The Secret Ingredient

Want glowing skin and everlasting radiance? It’s all about finding the ingredient that works… Professional Beauty Therapist, Claire Aggarwal, reveals what works best

 

To book a Perfect Ten massage, beauty treatment or even wax then www.perfect10mobilebeauty.co.ukfor more information.

Image by:  www.flickr.com-search-q=beautiful+face&m=tags&l=4&page=2


Winter Running: What to know before you go… we quiz extreme runner, Andy McMenemy

 

 

Here in the UK you need to be prepared for all sorts of weather… if you are serious about running. I run in running tights and a wind-stopper top, hat and gloves when it’s really cold. The 10 degree rule still applies. Set of on your run dressed as if the temperature were 10 degrees warmer than it is. That’s because by the time you’ve put in a couple of vigorous miles your body temperature will be up. You can overheat very quickly by being overdressed.

For the really horrible wet weather or slushy conditions, I use a pair of Sealskins socks.

I prefer to stick with ASICS and currently use the Gel Nimbus Shoe.

I go off road as much as I can especially when it’s frosty or icy, and just enjoy my runs at a moderate pace, winter running can be real fun.

The risk of slipping increases during icy and wet weather but in general as long as you run sensibly all should be okay.

I run outside during winter because fresh air makes all the difference, but I also use treadmills for a fast session.

I love early morning frosty runs, so porridge for warmth and the slow release of carbs works perfect for me, add in some fruit and honey for an extra treat. Afterwards I usually stick with a protein recovery shake, and then something warming like French onion soup for lunch.

On longer runs I still consume about 330mls of water per hour no matter what the weather conditions are. It’s always important to be well hydrated before your run.

To regulate your breathing when it is so cold outside start your run gently, and gradually increase the pace, your breathing will follow. I wear a Buff around my neck, and pull it up over my mouth and nose on those really nippy days until my breathing feels okay, just to prevent the cill and burn of the frosty air.

In order to motivate myself I think about the winter runs as maintenance runs, I always hate having an injury and a lay off and then having to break the inertia and build fitness after a long delay, so ticking over through winter is just great. Remember you never regret going for a run but you always regret not going for one!

www.andymcmenemy.co.uk


Yummy Mummy Diaries: Yummy Mummy Goes Swimming

Yummy Mummy, Matilda Sturridge, reveals how she taught her wonderful baby Rudy to swim at just four-and-half-months-old.

 

The many stories of how my family and extended family were taught to swim have been regaled around my kitchen table for as long as I can remember. My Aunt will always beam with great pride when discussing how her daughter (now 24) was swimming at just seven-months old  after being taught while they lived in France. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t learn until I was two.

I had forgotten about this competitive swimming streak my family carry until one of my weekly mother and baby yoga sessions – I heard a few of Notting Hill’s yummiest mummies discussing the Baby Spa they all take their little ones to. I know what you may be thinking, and believe me – I thought the same – there is no way I would take my baby to a spa, not only is he only four-and-a- half months old but I don’t plan to enter him into any baby beauty pageants just yet! However, I must admit that I was intrigued, and after I wangled my way into the conversation I soon learned that this ‘Baby Spa’ was not really a spa at all but a family-run private swim-school where babies and toddlers can learn to swim. Run by a South African woman called Laura Sevenus, a national competitive swimmer in the sixties, she and her family  launched these fantastic schools to teach babies from birth to swim. She has even developed her own method, aptly named the Laura Sevenus Swimming Method – proven to be incredibly effective. At £45 a session it is certainly not cheap but due to the amazing reviews and perhaps a little down to the idea that my gorgeous baby Rudy might just be the youngest swimmer in our family yet, I booked us in for our first session.

Each session begins with a ten to twenty minute float. Laura’s husband has designed a special head float that gives the babies (from birth to six months) an amazing freedom in the water; literally allowing them to happily float around. The babies then swim alone in a Jacuzzi sized neo-natal tub filled with warm purified water. I can’t tell you how much Rudy loved it. Laura encouraged him to move around and play. After about 15 minutes Rudy was taken out of the water and wrapped up in a warm towel, he was then given a full-body massage using organic baby massage oils. He was in heaven. Not only was it clearly relaxing for him, it was also just as relaxing for me. After his session finished he was incredibly hungry so Laura lead me to a tranquil, dimly lit breast-feeding area where we melted into the comfy sofas. I fell in love with the whole process and made the decision to go back weekly.

