Jennifer Irvine explains how the plan was put together, the best day to start and how to choose healthy snacks during the 9 days...
Our Summer Diet Plan is healthy and balanced, designed to keep you feeling satisfied after every meal and to help you to kick-start long-term healthy eating. If your diet has been a little lacking nutritionally, Jennifer Irvine has some words of advise as to what you might notice when you first start the nine day plan...
''Over the first couple of days, as the body cleanses itself, you may get a mild headache, or feel irritable and a little hungry as your blood sugar levels adjust. However, by the end of the nine days, you will probably be feeling and looking slimmer, healthier, and more energetic than you’d have thought possible while eating so well!''
When to start the plan
''Starting on a Saturday means you can begin your new eating regime when you have more time and are less caught up in your weekday routine. We’ve deliberately kept weekday recipes easier, too. Obviously, everyone’s week is different so do read through the plan and decide when it’s best for you to start.''
How the plan was put together
''The meals are designed to provide the perfect balance of complete proteins, slow-burning carbs, vitamin- and fibre-rich vegetables and salads, while being low in salt and refined sugars.
To make things easier, and save time, many weekday lunches are ‘upcycled’ from dinner the previous evening. This cuts down the time you need to spend on prepping a lunch, as you don’t need to make it from scratch.
How to choose your snacks
''Snacks are an essential part of this plan. When I’m asked to recommend my one top tip, I don’t hesitate: eat regularly, including snacking – just make sure your snacks are healthy and protein-rich. Have one mid-morning and one in the afternoon.
Think of them as a pit stop for your body and brain, which helps stabilise flagging blood sugar and glucose levels, allowing you to maintain concentration and energy levels. They also play a crucial role in weight loss, as healthy snacking stops you craving sugary top-ups.
To avoid the wrong kind of snack, you need to be a bit organised:
• Upcycle as much food as you can, using leftover pulses, nuts, vegetables, fruits and dairy from earlier meals.
• Seeds are a must, as is oily fish – a portion of mackerel pâté, for example, is packed with omega-3 fatty acids, essential for those grey (and white and red) cells, as well as for promoting glowing skin and stabilising moods.
• Healthy snacks don’t have to be boring – try a handful of calcium-rich almonds with a sweet crunchy
apple, a dollop of cottage cheese with some semi-dried tomatoes, a cup of edamame beans, or half an avocado with a slice of prosciutto.
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