Top positive review
Love it! Our most used recipe book ever! Fantastic healthy meals. Easy to follow principles.
23 May 2017
I also bought the first book at the same time, so I'm leaving the same review for this one as I always use them together!
We have a shelf full of recipe books that rarely get used, but we use this along with original book 'The Shift Plan' all the time.
They have been for us, whilst trying not to sound too melodramatic, life changing.
After just a few weeks of following the recipes, the weight was just falling off myself and my husband and we felt great …I should just point out that it's not like we were particularly overweight to start with, we had healthy BMIs but we both could have done with shifting about a stone to feel more comfortable - we really just wanted feel healthier and fitter and have a bit more energy and if we lost a few pounds in the process, then great. We were looking towards a healthier lifestyle really, that was realistic to follow and enjoyable.
We were bored of eating the same meals over and over again, we were stuck in a bit of rut food wise and had got into bad habits. We wanted some new recipes with new flavours without having to constantly think about whether it was healthy or not. Basically, we wanted some help to make healthy choices without following a 'diet' and eating boring tasteless food.
We decided to try this book, as after having a flick through, we found it kind of followed what we already believed to be good principles for a healthy lifestyle (even though we often didn't follow them!) whilst allowing us to have a greater choice in our meals.
At first it was quite hard work - lots of different ingredients meant we had to plan out a weeks worth of meals and stick to it, and most of the recipes do take longer than 15 minutes with all the prep. But, after the first two weeks, I really got into the swing of it, I actually started to enjoy cooking again, and loved the fact that the meals were planned, so we didn't have to make a decision for every meal! I'm sure every couple has had the "what do you want for dinner tonight? - I don't know, what do you want?" conversation! We started to really enjoy our meals again, instead of it being a necessary chore, and it was great to have such variation in our meals. As we became more confident with the recipes, we started making little changes, switching things in and out to give us even more variation. I also found that through planning meals more efficiently, my fridge is much more organised, and we now have no waste from food going out of date which I hated.
What we found really surprising, was that we were always full and satisfied, but still losing weight, feeling healthier and having more energy with each week that went by.
We found the portion sizes are way to big for us, so a recipe to serve one, would easily be enough for both of us! If you are really hitting the gym hard then it might be a more suitable portion! We often do bigger portions of some of the recipes to freeze for days when we don't really feel like cooking or if it can't be frozen, to stick in the fridge and have a day or two later.
My husband once commented to a friend that he was being fed like a king and could hardly believe it was good for us. He even announced to me one day "This isn't right, we are eating way to much nice food, I must be getting fat!" before marching of to find the scales to prove his theory (I know Mr Wicks says to throw these away, but we couldn’t help but have a gander every now and then), only to find he had shed a full stone in 3 weeks! He was genuinely shocked and from that day on became much more involved in the planning and cooking. He loves it!
The other great thing, is that you don’t have to become obsessed with working out. If you want a meal with more carbs, you just have to earn it. Simple. If you don’t feel like working out, just choose the lower carb recipes.
My husband has a very active, strenuous job, so he doesn’t really need to ‘work out’ and he can get away with having any of the meals as he easily burns it of at work. I do a lot of walking with our dog which constitutes most of my exercise, but if I want a higher carb meal, or the occasional slice of cake, I just do a quick 20 minute workout, and then I feel like I’ve earned it and enjoy it even more.
We both also found, that we almost completely lost interest in unhealthy snacks like chocolate and crisps. And, on the odd occasion we did fancy it, just one or two pieces of chocolate was enough, and it tasted so much better because we had it much less often. On the odd occasion we do veer off course a little (like a holiday, weekend away or special occasion), we don’t feel the slightest bit guilty about it, although you do really notice the difference the next day when you feel all sluggish and rubbish!
A lot of the recipes are fish based, and myself and my husband unfortunately aren't big fans of fish (we wish we were!) but we just switched out the fish for another source of protein.
It is a lot more work, so sometimes you have to force yourself to make the effort to prepare a nice meal, but we’re always glad we did afterwards.
And the only other downside is it’s a little more expensive than eating rubbish food! But it’s totally worth it for the rewards massively out way the additional cost.
Overall, I can’t recommend this book enough, if you are looking for a long term, sustainable, realistic lifestyle change.