Rudy, now almost one, has moved onto the next stage of Laura’s program. Every Sunday we go to Chiswick, which is where Laura’s other school, Sevenus, is situated. It is for babies who have out-grown the spa and children up to the age of ten. Here, Rudy’s sessions consist of a half an hour swim lesson where parents are encouraged to join their children in the pool (a much bigger pool but just as warm as the Baby Spa pool). Rudy can now even swim underwater – he loves his time swimming which completely fills me with pride, not to mention that it felt great to tell my Aunt this Christmas; “you’ll never guess what, Auntie, my son learnt how to swim at just four-and-a-half months old.”


Three of the best: Runs

 

 

Endurance Life’s South Devon Coastal Trail  
The views across the cliffs and oceans from Devon’s southerly coast are some of the best we have in Britain and this race delivers them in abundance. The route will take you up steep hills, along narrow tow paths and across breathtakingly beautiful rolling hills. You will be jumping over styes, rolling under fences and hopping over tree roots. If you are lucky you may be blessed with good weather but since it is in February, it is unlikely, but you will feel all the better for withstanding the wind and rain that might visit you. Next Race: 18/02/2012

Milland Valley Trail Race
Setting off in a small country lane this race takes you through woods, along tow paths, above heather-clad hills and across streams. As you twist and turn along the course path you are less concerned with how far you have to go but rather more concerned with your footing. Situated in a particular beautiful rural part of Hampshire and due to the time of year (August), this race is often blessed with glorious sunshine and lots of wonderfully welcome breezes. A great first -timer’s trail race. Next Race: August 2012

Lakeland Trails Marathon in Coniston
As one of the most picturesque marathons in the UK this first off-road marathon in the Lake District, takes you in a complete circuit of Coniston Water along well marked and marshalled footpaths and bridleways in the idyllic beauty spot of Tarn Hows, and the elevated Beacon Tarn. The whole course gives panoramic views of Lake Coniston and the surrounding peaks of the Old Man, Swirl How, Wetherlam and Dow Crags. Next Race: 1/07/12

Image by: www.flickr.com-photos-col_and_tasha-3318128151


The ABC (&D) of Healthy Eating

Is the New Year finding a slighter plumper you? Chances are that unless you have spent the festive season at an ashram or on a boot-camp your waist is a little stouter and clothes may be starting to pinch. Hardly surprising as Christmas is a sugar-heavy season; the sweeter than sin mulled wine, deeper than desirable mince pies, extra fat and fruity pud, the now empty Harvey’s Bristol Cream; all very pleasurable ‘nectar from the Gods’ stuff but how about giving your body a New Year cleanout? I’m not talking fasts, strangely combined foods or weird tasting beverages; no something far more friendly. Just follow my A-D plan below, combine with a brisk walk everyday and a serious cut down on the ubiquitous white stuff and you shall sashay into Spring svelte, clear eyed, bushy tailed and ready for any itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny bikini.

 

Words By Miss Savvy


A Day in the Life of… Cheryl Thallon, founder of Viridian

Cheryl Thallon started her career in the natural products industry in 1983 when aged 21, she took her first job working in a health food store. As a vegetarian and activist she was a fierce campaigner for CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament), the women’s movement and animal rights. After training in publishing, she became Editor of Natural Food Trader and Health Today magazines where she travelled the world reporting on trends in the natural product sector. Head-hunted by an American vitamin company, she worked as marketing director for 8 years until the company was sold to a pharmaceutical giant. It was then she founded Viridian Nutrition in 1999, based on the three fundamental principles of Purity, Environment & Charity.

Given my left-of-centre leanings, I’m shocked to find I have simpatico with Margaret Thatcher in my sleeping habits, needing just five or so hours a night. So I tend to be up and about by 5.30 – 6am. I plan my day, manage our Facebook pages, wash up, load the washing machine and feed the dogs. Honey and Eddie are rescue mutts, much adored by us, friends, family and the neighbourhood.

Breakfast is my favourite meal. I have a slight tendency to obsession and will go for a month eating exactly the same breakfast every day – at the moment it is organic poached egg on seeded toast. Then I won’t be able to look at, let alone eat it, for a few months while I obsess on some other breakfast dish.

Two capsules of Viridian Multi PhytoNutrient Complex, ensures that I have everything I need to keep me perky all day. I am such a naturally up-beat person, I never need stimulants to keep me revved up. I have never even tasted tea or coffee, so this isn’t part of my routine. I love water, pure and simple, and drink around 2 to 3 litres each day.

