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All about BBC Good Food's Summer Diet Plan...
A healthy diet should be balanced and followed all year round. These 9 days are designed to kick-start your healthy habits and help you to see the benefits of healthy eating quickly. The plan was written by author Jennifer Irvine and overseen and tested by BBC Good Food's cookery team and nutritionist, Kerry Torrens.
The 9 day plan is, in fact, made up of three smaller plans, each stage with a specific goal. Jennifer explains how the plan works and what you can expect over the 9 days:
Day 1-3: De-bloat
''Bloating is a common side effect of an unhealthy diet, usually triggered by refined carbohydrates and sugar. Eliminating these foods will tackle bloat, and prepare your body for an overall cleanse.
You’ll find plenty of whole-grains in these three days to keep you feeling full, while yogurt will help reset the balance of good bacteria in your digestive system, making sure your food is better absorbed.
Just as important as what you eat and drink, is how you do it. The plan helps ease your body into the cleansing process with cooked and soaked foods, rather than raw, which is harder to digest. This is also the time to get your eight glasses of water a day to thoroughly hydrate yourself.
While you’re making this change to your diet, be kind to yourself - set aside eating time, when you can relax and focus on your food. Chew slowly and deliberately, and enjoy the wonderful flavours and textures.''
Day 4-6: Glowing skin
''Our largest organ needs proper nurturing and nourishment from within. Fatty acids (particularly omega 3), Vitamin E and Vitamin C are essential for its care and maintenance. So these days are packed with ingredients rich in these fats and nutrients, such as oats, spinach, nuts, seeds, salmon and avocado.
Our skin’s health is supported by good liver function, and citrus fruits play an important role, as they’re highly alkaline and are known to promote liver detoxification.
Antioxidants are a must, which you’ll find in the range of colourful leafy greens, sweet peas, fresh herbs, peppers and beetroot.
For an added antioxidant boost, drink green tea several times a day, as well as maintaining your water intake to ensure all toxins are being flushed from the body.''
Day 7-9: Boost energy and metabolism
''These last three days are designed to leave you feeling refreshed, energetic and body-aware.
The recipes focus on stabilising and balancing your blood-sugar levels, with plenty of protein-rich snacks and by including protein at every meal. Combined with good (unsaturated and polyunsaturated) fats, this slows down the release of sugars into the blood and leaves you feeling satiated, but not overly full.
Magnesium and B vitamins are vital for converting foods to energy. Our recipes include eggs, spinach, lamb’s lettuce, whole grains, chickpeas, mackerel and lamb, and have been designed for their energy-giving properties, as well as for the relaxing properties associated with magnesium.
Finally, now that you’re in great shape from the food, add some physical exercise into your day to channel your extra energy, and help control your weight. Walking, swimming, dancing - whatever you enjoy, exercise triggers the production of serotonin – the feelgood hormone that helps you glow even more!''
The meal plans...
You’ll find breakfasts to set you up for the day, convenient and speedy lunches, plus wholesome, satisfying dinners. All have been 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 unrefined sugars.
In addition, many of the recipes for the weekday lunches rely on “upcycling” – using up leftovers to create new and delicious lunches and snacks. We’ve also included vegetarian options for carnivores and non-meat eaters alike to enjoy, as well as suggesting twice-daily snacks to maintain your energy levels.
What to expect...
Jennifer says: ''To begin with you can expect to feel the effects of cleansing, which may inclide mild headache, irritability and maybe even hunger pangs as your blood-sugar levels adjust. By the end of the nine days however, you will hopefully be feeling and looking slimmer, healthier, and more energetic than you would have thought possible while eating so well!''
When will I get my first meal plan?
We will send you an e-mail shortly after you sign up with links to the meal plan included. If you have any problems with accessing or receiving the plan please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note the Summer Diet Plan newsletter is completely separate to BBC Good Food’s regular weekly newsletter.
All health content from BBC Good Food is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. Any healthy diet plan featured by BBC Good Food is provided as a suggestion of a general balanced diet and should not be relied upon to meet specific dietary requirements. If you have any concerns about your general health, you should contact your local health care provider.