Journey Planning – 5 Minute Food Tips

Tomorrow my Number One (aka my 18 year old son, Christopher) and I are going on HOLIDAY! I am so excited.  Every year we have one week away together just the two of us hiking in the UK.  This year we are going to be hiking around the glorious Devon coastline.  This truly is my favourite week of the year and I am struggling to calm down!

As a Nutrition and Weight Loss Coach I know that  food planning for every  journey is key to avoiding the pre-packed, sugar drenched, high salt, low fibre, taste free, out of desperation and very expensive motorway fare.

So, as I pack the car I always make sure we have the following with us;

  • Bottles of water
  • Sandwich bags of mixed nuts & seeds
  • Bananas/Apples
  • A homemade salad or sandwich – depending on the expected length of the journey
  • Sugar free gum

This little bit of pre-planning takes 5 minutes, usually the night before but is invaluable.  It is one of the biggest potential weight loss disaster to leave the house unprepared!

Even if I go out for the day, I always have a little healthy, filling something in my bag and I never leave home without a small bottle of water.  I want to feel my best when I am out and about and the one sure fire way of not feeling that way is to find myself with low energy levels and a rumbling tummy and then searching for something/anything that will keep me going without making me feel worse.  I don’t want to have to grab a bar of chocolate for instant energy and then have a horrible sugar slump,  I would rather have a small bag of nuts and seeds which will keep my satisfied and alert for hours.  I don’t want to pay £2 for a bottle of water when I am over thirsty or have to grab a can of drink. I want to have my own little bottle with me ready so I don’t get to that point.

Saying all the above, I often have a coffee when out, just the one, as I also enjoy the social aspect of being out and about and I love to people watch, but it is a treat not a necessity.  So be prepared, enjoy the journey as well as the destination.   Happy Holiday To Us!




Calorie Counting – An Excellent First Step To Understanding Weight Loss

A calorie is simply a measure of the amount of energy in food. It is not an indication of the nutrient quality of food.

I am not a great advocate of calorie counting long term, as I feel it places too much emphasis and time on  “diet” foods rather than everyday, long term, lifestyle foods that best support our weight and health.   As a Nutritionist and Weight Loss Specialist,  my aim is to guide clients away from the stress of counting calories in their food choices and  into the enjoyment of eating. I do this by showing them the best nutrient quality foods for their weight loss and health.

However because there is so much conflicting food advice out there, in the initial stages of weight loss calorie counting is an excellent way of understanding how much we are eating and gives a good basic outline of what works for us and what doesn’t.  It can help us to balance the energy we put into our bodies with the energy we use, which is the key to maintaining healthy weight.

It is important to note though that all calories are not created equal. For instance, a cup cake or ready meal that has 500 calories, is unlikely to sustain you as a much as a jacket potato with tuna and salad which also has 500 calories. It would be easy to eat a “diet” pre-packed meal or sandwich of 400 calories, but tough going to finish a plate of steamed fish fish piled up with colourful veg with herbs or spices, or a hearty homemade soup  with the same calories.   The prepacked meal would be calories dense (empty calories no matter what the packaging said), and the veg would be nutrient dense, packed with all the nutrients, fiber, vitamins, minerals – all of the essentials that a healthy body thrives on and needs for sustainable weight loss.

Then there is the subsequent hunger.  Which do you think you would feel hungrier after eating first?

All foods are not metabolised in our bodies in the same way, and the processed low calorie options often have more fibre free sugar which is broken down quickly in our bodies into glucose.  The glucose causes a spike in your blood sugar that starts the effect of high insulin production which in turn increases belly fat and when the sugar spike is over, you are left feeling hungry again.  Whole foods take longer to break down and digest and in the process use up more calories and keep you fuller longer.

It is also important to keep an eye on our macronutrient intake.