My beauty routine is pretty minimalist too, as I don’t wear make-up. I guess I must have skipped that class at school! I love raw organic coconut oil, and use it as an all-over cleanser/moisturiser, including my face and even my hair. Once a month I cover my hair and scalp in the oil and leave it over overnight. Then I just wash as usual in the morning. It is very restorative.

By 7am, the rest of the household is rising. Holly is 16 and is organised and dedicated. She wants to be an architect and knows how hard she will need to study to succeed. Holly loves the Ultimate Beauty Oil, keeping her skin and hair in great condition, despite the hair straighteners! She adds a tablespoon to a smoothie every morning. As well as for beauty, essential fatty acids are also crucial in learning.

My husband, Shaun, and I walk the dogs together before work. Our local country park has a large lake at the centre and it is a three-mile walk all the way round, giving us plenty of time to chat. Viridian is a family business and Shaun is very much involved. He is responsible for the internet, purchasing and supplier relationships. Like all good businesses, Viridian is very much a team, and so we have experts in all area to ensure our high standards in purity, environmental procedures, community support, quality control and customer service are maintained and enhanced.

My role is simply to keep the vision of the company as strong as it was when we started. My favourite job is to write the cheques to the charities we support. The Viridian Nutrition Charity Donation Programme has donated more than £125,000 thus far to children’s and environmental charities. Our health store stockists vote each year to decide which charities benefit each year, but usually include Friends of the Earth, NSPCC and lots of smaller charities.

Unless I am travelling to visit customers, growers or suppliers, I will be home by 4pm to spend the early evening with the family. Once the house begins to slumber, I will use the evening to write articles, or simply have an enjoyable read, with Honey or Eddie curled up on my feet, dreaming.

www.viridian-nutrition.com


Eat like a Cavewoman by Lydia Lerner

 

 

I have had a niggling feeling for a while now that I may be using food as a reward… Too often in work when a tedious e-mail has been completed and a box of cupcakes waved under my nose, I happily indulge in a well deserved treat. After a brisk walk home resulting in a rumbling stomach and I am guiltily ripping the lid off the bread bin!  I am frequently over indulging and as a result my jeans are snug, I feel lethargic and my skin could give the most unfortunate teenager a run for their money.  I need to take action, and at last I have found a diet that loves rewards as much as me!

The Paleo Diet, better known as the Caveman Diet, is based on the principle that we have not genetically evolved that much since the days of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Therefore, to be at our physical peak, we need to follow their dietary habits, eating plenty of fruit, vegetable, nuts, lean meat and seafood.  Refined and processed foods are out, only the foods that the average caveman would have rewarded himself with after a long day of physically taxing hunting are allowed. Rather than eating food that enhances my ever increasing waist line, instead Dr. Cordain (author of The Paleo Diet: Loose weight and get healthy eating the foods you were designed to eat) explains my rewards will be of the “psyche” and “body!”.  Sounds perfect! After foraging around my local supermarket my cupboards are well stocked to embark for the diet that my body was built for.

Day 1

Meat and vegetables seems to be the key to this diet, so even though roast beef, melon and spinach seem a peculiar way to start the day, breakfast is surprisingly tasty. I am feeling great until mid-morning when a lack of caffeine leaves my head pounding. You are allowed black tea or coffee on the diet, however, dairy is a definite no-go (cavemen didn’t often get the chance to stop and milk the wild animal they were about to butcher!). I personally dislike these drinks without milk so I have enforced a ban on caffeine altogether. Lunch is more roast beef (whoops, I should have thought this through more… I had leftovers from the previous night and every meal is supposed to include protein, fruit and vegetables!). I manage to endure the rest of the day sipping water and herbal tea and enjoy a tasty tomato soup recipe from the Paleo Diet book and a grilled turkey steak for supper.

Day 2

I feel really tired today and struggled to keep my eyes open during my morning meetings. I suspect I haven’t eaten enough as I was in a rush this morning and only managed to grab a hardboiled egg from the fridge for breakfast followed by a sprinkling of nuts throughout the morning. I should have been tucking into my fruit and vegetables but I didn’t have the time to prepare anything and the sandwich shops surrounding my office are not caveman friendly. Following the Paleo diet means you need to be organised and I promised myself that I’d prepare some snacks for tomorrow. I find it hard to shake my tiredness off even after lunch and when a pizza voucher pings into my inbox at the end of the day I find myself drooling. Determined not to break the diet on only the second day I go for a quick jog after work and spend ages preparing a huge dinner of roasted beetroot, ratatouille and a pork chop grilled with lemon and thyme. I have enough left for the next day and go to bed feeling satisfied.

