It’s about this time of year that I go into pre-Christmas panic. What do I mean by that? Well, so far I have a night out in Newcastle with the bestie planned, my works Christmas party, a day out to Harry Potter Studios with my other half and then there is Christmas itself, followed by New Years. Oh and a week after that, Daniel’s birthday. You may have guessed what these all have in common – there will be pictures and lots of them! Yes, it was about 3 weeks ago I came to the realisation I am TOTALLY out of shape and looking more like a Christmas pudding than a present anyone would want to unwrap. The novelty of having short hair has long warn off and I pray to my follicles daily to hurry up with growing it back. It is safe to say my confidence is at a pretty low point right now.
But, this isn’t a post to say oh look how fat and down in the dumps I am, it is me announcing to the world (well, the small fabulous section of the world who read my blog *love you*) that I am doing something about it; a little for encouragement and a lot so I have to follow through and can’t go back to my current ways. So if i’m not on Twitter in a week or so’s time saying how great I feel since I started being more active and eating right, hunt me down!
My main inspiration when it comes to healthy eating and getting fit has always been books by sassy women or chefs I admire. You won’t be suprised to hear that the nerd who has a book for everything has a barrage of them designed to kick you up the bum and help you feel your best. A lot of people see books by these ‘self made health gurus’ as a fad and not to be listened to, but I think they are all great and very relatable. They have inspired me a lot over the years and I really find them invaluable! So I am going to share with you the people that I love to follow on social media and who have written books that I once idolised (god damn I used to be hot, wahh) and will be reading cover to cover asap so I remember why I used to love them so much and give me the little boost that I need to be my best this winter. Hopefully there will be a couple of these beautiful ladies (and gent) who you haven’t heard of before and if, like me, you need a nudge now the darkness of this time of year is upon us they could be just the ticket!
The Skinny Confidential
Lauryn Evarts is a goddess. She is founder of ‘The Skinny Confidential’ which is first and foremost a healthy lifestyle blog. She lives in LA and writes in the most honest, down to earth way you could ever imagine and NOTHING is off limits (I mean nothing – vagina steaming anyone?). But I first met Lauryn when I came across her book of the same name ‘The Skinny Confidential’ and became an avid blog reader afterwards. If you want healthy and easy recipes, tips and tricks to look amazing, fitness routines and just general brilliant life advice, I urge to you read this book/blog. The absolute best thing I have taken from Lauryn and will forever be in her debt for is banana pancakes. They will change your world!! Mush up a banana in a bowl, mix in two eggs, sprinkle in some flax or oats and cook like a pancake. They are the best thing ever, either savoury with bacon or with some warm raspberries and honey. I am salivating just thinking of them right now. Lauryn also has the cutest little dogs, lovely fiance and is gorgeous, so really just life goals right there.
*Photo taken from The Skinny Confidential e-book
Hannah is another absolute babe who I follow mainly on Insta and Snapchat, she makes me want to be better by just looking at her. She has recently had a baby and still continues to wow in a swimsuit – I know not everyone can achieve this but it really convinces me to choose the fruit over the chocolate when she is on your feed let me tell you. If you follow her expect an Australian beauty beaming at you, all bronze and glowing! She has co-written a book about diet and nutrition called ‘Nourish With The Seasons: Summer’ which I am dying to get my hands on! I will let you know when I finally read it what I think 🙂
*Photo credit Hannah Polites Instagram
Yotam is a vegetarians best friend and healthy eaters god. I myself was a vegetarian for many, many years and while I now do eat meat, I still very much appreciate a meat free meal (I love Jamie Oliver’s movement of ‘meat free Monday’). In particular his book ‘Plenty’ was bought for me by the lovely Daniel who knew I would love it and he was so right! Expect mouth watering dishes with vegetables used in many ways you would never think of – once you start making his recipes it really breaks you out of the rut of your go to dishes and expands the way you think about food. If you are anything like me you will have a few different dinners that you bring out night after night and sometimes just need a push out of the comfort zone and a bit of inspiration – cue Ottolenghi! He is known as the man who ‘sexed up vegetables’ and is from Israel where flavour and colour are in abundance in their food – this is definitely no dull, ordinary cookbook.