The macronutrients are Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats.  For a healthy diet, the percentage of our daily intake should be, 50 – 55% carbs, 10 – 15% protein, 30 – 35% fat, with an upper limit of 11% saturated fats and of no more than 2% being trans fats. The correct percentage of the healthiest options of these macronutrients is absolutely key to maintaining a healthy weight, with low body fat and optimum health.

In summary, whilst you are re-calibrating your body and mindset, please do look at the calorie content of your foods choices to make you more aware. The calorie content may well shock you and stop you from purchasing.  More importantly though, look at the quality of the food and remember, no food that benefits your health and weight loss long term, comes with a label telling you how little fiber there is or  how much sneaky sugar and salt regardless of the fat levels. Remember when fat is removed (which is tasty and filling and vital for so many functions in the body), something else, usually sugar is added (sugar is the ultimate weight loss and health disaster).  Also, look out for any other information which should be unnecessary to list on a “healthy” option food.  This rule sadly actually applies most to “diet” foods.



Stop The Food Stress – You Don’t Deserve It

Food stress – who needs it!  As a Nutritionist and Weight Loss Coach I see many people who spend so much time worrying and confused over their food choices, especially when they are trying to make the best ones for their weight and health.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our only food thoughts were positive? If food bought only the sense of pleasure and nourishment it should?

Sadly, the reality is that most of us think about what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat and struggle over our choices far, far too often.   Our food thoughts are often negative.  Should we have eaten that? Did we have too little or too much of carbs/fats/protein?  Our food feelings often encompass guilt and weakness and we often regret what we have eaten and drunk.  In other words food becomes a source of anxiety and confusion.

Negative thoughts regarding food can affect every aspect of our lives when they command so much of our time and energy.  Wouldn’t you love to have these precious limited resources spent on more life enhancing activities, our families, friends, interests and overall enjoyment of life?

My mission at YOUtrition, is to work with clients to change their MINDSET, about food.  Weight loss is as simple as changing the way you eat.  Changing the way you eat is a simple as changing the way you THINK about the way that you eat.

The most effective way of changing the way we THINK about food it to listen to our bodies and not to all the food noise around us.  Rely on our instinct for our food choices and not give in to our intellect – our intellect takes in all the marketing hype, all the celebrity diets, all the magazines.  We know if the diet is out there, it must have worked for some.  Those “some” have either genuinely found a lifestyle that works for them for now, or more likely have stuck to the plan, seen the scales go down (and that does not necessarily mean body fat loss, more likely if it was a quick fix, they have lost water which will be regained instantly) and whilst they may be slim for a time, they are unlikely to be zinging with good health and energy or be able to maintain the level of food thought/exercise regime it took to get them there – and they know it – buy hey, they’re slim (for a while……)! When we know how to listen to our bodies, we will automatically make healthier choices and by making one healthier choice and feeling and seeing the benefits, we are more likely to make more healthier choices and build a solid stable of healthier habits that will keep us slim for life.  Our poor bodies do not want the junk/sugar/pre-packed “foods” – they literally do not know what to do with this non-food so can only store the stuff as fat.

My top tips to turn down the loud food noises out there are;

  • Ignore ALL the marketing hype.  The commercials, the magazines, the diet clubs.  They are all selling products not food.
  • Remember that one size does not fit all.  What works for one person may not work for you and if it doesn’t work for you, it is because it is not right for YOU.  It is not a failure on your part.
  • Listen to your body.  Your amazing body will tell you what it wants, when it wants and how much it wants if you only you learn how to LISTEN.  Eat when you are hungry, drink when you are thirsty and not for any other reason.
  • If you find yourself in a situation where food is everywhere, get busy.  Offer to hand round drinks, introduce yourself to new people – do not eat just because food is in front of you.
  • Tell your friends and family that you are really taking stock of your health and you would love their support.  I find that saying you are on a diet does not work well.  Some people feel threatened – if you can do it, so should they.  Saying you are taking care of your health seems to have a very different reaction.
  • In a situation where food is usually the glue of the social event, arrange to do something different with friends.  Go for a walk in the woods, arrange to go to a dance class together and have a coffee afterwards instead of wine.  Find something else you can all do together that better benefits your weight and health.