Day 3

The caveman lived a physically challenging life and the Paleo diet recommends I take a minimum of 20-60 minutes exercise a day. Despite the fact no bread or pasta has passed my lips for the last three days I feel full of energy.  A run around the village green will not suffice compared to the days of hunting, foraging and butchery of my ancestors so I decide to attack the gym vigorously. Not normally my favourite place (I live in a very well groomed borough), I lunge towards the weight machine and wrestle with the cross-trainer, and even jog home! I haven’t felt this alert for ages although I think my husband may be missing the old sleepy version of me as my new diet seems to have affected the energy levels of my vocal cords as well as my body. Apparently he doesn’t want to stay up all night listen to me discuss how great I’m feeling.

Day 4

Unfortunately, diets never seem keen on alcohol, hardly uprising really considering how much drinking can damage your health, its full of calories and doesn’t really offer any nutritional value. However, alcohol is the social animal’s best friend and after four days of virtuous living, when the offer of a post-work drink comes my way, I think “why not”.  The diet is not too strict and allows a beer or the odd glass of wine (although I am yet to find much empirical evidence of the caveman/beer and wine age). The joy of being out and with friends and not pumping iron with people who wear more make up to the gym than they would to a beauty pageant, means one glass of wine trickles into a bottle and I find myself a little light headed. As it increasingly looks like my regular processed and refined food diet provides a sturdier defence against the affects of wine, I stumble home feeling very guilty that I just may have ruined nearly a week of good work.

Day 5                                                                                                

Today is the final day of the diet and I don’t feel great… I have a big deadline at work, my head is pounding and I am running later than usual. As soon as I walk into the office I am bombarded with questions and after five days of being caffeine-free I only just manage to politely ask our work experience girl to go and get me a very large triple shot skinny latte. As much as I also want to eat a croissant bursting at the seams with cheese, I think the hangover and latte are enough cheating. Unbelievably though, very quickly I feel normal again, if anything I feel really good. I have been following the food side of the diet in the last 24 hours despite my little slip up and I really think I can see the difference. My body is looking slimmer and my skin clearer.  At lunch I buy a new dress. I am feeling good, light, and alert. Even though I initially decided to follow the Paleo programme for five days I think the positive benefits are too good to ignore so I will pursue this diet for longer. The food is satisfying, I look trimmer, I guess sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards!

 


Five Ways to a New You!

How many of us make a resolution to either lose weight or travel the path of a more healthy diet? Statistics indicate that a full 90% of us have such good intentions for the New Year. For many these good intentions last just ONE day! And often the thought of dieting or changing our eating habits makes us groan. However, making changes, with just a little effort can make a BIG difference to your health!

Here’s five simple tips to help kick start any New year health, fitness and fat loss regime…

Are you drinking enough water?
Myself and the team carry out Bodystat testing every day in the clinic, which measures a person’s body composition (fat/lean weight) as well as hydration levels and 80% of the clients I see are dehydrated!! One of the best weight loss secrets is to ditch the sodas and stick to water! I know we’ve heard it all before but it works! So instead of turning to calorie-laden, sugar-rich (even fruit juice) drinks, grab a refreshing glass of water or better still fat burning green tea! In addition to flushing toxins, drinking water encourages your body to metabolise fat.

How much alcohol are you consuming?
Alcohol consumption will slow or stop your results. The drawbacks are probably going to far outweigh any “health benefits”. Your liver can’t metabolise alcohol and fat at the same time. It will always get rid of the toxic substance (alcohol) first. That means that as long as there’s alcohol in your system you won’t be burning any body fat!! If you have one or two drinks, you might stall your fat loss for a few hours/maybe a day but if you have quite a few drinks, it might be as long as four days before you’re metabolising fat again.

Eat GOOD fats!
Contrary to popular belief, fats are essential for good health, fat burning and aid in disease prevention. Good fats (poly and mono unsaturated fats) are the ones that occur naturally in foods like avocados, nuts, and oily fish, as opposed to those that are manufactured, processed and damaged by heat. Including small amounts of these foods at meal times can decrease the risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol and help you to feel fuller for longer.

