You may have heard of Amelia Freer, a healthy eating guru in the nutrition world, but are you familiar with her concept, 'positive nutrition'?
Amelia Freer is a qualified nutritional therapist, author of the bestselling book ‘Cook. Nourish. Glow’, which came out back in 2015, and, surprisingly, former assistant to Prince Charles.
Writing for the Daily Mail, Amelia bit back at the ‘clean eating’ trend, which suggests that some foods are ‘dirty’ and should be avoided altogether if you want to keep fit. And while Amelia Freer admits that while the idea of clean eating has meant that good nutrition is “taking centre stage”, it’s also, “created anxiety, fear and confusion”.
But Amelia believes that her plan puts all of that into perspective. She went on to say that, “Food is not something to be feared. My eating plan is about the concept of ‘positive nutrition’.”
And the nutritional therapist reinforced that her plan isn’t about cutting out key foods. She said, “I want to focus on what you can eat, not what you can’t, and in doing so help you maintain healthy eating habits for life.”
Within the book, Amelia talks about a ‘food pyramid’, which lays out just how many portions of each type of food you’re meant to eat every day. And her ideas clearly work. She’s helped celebrities James Corden and Kirstie Allsop to shed the pounds, with the latter claiming that she’s recently helped her go from a size 16 to a size 12. So what can we learn from Amelia Freer and her attitude towards healthy eating?
Amelia Freer’s guide to eating well
Most of your fluids should be water – and avoid fizzy drinks
Amelia advises that “water should take up the majority of your fluid intake”. But she maintains that, if glugging glass after glass of plain water isn’t exactly your idea of fun, you can add cucumber slices to it to flavour it, or try herbal teas. Milk also isn’t off the cards, but make sure you’re not drinking more than four cups of tea a day, or two cups of coffee. And, according to Amelia’s food pyramid, we should be drink around eight glasses of the good stuff every day.
Eat six portions of veg a day
There’s been mounting, conflicting advice over how many portions of veg we should be having recently. One week it’s 10, another week it’s five – so it’s difficult to work out what really IS good for us. But, according to Amelia’s food pyramid, we should be having six portions of the good stuff a day, three of which should be green vegetables. But what counts as a portion? Take a look at our guide to portion sizes.
And, if you’re looking for an easy way to get in your veg intake, try Amelia’s delicious super green soup, packed full of green veggies like kale, leeks and courgettes.
Equally, you should be getting around three portions of fruit a day
But Amelia admits that she does understand this can be difficult. If you’re not reaching anywhere near that amount per day, she advises, “I suggest you increase your intake by just one extra portion per day, working your way up.” And if you’re usually inclined to disguise all of your fruit in a tasty smoothie, you may want to stop that habit. The nutritionist actually suggests that it’s always better to eat your fruit whole, if you can.
Eat a handful of unsalted nuts a day
Why? Amelia says, “They’re nutrient-dense, with a mixture of unsaturated fats, plant protein, minerals, fibre and phytonutrients”. But, you need to make sure that you’re not stocking up on bags of the salted and flavoured kind, as it’s important that they’re “whole and unprocessed”.
Sick of meat and fish? Incorporate three portions of different proteins into your daily diet
We’ve always been told that fish is a great thing for us to have frequently in our week, but it’s hard to try and mix it up sometimes if you’re feeling like you want something different. Well, never fear, as Amelia suggests that you could replace your protein allocations with other things.
She advises eggs, pulses and yoghurts, which can give you that all important energy, whilst still being very low in fat. But, if you do fancy fish, try Amelia’s recipe for poached thai salmon.
Eat MORE healthy fats
Amelia says that dietary fat is key to the normal function of our bodies. She also says that fat “is, however, the most energy dense of all the food groups, so if you’re watching your weight, you may want to stick to a couple of reasonably sized portions each day to make sure you give your body the nutrients it needs, without going overboard and tipping the scales”.
Try healthy fats, including avocados, olive oil, and small amounts of cheese.