On Friday, while returning from a week long business trip in Orlando, I finished a book on the plane called Eat. Nourish. Glow. by Amelia Freer. I should point out that I don’t normally read self-help or dieting books. About the only non-fiction stuff I read is memoirs. As far as nutrition goes, I do love the occasional cook book from time to time but never use or read them cover to cover.
Amelia Freer’s book is not a cook book or dieting book, but I would call it a bit of a self-help book. And I read it cover to cover in just under a week! That being said, it’s not one of those books that is going to beat you up for what you do or do not do. Amelia is a nutritionist and gives you advice based on her own personal experiences with food.
It definitely helped open my eyes to my own relationship with food. I’ve been a crash dieter, starving myself and counting calories. I’ve been a binge eater, gorging on sugary foods that I knew weren’t good for me. I’ve been an addictive snacker, unable to put the chips or candies down until they were gone.
Amelia doesn’t beat you up for being any of these types of eaters. She does point out the medical issues you could face, but also offers advice on how to change those unhealthy food habits. First, she tells you to convince yourself you are not on a diet. You can eat anything you want (in moderation). But you should change what you eat, how much, and how often.
Now, due to her own health issues, Amelia does not eat any processed foods, sugar, gluten, or dairy. She is a very organic eater and relies on fresh ingredients. Throughout the book, she reminds you that you do not have to give up gluten or dairy if your system is okay with it, and my system is actually okay with dairy and I enjoy it in moderation.
She also discusses another battle of mine which is time. Like many, I work all day and come home and don’t want to cook. I want something fast and easy. And it usually leaves me feeling sick or bloated and even more tired. And unfortunately, a quick meal like this is usually full of sugar and unhealthy cancer-causing preservatives also responsible for obesity and other problems. But Amelia encourages you to identify your problems, like time, and address them slowly. You don’t have to change your entire life all at once. That can be overwhelming. But small changes over time can make a big difference.
A few weeks ago I posted about how I gave up coffee and started drinking warm water with lemon and honey each morning along with several cups of cold water. Well, I haven’t had coffee yet and I don’t miss it. I wake up fine and don’t need the caffeine pick-me-up and I’ve had no issues with going to the bathroom. In fact, I’d say that experience is even “smoother” and seems healthier now.
Amelia actually says coffee is fine as long as it’s a high quality good coffee and you don’t load it down with sugar. She has it on occasion and puts coconut butter in it for taste! While I won’t be going back to coffee anytime soon, Amelia had lots of other tips that I will be trying. Here are a few…
- She says to cook with real (organic) butter or coconut oil because they do not burn so easily at high temperatures, like Olive Oil does. Yep, the cooking shows have told us to cook with Olive Oil because it’s healthier, but it also burns easily. Amelia says only use Olive Oil as a dressing or to make dressings. We’ve been convinced that butter is bad for us but good organic butter (not margarine) actually has healthy fats in it that are good for us.
- If you have problems with dairy, switch to non-sweetened almond milk. Or if you have to have milk, buy organic hormone free milk.
- For breakfast, think outside the traditional breakfast comfort foods. Try to have a protein, a good fat, and something green. It will feel you up and keep you from snacking before lunch.
- Add chia or hemp seeds to salads and fruits for healthy fats and acids.
- When making a salad, try to make it a rainbow. Green leaves, red peppers or berries, yellow squash or peppers, and even purple black berries or cabbage.
- Avoid canned and boxed foods whenever possible. They are full of sugar.
I could go on and on, but you could just read the book! This is just a bit of her advice that I found helpful and that I’m going to try. Today I made a trip to the grocery store with a new list in hand! I’ll tell you more about that in the next post!