Clean and Lean Diet by James Duigan

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I knew before going to America for 3 months that I would not be as healthy when I came back as I was before I left. I saw quite a few blog posts on this “diet” book and decided to try it out in order to get healthy again post-America. This “diet” is not a faddy-cabbage-soup-counting-calories sort of diet but rather a lifestyle which appealed to me because I hate being restricted in what I can eat. The basic philosophy is just to eat lots of fresh vegetables, fruit, meat, grains and non-processed foods and eating like this has been very enjoyable. Duigan, a nutritionist, suggests you begin with a 14 day kickstarter and he provides a day-by-day eating plan including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks as well as recipes for the above. This was really helpful as it showed me the incredible range of foods and meals you can eat. I found it a little challenging at the beginning of the first week but easy once I got into the mentality of being “clean and lean”. After just one week I felt a lot healthier, had more energy and just better in myself and, most importantly, I didn’t feel hungry!

There are some bits of the philosophy and a couple of chapters of the book I skipped as I didn’t really need to be told why certain foods are bad for you. But there were other sections which were incredibly helpful such a huge list of alternatives to typically unhealthy food and substitutes that would satisfy your cravings. Duigan also provided an exercise plan and a range of exercises to do along side the clean and lean eating to assist with the results of clean eating. The whole book is aimed at improving your general well-being not just losing weight which was refreshing from a “diet” manual. I would definitely recommend this book for those who want to eat healthier but don’t know where to start.

I have included a few pictures of some of the things I cooked up; grilled chicken, mozzarella, avocado and tomatoes seasoned with salt and pepper; hot water with lemon, fresh smoothie (kale, spinach, blueberries, banana, rice milk and water), scrambled eggs on rye bread toast; hot water and lemon, fresh smoothie (spinach, almond milk, mango, banana, water), rye bread toast with my aunty’s home made apple butter and blueberries; griddled courgettes, sweet potato chips and roast chicken marinated in a mustard dressing; hot and spicy chicken roasted chicken wings, avocado and oven-cooked kale (spread kale evenly on a baking tray, spray lightly with oil, cook for 20 minutes at 110C, season with salt and pepper); stir-fried chicken with mangetout, green beans, cashew nuts and soy sauce; hot water and lemon, fresh smoothie (as before) and 2-ingredient pancakes (blitz 2 eggs and 1 banana in blender with cinnamon and baking powder, cook for two mins in preheated frying pan lightly coated in spray oil).

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