The NourishYou programme

The NourishYou journey so far

So a weight loss programme was never in my plans, having gone through my own pain of feeling weight was everything, I do not believe this to be true and steered away from writing a programme as such. But over the years, I have to come to know for myself that you can be a healthy weight, love your food but also eat to be nourished, forming new associations with how and what you fuel your body with. I have experimented, I was dieting between the ages of 12 and 20 years old after which I vowed to never crash diet and find ways to live a life of feeling good, and just for the record eating junk food does not make anyone feel good – the lies we tell ourselves…

We are all unique and the beliefs and perceptions we have, basically form the way we think and interact in daily life. This is why weight loss programmes have been criticised as they can and do often exacerbate weight issues unconsciously by encouraging a weight focused approach, weighing oneself often and when we “fall off the wagon” we perceive ourselves to be ‘not good enough’ and all the other awful things we say to ourselves. This in turn fuels a self loathing that I believe is a silent epidemic. 

We have evolved to seek out high fat and sugary foods, and as I often say it is more ‘normal’ to consume the whole packet of biscuits after the first, than resisting and eating one per day (If you do this, you are weird – but also great and I am just jealous) . I would think I was so weak and literally a terrible person for giving in! I believed I had no will power, I now believe I am one of the strongest people I know! But I would still eat the whole packet – well if they were vegan haha! 

You deserve to feel good

The message is clear, understand the sophisticated marketing of the food industry, they are out to make money and totally have the ‘Bliss point’ down. Of course the food is going to taste good…

It has become a society norm to eat unhealthy foods most of the time…

This is a tough one, because our fitting into the tribe instincts are so strong, and food is of course a celebration. This is where you surround yourself with people who appreciate great tasting food. (junk food skews your taste buds, you no longer appreciate real tasting food – this is where getting out of the cycle and becoming more aware of how you are fuelling your amazing body is important). I love to cook for people, and mediterranean fayre makes such good party and entertaining foods and home-made hummus, guacamole and salsa are always colourful and tasty additions to rice and beans. BE THE CHANGE

Lessons learned from Nourish you 

The NourishYou programme began as a study to find out if taking anti inflammatory foods from a persons eating pattern, whilst helping them with guidance on cooking from scratch, introducing new flavours, swapping to wholegrains, and consuming a varied diet for 21 days (fully plantbased), with an option to take a flexitarian approach afterwards, would improve health markers. We wanted to focus on healing and reducing the risk of a myriad of diseases that can be prevented by lifestyle change. 

It started as an experiment and has become a business model as the success of the participants has been overwhelming. As the papers are being written, the short term data has already been collated (we will continue to collect data from our initial participants). Twenty two ladies were recruited (no stipulation on gender), of these 86% completed the six weeks with 100% weight loss, the average weight loss was 4kg over the six weeks, with an average cholesterol drop of 1.5 mm, a significant decrease by only lifestyle changes. 

For me, the weight loss was simply a side effect – we did not weigh weekly and encourage maximum 3 weigh ins altogether for the 6 weeks, and for those who have continued it is 4-6 weeks in between. One gorgeous lady, actually says ‘I don’t have scales anymore and I only weigh myself when Kelly tells me its time’ Whoop! Thats from a beautiful person who had been so tied to those scale numbers and recognised the psychological impact the numbers had caused – no more! I have felt so much pain and confusion around food choice in the past and understood that most of these ladies had been seeking a diet that would work for them, and every time we think this is the one! And so it was important to look at behaviour change in our NY sessions. 

Rather than say anymore I will share with you comments about the programme from some of our ladies. 

We are so proud of our programme, it is healing for all beings and the planet. We are so excited to announce that Laura and I are growing our team, and want to welcome the beautiful and warm hearted Shirley (plantbased dietitian) and Sarah (plantbased and NY lifer). And just in case you haven’t heard this yet today. You are AMAZING!

All our love, 

Nourish you team – email nourishyoudietitian@gmail.com

The next NourishYou start date is in Middlesbrough Tuesday 11th june 2019

Participant story 1

I have been following a plant based diet, under Kelly and Laura’s guidance now since September 2018. Joining the group has literally changed my life and my mental attitude to health, fitness and happiness. I have never been lazy and have always tried to be ‘healthy’. Despite running regularly and following various eating plans, I just kept seeing my weight yo frequntely yo. If I was loosing weight, I felt hungry or had sugar cravings. I was fixed in a cycle of being ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and measured my worth via a set of scales. It was frustrating, demoralising and always a short term fix. My depression was not under control, with my mood and anxiety were swinging frequently. I drank alchohol to help me relax from a stressful job or to celebreate the weekend, or just because someone asked! I had lost the conscious thought process about what I wanted, needed and what made me feel good. I also seemed to have lost awareness of what made me feel bad.

I stumbled across Kelly. I hadn’t been considering a plant based diet until then. We met at a Yoga retreat. Over dinner one day she told me about her study. She is a big bubble of energy and positivity and I wanted in. My dad had not long been diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer. It was a catalyst for me to try to find a way to true health, but I had no clue how to get there. The timing was perfect, some things are just meant to be.

