The thing I struggle with most of all in my day-to-day quest to be fit and healthy is, like hundreds of other men and women out there, my diet. I would like to think that most Hip and Healthy readers are similar to me in that you all know how to eat healthily, you can all answer the following question for example; which breakfast is healthier? A) A bacon sandwich OR B) Porridge made with almond milk and a handful of blueberries and sliced banana? Yes, exactly. But why then, do I find myself so often making what is obviously the wrong decision about my food? I am hoping to change this attitude that I have through the help of Richard Callender and Project You.

At the beginning of my Project You experience at Exclusive Training in Richmond, Craig my exclusive Personal Trainer gave me a wonderfully helpful starter pack, a veritable novel on nutrition and an integral part of the supportive process at Project: You. Upon reading it, I was pleasantly surprised to see that no particular diets were recommended, no fad eating trends or unrealistic dieting plans. I have never been an advocate of ‘diets’, especially fad diets that offer zero nutritional value whatsoever and most significantly are not sustainable. The most important thing to think about when you embark on any new diet journey is; can I sustain this for more than a year? If the answer is no then my advice is don’t do it. And this is exactly what the Project You nutritional pack states also. It helpfully gives you guidance on how to eat that vital balanced diet, nothing is denied to you, only explained so that you can make your own choices about certain foods.

My first challenge in Week one of Project You was to keep a food diary, detailing everything I consumed, my three meals a day and snacks and drinks. I have kept food diaries before and it has to be said that they are extremely helpful and often very enlightening. It is fair to say that we are often a nation of ‘Amnesia Eaters’  we will think back on our day and analyse our eating habits and think ‘yes, great I didn’t do too badly today: porridge, sandwich, salad. Done.’ But you don’t mentally account for that Coke you had while reading your emails, that slice of cake you pinched from the office treats table during a meeting, or those crisps you grazed on with your glass of wine with a friend. Just these three slip ups will account for a possible extra 400-600 calories in the day. This is why, as Craig patiently explained to me, food diaries are invaluable at tracking exactly what we are putting into our bodies, at what time and why.

Below is an excerpt of my first week’s food diary (including my exercise for the day) for you to analyse for yourselves:

Project You Food Diary

7th Jan

  • Small bowl of organic Porridge made with skimmed milk
  • Large banana
  • Italian meatball soup
  • 40g naked nuts; almonds, cashews, hazelnuts & walnuts
  • Grilled chicken salad with poached egg.
  • 2 x oatcakes with hummus

Drinks – cup of normal tea, 2 litres of water.

Exercise = Rest Day

8th Jan

  • Small bowl of organic Porridge made with skimmed milk
  • Vegetable Sushi
  • Crayfish and Avocado salad
  • 2 x Ryvita crisp breads
  • Grilled chicken salad

Drinks – cup of normal tea, 2 litres of water, peppermint tea

Exercise – Project: You induction – fitness test and half an hour Armageddon homework

9th Jan

  • Probiotic yogurt with banana and granola
  • Large salad: plain chicken, green beans, cucumber, olives, cheese, new potatoes and spinach.
  • Grilled Bacon and avocado salad

Drinks – cup of normal tea, 2.5 litres of water, orange juice, decaff earl grey tea.

Exercise – 30 minute run in my lunch hour

10th Jan

  • Bowl of porridge
  • Chicken and butterbean salad
  • Salmon fillet with roasted Mediterranean vegetables
  • 4 x Ryvita Thins with hummus

Drinks – cup of normal tea, 2 litres of water, peppermint tea.

Exercise – Boxcercise class – 30 minutes, 10 minute cycle.

11th Jan

  • 2 slices of granary toast with butter and marmite
  • Cheese and pickle baguette
  • Pizza!! (bad day!!)

Drinks – cup of earl grey tea, 2 litres of water, orange, apple and ginger freshly squeezed juice, ginseng & Echinacea juice.

12th Jan

  • 2 poached eggs on x1 slice of granary toast
  • Tomato soup with Ryvita crackers
  • Roast pork, carrots, beans, sweet potato

Exercise = 1 hour PT session

After subsequently handing this into Craig along with my Week 2 diary, he gave me feedback on my habits, saying that it seemed like I knew how to eat well and I also knew when I was eating badly because of my not-so-subtle ‘bad day!!’ comments. He also observed that I wasn’t much of a snacker and that it’s clear that I like to have x3 tangible meals a day, which is true. I definitely feel cheated if one of my three ‘main’ meals is scuppered for some reason. As he could see that I know how to eat well, Craig has decided to change the way I eat and wants me to eat x5 small meals a day, he thinks that trying to break myself out of my habits will help to combat the ‘bad days’ and get me eating better by the tried and tested ‘little and often’ method. Here is Craig’s example recommendation of a one day food plan:

Wake up: 1 pint of water (helps activate internal organs and drank 30 minutes before eating helps digestion)

Meal 1: 

handful blueberries

Handful strawberries

Handful raspberries

Handful nuts

Meal 2:

1 chicken breast

2 sweet potatoes

Handful green beans

1 pint of water

Meal 3:

1 chicken breast

1 sweet potato


1 pint of water

Meal 4 (pre workout)


1 pint of water

Meal 5 (post workout)


Green beans



1 pint of water

Before bed

1 pint of water

This seems like a lot of food to me, but I am very much hoping that having this volume of food so frequently throughout the day will stop me  falling into my old bad habits such as indulging in convenience food because I am so hungry. I will let you know how I get on, but for now let me leave you with a brilliant nutritional fact from Craig:

“If you are craving a snack consider blueberries, not only do these little fruits have enormous health benefits including helping prevention of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, it has been proven in experiments that blueberries can potentially cut the number of fat cells in the body by to 73%, a great weight loss tool! ”