Change the way you talk to yourself, tell yourself;

  • I know my body best, not someone who has never met me and doesn’t know my life.  I might listen to what others tell me, but I will make decisions based only on me.
  • I am doing the best for my body I can.
  • I am in control of my food choices and I am completely responsible for the consequences.
  • I AM going to be slim and healthy and no-one is going to stop me. I love having better sleep and more energy.
  • And finally, “I am doing this because I deserve to be and feel the best I can about myself”


Youtrition eight

The YOUtrition SOLUTION & Why It Will Work For YOU!

All the diet industry has to offer, is eat less, exercise more – which is of course the essence of weight loss, but is not a workable solution as it stands.  It is too wide and open to all sorts of interpretation and miss-information.  At YOUtrition I do not start from that point. It is clearly not enough for people who want to lose weight and make life long changes.  How many of us have embarked on a new diet or exercise plan,  full of optimism that this time it IS going to be different?  That this time we WILL achieve our weight loss goals AND stay there? Maybe we have for a time, but mostly not.  Statistically, 98% of dieters regain all their weight, plus more in 12 months after their “diet” has ended.  Why is that when the answer of eat less, exercise more is so easy? And why do we feel we have failed?  How demotivating and upsetting is this horrible cycle (that is not a question).

Let me tell you now that the failure is NOT on your part. It is on the part of the unrealistic food and exercise  plan.  The plan that doesn’t fit into your lifestyle, that includes foods you may not particularly like, but hope to grow to love.  That demands a level of time and commitment to the food that you put into your mouth that you just don’t have.  That may leave you feeling still hungry, or if it is restricting of the vital macronutrients –   carbs, healthy fats or protein –   headachey, constipated, low in energy, poor concentration, bad sleep and the list goes on (even if you are slim for a time).  Some say these symptoms are your bodies detox process.  They are not!  A healthy body is perfectly able to detox itself, and these symptoms are signs that your body is out of kilter ,  not running at its optimum level and possibly signs that you are just not eating enough.

There will always be some who will say, “I know someone the diet did work for” and my response is always, “Yes, because they found a lifestyle that works for them”

At YOUtrition, I  know that a healthy body is naturally slim and zings with energy, glowing skin, good health, great concentration and good sleep – all of which are our greatest beautifiers.  So, what do I offer?

You can’t just clear the fridge, do a big shop, start cooking everything from scratch, change your eating habits, walk more and overhaul your whole lifestyle with the snap of your fingers.

It is costly, time consuming and daunting.  I know you can’t just take a massive leap out of your comfort/familiarity zone – you WILL flounder and feel totally lost.

The YOUtrition Solution

Here is what my YOUtrition Solution will do for you.  Working in partnership with me as a Nutritionist and Weight Loss Coach, we will first uncover EXACTLY where you want to be, how soon and what has helped or held you back in the past.  The helped or held you back aspect is vital.  We grow from what we know has worked for you, and learn from what hasn’t.  

  • To get a snap shot of your life, I will ask you  to complete the YOUtrition Food,  Movement  & Mood Diary over a period of three days, one being a weekend day which we will analyze and discuss together to identify the What, When, How and Why you eat what you eat.
  • Together we will sit and discuss the changes you need to make to get to where you want to be and LIST them.
  • Together we will choose ONE food and ONE movement adjustment.  Just one small one of each, to build your confidence in YOU. These small changes will ease you just a little out of your comfort zone, (which when we are unhappy about our bodies is actually not comfortable at all!).  Small changes  become easier each time you repeat them and  new, healthier habits will quickly develop.
  • Within one week, we move on to another and another and by working this way, you will quickly accumulate stable, new habits which are EASY for you to stick with because YOU chose them and that WILL make an enormous difference to your weight and health.
  • We will also work towards healthier options, understanding your vulnerable areas,  understanding why we need certain foods and what benefits they give to our amazing bodies, easy ways of preparing  meals in advance,  snacks to keep with you at all times – and all the strategies that work for YOU, to keep you on YOUR track.
  • If counting calories, or meal planning works for you, to start with, that’s what you will get from get.   Whatever works for YOU is what I will deliver, my focus is totally on you and getting you to the weight and health you want to be AND keeping you there – there is no, one size fits all – and that is why diets just DON’T WORK!