Ella Mills (was until recently Woodward) has produced very possibly my favourite healthy eating book. Made out of necessity to herself, Ella cured herself of illness through food – something which really inspires me and reminds me that every single thing we put in our bodies ultimately directly affects our lives. Ella isn’t as glamorous as Lauryn or Hannah but instead she is the poster girl for the everyday girl, living simply and honestly. She seems like the type of woman who you could sit with in a coffee shop and chat with about anything, or at least this is how she comes across in ‘Deliciously Ella’. She also has a blog which is constantly updated with amazing recipes and now a couple of cafes in central London which I am itching to visit both called ‘Mae Deli’. Ella’s food is meat free, dairy free with no refined sugar or wheat, which may sound like it would be fussy and boring but I absolutely love her recipes. A lot of her first book is alternates to everyday popular dishes but made more healthy and better for your body. I think her recipes mixed in with some containing meat etc make a really great balanced diet – going completely free from is not for me, but I admire people who can commit to it! Ella has since released another recipe book and also a small book of juices which I am purchasing asap, she is absolutely flying and I am so pleased so many people appreciate what she does. Lastly, I have to mention almond butter. I had never heard of it until discovering Deliciously Ella but now OH.MY.GOSH it is my absolute favourite snack in the entire world. Of course she has a recipe on how to make your own and occasionally I will but also I have since discovered Meridian Foods version and it literally comes everywhere with me. The version with sea salt is more savoury than the plain version and I much prefer it, having a savoury tooth. Smothered on apple chunks or mixed in with my banana pancakes – almond butter is life. Ella if I ever meet you I just may kiss you for this revelation!
Amelia Freer, Madeleine Shaw and Cameron Diaz
I realise I am in danger of making this the longest post ever so I will just very briefly touch on the books of the latter 3 amazing women. These are books that, although read fewer times by myself compared to the others I have mentioned, they are still right up there in the popularity stakes of my bookshelf. Amelia’s book is less of a cookbook but more of a book of guidance, advice and tips to be the absolute best you can be – she has helped celebs and many others alike realise what their bodies need and I can see why, her food philosophies are everything I wish I had the willpower to achieve! Likewise Madeleine has produced a book which will make you want to take up yoga and speak loudly in public places about how amazing your new lifestyle choices have made you feel – she is a great one to follow on Instagram as she really does put a smile on your face. Her book is a mix of recipes and advice and will make you want to travel to a sunny country and browse food markets for as long as your heart desires. Finally we have Cameron Diaz’s co-written ‘The Body Book’ which delves into the workings of your body, the science behind how to get the best out of yourself and it is simply fascinating. Unlike the others I have written about, it is not just about diet but about how every part of your body works and how you can look after it now and into older age. It makes you think about yourself in such a way that you really want to change your habits and the consequences of not doing so. I have always admired Cameron and in reading this book you realise how she always looks so amazing, she is kind to herself and lives in a way we could all do with taking note of. If you do check out this book don’t expect fluff and light – it is quite a read but so worth it!
So there you have it, these are the people I admire and look up to and who will get me back on track! Like I said I know it doesn’t work for everyone and some women/young girls can become unnaturally obsessed with so called ‘thinspo’ on social media sites, blogs and books but for me personally, a bit of aspiration helps no end! So I am hoping to feel my best this festive season because quite honestly, I’ve let myself go and i’m not ashamed to admit it as now I have, I am going to bloody well do something about it. I have had a lot of change in the last few years and healthy eating and exercise, once a priority, has taken the back bench. Life is too short to be constantly feeling down about how you look and feel – I don’t want to reach 40 and realise that actually not feeling my best has held me back. I’m so excited and full of enthusiasm for this – Wish me luck!!!!
Links to mentioned blogs/books etc (saves you a google search, I’m so good to you):
Deliciously Ella, the blog
The Skinny Confidential, the blog
Hannah Polites’ website
Yotam Ottolenghi ‘Plenty’
Meridian almond butter
Cameron Diaz ‘The Body Book’
Madeleine Shaw ‘Get The Glow’
Amelia Freer ‘Eat.Nourish.Glow’