An Interview with Amelia Freer
No one knows how diet influences health, energy levels and even skin quality better than celebrity nutritionist Amelia Freer. After working as a personal assistant to the Prince of Wales, Amelia’s health continued to deteriorate until a friend suggested that changing her poor eating habits could possibly play a role in recovery. After working with a nutritionist and making several important changes, Amelia feels a “million miles” better — and decided to become a nutritionist to prove it.
Today, Amelia works alongside countless notables, and although she is far too discreet to reveal all her clients’ names, she acknowledges working with luminaries including Boy George and Sam Smith. Perhaps the best part of Amelia’s plan? Because we have easy access to an incredible range of healthy, whole foods, mindfully enjoying an occasional glass of wine or even French fries is possible. At Quintessentially People, we say bon appetit, Amelia!
How did you develop a passion for food, nutrition and cooking?
I was working as a PA for The Prince of Wales, and although I really loved my job, it was pretty busy and challenging. I felt constantly exhausted, suffered from terrible IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) acne, recurrent infections and generally felt pretty low. I tried literally everything in my search for a solution to all of these symptoms, but nothing helped until one evening I shared my problems with my flatmate (who was much more clued up about nutrition). She suggested that some of the issue might be lurking in the gallons of sugary tea, toast, pasta, wine and junk food that I was consuming. Although this seemed inconceivable at first, she was right! I found a nutritionist, changed my own diet, felt a million miles better and eventually went onto train Nutritional Therapy for myself at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition. That was many years ago, and I am still as passionate now as I when I first began.
Who are some of the biggest names that you have worked for as a nutritionist?
I have had the real honor to work with some wonderful people, and although of course I wouldn't break confidentiality without permission, it is well known that I have worked alongside Boy George, James Corden and Sam Smith, amongst many others.
What are some of the most challenging diet restrictions to work with when developing and implementing a nutrition plan?
I think with enough ingenuity, there are no diet restrictions that are insurmountable. I almost always work to a dairy-free and gluten-free program anyway, which although may seem daunting at first is actually a pretty simple way to eat, as we are so privileged in the Western world to have access to so many delicious fresh fruits, vegetables and different sources of healthy fats and protein.
Does working in the nutrition field make it harder/easier for you to stick to a nutrition plan.
I think it probably makes it easier, because over time I have developed a broad range of knowledge and skills to help guide me and have been 'practicing what I preach' now for so long that I couldn't imagine eating any other way. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy the odd glass of wine or cheeky French fry from time-to-time, but I do so mindfully, without guilt and certainly not every day!
What recommendations can you make to someone who may not have the most readily and available food sources and resources?
A bit of creative thinking can be really helpful if it is hard for you to get hold of the ingredients you want. The internet (even Amazon) can be a lifesaver, not to mention a budget friendly alternative to specialist shops or supermarkets for specific products. I often also suggest considering getting an organic vegetable box delivery. It is hassle-free, super fresh, cheaper than supermarket organic produce and encourages you to eat a far broader range of produce than you might otherwise do (which not only fires up your taste buds, but also provides you different nutrients). Finally, middle-eastern or oriental supermarkets can be a real treasure-trove for things like spices, tahini, chickpeas and fresh herbs. And if you have the luxury of space, why not experiment with growing your own?
What is your favorite meal of the day?
I'm not sure I have a favorite. I suppose it depends on the day, and what I am up to. As a general rule, I make my meals from scratch so they are all fresh and tasty, but I do love sharing supper with great friends and family. I am not sure you can top that feeling of a well satisfied hunger and a happily engaging conversation with people you are fond of.
Are there any fad diets out there that are worth the hype?
No! There is no such thing as a 'good' fad diet. Yes, it may help you lose a few pounds quickly, but inevitably you will put it all back on (and more) in the long term. There is, sadly, no such thing as a quick fix. If you want to lose weight, get healthier and reduce your risk of long-term disease, then the only way to achieve that is gradual, sustainable and realistic lifestyle changes. It is, after all, far better to make 5 small changes each year that you keep for life, than 100 changes that only last a week.
What is your guilty pleasure snack?
I really dislike associating any foods with 'guilt', or indeed labelling them 'good' or 'bad'. Food is just food after all, and a good way to start disarming the emotional connections that we have with certain foods is to avoid using this type of language to describe them. Consistency of choices is what really matters, and the occasional piece of delicious dark chocolate is something to enjoy - not feel guilty about.
What is the number one piece of advice you have when it comes to eating healthy?
If it doesn't need a list of ingredients, because it already is an ingredient, then enjoy eating it. That is what I mean when I say stick to real foods.
You have written 2 books. What inspired you to write each book? What does each book cover?
My inspiration for both books was being able to share how powerful food can be, without resorting to anything over-the-top or faddish. Just simple, realistic advice which really spells out the hows, whats and whys of good nutrition, in a way which clarifies a lot of the confusion that now surrounds this topic. Eat Nourish Glow goes through 10 easy steps for losing weight, looking younger and feeling healthier - my principles for a great diet - and covers topics such as snacking, sugar, fat and supplements amongst much more. Cook Nourish Glow builds on the practical application of these principles, through over 100 new recipes, and inspires you to develop all the skills you need to continue to cook and eat this way for the rest of your life.
How does it feel to be on the best sellers list?
It feels like a huge privilege and honor, of course, but far more satisfying than being on the best sellers list are the emails, stories and letters I have received from people who have been transformed by the books. That makes all the hard work completely and utterly worthwhile.
Could you explain the benefits of Shine and who could benefit by adding this to their nutrition regimen?
First and foremost, it is delicious (which for some reason seems to be overlooked by some health foods and drinks), and unlike most juices, it has a low glycemic impact so won't spike your blood sugar and insulin. It contains hydrolyzed collagen and schisandra berry, both of which are quite unpleasant in taste but have marvelous properties for skin health and that is the genius of Botanic Lab, using the juices as a vehicle to introduce “hero” ingredients.
What is next for Amelia Freer?
Well there are all sorts of exciting projects in the pipeline, so watch this space for updates!
Where to Buy Amelia’s Books?
Amelia has written two No. 1 Bestsellers. Each focuses on improving your health through healthy eating. You can purchase both books in hardback, softback and digital format.
Will You Benefit From Working With a Personal Nutritionist?
Chances are, most people will benefit from making adjustments to their dietary habits. Whether that’s cutting back on dairy or red meat, or adding more leafy green vegetables to your diet depends on your everyday routine. When you work with a nutritionist, you’ll get personalized advice you’ll be able to follow, and follow easily. Not only will you shed pounds, you’ll also find you have more energy and enjoy clearer skin. You may even sleep better!
If you’re interested in working with a nutritionist, contact Quintessentially People. Quintessentially People gives you access to the best professionals in the field. We carefully screen and interview each candidate, and only send you the talent that meets your specific needs. From traveling, full-time nutritionists to one-time or occasional meetings, Quintessentially People can help — no matter where in the world you live.
Get in touch with Quintessentially People today.