean and, as I did so, nothing else mattered. Back in London, swimming in the thames isn’t so tempting, so I often take myself for a long walk in one of the glorious parks that we’re lucky to have in the city. Connecting with nature is so calming; whether it’s a local park, river path or if you live in a more rural area, woodlands, fields, or even the beach. Make a weekly appointment with Mother Nature and you will soon reap the rewards.