When I came back from Italy earlier this summer, I honestly felt like I glowed with health. Nothing is better for your skin, hair, and overall fitness, than three weeks of sun, sea, swimming, walking, and Mediterranean diet. I was bursting with energy, sleeping well, and happy as a clam.
However, being back in England and without a routine during the holidays, it was easy to slip into bad habits. Going to bed at 1am, waking up at 10am, eating lots of processed food, and not doing nearly enough exercise, meant that by the end of July, that Italian glow had all but disappeared. A few weeks ago, I decided that there should be no more excuses and I needed to get back into a healthy lifestyle. So far this has been going pretty well and I plan on writing a few posts documenting my progress.
There were two blogs which really inspired me to start taking better care of myself: Deliciously Ella and Madeleine Shaw. Both of these women just look so incredibly healthy and full of life, how could you not be inspired?? I went out and bought both of their books immediately and have been giving them both a good and proper test. So if you’re looking to change up your eating habits and learn a few fabulous recipes along the way, read on…..
Both of these books are based on the idea that healthy eating needn’t be boring or flavourless. You can still enjoy delicious curries, fish, soups, salads, and cakes (yes even cakes!) and you don’t have to deprive yourself. There’s no crazy diet plans or ridiculous fads here (5:2 Diet, I’m looking at you!). We should be able to enjoy food and have a healthy relationship with it instead of constantly counting calories or feeling guilty. Now that’s the kind of food philosophy I like!
So which book is best? Obviously I’ve really enjoyed reading both but I thought I’d give you the low-down in case you only want one!
Get the Glow: As soon as you open this book, Madeleine’s warm personality just shines through. When she talked about how she used to always feel tired, heavy and slightly groggy, I felt like she was describing myself! I love that her book begins with a 6 week plan on how to “get the glow” from Week 1’s “Ditch the Junk” to Week 6’s “Live your Glow“. This makes it really easy to follow and I think it’s a great starting point for those wanting to dip their feet into a new lifestyle. The recipes range from simple brunches/salads and weeknight dinners, to perfect desserts and dinner party menus. My favourite thing about this cookbook is that there’s nothing too complicated. All the ingredients in the recipes I’ve used so far have been easily found in my local supermarket!
Favourite Recipes: Monkfish Curry with Indian Spiced Cauliflower Rice (pictured above); Pea and Dill Omelette with Smoked Salmon; Orange, Fennel and Pomegranate Chicken; Three Ingredient Banana Chia Pudding.
Deliciously Ella: I would say that Ella’s book is more on the informative side when it comes to health and eating. I like how it’s split into sections focusing on one particular type of food, for example “Grains“, “Nuts and Seeds“, and “Vegetables“. Unlike “Get the Glow” all the recipes are 100% vegetarian, making it ideal for those with special food requirements. In each section, she talks through the health benefits of certain ingredients so you can really work out which ones you might be needing in your diet (I’ve been stuffing my face with walnuts, avocados and spinach since reading this). There’s also loads of amazing gluten-free dessert recipes, including her famous Sweet Potato Brownies. The only downside to this book, is that a lot of the recipes do require special ingredients which you might only find in a health food store and are often quite pricey.
Favourite Recipes: Ten-minute Tomato Pasta; Black and Kidney Bean Chilli; Creamy Coconut Porridge; Green Goddess Smoothie.
Overall, I think both of these books are fantastic and really deserve their place in my cookery collection. I would say though that Get the Glow is better for those who are only just starting to delve into a healthier, sugar-free diet, but still want their cooking to be quite quick and simple. Deliciously Ella, on the other hand, is better for the more experienced health nuts, or those who have specific dietary requirements, such as vegans and vegetarians. I’m definitely going to be getting a lot of use out of both though!
Have you guys tried any of these ladies’ recipes? What did you think? And do you have any recommendations for healthy cookbooks/blogs/websites? Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading! Joanna xxxxx