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Five Minutes with Lorna Jane Clarkson on Nourish: The Fit Woman’s Cookbook

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.

BREAKFAST-SMOOTHIE_NOURISHHow 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.

REFRESH-WATERMELON-CAKEHow 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?

  1. Stop dieting and start nourishing your body every day so you can look, think and perform at your best.
  2. Eat REAL foods
  3. 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.

056_Overnight_Oats_ParfaitTough 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.

Lorna-Jane-l-NOURISH-The-Fit-Woman's-Cookbook-$44.99-(High-Res)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, 2023 and the winner will be announced within 48 hours. For full T&Cs; see here.

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Carly Lubicz

Carly Lubicz

Carly Lubicz is combining two of her great loves — writing and getting active. Previously working as a journalist, sub-editor, and editor in newspapers and magazines; she is editor and co-founder of TheGo Townsville. She stays active with the staples of road cycling and yoga, but has recently discovered triathlon. And become addicted (apart from the swimming part). She also has a Cert III in Fitness and is passionate about improving mental health through physical activity.


Add yours
  1. James 13 November, 2014 at 17:32 Reply

    My healthy eating tip is in line with what Lorna says, people need to stop depriving themselves. Diet is all about moderation.

  2. Linda M 13 November, 2014 at 20:01 Reply

    My healthy eating tip is not to diet, but nourish your body with healthy food, and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate, water is essential.

  3. Candice 13 November, 2014 at 20:29 Reply

    My healthy eating tip is that it’s a lifestyle not a diet . It’s about eating foods that nourish the body and support our way of living from our basic functions such as eating, sleeping, breathing etc all the way through to the exercise and activities we choose to do in our daily lives . Food is our fuel and it’s super important to fuel our bodies with the correct fuel for our needs ! All about Taking our bodies from a 2stroke engine to a smoking V8 :p !!

  4. Stacey 13 November, 2014 at 20:57 Reply

    I think it’s all about balance and moderation. As Lorna mentioned, don’t starve yourself of something you love or if your body is telling you it wants a certain food etc. Obviously this needs to be done in moderation if the food your craving isn’t the best, so limit your intake but allow yourself some slack!! This will often mean you will be less likely to binge on the bad stuff, undergoing all your good. But overall, I think it’s a lifestyle, NOT A DIET!!

  5. Chelsea 14 November, 2014 at 05:33 Reply

    My tip would be to keep it simple – steak bbq’d with some onion & mushrooms on the side served with a bag of steam fresh veg is practically as easy as & has as many dishes as takeaway on a busy night but you’ll feel so much better for it. (PS – I’m not in TSV so don’t enter me in the comp, I just wanted to share) xx

  6. Barbara 14 November, 2014 at 14:26 Reply

    My tip is to make a list of healthy meals that you can choose from and keep it visible (ours is on the fridge whiteboard) plus, a bonus tip, always have easy, healthy snack choices available to help you make good food choices when in a hurry.

  7. Mandie 17 November, 2014 at 08:47 Reply

    Grow some of your own veggies and herbs. Nothing more satisfying than being able to use your own, fresh ingredients in your cooking. Something about gardening that nourishes your soul as well as your body 🙂

  8. Nicole 17 November, 2014 at 19:35 Reply

    My health lifestyle tip is –

    Grab a group of friends/family and do a big weekly cook up of healthy snacks and meals that can be frozen! Choose at least 5 meals and a few snacks and split the cost and spend the day/evening cooking up a storm with friends/family at one persons house. Not only is it a social event it’s also helping establish health lifestyle habits with friends and family but ensuring you get a good stash of healthy goodies to takeaway as well as a few laughs !

  9. Zoe 18 November, 2014 at 14:40 Reply

    Cook! So many people find it easier to buy pre packaged foods, but the rewards of a home cooked meal definitely outweigh the time spent. If you have a family, get everyone in the kitchen together helping! It doesn’t have to be a chore 🙂

  10. TheGo 18 November, 2014 at 15:21 Reply

    Thanks to everyone for your fantastic comments! Some really great tips there. We have drawn the winner and it’s Nicole: Congratulations! We particularly liked Nicole’s tip about the big weekly cook-up – what a great way to incorporate healthy eating into your way of life and have a few laughs along the way. We have emailed you Nicole. Thanks again everyone 🙂

    • TheGo 9 February, 2015 at 07:20 Reply

      Hi Daxa – I don’t think it’s designed as a ‘Lose Weight’ style cookbook – but I’d say you’ll probably lose weight by following the recipes as they’re all about eating healthy and nourishing your body. Hope that helps!

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