Restricting calories is NOT the best way to lose weight.
Both cutting back on calories and exercising more will help you lose weight and maintain the lean muscle mass needed to boost metabolism. People often believe the diet and exercise myth that they must take drastic measures to lose weight, such as eating less than 1000 calories per day, but such diets do not provide adequate fuel for the body and may lead to the breakdown of lean muscle tissue which will lead to a slower metabolism!

Lean good quality protein helps you get lean!
Protein builds muscle tissue and helps grow the cells that we need for healthy skin, hair, nails, and bones. About 15 – 20% of our body weight is comprised of protein and the immune system can’t function well without a significant amount. Other nutrients can be stored as reserves in the body, but protein can’t. So it’s important to regularly eat some with every meal. That’s why lean turkey and chicken, low fat cottage cheese, egg whites, and fish are so important on any fat loss plan. The body has to work hard to digest protein and because of this the metabolism is raised and extra kcals are burnt-just by eating protein!

So there you have it, five simple tips that you can employ today!

If you wish to learn all that you can about optimum nutrition for results, visit www.bodybrilliant.co.uk or call into the Body Brilliant Studio, Henley, where one of the highly trained team can give you expert advice on how to achieve your goals. 2, Duke Street, Henley on Thames, RG9 1UP, 01491 413671


Detox Do’s

Detoxing has had a lot of mixed media in the past. The good: detoxes will help you lose weight, clear your skin, increase energy levels, raise your self-esteem and genuinely make you feel like a much healthier version of yourself. The bad: they can be restrictive, boring, in some cases too extreme and not very good for you, not to mention anti-social and expensive. As for the ugly: anyone who has had a colonic irrigation or has eaten nothing but green juice for three days knows that it ‘aint pretty what comes out the other end. But when it comes to detoxes, there are dozens of ways to do it and it’s all about finding the one that is right for you. Below we have outlined four of our favourites…

Detox By: Raw Fairies
Which One: 5-Day mini Cleanse
Tested By: Sadie Macleod
Price: £295
Give us an outline: The cleanse is made up of raw food, supplements, and juices and is delivered straight to your door (or desk) each morning. Day one felt easy, as there was enough juices and meals to be eaten throughout the day without feeling ravenous. Having said that, I realised how heavily I relied upon snacking at my desk to get me through the afternoon at work. But I was really pleasantly supplied with the juices, which were tasty and fresh, and made a good substitute for the popcorn I am usually scoffing. But it is much easier said than done. The cleanse builds you up for a full day of juices in the middle of the week, which was harder than I thought it would be. Even for one day I missed the sensation of chewing. The following day you are introduced to raw meals again, and I also snacked on a few nuts (which Raw Fairies allow). On the last day of the cleanse I was really starting to see improvements in my skin, and my eyes even looked brighter and I just felt much more alert than I had done the rest of the week.
Best thing about it: It opens your eyes to raw food meals that you would have never normally thought of.
What is it good for: Great for a post-indulgent holiday detox.
Result: I lost 1.1Kg. My skin felt brighter and clearer.
Contact: www.rawfairies.com

Detox By: Nosh
Which One: 7-Day ABC Cleanse
Tested By: Sadie Macleod
Price: £290
Give us an outline: ABC is an acronym for Alkalise, Balance, Cleanse, which is what the entire aim of the programme is. The seven day programme is split into two parts. The first part consists of (delicious) juices and smoothies up until 4pm followed by a balanced meal in the evening. The breakfast smoothie is a generous size followed by a mid-morning, vitamin boosting juice and a soup at lunchtime. Easy. The tough bit sets in in the afternoon when you start wanting to chew something and I gave in to having the supper (rice and veg or chicken) very early in the evening. The second part of the cleanse involves a raw food diet with a balanced meal in the evening. I never felt hungry during the second part of the diet, which makes it easier to stick to it. Everything is dairy and gluten free and delivered to your door the night before. Alongside the diet, Nosh suggest you have a bath each night with special bath salts (which are also supplied) to help aid your body rid itself of toxins. Make sure you also supplement the diet with plenty of water and herbal tea.
Best thing about it: I really loved the juices. This is perfect for someone who needs structure but doesn’t want a full on juice fast.
What is it good for: Great for those woh want the benefits of a juice fast but wouldn’t enjoy one. This is a great happy-medium.
Result: I lost 1kg, felt very energetic.
Contact: www.noshdetox.com

