Book Review: Nourish & Glow: The 10-Day Plan
The ethos of nutritional therapist and bestselling author Amelia Freer (FdSc, DipION, mBANT), deeply resonates - unlike many of the other so-called therapists and bloggers who have been making a very comfortable living from depriving people from enjoying one of our basic human needs.. Deprivation, fear and guilt are not in her language - its all about inspiring fresh, seasonal and hugely nourishing foods, and plenty of them - even if you are trying to lose wright. This is where her new book Nourish & Glow: The 10-Day Plan comes in.
Freer's third and most comprehensive book to date, it explores matters of both body and mind to help equip readers with the foundations needed to develop a more positive approach towards food. She introduces readers to her Positive Nutrition philosophy (see pyramid), which is all about what our bodies need, rather than what we should be avoiding or restricting. After all people have been trying to restrict their calories for years and it simply doesn’t work. What's worse in our society is the fear and guilt associated with food now, with a sharp rise in the incidence of eating disorders and anxiety related to food. Governments could learn a lot from her unique pyramid approach.
Freer explains that the plan is loosely based around the Mediterranean diet, as research we have on what the human body thrives on getting each day. "Empowering people to find a balanced diet that suits their own, unique lives is so important for health, no matter what name it is given. "
This book is much more than a basic eating plan, as she explores diverse subjects such as mindset, emotional eating and dealing with what many might call failure. While other plans often have weight loss as their key objective, this inspires us to eat, cook and shop in a new way for 10 days, to ultimately gain a better understanding of not only what we eat, but why we eat too. If weight loss happens (which it should), then it will be more long-lasting than any quick-fix.
Gluten & Dairy Free
The plan is dairy, gluten and refined-sugar free. For some, this might sound a little off-putting. However, Freer explains that having found some of her clients are sensitive to gluten and dairy, she wanted readers to see if symptoms such as bloating or bad skin cleared up during the 10 days if these potential culprits were cut out. This said, these ingredients aren't vilified and she advises that menus can be tailored to suit specific lifestyles and needs. A vegan plan is also included.
Is it for me?
Whether a novice or a seasoned healthy eater, in your thirties or midlife, there is something for everyone here. The recipes alone are deliciously colourful, filling and overflowing in goodness (her recipes always are) - think falafel burgers with beetroot houmous, roasted veggie dishes, numerous salad options, nutty banana nice cream and more - and designed to help readers gain a better working knowledge of nutrition, look beyond the damaging dieting cycles and start enjoying a more diverse variety of foods again.
My only reservation (unlike Freer's other books I hasten to add) is that is seems more rigid than what I would have expected from an expert who lives by flexibility rather than rigidity, but she qualifies that its not about perfection - its about doing our best and she gives people permission to eat well and enjoy their food - which is key to success and longterm health. Vegan options are also included.
Nourish & Glow: The 10-Day Plan by Amelia Freer is published by Michael Joseph, £16.99/€19.30 and is available from leading bookstores.