As you progress and your body becomes more balanced and you learn how to listen to your body, the unhealthy treats will hold much less appeal because  your body and your  brain, are in alignment, running YOUR show and working to at its optimum to maintain the best you possible.

Do you feel motivated?  Does YOUtrition sound like a SOLUTION to you?  It does to me and I know it works.  So, give up on the “diets” and work with me to get you to the happiest, healthiest you that you deserve to be!


YOUtrition’s Strategies To Beat Your Sugar Cravings!!

Avoiding sugar is the hot topic right now, and it should be. Most of us are so addicted to sugar – the hit of it releases the feel good chemical dopamine in the reward centers of our brain, and as with any addiction, to regain that feeling, once the rush subsides, we need more and more of the stuff! It is a struggle to control especially when most “healthy” diets are packed with sugar in some form or another.  Simple sugars (from cakes, sweets, processed foods, low fat etc) have literally NO place in a our bodies, we can’t utilize them for any function, so they can only be deposited as FAT.  Sugar is now a known  poison and wreaks havoc with both our physical and mental health – we are overweight, tired, unpredictable in mood and just unwell, simply due to the amount of sugar we eat.

As a Nutritionist and Weight Loss Coach, I know that reducing sugar intake is the one guaranteed way of boosting weight loss and promoting great health.

It is one of my main aims to make clients understand the long term health consequences of eating too much sugar and to help them to eliminate it from their diets as much as possible.  I find that offering simple alternative strategies for when the craving hits is the most effective way, and when the strategies are practicsed regularly, the sugar stranglehold lessens.

As your body becomes more balanced through a  healthier diet,  processed, sugar laden “foods” WILL become less appealing.

Regardless of how simple and clean our diet is, almost everyone gets cravings for sweets or junk food now and then – we see all the adverts for the easy processed “foods”, the wine at the end of the day, the social conditioning which pulls us in.  However as you practice better eating habits and wean yourself off sugar, the Sugar Devil on your shoulder roaring demands in your ear WILL become quieter and more of a suggestion, but still, it is useful to have some suggestions to fight back when a sugar craving strikes. My top tips that work for me and my clients when the craving jumps at us are;

  • Drink a cold glass of distilled water or citrus-flavored mineral water.
  • Identify what triggered the craving, and don’t allow yourself to have the treat until you come up with the answer – Is it hunger? A stressful event? An inconsiderate spouse? Thirst? Loneliness? Boredom? Plain old sitting in front of the TV habit?
  • Make a conscious decision to eat or NOT eat the sweet – it really is only “food”, not some magic substance that holds unlimited power of you!
  • Remember, you’re the boss of your behavior. No one makes you do anything. If you decide to eat some sugar, you must own it and do it on purpose. Don’t make any excuses or point any fingers!

If You Decide NOT To Eat Something Sweet

  • Give yourself a (healthy) personal reward! Book a massage, a manicure, treat yourself to a magazine, a movie.
  • Tell someone – Call or e-mail a friend, or write a blog post or a Facebook update, ask for help.  You will get it.
  • Choose a positive substitute activity.  One that will make you feel good after you have done it not wretched and miserable after you have eaten the sweet.

