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Oh Beans Gets the Glow: Week 1 – Ditch the Junk!

It’s definitely been the year of clean eating, one packed full of inspirational women getting their message across about how they’re going about living the healthiest possible lifestyle that they can. For some, it can be a bit daunting and unnatural seeing all these beauties with their gorgeous locks, their smoothie bowls and of course, their new book. But when you delve deeper into their message, their background and cause, you start to realise that it can only mean good things.

This is a little post about how Peter and I are taking on Madeleine’s #GetTheGlow challenge and the reasons for doing it. Tune in for the next 6 or so weeks to check out our progress!

After not paying all that much attention to Madeleine Shaw when her Get The Glow recipe book came out a couple of months ago (I was a little too obsessed with DeliciouslyElla to notice, I have to admit!), I stumbled across her blog and YouTube videos the other week and just became captured by her enthusiasm, message and, well….. glow!!! (see for yourself below)

I was left wanting more, so of course… I ordered her book! It arrived on Wednesday!

A Little About Madeleine

Madeleine is someone who a lot of girls could relate to, someone who had yo-yo’ing weight in her teens and skin which just didn’t behave. On top of that, she suffered with the affects of IBS. She fell in love with Australia when she went travelling and decided to study nutrition there at Uni. It changed her life, she discovered new ways of eating…ways which made her feel awake, comfortable and happy.

So what is ‘Get the Glow’?

The premise to Madeleine’s Get the Glow is basically wholesome, clean, nutritious food which nourishes you from the inside out. Ultimately, her aim is for her food to change your attitudes towards ‘healthy’ to transform you into a happier, healthier version of you. Having thumbed through all her recipes, she keeps it simple, using ingredients available from supermarkets and high-street health shops.

At the start of her book, Madeleine has a 6-week challenge where she asks you to focus on one specific thing in that week to help instill some healthy changes into your diet.

Oh Beans and the Glow!

So why are we taking up the challenge?

Peter and I have started to notice a few things with our diet recently – that we’re pretty hungry during the day, we both still have a sweet tooth and we both are pretty tired. We had thought about ditching carbs and trying Tim Ferriss’ slow carb way of eating, but thought that we’d give Madeleine’s slower pace of challenge a go. The reason why this appeals to us is that it’s  asking us to make smaller more manageable changes over a number of weeks, focussing on key habits and ways of thinking, rather than one sudden change.

So what does week 1 entail? ‘Ditch the Junk’

This week, Madeleine asks Peter and I to ditch the sugar, avoiding all ‘low-fat’ options (which we do already) and to chose healthier sweeteners such as honey.

To be honest with you, our cupboards are in pretty good order in terms of stuff containing sugar. Today, I went through them and threw away any temptations, including: one can of fizzy lemonade (purchased at least a year ago! sat at the back of the fridge), a bottle of hoisin dipping sauce (seriously, check the ingredients), a bottle of sweet chilli dipping sauce, a jar of mango chutney, a bottle of HP sauce, and a can of apricots in syrup. All, including added sugar.

But I don’t really think that any of those were really going to be a problem, those sauces had been sat in our fridge untouched for ages. No, I think our impulsive ‘sweet treat’ purchases will be our nemesis. For me, I find it difficult to resist the temptation of buying sweet food for the commute home from London after a meeting. I really have no reason for this purchase, just that I fancy something sweet. I’m addicted, that’s clear. And when I don’t have any, guess what… I get damn grouchy!

And that’s why, I really want to ditch the sugar. And why this week and the following weeks, I won’t be buying that almond croissant, that chocolate bar or biting into that cake sat in the kitchen for sharing at work. No.

What do I want out of this week?

I would like this week to teach me that I can get through the downs of the sugar lows and that ultimately, I don’t need it. Shockingly, I’m not sure when the last week was when I didn’t have a little nibble on some chocolate or a sweet flapjack, which I’m appalled at. I want to prove to myself that I’m much stronger than that, and that it’s not necessary to eat it for my body to function.

We plan to make a number of Madeleine’s delicious recipes, including some breakfasts, snacks and main meals, so I really hope (and am sure there will be) for some delicious delights to share with you in next week’s Oh Beans email.

Tune in next week to see how our Oh Beans sugar-free week has gone following Madeleine’s brief! But for now, I leave you with this inspirational video about the beautiful lady!