Name: Margaret Ross
What were your reasons for wanting to embark on a nutrition plan?
Like most, I know what I should and shouldn’t eat. I had reached a point where my clothes didn’t fit the way they used to. I wanted a no-nonsense plan that would be flexible and easy to follow, not a regime that was about counting calories or fat content or cutting out things I enjoy. Lorraine’s plan seemed to offer this.
What were your goals and expectations?
I wanted my clothes to fit again so it was about inch loss rather than weight loss. I also wanted to get back to putting good food in my body so I would have more energy.
Did you find the Plan easy to follow and understand?
Completely. I liked the weekly videos highlighting different things about food combining, good fats and bad fats. I liked the 10-min exercise videos – easy to fit in either at lunchtime in the office or at home. In fact, I got some colleagues to join me a few times and they really felt the benefit.
Did the Plan fit around your lifestyle – work life, family life etc?
Both my partner and I work full time and had fallen into the habit of making do – getting home after 7 and then “cooking” something that was quick: pizza, a “pierce film” microwave job. We both enjoy good fresh food and had just got out of the habit of PLANNING meals. Starting with some of the recipes given by Lorraine, it was easy to build on this. The slow cooker and the blender are no longer kept in the high cupboard above the oven (involving standing on a chair for me to retrieve) as we use them almost every other day.
Did you follow the recipes? If so, did you find them useful, quick and convenient?
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that cooking from scratch takes too long. Lorraine’s recipes were and are a good “starter pack”. We both love fish – how quick is baked salmon with some couscous with chickpeas, chillies, seeds and slices of orange; or halloumi, rocket, avocado and pomegranate seeds (couscous as well if wanted), thrown into a container for lunch then just drizzled with some balsamic dressing when about to eat? This really is FAST FOOD and much nicer than a Tesco’s sandwich! We fight over the blender – my partner for making healthy soups in enough quantities for several lunches and me for great smoothies. I never considered adding nuts to smoothies before. Some have been trial and error and occasionally the colours have been a bit scary but all have been filling and a great way to start the day. OK, of course we stray off the beaten track – occasionally throw some cooked ham in with the mushrooms for an omelette but, to be honest, once on the plan, processed food tastes processed, and is not nearly as enjoyable. The lamb tagine is my favourite recipe – my local butcher will go out of business if I stop cooking it!
How did you find the 10-minute exercise videos and which were your favourites?
Brilliant! I particularly like the hip and thigh exercises but because the different routines are only 10 minutes, I don’t avoid the Abs blast as they are over quickly. Usually end up doing 20 minutes following up on the abs with the hip and thigh exercises while shouting answers at the TV during Pointless!
What was the hardest part of the Plan?
Initially the water intake. I do drink a lot of water but found going beyond 2 litres was hard. However, after discussing with Lorraine, she put my mind at rest that 2 litres was acceptable.
Being Irish, I was brought up with the habit that you didn’t have a cup of tea without having something to eat (usually something sweet!!). Because I drink water more than tea, this was not a huge issue but the habit was there so, a cup of tea about 8.30pm always seemed much less enjoyable. Not having biscuits or chocolate in the house of course helped – can’t eat them if not there!! I don’t really like herbal teas but I do take my tea black so moving to Rooibos tea I found made the longing for a biscuit less intense. Of course I occasionally have something sweet and not remotely nutritious – probably 2-3 times a week but not every day and I really have not found this hard as the weeks have progressed – probably because my body is satisfied by the quantity and quality of the food I am eating.
Did you feel supported by Lolly during the process?
Yes. Pragmatic, down to earth advice. And the weekly messages were always encouraging.
Have you noticed a difference in fat loss or inch loss?
Clothes fit again. I have lost both pounds and inches.
Has your digestive health improved?
Yes – never ever constipated!!!
Have your energy levels improved?
Yes. I go to a couple of aerobics classes each week and my stamina has improved; and playing Star Wars with 3-year old granddaughter leaves me feeling energised rather than shattered!! Climbing the hill at the first hole at the Glen in North Berwick has also got easier!!!
Have you noticed a difference to the quality of your sleep?
I am genuinely tired when I go to bed and, although I have never been a great sleeper, I do wake up feeling rested rather than weary.
Did you reach your goal and how did that feel?
Well, one objective was to be able to get into clothes that used to fit and didn’t so that has definitely been achieved. However, the other was to stop mistreating my body with poor quality food and that is a lifestyle change that will continue.
What changes have you made to your nutrition and fitness since completing the Whole-Body Plan?
I don’t count calories or read contents of food in the supermarket – a carrot is a carrot, so buying fresh means not having to check for additives. Buying fresh rather than processed food, planning meals (not on the basis of Monday is this, Tuesday is this…. but having nutritious food in the house) means we can revert to how our parents used to cook – what is there in the cupboard/fridge that I can rustle up. AND we throw very little out. If some veg looking a bit suspect – make a soup!
If recommending Nutritious Lolly to friends and family, what would you say?
Like all aims and goals in life, YOU, the individual, have to want to achieve this. Nutritious Lolly gives a plan, not a diet. That means you can tailor it to you, experiment, stick with the good food combinations you like, don’t force yourself to eat stuff you don’t enjoy. It is a flexible plan so you can make it work. Eat food you enjoy, following the portion recommendations, take some regular exercise and the benefits are exponential: the more you eat tasty, good quality food and the more you exercise, the more you enjoy both these things and you feel great.
Anything else you would like to add?
The expression “to go on a diet” itself highlights that you will eventually “come off the diet”. Without exception, everyone I know (myself included) who has followed diet plans (some whackier than others), craves stuff that they are not permitted to eat. As soon as they reach target weight, they start having the occasional reward and eventually just go back to their old ways. They think about food almost all the time!!!
Food is fuel. With this plan, because I am giving my body the combination of essential nutrients needed, my cravings for rubbish are diminished. When I have my wine on a Friday and Saturday night, I don’t feel guilty, I don’t feel the need to starve myself the next day to compensate. I enjoy it. But I also look forward to the good food I am eating. Many years ago, MARS (chocolate bar) had an advert with the strapline: “A Mars a Day helps you work, rest and play”. As we know that is just a quick fix but I can genuinely say it is the perfect strapline for the Nutritious Lolly Plan – following it day by day will help you work, rest and play. What more could you want?