  If You Decide To Eat Something Sweet

  • You must abide by the ten-minute rule — you have to wait ten minutes before you eat a sugary treat – If you still want it after ten minutes, go ahead.
  • Put the amount you’ll eat on a very small plate first (it will look like a bigger portion) — no eating from packages or serving dishes.
  • Try a substitute sweet fix instead;
  • A couple squares of sugar-free chocolate
  • A small portion of a low-glycemic fruit like cherries, apples, or plums
  • A sugar free mint
  • Decaf green tea or licorice tea to help restore adrenal function
  • Water sweetened with stevia and a splash of fresh citrus

Bit by bit, as you find alternatives and you feel better about yourself and healthier, see a waistline developing, your skin looking younger, your energy levels soaring, your body thanking you everyday, you WILL lessen the grip and be so proud of yourself.   Be strong, step up and start today!


How I CAN Help You Become Slim & Healthy For Life

I have been asked many times recently, why I have decided to take a total change of direction in my career. What made me study to be a Nutritionist and Weight Loss Coach?  What makes me so passionate about woman’s health and weight?  I have a comfortable life with a wonderful son, lovely man and seemingly want for nothing.  However as with everyone else, what you see is only the smallest part of me.

Let me explain, I am a 52 year old single mother who suffered devastating post-natal depression for years after the birth of my glorious son, to the point where I was hospitalized twice.  I have struggled most of my life with both drug and alcohol addictions, which thankfully, so thankfully I have completely overcome without any of the formal interventions such as AA or NA, rehabilitation or even under the care of my doctor.  I did try them all, but none worked for me. I was desperate for years, an intelligent woman who had so much, as to why I just couldn’t make the changes to save myself.  I was so sure that my addictions were going to kill me and leave my son without any parents – and believe me, he is the beat of my heart.   But I didn’t, I made the changes and honestly, after accepting the physical withdrawals and knowing that they were going to pass, with a new MINDSET it was EASY!  Unbelievable but true, so true.  I have since experienced two heart breaking losses and the more usual family struggles and never once has the thought of alcohol or drugs come into the sphere of my possible coping mechanisms.    I can have alcohol in the house without even really seeing it and have no desire whatsoever, no matter how stressful the day, to touch anything stronger than a herbal tea.  And drugs? I hate even to take a paracetamol!

My experiences have left me so grateful and relieved to be where I am now and so proud of myself.  They have also left me with a strong desire to help other woman.  I am not a medical expert, I don’t want to be, but I know I am so well placed to support and empower because I truly understand how difficult CHANGE can be.  I also know, that once the mental shift has been made, everything is possible.

 A slim body and excellent health really is ALL about the MINDSET.  We can have all the relevant information laid out in front of us but until we change the way we THINK about what we do, there is no long lasting change, just a struggle with our limited willpower resources and a sense of impending failure and hopelessness  because we just can’t get to where we want to be, and if we do get there, we worry that we  won’t be able to sustain our results.  Sounding familiar?

Excess weight is the biggest obstacle to good health and a healthy body is naturally SLIM. We all know what we should be doing to support our health, but knowing is often just not enough – if it was, there would be so much less illness and obesity.  If it was as easy as eating less and exercising more, we would all do it.   But it is not.  All our behaviours are driven by the way we THINK.  Let me help you change the way you think, about your relationship with food (after all it is just food) and watch how as that relationship improves, your health, weight and your relationship with yourself and everyone you interact with improves too.

What you truly believe you can do, you WILL DO.  And I am here to show you how.


Non-Food, No Guilt, Rewards – Treat yourself!

Luxury, treatments at home –  treat yourself you deserve it!

