faqs

While I’d love to answer all the queries I receive, I am sadly not able to respond personally due to the sheer volume of requests. However, I do read as many as I can and address common concerns via social media or this website (see articles). Where relevant, I’ve added links to articles and useful resources below.

I’d like to make changes to my diet and commit to a healthier lifestyle. Where do I start?

 

Healthy lifestyle is more than just a healthy diet. Amelia Freer

Firstly, congratulations on committing to creating a healthier lifestyle. You certainly will not regret it and hopefully you’ll feel and see the benefits almost immediately. Starting out on this journey can seem daunting to begin with, but fear not! Have a good read through this website for lots of ideas – including my 3 part series on Gut Health.  Get your hands on a copy of Eat. Nourish. Glow., which outlines 10 easy steps to losing weight, looking younger and feeling healthier. My book, Nourish & Glow: The 10 Day Plan, is my most comprehensive book to date. It introduces the concept of Positive Nutrition:

I’ve observed that the average person considers that if they’ve eaten less in a day, that’s a good day. It’s a mentality that’s been completely drummed into us, with many still focusing on calories as opposed to the quality of the nutrition in the food they eat. This isn’t how we should be thinking about it and it’s certainly not what I’ve been recommending to my clients. Positive Nutrition is about giving people permission to eat again. The book is about creating the right foundations and the right habits – looking at what your relationship with food is like, what your support community is like, what your habits are and how you’re telling yourself you should be around food.

Remember, above all, a healthy lifestyle is one which respects balance and moderation. Rest and sleep, movement and exercise, connection with others, our environment  – in addition to a healthy diet – are all vital to our happy, optimum wellbeing.

Detox Your Kitchen

Good intentions can often go out of the window in a disorganised and poorly stocked kitchen. To maintain a commitment to eating better, set aside a couple of hours to have a good clear-out of the old, and bring in the new. Start by getting rid of the following (and please don’t think of this as wasteful as your health, vibrancy and happiness can NEVER be a waste – but do consider donating any appropriate food to your local food bank):

  • Cereals, biscuits, cakes, chocolate, sweets
  • Fizzy drinks or sugary drinks (cordials, squash etc)
  • Refined flour products – things like pasta and bread
  • Ready meals
  • Cooking sauces
  • Margarine, sunflower oil and vegetable oil (these are often so refined they are far from natural!)
  • Fruit juice
  • “Don’t dig your grave with your own knife and fork!’ Old English Proverb

Next, bring in all of the deliciously healthy stuff:

  • Seasonal, ideally organic fruits and vegetables
  • Jars of pulses, such as chickpeas and lentils
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Organic milk or dairy alternative
  • Coconut and olive oils
  • Good quality proteins (ideally organic, at least free-range poultry meat and eggs, wild fish)
  • Plenty of herbs, spices and citrus fruits for flavour

We are heavily influenced by what we see, so if you can’t have as thorough a kitchen detox as you’d ideally like (perhaps due to family constraints or other diets to cater for), try to store anything that doesn’t match your new lifestyle out of sight; off the counter or open shelves, into tins or opaque containers and into a separate cupboard. Try to keep this cupboard out-of-bounds to yourself. Removing subtle ‘cues’ such as these, such as seeing the biscuit tin on the counter and then wanting a biscuit, can really help to cut down on the amount of willpower you need to spend each day sticking to your new plan, at least until those pesky cravings start to fade away by themselves.

Best of luck. For more information on committing yourself to a thorough kitchen detox, see Chapter 2 of Eat. Nourish. Glow..

What do people mean by ‘clean eating’ and what are your thoughts on it?

Do read my article “Why Clean Eating Needs a Side Order of Common Sense“.

Should I be eating organic food?

Wherever possible, I would really encourage you to eat organically. Take a look at this blog article for the reasons why I think this is important, but also how to prioritise your organic budget: Is Organic Food Worth It?

Do I need to cut out dairy?

