Nutritionist to the stars, best-selling author and an Instagram account to die for, it’s no wonder Amelia Freer has become such a phenomenon in the wellness industry. Her latest book Cook.Nourish.Glow has been a favourite amongst Yogamatters staff since it launched and so we jumped at the chance to talk optimum health and healthy living with the Nutritional Therapist herself…
What made you choose to become a nutritional therapist?
I suffered terribly in my 20's from IBS, acne and low energy. A visit to a nutritional therapist and the consequent changes I made to my diet turned all of that around – I was pain-free with clear skin and full of energy. I left my job as a PA and re-trained as a nutritional therapist – I haven’t looked back.
What is your typical breakfast, lunch and dinner?
My meals really vary so much, depending on what I have in the fridge and growing in my garden. I eat as seasonally as possible, although I am also guided by my body and mood. Breakfast can be anything from leftover supper or eggs with vegetables in some form, often a green juice too. Lunch tends to be a salad with some leftover protein from the day before, or often a soup. I’m a big fan of cooking once and eating twice to save time. Dinner is usually meat or fish with steamed vegetables. I love my slow cooker so often pop everything in there earlier in the day to enjoy in the evening. And I prefer cooked or warm foods – I do include raw foods but not too much as my body is happier with warm foods, especially at night.
What steps do you take to maintain a healthy work/life balance?
I’m organised and try to schedule in me-time as much as possible – time to relax, time to see my family, time in my garden – this isn’t always easy to prioritise when there is so much work to do, but I’m getting better at it and it’s invaluable.
What do you do to stay active?
I have a personal trainer who I train with two mornings a week. I also have two dogs that need daily walks. And at weekends, my boyfriend and I like to explore the countryside either on long walks or our bikes. I also try to do some yoga each morning – I sit too much at my computer and hence I have to keep working on improving my posture.
Can you sum up your food philosophy in 3 words?
Eat real food.
In a world in which eating has become a leisure pursuit, how would you put into words the complex relationship that many people have with food?
The more I practised as a nutritional therapist, the more I realised there was an infinite number of ways people relate to food. Just like it’s impossible to categorise people’s personalities, it’s impossible to categorise this. Luckily an awareness of where our ‘problems’ come from can often lead to a resolution and a healthier relationship with food. It takes time though and a willingness to want to change.
As a nutritional therapist, why is it important to work with the mind as well as the body?
The mind is so strong, isn’t it? Feed yourself with negativity and you will feel negative however perfect your food choices are. However, if you love and praise yourself for each positive choice, you soon find yourself in a kinder, more gentle state of mind.
How is it possible to eat for both health and pleasure?
I’m glad you asked that as it’s been one of my driving forces – I honestly believe that you don’t deprive yourself or get less pleasure if you eat foods that are better for you. It’s just a question of learning basic cooking skills so you can produce wondrous, delicious dishes from real ingredients. Hence why I did my cookbook.
What have you witnessed from the power of food?
So much! I’ve had many clients overcome lifetime impediments by changing the way they eat and of course once people have that that sense of wellbeing, so much else falls into place in their lives.
Do you have any favourite tips and tricks to stay healthy and happy every day?
Good nutrition, lots of sleep and pure water keep me healthy and good friends, lots of love and laughter and loads of gratitude keep me happy.
What would you say to someone who believes that healthy eating is all about losing weight?
Healthy eating will help you lose weight if you need to lose weight but it goes far deeper than just changing your appearance, it can impact how every cell in your body behaves and this can influence our long term health.
What advice would you have for someone who wants to be free to eat whatever they want?
Everyone is free to eat whatever they want, but once we educate ourselves about processed foods and really understand how nutrients work in our body, I believe anyone would make some changes, so I guess education is key.
What compelling reasons are there for choosing organic?
It’s better for the environment, it’s natural and hence higher in nutrients and it tastes better.
Including over 120 recipes, Cook.Nourish.Glow is a must have for anyone interested in making their wellbeing a priority. Beautiful photography and easy-to-follow recipes make this book a pleasure to flick through and cook from. Amelia’s knowledge and attention to detail is inspiring and empowering. She has a beautiful approach which is led by creating recipes that are not only high in nutritional value but taste delicious too. Cook.Nourish.Glow proves that a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean we have to deprive ourselves in any way. In fact, the book demonstrates that with the right knowledge and enthusiasm we can easily create means that offer our body the fuel it deserves to help us run at our best.
Favourites include crunchy nut & seed granola, kale and almond pesto, sweet potato cakes with grilled tiger prawns and saffron sauce, fig and raspberry panna cotta…the list goes on!
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Title: In Conversation with: Amelia Freer
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Published Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2016 11:30:44 +0000
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