Treat yourself!  We all deserve a little love and kindness and spoiling from ourselves.  Most of us spend our lives, loving and nurturing others especially our families and friends.  Whilst being a giver to those we love brings us the greatest joy, we sometimes forget to nurture ourselves.  As part of my Nutrition & Weight Loss Coaching practice, I have been looking into non-food, no guilt,  rewards that spur you on your track for super health.  Recently I have come across an especially delightful one in the form of the charming, professional, talented mobile beauty therapist Maddy Fitzek, of Beauty With Madeline, (

Maddy came to my home in Buckinghamshire last week to administer a skincare and makeup treatment I had decided to spoil myself with.   Maddy arrived at my home with a mysterious bag of delicious goodies and conducted a thorough analysis of my skin and the “look” that was right for me.  I have to say, on the Thursday of my appointment, I had had approximately 3 hours’ sleep, my son was preparing for a trip away, my dog had an upset stomach and all in all I was not at my usual sparkly best.  However, Maddy changed all that and my goodness the experience was lovely!  1 ½ hours of pampering for my skin using the gorgeous Mary Kay products, super quality and relatively inexpensive and definitely long lasting for only £35.00.

Maddy started with a cleanse, exfoliation and priming of my skin which was totally rejuvenating and then we moved on to the makeup.  My particular favourites were the velvety foundation and fabulous skin highlighter – both of which I purchased.  Maddy applied make up to half of my face and talked me through the other half – she is clearly an expert in her field and was very knowledgeable on Mary Kay products (important note, they are not tested on animals).

The time flew by and I was left with a lovely fresh new visage, a wealth of knowledge on skin care and Mary Kay products (without any pressure to buy),  and felt like I had spent the afternoon with a funny, engaging new friend.  So my advice to you, next time you want to reward yourself for being the fabulous you that you are (but sometimes forget), check out Maddy’s website, choose a treat and give her a telephone call.  Better than any  “cheat” meal or a bottle of wine!

Madeline Fitzek

Mobile no. 07584 132 744



Blackberry & Vodka Soup – something a little bit different

As a Nutritionist and Weight Loss Coach, I am always looking out for something a little bit different to share, I like to mix up the tried and tested, so this is for  soup fans everywhere,  a little different and one of my cheeky favs!   I would like to say it was made with leftovers, but there is rarely any vodka “left” after a party……..


  • 450g/1lb fresh or frozen blackberries.
  • 1 cup red grape juice.
  • 2 tbsp vodka.
  • 2 rounded tsp powdered arrowroot.

Garnish; spoonful of Greek yoghurt and a sprig of mint.


Place blackberries in a saucepan with the grape juice.

Place lid on pan, bring to the boil and simmer over a very low heat until tender and juicy (2 – 5 minutes if fresh and a little longer if frozen).

Place the arrowroot powder in a small bowl and stir in 2tbsp water to make a smooth paste. Stir this paste into the blackberries, and keep stirring until the mixture thickens.  Stir in the (best ingredient!) vodka.

Serve warm or chilled with a spoonful of Greek yoghurt in the centre, decorated with a sprig of mint.


This soup can be with a variety of berries.  I am using Blackberries now but blueberries, bilberries and black cherries all have similar nutritional properties.

What it’s good for –

Dark red and purple fruits are rich in flavonoids, which if eaten regularly help to prevent small blood vessels from leaking water ad protein into surrounding tissues.  Excellent for water retention. And Vodka? Well they say a little what you fancy does you good, and in this case a little goes a long way!!


I found this recipe in one of my favourite Soup books, The Big Healthy Soup Diet, by Linda Lazarides




Wellness Coaching – For A Healthy, Slim, Energized You

As a Nutritionist and Weight Loss Coach, I am passionate about women’s health and weight loss issues so let me tell you a little about Weight Loss Coaching.

Are you one of the many women who has expended enormous amounts of energy over the years on losing weight? Have you reached out to others for help in form of books, diet clubs, videos, exercise plans etc? You read the books, joined the clubs, bought the foods, exercised three times a week, done exactly what you were told and are now right back where you started, with more than likely extra weight. How?  You listened to all the advice and/or criticism, you were cheered on when you reached your goals. You felt good at your target weight, so why, despite all your best efforts, COULDN’T you stay on track?

The answer is simple, you were on a weight loss track written by someone else, and someone else doesn’t have the answers for you.  All your answers are within YOU.