That is a decision which is very personal, so I cannot say whether you should, or indeed, should not cut out dairy from your diet. Personally, I avoid cow’s milk products, and only very rarely have small amounts of sheep or goat’s milk. However, I am also very careful to make sure that I get all of the important nutrients (such as calcium, iodine and B vitamins) usually found in milk from a variety of other dietary sources. For more information on this topic, check out this blog post: Thinking About: Milk.

Do I need to cut out wheat and gluten?

Again, that is a very personal decision. Clearly, if you have been diagnosed with Coeliac disease, then it is very important to steer well clear of gluten – in fact, that is the main goal of managing the condition.

I know I need to cut down on refined sugar. What are the alternatives?

That’s a really great question and one that I am asked frequently. It can be ever so confusing with all the different advice, marketing and recipes out there. Thankfully, there are now many options that are easy to purchase including: coconut sugar, agave syrup, date syrup and of course honey.

You use a lot of coconut oil but I don’t like it. What can I use instead?

I also love other oils, but I make sure only to use extra virgin olive oil and rapeseed oils cold over salads, fish, meats or roasted vegetables. For cooking, I would recommend either a light olive, macadamia or avocado oil (which can cook safely at a moderately higher temperature), butter or ghee (if you are OK with dairy), or you can now get a tasteless and odourless coconut oil, often called ‘cuisine’, which can be a great alternative.

I’m a vegan/vegetarian. What sources of protein can I use in your recipes?

I make sure that I eat some protein at every meal, as it really is vital to balance your blood sugar levels and curb appetite. But the good news is that this doesn’t need to come from any animals. Plant-based sources include;

  • Lentils
  • Peas & beans
  • Quinoa, buckwheat, amaranth, millet, oats, wild rice, teff
  • Chickpeas, kidney beans, black-eyed beans, haricot beans, mung beans
  • Nuts and seeds (including chia, hemp, nut butters, tahini)
  • Organic, free-range eggs (if you are a vegetarian)

I’m following your principals but I still don’t have any energy.
How can I increase my energy levels?

Unfortunately, low energy levels are one of the biggest complaints amongst new clients – and it’s nearly always down to food and lifestyle factors. The most common energy drainers I see are:

  1. Sugar – fluctuating blood sugar, and insulin, levels can leave us feeling exhausted for long stretches of the day. Try cutting back on all refined sugar, but also on excessive fruit sugars (juices, smoothies, dried fruit) and refined grains (bread, pasta, rice etc.), and making sure that you are having a serving of protein at every meal too.
  2. Too much caffeine – this is a tricky one, because we can get caught in a vicious cycle. We feel tired, so we drink caffeine, but when this wears off we need even more caffeine to feel normal again. Try starting to gradually cut down your caffeine consumption, switching to decaffeinated herbal teas or infused water. Although this may seem an impossible task – it really is worthwhile to feel free from those constant cravings and your energy will soar.
  3. Stress
  4. Poor sleeping habits
  5. Overuse of technology (especially in the evenings and before bed). Try a ‘technology sundown’, where all your devices are switched off an hour before you sleep. You might be surprised how sleepy-making just reading a good ol’ fashioned book tucked up in bed might be!
  6. Not drinking enough water or fluids. With the risk of sounding a little crude…just aim for your urine to be a pale yellow throughout the day. Any darker, and you need to top-up.
  7. Not eating a nourishing, balanced diet – for our energy to function on ‘max’ we need a diet jam-packed with all the vitamins, minerals and macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) which our body needs for survival. Following the principles set out in my books should help you make great strides towards achieving this goal.

However, if you’re doing all the right things and you still feel tired all the time then I would certainly advise you go to see your GP to investigate what might be going on a little more.

A nutritional therapist would also be able to help identify underlying deficiencies in certain nutrients but is not a replacement for medical attention. To find a qualified Nutritional Therapist go to BANT, the British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapy bant.org.uk.

