Amelia Freer's easy online nutrition course is here to demystify healthy eating and give you kitchen confidence. We tried it out
In her 15 years as a nutritional therapist, Amelia Freer has transformed the eating habits of thousands. There are the famous ones, of course: Sam Smith who shed more than a stone in two weeks under her tutelage, while James Corden and Boy George credited their slimmer silhouettes to Amelia and Victoria Beckham who said Amelia had "taught me so much about food... [you] have to fuel your body correctly."
Now she's offering us all the chance to have the nearest thing to a one-to-one with her in the form of an online course The Joy of Healthy Eating. Filmed in her own kitchen, it comes with has 30 bitesize video tutorials, cook-along-recipes, a host of downloadable resources and time-saving tips as well covering the fundamentals of healthy eating and how to get into the right mindset to make lasting changes.
If you’ve never really learned to cook, are confused about healthy eating, stuck in a recipe rut, or just want a bit more kitchen confidence to freestyle, Amelia is your new home-ec teacher. You don't need to binge-watch the course from beginning to end Netflix-style, she says, but work through it at your own pace going back over areas of particular interest. There are modules covering everything from knife skills to essential kitchen kit, batch cooking and shopping tips. There’s a primer on the digestive system and a lesson on carb and healthy fats.
She also addresses her most-asked question ‘which supplements should I take?’ If you want to know the answer to that, join our Instagram live Q&A with Amelia Freer tomorrow 3 December at 5pm GMT, where you can also put your own questions to Amelia. Clue: Amelia takes a 'food first' approach and in the course, she has some interesting hacks on how to get more nutrients out of your food in the first place, such as eating foods containing fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K with healthy fats to help your body absorb their goodness – as simple as a bit of olive oil on your carrots.
Amelia has been a regular contributor to Get The Gloss and I remember her several years ago being one of the first to call out our snacking culture, at the time when the received wisdom was that you had to eat 'little and often' to ‘keep your blood sugar up.’ No, you didn’t, she said. It was revolutionary. Over the years her approach to healthy eating has evolved. I have always admired the way she has adapted to take on board on the latest research, science as well as the national mood. Cauliflower pizza and kale juice were novel in 2014 and got us all eating more veg, but these days our healthy plates are less of a faff, tastier and, dare I say it, a little more relaxed. Amelia's food philosophy now is 'positive nutrition', focusing on what we need to include in our diet rather than what we ‘should’ exclude,
The Joy of Healthy Eating reflects just that. As an online ‘once and for all’ guide, it couldn’t be more right for our stay-at-home times when investing in our health has never been more vital. Amelia describes it as so much more personal than her books (she’s written four bestsellers). As someone who, she says, "learned the hard way," she shares what worked for her.
"When I first discovered nutrition, I really had no idea what healthy eating was. I ate a very basic diet that lacked nutrition and colour," she says.
"I really didn’t have any connection to the food I was eating and how it made me feel. Once I started to learn about it change my diet I was absolutely blown away by just how positive it can be," she says.
"There is so much noise around nutrition - it can get so confusing and complicated. I have worked with so many people who just don’t know how to eat anymore. I have to unpick these confusing myths that they have learned over the years about diets and nutrition. In this course, I want to strip away all those layers and make it really simple and achievable."
The Joy of Healthy Eating is a bit like being in-clinic and at-home with Amelia. There are the same goal-setting tasks that she uses with her clients. She relates how she encourages people to have five meals that they know how to cook by heart. This helps you not just gain confidence in the kitchen to know that you can throw something together with whatever you've got. She reveals that in her journey, she taught herself a basic curry recipe, a veg pasta and a soup and always has a tray of roast veg in the house.
In the videos, which range from three to 12 minutes, she takes you shopping, pottering around her gorgeous country vegetable garden (sigh!) and into her kitchen. I didn’t just fall in love with her house, but with her soothing crystal voice, which is reassuring even when she’s broaching trickier topics - she doesn’t let you off the hook, by the way. Almost from the off, she wants you to know that change only comes when you take personal responsibility for what you eat. The later lessons tackle our emotional attachments to certain types of eating and the difficulty of creating new habits. Yes, it’s a challenge and there will be times when you’re frustrated, but, she reassures, it doesn’t mean that it is unachievable.
As I was watching the course, both my children (aged 13 and 17) sidled over and became interested. I hadn't considered this as something they'd be drawn to, but with my eldest off to university in the blink of an eye, I'll be watching the whole thing with them - and am sure some of it will stick. I only wish I'd has something like this when I embarked on my decade of round-the-clock cheese sandwiches when I left home. With recipes such as Miso Cod to Sweet Potato Gnocchi and Poached Pears and Earl Grey Tea we’re all in!
The Joy of Healthy Eating costs £127 from createacademy.com
Get The Gloss readers receive 15% off with the code GETTHEGLOSS15.
Don't forget to join our Instagram Live with Amelia Freer 3rd December 5pm GMT . Head to our Get The Gloss Instagram stories to set your countdown reminder where you can also post your questions for Amelia. She'll answer the best ones.