Muddy gets clean!
Obviously Muddy is a paragon of clean living (*cough*) so we were at the front of the queue to try out a new one-day wellbeing workshop on this subject. Hey, why are you laughing?
OK, OK, I’ll admit it, I didn’t try this one out myself (no, I wasn’t down the pub – cheeky!) but I sent Muddy’s resident green and clean health nut/ yoga teacher Sarah O’Hanlon down to have a gander. Here’s how she got on.
I like to think that I lead a pretty healthy lifestyle and that I’m well informed about exercise and nutrition. Sure, I could do with more energy, but couldn’t we all? So I confess that I thought this one-day Inspired Nutrition retreat focussing on clean living (9.30am-4pm, £95) would be a slightly indulgent mid-week treat with the couple of yoga sessions, a lovely stroll in the grounds of Hughenden Manor (it takes place in a lovely private house nearby) plus someone cooking a delicious lunch for me. Oh, and a few talks about nutrition that I thought wouldn’t teach me much that I didn’t know already. Well that’ll teach me to be judgemental…
Jenny Phillips, aka Inspired Nutrition, has strong credentials. A nutritional therapist, she has a scientific background (her first degree was in chemistry) but became interested in eating for optimum health while recovering from breast cancer in 2003. She’s worked with chef Giancarlo Caldesi (of Caldesi in Campagne fame, the fabulous Italian restaurant in Bray) in to radically change his diet, reverse his type 2 diabetes and help him lose three stone in weight. She’s also a yoga teacher. She runs her workshops from co-host Heather’s lovely house in the Chiltern Hills.
The day kicked off at 9:30am, so it’s school run-friendly if that’s a consideration, when our small group (numbers are capped at eight) met for a welcoming cuppa. Most of the women there were in their forties or fifties, the majority with teenage children. The two main reasons for attending were for weight loss or – and this was me – to boost dwindling energy levels. There are four nutrition and health sessions, peppered throughout the day between the beginner’s yoga sessions, healthy lunch (salmon, roasted veg and salad) and walk. For me, the dietary advice was the most useful part of the day, with loads of take-home tips. Jenny espouses a diet for skin and hair health to help you “get the glow”. She’s no fan of crash diets or calorie counting but is big on “good fats” (eg real butter). We also discussed posture. Scary fact alert: we lose up to half an inch in height per decade after the age of 40. As a titch, I need all the millimetres going so this really stuck with me. Along with the yoga sessions, it was a timely reminder of the power of standing (and sitting) tall.
I came away feeling informed, inspired and galvanised to make tweaks to my diet. I’ve ditched cappuccinos, for example, as I realised they were sending my blood sugar levels haywire. I’ve also given up bananas in my morning smoothie to further reduce my sugar intake. And I’m mainlining Lindt 85 percent chocolate – thankfully, it’s allowed! A few weeks on, I genuinely feel less sluggish and in possession of more va-va-voom.
As for the day itself, I attended alone and was perfectly happy to do so but if you’re shy and/or not keen on spending a whole day with strangers, you might prefer to take a friend along with you. It’s a small, intimate group – lunch is eaten together around one table, before you head off for a group stomp through the countryside. Personally, I loved it – everyone in our group was lovely and Jenny strikes a brilliant balance between being relaxed and welcoming and really professional.
Inspired Nutrition‘s next one-day workshops are 5 June (The Secrets Of Ageing Well) and 19 June (The Good Gut Makeover Day), both 9.30am-4.30pm, £95
Words: Sarah O’Hanlon