I’m eating in the way you recommend but I find it so expensive. How can I make it cheaper?

Healthy eating most certainly doesn’t need to equal expensive eating. Here are my top 5 tips:

  1. Remember you don’t have to eat meat every day. So many of us – especially those you have got into the habit of buying cheap supermarket meat – seem to think we should eat meat every day. So when you make the switch to organic meat, it can feel very expensive. Instead, I recommend buying organic, locally reared meat from your local butcher and eating it just once or twice a week. Try stretching the meat out to go further too, for example, using the bones from a leftover roast chicken to make a delicious bone broth for the following day. Two meals for the price of one!
  2. Plan ahead – I make big batches of soups and stews that last for days or I store them in the freezer. I very rarely chuck out food either – if I have an odd mix of vegetables in my fridge I chop them up, throw them together, add some torn herbs or spices to add flavour and whatever protein I have lying around and that’s my lunch.
  3. Consider a vegbox delivery – I often find that supermarket organic vegetables look rather forlorn and limp, yet seem to cost the earth. Consider giving and organic vegetable box delivery scheme a go – it can work out cheaper, and certainly encourages you to eat a more varied diet than you might chose for yourself if the supermarket.
  4. Buy in bulk. Things like lentils and chickpeas, for example, can be cheap as chips if you buy them dried in bulk. I then soak a huge batch overnight, cook them the next day and freeze them in portions.
  5. Look for unusual places to shop. Arabic supermarkets are brilliant for things like cheap spices, tahini, fresh herbs and dried fruit. Oriental supermarkets often stock ‘specialist’ products without the premium price tag. Online stores, even Amazon, can sell a wealth of healthy ingredients for surprisingly low prices. Maybe even team up with a group of like-minded friends, and consider buying in bulk as a food group from wholesale health food suppliers (such as Suma).
  6. Don’t overlook the frozen aisle – often things like berries, mango, spinach, peas and even oily fish like mackerel and wild salmon are much cheaper frozen than fresh.

So there are plenty of ways to cut costs. But the other point I would make is that spending money on your food is the best investment you can make. I meet women who think nothing of spending £50 on a pot of face cream, yet they buy a supermarket chicken for £5. Spending money on nourishing, organic, real food is the most evidence-based anti-aging product (and health protector) there is.

So do ask yourself this – is there really a better way to spend your money than on nourishing and protecting your health? If there is, I can’t think of one.

I’ve started eating like you recommend in your book, but I haven’t lost any weight. How long will it take?

  1. Do you even need to lose weight? A well-nourished, healthy body won’t lose weight if it doesn’t need to. Remember that a healthy body is NOT necessarily the same as the bodies you see in the media, on Instagram and on TV. A healthy body has all the nutrition it needs to flourish, and is not about being the skinniest person you know!
  2. If you are carrying extra weight, however, be honest with yourself. Are you genuinely eating how I recommend in the book? One of the chapters in Eat. Nourish. Glow.– Be consistent, not perfect – allows readers to go off track a little and not feel bad about it. However, in that chapter I also make the point that you can’t eat ‘just a little bit’ of junk food every single day and get away with it. So while the odd slip up is fine, a daily drip feed of sugary or processed food isn’t.
  3. Do keep a watch on your portion sizes. I’m not a fan of calorie counting or measuring out ingredients, but huge portion sizes can hinder weight loss.
  4. Make sure you’re not drinking your calories. The best food choices are often hindered by several daily lattes with sugar, or endless cups of tea or fizzy drinks or a couple of huge glasses of wine every night. Keep your drinks simple and just have the odd coffee or herbal tea and lots of filtered water.
  5. Keep moving! Although weight loss is more about nutrition than it is about exercise, it is still important to keep moving to maintain your cardiovascular fitness and develop muscular strength and endurance. Remember, muscle is a metabolically active tissue – it burns more calories at rest than fat tissue does!

I just don’t have enough time. How can I eat this way if I am very busy?