Detox By: My Food
Which One: New Body (7 day plan)
Tested By: Harriet Chubb
Price: £132.45 (inclusive of delivery)
Give us an outline: Inspired by cuisine from all over the world, what is wonderful about this detox is the variation of delicious food that have been so carefully prepared and packaged. The New Body plan is just one of 3 plans to choose from at 1,300 calories a day, including an edible (no juices!) breakfast, lunch and dinner. The rise & shine muesli was a great way to start the day and some of my favourite meals included the Thai green curry, the Algerian humus and roasted tomato salad and the vegetable lasagne. It’s important to freeze and refrigerate the meals according to the instructions on arrival and the frozen meals last for 30days, great if you have a dinner party you just can’t get out of! The food contains a very low GI, which allows your body to use all of it for energy, instead of storing it as fat. Combined with no dairy, wheat or artificial additives.
Best thing about it: It is perfect for people wanting to diet and cleanse without experiencing the gruelling hunger and boredom that often comes with other detox plans.
What is it good for: Kick-starting a whole new regime, as this is a sustainable diet it is easy to continue for longer than 7 days.
Result: I lost 4lbs and noticed a much flatter stomach due to the lack of carbohydrates. I also felt a definite energy boost after 4 days!
Contact: www.myfood.co.uk


Dr Dukan: The Man with a Plan

With 30 years of experience as a nutritionist under his belt, 2.5 million book sales, and an expert insight into food behaviour, there is definitely something special about Dr Pierre Dukan and his diet, The Dukan Diet. It has been tried, tested, critiqued and written about all over the world, and its list of followers include Carole Middleton, Jennifer Lopez and Gisele. Here, we speak to the man behind the plan and find out what his guilty pleasure is, what he can’t live without and what he has in store for 2012 as well as just why The Dukan Diet has been so successful…

 

How and why did you come up with the diet? Whilst at my surgery in Paris over 30yrs ago, one of my patients who was very obese asked me to help him lose weight. Although I wanted to help, I declined, explaining that I didn’t specialise in nutrition. However, the patient insisted saying “Doctor, you know I have to lose weight and that all my attempt have failed. Prescribe me any diet you want, get rid of any foods you like but not meat, I couldn’t not eat meat.” I agreed to help and advised the patient to eat meat, but as lean as possible, drink lots of water and come back to get weighed in five days time. After those five days, the patient returned and to both our amazement he had lost over five kilos. This is how it all started. I gave up Neurology and concentrated solely on Nutrition. Over 20yrs I started to build my four phase plan and by 2003 the Dukan Diet book was published and sales soared.

Please outline it for us… My diet is a high-protein, low-carb, low-fat diet which provides long-term, sustainable weight loss. It’s a simple, accessible and natural method, based on 100 natural foods, 78 protein rich foods and 28 vegetables that you may eat as much as you want of which helps people reach their true weight.

It has a unique FOUR phase structure: two to lose weight and two to maintain the weight:

Phase 1: A brief Attack Phase of between two and seven days kick starts the diet and gives immediate results. There are 72 protein foods you can eat as much as you want, to choose from at this stage, so no need for the dreaded “what have I let myself in for” feeling, common in other diets.

Phase 2: Cruise Phase where you add 28 vegetables, again you can eat as much as you want, which averages a sustainable 2lb/week loss until the desired target weight is reached.

Phase 3: The Consolidation Phase is designed to prevent any re-bound effect as the dieter seeks to keep to the new weight and avoid putting on pounds while eating in a more relaxed fashion. You can add cheese, complete whole bread, fruits, starchy food and ‘Celebration’ meals.

Phase 4: Finally a Stabilisation Phase where you can eat normally but you must include a day of protein only foods once a week to maintain your weight.

How does it work? It works by providing a strong support structure for the dieter to aid quick weight loss and then stabilise and control their weight long term. The Dukan Diet was the number one best seller in France last year.

What makes it so successful? It works! Thousands of people around the world have successfully followed my diet and as we know dieting is a hot topic! The Dukan Diet shows results quickly, which serves as a great psychological stimulus for the dieter and then the 4 phase plan provides a structure which is easy to follow. Hunger is the biggest inhibitor to maintaining a diet, but with a list of approved foods for dieters to choose from, they can eat as much as much as they like without calorie counting or portion control. We also appreciate one-diet-doesn’t-fit-all and therefore our personalised online coaching provides support and helps to overcome any issues when there are slips.