I followed the 3 week reset plan and then after that continued with their ABC plant based model. The changes I have experienced are profound, including:

  • Amazing skin, I don’t think I have had one spot since the reset! My eyes are less puffy too.
  • Reflux has resolved. I only get a nibble of this if I have a glass of wine now.
  • So far I have lost 35 pounds. 34 pounds of this is in fat alone. I am nearly within a healthy weight range. My muscle mass has increased and my percentage body ft has drastically reduced. I fit into my favourite little black dress … with a bit of room to spare… which I thought was never going to be an option to wear again!
  • Blood sugar levels feel far more stable. I don’t get hangry anymore, I don’t crash out half way through the morning or afternoon. I don’t need to snack as frequently.
  • I feel satisfied and full. I am consciously eating, which means I know when I have had enough. I have stopped just eating because its there.
  • I still have depression, it still pops up every so often. But it doesn’t swing so hard or so frequently now.
  • I WANT to exercise . I crave it if I miss a regular session. The group was linked to a gym and that has created a little community of plant based eaters/bootcamp attenders. That has been fantastic for ideas, motivation, problem solving, encouragement and friendship.
  • Bowel movements … well lets just say regular as clockwork and all good!
  • My hair is healthier and shinier.
  • I sleep well, CONSISTENTLY !
  • My taste has definitely changed. Refined sugars taste too sweet. Veg and fruit tastes wonderful.
  • I don’t crave sugar. If I have something sweet its because I actually want it not because I have an urge that feels out of control. I don’t HAVE to have it. I am in control now and that feels really good.
  • Its catching…. People around me that I love are seeing all these benefits and are dabbling with increasing plant based food! My carnivorous veg averse partner has just done a 3 week plant based reset. The change to sugar cravings, taste, openness to trying new veg and foods and reducing the need for meat is unbelievable. My mum is now following nourish you and my dads eating habits have changed as a result. I have several friends who have ordered plant based recipe books and have reduced their meat and dairy intake. Consistently all of these people tell me how much better they are feeling, skin, energy levels, taste, cravings… the list goes on!
  • The biggest, most profound change is my mental attitude to health and weightloss. I don’t want to loose weight rapidly. I have worked to change my habits and now the weightloss is just a side effect of my healthier life style. Its freeing!!!

I am pretty sure there are a load of benefits I haven’t included here. Overall, I am a happier, healthier, stronger, fitter, more positive human being, with the skills, knowledge and will to continue to lead this life I have so enjoyed over the last 6 months. I am so glad I have been part of it. Its like being let in on a life changing secret, I am so grateful for the opportunity Laura and Kelly have given. Their education and support has been so valuable and enlightening.

Participant story 2 

I decided to do the programme as I’d just completed the Great North Run and I was looking for a new challenge.  As a committed meat eater, the prospect of giving up animal based products presented more of a challenge to me than running half a marathon!! I decided to take the plunge and I am so pleased I did. Six months later I am still eating a predominantly plant based diet and am feeling the benefits of it. The support and education I received throughout was far beyond my expectations and I’d recommend the programme to anyone who wants to improve their health and wellbeing and learn about good nutrition.

Participant story 3

In November I saw the advert about nourish you and thought oh that looks good I might after Christmas give that a try, then a few weeks later I saw a few ladies and said they looked amazing what were they doing so they said the nourish you plan so I decided there and then I was going to give it a go and signed up. On the Wednesday night I went and didn’t know what to expect and then when the ladies told us what the plan was I thought no way can I give up meat, even though I didn’t eat a lot but most of all thought I can’t give up alcohol for 21 days as I was a big drinker as I done it to mask the way I was feeling. I left the meeting thinking oh well I will give it a try and see how I do as I don’t stick to anything, I sent my 3 day diary to Kelly and thought let’s do this. After several days I thought it wasn’t as bad as expected and I had the help of all the ladies from stage 1, the ladies in my group and of course Kelly and Laura who were amazing at giving advice and help if we wobbled. Over the next 9 days I noticed a change in my skin, sleep and most of all my mood and confidence and was so pleased with myself as still hadn’t had alcohol which was my biggest achievement but then on day 10 I hit a wall and felt I couldn’t carry on, I was getting stuck with meal ideas and was frightened I was going to go off and just go back to what I used to eat but that morning I went to the gym and bumped into some of the ladies who gave me a talking to, gave me some new ideas and motivational talk and I left the gym knowing I could do this 🙂 

Step forward 5 weeks and I had survived and my first weigh in I had lost an amazing 1 stone, felt better health wise, sleep and mood wise and people were noticing I was losing weight but most of all I was starting to feel better about myself and so proud I had stuck with it and learning to realise I wasn’t the failure I been made to feel most my life but that I could do something for myself to make me feel good inside and out. 

So we’re now on the 13th April and 5 months in and I’m still loving the nourish you way of life, lost nearly 2 stone in weight, lost 2 stone of body fat, lost god knows how many inches and dropped from a size 18/16 to a 14/12 which is amazing. I haven’t had any meat and really don’t know if I ever will, I’m still loving the foods and flavours I eat, my exercise levels have gone up so much and yes I do have alcohol on a Saturday but I’m certainly no where like I was before drinking most weekends or shall I say Thursday to Sunday and not just one drink more like a bottle a day. I feel my moods are so much better than before and yes I’m still someone that tries to hard with people but slowly that’s changing as since starting this life change I’m learning to LOVE MYSELF which is the biggest thing I wanted to do this for and it’s all thanks to Kelly, Laura and the other ladies for helping me get to where I am now. I still have a long way to go to truly love myself the way I should but I know I will get there as this is a life change for me and I think losing the weight and realising I can stick to something has made me look at my life through a total different window to how I used to and it’s a window I like and will continue looking through.