We are all living in a frantic world, where we constantly online and available 24/7, work is all-consuming, children, family and other commitments take up the rest of our spare time, and yet we are still supposed to carve out hours to workout, shop and cook from scratch (oh, and get in those 8 hours beauty sleep, right?!). I am not saying it is easy. But I am saying that great nutrition is 100% worth it – not least because if you are fuelled correctly, managing everything else can become a whole lot simpler.

So how can you stick to a healthy diet with next-to-no time? Of course, there will need to be a little trial and error, and everyone’s situation is unique. But these are a few of the ideas that have helped clients in the past. Perhaps they might also give you some ideas too.

  1. If you are committed to improving your nutrition, then mentally setting this as a top priority, giving yourself permission to take time shopping, cooking and eating, can be helpful. Make eating, and make yourself, a top priority.
  2. Prepare a speedy breakfast the night before. Overnight chia power porridge, a refreshing smoothie and a handful of nuts, or a slice of frittata. Set yourself up right for the day by making sure your most important meal is already ready to go the moment you get up.
  3. Plan ahead. Brainstorm a few meal ideas at the end of the week (you don’t have to cook from scratch every night – leftovers are brilliant for lunch, and I always batch cook so I can freeze half for another busy evening). Put your online order in (or hit the shops on Saturday), and spent a couple of hours on Sunday evening preparing as much as you can for the week ahead. Even simple things like some prepared salads-in-a-jar, roasted veggies, a handful of boiled eggs, and perhaps a more substantial dish (such as a curry or fish pie) ready and waiting in the fridge will speed things up substantially, and help you stay on-track when you come in famished and exhausted.
  4. Don’t be scared to go off-menu if you are eating out. If you need to eat out a lot for convenience, or work, then don’t be worried about asking the kitchen for a dish that still fits in with your goals. You can’t go too far wrong with some grilled or roasted fish, chicken or meat, a pile of green salad and some seasonal vegetables. I always ask for the vegetables to be undressed, but for some olive oil on the side.

How can I book a nutritional consultation with you?

I am sadly not able to take on new clients for Nutritional Therapy consultations and, due to the high volume of requests, I cannot provide individual advice or health guidance by email. However, I do encourage you to find a Nutritional Therapist or Functional Medical Practitioner in your area (see below for details).

Alternatively, please contact my Associate Nutritional Therapist:

Nicola Moore, Nutritional Therapist

Nicola Moore mBant CHNC
Associate Nutritional Therapist

Nicola Moore is a leading nutritionist (MBANT), nutritional therapist (CNHCReg), educator and speaker. She works one-to-one with clients via clinic or Skype. Nicola is also part of the senior academic team at The Institute for Optimum Nutrition in her role as Head of Clinic.

Click here for detailed profile
Please contact via email in the first instance: nicola@ameliafreer.com


How do I find a qualified nutritionist?

If you wish to seek the guidance and support of a nutritional therapist, it is vital to ensure that they are appropriately qualified and regulated. For a list of registered practitioners in your area, contact BANT British Association for Applied Nutrition & Nutritional Therapybant.org.uk. Or contact my associate nutritional therapist, Nicola Moore mBANT CHNC:  nicola@ameliafreer.com

You could also check out these websites for further information:
functionalmedicine.org
metabolic-balance.co.uk 
associationfornutrition.org

Alternatively, for those on a budget and time to travel, the Institute for Optimum Nutrition in Richmond (the school where I trained) offers appointments with final year students and graduate practitioners on placement, as well as specialist & experienced practitioners – all in their main clinic. They are also on hand to take client enquiries and if they are unable to take a case on (often because the client lives too far away) they will carefully research and recommend the best practitioner for you based on location and specialism.

My relationship with food is complicated. Can you recommend a therapist or counsellor?