Does it incorporate exercise? The level of exercise will depend upon the individual, but the minimum I recommend is 20mins walking every day.

Who is the diet aimed at? The diet is aimed at people with serious weight issues and who are unable to grasp control and manage a healthy eating plan on their own. It’s really recommended for people with over 10lbs to lose .

Can you drink with the diet? Go to dinner parties? If you’re serious about the diet, I would say no to alcohol, but if you have to have a glass of wine I would say you must pay for it with an extra 20min walking the next day. Diets aren’t just about restriction and you shouldn’t have to miss out. If you feel you are missing out, that’s when you’re more likely to fall off the wagon. There is always something you can eat at a party – it’s just about making the right choices. Choose the shellfish or slices of ham to nibble, rather than crisps or nuts. A good tip is to eat a little before the party like a boiled egg, ham or my favourite; an oatbran  galette. You’ll feel full and are less likely to snack or eat lots of bad foods. If you can’t resist at a party,  don’t waste time feeling guilty, make the following day a day of pure protein and correct it.

Are those with dairy allergies able to partake in the diet given the amount of dairy involved? You can substitute all dairy products with soya alternatives.

And what about vegetarians? Yes you can follow the diet if you’re  vegetarian. The Attack phase, which lasts for a maximum of 7 days, is the only phase where vegetables aren’t allowed. Dairy products and eggs can make a good substitute for meat and you can also eat tofu, seitan (corn protein) or tempeh. Pure vegans are a little bit more difficult, but it is possible. I would recommend that Vegans eat tofu, 50g of wholegrain rice and 50g of quinoa or lentils during the Attack phase and then add vegetables and cereals when they reach the second phase of the diet.

Do you and your family go on the diet? My family lives by a healthy, balanced diet and we don’t have weight problems so we don’t have need of the diet. My salvation is I’d rather eat a plate of vegetables than anything else. I drink very little alcohol, I’m in control and I know how to keep control. I think that’s the main reason my diet is successful is because it teaches people how to manage their diet. Admittedly after the holidays or Christmas I normally put on a few pounds so will do a day or two of Attack after this.

What is your guilty food pleasure? Couscous – I love couscous. It’s not that guilty though is it? The way I like to prepare couscous is to put it in a glass bowl, with a little water. I leave it to absorb the water, then add salt, a few drops of olive oil and then pop it in the microwave for one minute, mix  with a fork, put in microwave for another 30 seconds. Yum!

Do you often get friends asking you how they can lose weight? Yes, all the time. Every time I am out and eating at friends – everyone asks for a special solution. I do try and adapt my diet for them. The other thing I’ve noticed is that everyone wants me to put on weight. I’m constantly given cakes and things they have made.

What can’t you live without?

  • Vegetables
  • Salmon (fresh and smoked)
  • Cottage cheese
  • Apples
  • Oat bran galette
  • 25 minutes running every morning
  • My daughter Maya

What will you be doing in 2012? I hope to be living! I’m working on my new book at the moment which will help dieters to maintain their healthy weight for the rest of their life, so I’ll hopefully be launching that. I’ll also be taking my method to India and to Brazil. I’m introducing a series of new Dukan products to Britain including biscuits, galettes, special milled oatbran and flavorings. There’s also a fantastic but relatively unknown Japanese root called shirataki, which contains absolutely no calories at all and is the 3rd generation of pasta – it’s really a revolution. I’m also going to be opening my first Dukan practice in the UK. It’s going to be a busy year!   For more information on the diet or to create your free personal weight-loss plan please visit www.dukandiet.co.uk.


Top 3 Running Backpacks

Chosen for their comfort, durability, quality and ease these running backpacks won’t disappoint even the most savvy of runners. Now there is no excuse not to turn your daily commute into a daily run.

 

North Face Ion 20: This versatile little number can pack away up to 20 litres. It’s great for all types of outdoor adventures and we love its bright colour. £70, www.northface.com

Salomon XA 10+3 EXP INSULATE: Fantastically light and with good storage this bag won’t let you down. It also contains useful waistband pockets. £65, www.salomon.com

Karrimor Zodiak: Not only can you choose this backpack’s colour and fabric to suit your tastes but it also comes with a super cool back system wind tunnel for extra breathability. £30, www.karrimor.com