Madeleine Shaw is a talented Nutritional Health Coach who offers a refreshing approach to healthy eating and wellness. I’ve wanted to educate myself on nutrition for a while now and with a recent explosion of ‘healthy eating gurus’ online, it’s hard to know which information is right to follow.
‘Eating clean’ can seem a little daunting and unattainable. I wanted to eat well to stay healthy and feel great, I didn’t want to follow an eating plan that would be a chore or stop me from including food as part of my social life. Madeleine’s book ‘Ready Steady Glow’ was highly recommended on another bloggers website and I’m thrilled that I stumbled upon her website, life philosophy and website.
These are the main things I was looking for in a healthy eating plan:
A plan that is attainable, foods that are accessible through online shopping (because tackling a supermarket with a toddler is something I’ve learned the hard way is really not worth the stress!). Some health bloggers ingredients can only be found in niche health shops, these recipes are just not going to work for me. I don’t have the time or the desire to go scouring these shops!
Many clean eating plans seem to be gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, meat free, taste free. Many of them suggest a host of alternatives which just don’t cut it for me. I’m sure cutting down on elements such as gluten, dairy and certainly sugar are good for your health. But unless you have an intolerance, cutting out too many of these vital food groups can be dangerous, depriving the body of important vitamins and minerals. It’s also a huge inconvenience, why make life harder for yourself?
These recipes need to taste good. Otherwise we are not going to stick to them, or will live a rather miserable existence. I’m not exaggerating when I say that food really is one of the biggest highlights of my day. Much of my day revolves around planning tasty meals and snacks to sustain my energy. Over the years my taste has developed and I am finding so many healthy foods that I just love. Avocados, nuts and salmon to name a few. And I never thought I’d develop a taste for rye bread but I love it now, toasted with avocado, smoked salmon or poached eggs. Its hard to beat and really does fill you up for hours.
I need a healthy eating plan with plenty of choice and variety so that I can switch recipes up daily and weekly. As there will lots of recipes to learn, these need to be fairly straight forward and able to fit into a busy lifestyle.
For me a healthy eating plan needs to be sustainable. I’m really not a fan of some of the mainstream diet plans such as Slimming World and Weight Watchers. I know Slimming World has somewhat of a cult following (especially on Instagram!) and I know many women who have achieved great success on this plan and look fantastic. There are elements of it that I think are great like eating lots of fresh fruit and veg to fill up.
Unless you stick to the plan long-term, most people seem to eventually put the weight back on. I don’t think these plans really educate us about nutrition, they are heavily focused on calories and fats consumed and purely about weight loss. Slimming World is heavily based around fat free products which are loaded with sweeteners and other preservatives. And foods like avocados are to be avoided as they are too high in calories. Avocados are a superfood with many health benefits and contain many ‘good fats’ which again aren’t taken into account.
A happier and healthier life
I’ve been following Madeleine’s 10 day meal plan, a PDF which is sent to you for free when you sign up for her newsletter. I have been pleasantly surprised with how easy I’ve found the meals to make and how much I’ve enjoyed them! Madeleine also includes ‘top tips to a happier and healthier life’ as well as a shopping list for each recipe (broken into two halves of the week), store cupboard staples and a ten day complete meal planner.
So far I have made:
- Blueberry Porridge
- Poached eggs on rye with avocado
- Cod Tray Bake
- Salmon with buckwheat noodles and broccoli
- Chicken Courgetti and Pesto Salad
- Black Bean Stew
Even my fussy toddler and carb loving husband have been enjoying Madeleine’s recipes and Mummy’s new found cooking skills! I do make slight modifications for Steven and Thomas, for example with the Chicken Courgetti & Pesto Salad recipe, I added white fusilli pasta for them to enjoy with it.
I have actually found preparing the meals really therapeutic. I’ve never really gotten into cooking before so it’s a great new skill for me. Madeleine’s meals have given me a new passion for healthy cooking, whilst maintaining and expanding on my love of good food.
I just need to stop eating the leftover chocolate from Easter now! I’m going to try a few of Madeleine’s sweet recipes soon, I have such a sweet tooth. A guilt-free dessert would be the dream!
One of the spokes on my ‘Wellness Wheel’ is eating well. I feel like I’m winning in this area and I am currently ticking this box.
Thank you Madeleine!
When Madeleine Shaw visits Manchester as part of her new book launch tour, I’m being a total geek going to meet her buy her new recipe book and get a signed copy!