The 1 thing you need to know about good nutrition…

Clue… it’s not a cheese omelette!

The chef’s away and it’s all gone awry. I got home last night after a long day of training and opened the fridge to find, well, not a lot. This is normally his domain and my mind hasn’t quite kicked in to the fact that I need to pull myself together and get things sorted, otherwise it’s going to be a cheese omelette again tonight.

Had I thought through the implications of him being gone for 2 weeks on my good nutrition, then things could have looked very different. Instead I skipped away from him in the departure hall excited about everything I had planned, the jobs I wanted to get done, the TV-free evenings and a huge bed all to myself. I am loving all those things of course, but now I realise that I have taken for granted not just the lovely things he cooks for me but, importantly, the thinking, preparing and shopping that goes into it. Many of you who have had a family and run a household will be all too familiar with this I know, but having lived alone for most of my adult life and, especially when working in corporate, my penchant for nice restaurants became way too frequent a habit, and on other nights Marks and Spencer was just so handy!

Fresh vegetables
Organic vegetables

Having lived together for almost 8 years, ready meals no longer feature in our house and in truth that is all down to him. I have seen and felt the incredible difference that cooking from fresh can make, and the more I read and learn, the more passionate I become about helping other people to experience these benefits. Eating food that is as close to its original state as possible means that you know exactly what you are putting into your body whilst eliminating your exposure to added nasties such as sugar, chemicals and additives which food companies, for some reason known only to themselves (and their bottom line), feel the need to add in. Trading convenience for wellbeing has to make sense. Previously food was just fuel for me, whereas now it is something that I see as nourishing and nurturing and relates directly to my energy levels, my mood, the way my body performs and of course my weight.

Planning is the key to good nutrition

I should know better than to find myself caught out, as this is such an important part of what I now do for a living. I can hear my clients shouting ‘the P word’ and they would be right. Planning is key. Unlike the chef, I simply can’t open the fridge and produce something delicious from pretty much nothing. I need to dedicate some quality time to working it through, and I know that it will be time well spent. My clients hear this from me regularly and now I need to take some of my own medicine. So this afternoon I will be taking an hour to get things sorted, not least so that when he next calls I won’t have to admit to a cheese omelette!!

Meal plan
Planning: the key to success

Top tips

Here’s some things to think about if, like me this week, you find yourself turning to whatever is to hand. If you are looking to lose weight, careful planning is even more critical to success.

1. Plan every meal, make a shopping list and buy accordingly.

2. Start by including some protein at every meal (lean meat such as chicken, fish, eggs, pulses).

3. Make sure that if you need a mid-morning or afternoon snack you have included this.

4. Try not to make it a burden as then it won’t be sustainable. Find easy and quick recipes for the week when you don’t have a lot of time.

5. Build a library of recipes that you like as you go along, which will help speed up the process rather than going through lots of books.

6. Make your planning a priority by blocking out space in your diary, preferably at the same time each week so that it becomes part of your routine.

7. If you can, prepare in advance to make things easier when you are short of time.

8. Cooking double portions is also a helpful time saver.

9. Have your plan in a visible place so that you always refer to it.

10. See it as a positive process where you will be nourishing your body so that in turn it will perform better for you.

I’d love to hear your tips. Do add them below.


  1. Zoe

    Another tip is to read what’s in any ready made stuff before you buy it. I always used to buy a jar of pasta sauce to go with meatballs, then one day I read the ingredients and there was so much sugar and salt in it that I nearly fell over. Now I make my own and its really easy, a lot cheaper and it tastes better. I tend to make a massive batch then split it into portions and freeze it (I also do the same with soup).

  2. hilary

    Thanks for your openness and honestly when it comes to prepared foods, when your chef is away!! Good to see what you have to say, with some useful tips and ideas.

    Thank you. 🙂

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