Now imagine that you are talking with someone who takes an entirely different approach to helping you in an entirely different way. Someone who truly listens to you, not just waiting for their turn to tell you what to do. They understand through questioning and listening,  your uniqueness, your situation, your agenda and works solely with that. They require you to look into yourself, to acknowledge your strengths and build upon them to achieve your weight loss goals. They ask questions not so much to gain information, as to require YOU to seek answers from within yourself, to benefit yourself. They come equipped with the tools that help you take stock of your current weight situation and with effective methods for change.

In short, someone who opens your eyes and enables you to carve YOUR own track – ultimately, aren’t we are all much more likely to stick to a track we have carved for ourselves because it is carved with us solely in mind?

I have just described a WEIGHT LOSS COACH.

Coaching is about having someone who is completely in tune with YOU, means all the difference between lasting, consistent weight loss success and disappointment in yourself, confusion, and unsustainable, unrealistic diets that will NEVER work long term. A Weight Loss Coach who helps you discover within yourself all the amazing resources YOU have, to achieve your weight loss goals FOREVER.

During a Weight Loss Coaching session we,

  • Discuss your current weight situation and get a crystal clear vision of your weight loss goal.
  • Create change that helps you reach your goals in YOUR way, at your pace – so that each step you take is consistent with your values and your goals.
  • Uncover the available options for you, then allow space for you to create powerful choices for yourself – so that you feel empowered to change, not forced to do something you don’t want to.
  • Uncover hidden challenges that you keeping you unhappy with your weight and addressing them.
  • And finally, you leave the session renewed, inspired, and ready to finally lose all of the weight you want for once and for all!

Clean Eating or Simple Eating?

As a Nutritionist and  Weight Loss Coach, I often check out the media for updates,  and recently as I have been reading through, one phrase jumps out at me constantly.  Clean Eating.

 Clean Eating is the new buzz phrase. It’s everywhere. Cookbooks, articles, interviews – you name it, its out there is some format or another and is pretty unavoidable. But what does “clean” mean? Does it mean that their are also “dirty” foods? It must do because there is always an opposite.

Some of my clients actually feel pressured to buy expensive produce and it causes them stress when they simply can’t afford to. Healthy eating is supposed to affect every aspect of your life positively, including reducing stress which can contribute to weight gain.

In principle, I absolutely agree with this way of eating, however after looking through the media, it often seems to include expensive, often quite exotic ingredients that will never really be part of the average family’s store cupboard. Organic Maple syrup? Agave nectar? More than twice the price of organic honey – and each of them have exactly the same affect on the body. I tried making my own Almond milk. It was delicious but cost me over £10 for less than 1 pint!

My YOUtrition system advocates “Simple” Eating rather than “Clean”. Simple everyday whole foods kept as close to their original state as possible, organic when you can afford them – but don’t beat yourself up when you can’t (if you do buy anything organic, try for the leanest meat, fish and eggs. For the rest a good wash/scrub is fine.)

Simple swaps include,

Almonds to Brazil nuts.
Blueberries to Blackberries.
Salmon to Sardines.
Chia Seeds to Sesame Seeds.
Kale to Broccoli.
Coconut Oil to Rapseed oil.

Typically, I buy fill my basket with fresh seasonal veg and if out of season, frozen. Same with fruit. I buy loads of herbs and spices, bit by bit, as these can also be expensive, but once bought you’re done. I regularly try out creations of my own, some a stunning success and some a little bet “meh”, but never a disaster because unless food is overcooked it still has texture and flavour, just maybe not to the whole family’s taste – and I very rarely use a recipe book. I know the tastes and textures my family like and I introduce small, simple changes all the time. I find that small changes are easier for them to cope with and they always come round.

Practice, experiment and trust yourself to know what works best for you and your family, keep it SIMPLE and don’t be tempted to spend time and money on produce and recipes that are not right for you, your family or your pocket just because they come under the “clean” heading