Monday, January 11, 2016

Food Wars and the ‘FiveDays’ Clean Eating Plan


Those of you who are regular readers of my blog and have also read Breathing Out will know that my youngest daughter is perhaps my sternest critic and the one I have never quite managed to win over on the food front. We have had many food wars over the years - not unusual for a mother and a sugar addicted teenager, I know.

So when she recently started quizzing me about the best health supplements to take and volunteered to quit the junk and start eating a greener diet, you could say I felt I had finally arrived. All those years of gluten free and sugar free baking are finally coming good!

Over the last five years, I have learned an enormous amount about nutrition and healing yourself through food and exercise. It wasn’t a career plan for me, it was a necessity after being struck down by a critical illness. It didn’t take much research for me to decide to make food one of my doctors.

Since then, I have given advice to dozens of people with health issues, addressed a major medical conference, met with the UK government’s Chief Cancer Advisor at the Department of Health and influenced leading oncologists to embrace diet as an additional route to treating cancer patients.

Modesty sadly does not prevent me from telling you that I was also a key in the foundation of The Super Elixir, the world's leading super greens supplement, introducing Elle Macpherson to my amazing Harley Street nutritionist Dr Simone Laubscher, and the two subsequently went onto develop The Super Elixir together. Here are Simone and me celebrating the first anniversary at Elle's super fabulous supper at the Grace Belgravia last October.

There's a pattern forming here, right?

I love cooking and my best days are spent experimenting with ingredients, creating and adapting recipes and trying them out on friends and family. I'm passionate about health and fitness too, so combining the two to create a simple, delicious, easy to implement eating plan that will educate, illuminate and give you the foundations for a cleaner, healthier lifestyle (without forgoing the fun) seems like a no brainer to me.

It's not a weight loss plan and yet the pounds seem to drop off quite naturally. The really clever bit, however, is being able to maintain what you have achieved. It's not rocket science but it works, as my two guinea pigs Paula and Karin will attest.

Here’s what Paula, a journalist and personal trainer who founded the Fitter, Stronger retreat with Olympic Rowing champion James Cracknell at Chewton Glen in Hampshire, had to say about it.

‘I thought a five-day detox – my first ever – would be hard work. In fact, I really enjoyed it! I’ve learned a lot more about my body and how it reacts to what I put inside it.

‘I stopped feeling bloated, was generally more alert and had more concentration. I had much more energy than I expected too. I used to feel tired by 9pm but on the plan I didn’t feel sleepy until 11pm or later.

‘After five days, I had lost 5.5 lbs and friends remarked how well I looked and how sparkly my eyes were. I would definitely do this again every two to three months and have already recommended it to friends. Thanks Karen!’

Karin had this to say. ‘I have been on a diet for most of my life (and just got bigger!) Every time I try and be good, I fall off the wagon quite quickly. I have been successful when I’ve attended weekly meetings with Slimming World and Weight Watchers.

‘I know how important regular check-ins and motivations are. Karen’s programme and the frequency of supportive texts and messages within our group made me feel she was there watching me and meant that I didn’t want to cheat, I wanted to push on…and that’s a first for me!

‘Added to that, the recipes are so tasty and filling that I never felt hungry. After five days, I feel great! I’m brighter and definitely less tired in the evening.’

As of next month, I am going to be running a regular ‘FiveDays’ Clean Eating Plan which can be done physically here in France or remotely wherever you are in the world. Here’s what I can promise you…it won’t be difficult to stick to, it won’t run across a weekend (because we all deserve some joy…and bubbles…after a hard week), you won’t feel hungry and you will be eating delicious, nutritious food. It’s not a diet – I hate that word and don’t believe in diets – it’s a lifestyle that can be incorporated into your regular family way of eating.

Please sign up on the blog to keep posted and get in touch with me on karenhockney@hotmail.com if you would like to find out more!

Meanwhile, it's a busy week for health orientated features. My review of the Fitter, Stronger retreat, where the emphasis is on embracing nutrition and fitness as a way back from serious illness or injury, appeared in S magazine (that's me on the left being put through my paces by trainer Mitch).

And my chat over this delicious alkalising supper with The Body aka Elle about how she healed herself and launched a dynamic new business as a result is the cover interview in this month’s Red. Enjoy!

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