What the experts eat: Nutritional Therapist Amelia Freer
by Christina Agnew,
We've known the lovely Amelia Freer for a while now, and have watched her justifiably shoot to superstar nutritionist fame with her practical, empowering, intelligent approach to food. Over an iced green tea and a Jax Coco in her bright, white, herb-filled kitchen we quizzed her about the secrets to radiant eating.
How would you describe your food philosophy?
I love food! I really want to encourage the enjoyment of it and break the concept that being healthy is about deprivation and misery. I aim to inspire my clients and show them that healthy food can be happy food and of course incredibly beneficial for their long term health.
What does your typical breakfast look like?
Usually a green smoothie with lots of health-promoting foods and powders added and a green tea. Sometimes avocado on buckwheat crackers with cherry tomatoes and some tahini.
What single dietary change makes the biggest difference to your clients' health?
Cutting out sugar. Also cooking from scratch/eliminating processed foods and ready meals.
What are the benefits to health of eating gluten-free, and are there any considerations to bear in mind?
Any health condition COULD be exacerbated by gluten. This is not at all to say that everyone has gluten sensitivity or that all illnesses are caused by gluten. However, everyone should at least consider if they might be sensitive to it if they have health issues, particularly autoimmune conditions. Sometimes going gluten free can make someone feel worse before they get better so it is always best to do it under the guidance of a qualified professional who can support the body as it shifts into a less inflammatory state. The majority of gluten free products aren't healthy options at all to eat so really becoming informed about health foods and what your diet does and doesn't need is key.
I personally noticed an incredible improvement in my mental clarity and memory as well as digestive health when I went gluten free and if ever I do eat it, I quickly get a foggy head, aches, pains and bad skin. For me, it really isn't beneficial to how I feel and look. But removing it isn't always enough and this is where my functional medical training comes in and I can support clients appropriately with testing and supplements to help them heal any damage that may have been caused by gluten. I am a good friend of and huge supporter of Dr Tom O'Bryan (www.theDr.com) who has educated me enormously on this subject and I really feel passionate about spreading the wealth of information that he has collated. I am currently completing the exam to become one of the first Certified Gluten Practitioners (CGP) in the UK.
What are your desert island food essentials?
Avocados, water, broccoli, cashew nuts, apples, extra virgin olive oil, some chickens (for eggs), lemons and earl grey tea! Hopefully there will be coconut trees on the island!
What is your favourite quick and easy weekday supper?
Poached salmon and steamed greens - I always use lots of herbs and good oils to avoid meals being bland.
How do you balance your busy work schedule with looking after your own health?
It's a challenge! I have to plan ahead and when I don't it all goes wrong. I cook and prepare in advance as much as I can so that I'm not caught out hungry with nothing to eat. And I make sure that the options in my fridge and cupboards are only healthy ones!