Stop dieting! Stop dieting! Stop dieting! Got the message? This is what women’s fitness fashion icon Lorna Jane Clarkson wants to broadcast from the rooftops. Her third book – Nourish: The Fit Woman’s Cookbook – is the first time Lorna has focused on food and it’s all about looking and feeling better while enjoying your meals. In this exclusive interview we chat about the self-confessed food lover’s philosophies; take a peek inside Lorna’s pantry, and quiz her about how – with such a hectic schedule – she has made eating well a way of life.
“If you want to be successful in any aspect of life you have to plan ahead and that is absolutely true when it comes to food and healthy eating”
Your first cookbook is not your regular recipe book – it’s laden with your own tips and philosophies. What does it mean for you to be able to share what you’ve learned and love about nutritious food? Nourish: The Fit Woman’s Cookbook is a collection of my favourite recipes, tried and tested over the years, as well as insights into my food beliefs and philosophies. Being able to share these recipes and help women all over the world understand the importance of nourishing their bodies with healthy food is absolutely amazing! I hope Nourish inspires women to stop dieting and instead start nourishing to give their bodies the energy they need to achieve great things in life.
How crucial is healthy eating to your lifestyle? I believe the connection between what we eat and the way we look, think and perform in life is extremely powerful. The foods we eat on a daily basis not only affect our emotions and energy levels, but also what we can achieve (or don’t achieve) in life. I have no doubt that feeding my body with good nutrition every day has made a huge contribution to what I have achieved in both my business and personal life.
Have you always had a good relationship with food, or have you needed to learn this over time? I have always LOVED food, but over the years I have discovered my passion for foods that nourish my body and make me feel amazing! As a child, Mum was always in charge of the kitchen, but as soon as I left home and started to cook for myself it became something I looked forward to and experimented with.
You’re opposed to diets and skipping meals – how important is it for women to listen to their bodies? I can’t stress enough the importance of listening to our bodies when it comes to the foods we eat! If you have a busy day ahead, then you need more ‘energy foods’ and if your day consists of relaxing by the pool, then of course you need less fuel. I always make sure I eat at regular intervals throughout the day so my energy levels stay topped up and I make sure I have healthy and nutritious foods available so I’m not tempted to choose unhealthy options when I’m feeling hungry.
What is ‘real food’ to you? Real foods are foods that are as close to nature as possible. They are what humans are meant to eat for optimal health and nutrition, and mostly consist of wholegrains, proteins, good fats, fruits and vegetables. Your body is made to process and digest real foods, so nourishing with these slow-release energy sources will keep you at the top of your game all day and ensure you receive all the nutrients required to function at your very best!
“Food is meant to be enjoyed and depriving yourself isn’t necessary when there are so many nutrient-packed delicious foods to choose from”
What are some of the things we’d see if we peeked in your pantry today?
- Loads of fresh fruits and vegetables – these make up the majority of my diet.
- Peanut butter – spread on green apple slices or stirred through my morning oats (even the occasional spoonful straight out of the jar) – I can’t get enough!
- Apple cider vinegar – I take this before meals to aid digestion, but it’s also a great addition to salad dressings.
- Cacao nibs – these are the perfect post-workout snack as they contain high levels of magnesium which relieves cramping and keeps your muscles healthy… plus they taste like chocolate, so you can’t really go wrong.
- Steel cut oats – the perfect complex carbohydrate addition to smoothies and bliss balls and – of course – this is the star ingredient in my favourite breakfast: Overnight Oats.
How important is it to plan meals in advance? Any tips on how to do this from the perspective of a very busy woman? If you want to be successful in any aspect of life you have to plan ahead and that is absolutely true when it comes to food and healthy eating. I make a trip to my local farmer’s market on Sunday mornings to collect the best in-season fruit and veg and then visit our local butcher and fish shop for good quality protein. When I get home, I plan and prepare foods for the week ahead based on the amazing ingredients I have found. This usually involves making a big batch of soup and protein balls, whipping up a few of my favourite dips for snacks, and popping my favourite smoothie ingredients into zip-lock bags, then into the freezer, so breakfast is ready to blend at a moment’s notice.
You have lots of great tips in Nourish; but – if you had to narrow it down – what are your top three cornerstones of healthy eating?
- Stop dieting and start nourishing your body every day so you can look, think and perform at your best.
- Eat REAL foods
- Eat less, more often, to aid digestion and keep your energy levels up throughout the day.
What’s the biggest healthy eating myth you’d like to bust? That dieting will help you lose weight! In my experience (and that of so many woman I speak to), going on a strict diet is a sure-fire way to make you crave the foods you are trying to avoid and then you just end up falling right off the healthy eating bandwagon and go from one ‘miracle diet’ to the next without any positive life changing results. Dieting also tends to damage your self esteem as you feel guilty and ashamed most of the time.
Tough one: What’s the one dish you couldn’t live without? Overnight oats! As with many women, I am extremely busy and find myself rushing out the door on weekdays. Overnight oats are the perfect breakfast on the go – you simply add water to 1/3 cup oats in a mason jar (at the moment I am adding 2 tbsp of chia seeds as well), screw on the lid and pop in the fridge overnight. In the morning, simply add your favourite toppings such as natural Greek yoghurt, fresh berries or nuts and breakfast is served!
You’re big on your tonics, elixirs and smoothies – why are these an important part of your daily nourishment? Smoothies and elixirs or tonics play a very different role in my daily nourish routine. Most smoothies are created to be consumed in the place of a meal as they are packed with protein, complex carbohydrates and all the nutrients you need to power your body. Tonics and elixirs, however, are the perfect nutrient-packed pick-me-up if you don’t feel like a big drink, or need an accompaniment to a meal.
What’s the take-home message you’d like women to understand about food and eating well? Stop dieting! Stop dieting! Stop dieting! I want to encourage women to get off the diet treadmill and instead nourish their body with real foods every day. Food is meant to be enjoyed and depriving yourself isn’t necessary when there are so many nutrient-packed delicious foods to choose from and that will actually improve how you look and feel in life.
Thanks to Lorna Jane, you can win your own copy of Nourish: The Fit Woman’s Cookbook (RRP $44.99). Just tell us what your most nourishing healthy eating tip is to go in the draw to win the book. Leave your tip in the comments section below this story.
Entries close 9am, Monday, November 17, 2014 and the winner will be announced within 48 hours. For full T&Cs see here.