Firstly, well done indeed for taking the first step to tackling your relationship with food. It may have been a long and challenging journey for you, but hopefully by seeking information about where you can access more help and support, you are already on your way to a healthier, more positive place around food, eating and body image.

Some nutritional therapists are trained to help with the emotional issues surrounding food, but you should also try BACP British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy bacp.co.uk. Good luck!

I would like to study nutrition; can you recommend anywhere?

 

Life as a Nutritional Therapist, Amelia Freer

 

That’s brilliant news! There are a number of different places you can study nutrition, depending on your background, previous education etc. I studied nutritional therapy at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition. Visit their website for more information. Please also read my article Life as a Nutritional Therapist for more insight into the reality of the vocation and lifestyle of being a nutritional professional.

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine is a way of practicing healthcare which sees the body as a whole, integrated system rather than separating it into different organs, focussing on causes rather than symptoms of ill-health (and indeed optimum health) and using lifestyle changes (especially diet and nutrition, sleep, exercise and relaxation) as central to recovery. It is still scientifically evidence based, and does not shun conventional medicine where necessary, but can be a very effective and powerful tool, particularly for chronic disease. I have undertaken training to be a Functional Nutritionist through the Institute of Functional Medicine, and am continuing to work towards becoming a fully-trained Functional Medicine Practitioner.

For more information on this emerging field of medicine, do read my article about Functional Medicine here.

PLEASE VIST MY BOOK PAGE FOR MORE DETAILED BOOK INFO.

Where can I buy your books? Are they available to purchase internationally?

My new book, Simply Good for You, is currently available for pre-order (due for release on 26th December 2019). It contains over 100 recipes with nourishment, speed and ease at their core. Click here for more info.


Nourish & Glow: The 10 day plan by Amelia Freer
My 3rd book, Nourish & Glow: The 10 Day Plan, celebrates Positive Nutrition with an easy to follow 10 day plan. It was published in March 2017 and is available to buy from bookshops & supermarkets across the UK and online via Amazon or Waterstones. It was published in Australia and is available from all major retailers. It has also been released in Canada & the US. Click here for further info and purchase links.

For a printable version of my Positive Nutrition Pyramid and for general questions and queriers regarding the book, please click here: Nourish & Glow FAQs 

 


 

Cook. Nourish. Glow., my 2nd cook, employs all the guidance from Eat. Nourish. Glow., and equips you with the know-how to cook with confidence. It is available in the UK, as well as the US, Canada & Australia. Following on from Eat (also in digital format). Click here for further info and purchase links.


Eat. Nourish. Glow. by Amelia Freer

 

Eat. Nourish. Glow. is my 1st book and an international best seller! It is available to purchase from all major bookshops, and online (also available in digital & audio format). Internationally, it is available in the US, Canada, Australia, and India; online and from physical retail outlets. It has been translated into many different languages – I’m very pleased to say – and is now available in: French, Czech, Portuguese, German, Japanese, Albanian & Dutch. Click here for further info and purchase links.


 

 

 

PLEASE VISIT MY EVENTS PAGE FOR ALL THE LATEST EVENT INFO.

Limewood Hotel events

Do you run cookery events?

I am at my happiest in my kitchen, rustling up a tasty meal for family or friends. Cooking is something I look forward to and prioritise making time for. However, I know that consistently cooking from scratch is something that many struggle with. I therefore love to help people gain kitchen confidence and learn to enjoy the process of preparing food. It is something that I have been doing with my clients for many years.

I am currently collaborating with the sublimely beautiful Lime Wood Hotel & Spa in the New Forest. I shall be holding a series of retreats and masterclasses throughout the coming year, including the first The Amelia Freer 3-Day Retreat in April 2020. Head to my events page to find event info

Private / Corporate Events

If you and your friends or colleagues would like me to come and cook deliciously healthy dishes with you in your kitchen – or mine (in London or in Wiltshire) – please send an email to info@ameliafreer.com in the first instance.

Private and Corporate events

new book
pre order here

new book
pre order here