We heart Clean Eating Alice

29 June 2017 by
First published: 10 July 2017

We heart Clean Eating Alice: WHL chat to girl-of-the-moment Alice Liveing.

It’s been a big year so far for Clean Eating Alice. The wellness sensation has seen her Instagram following soar to over 500K, she graced the cover of Women’s Health magazine in a blogsphere milestone and, now, is revelling in the words ‘three times published author’. Her latest book, Everyday Fitness, is a departure from her clean-eating roots (despite including a number of foodie delights, this isn’t a recipe book), and, instead, offers a variety of interesting HIIT workouts and reams and reams of fitness knowledge. Cementing herself as a credible voice within the ever-changing sea of fitness influencing, Alice’s latest offering is our favourite bedtime read of the moment. But how did she get here?

‘Growing up I didn’t really have much care for health and fitness, but I certainly noticed as I entered into my teens that I became more physically aware and self conscious,’ Alice explains. ‘I started to take more of an interest in what I ate and my exercise routine, but ended up doing all the wrong things as a result. I picked up bites of information and ran with them, for example cutting out all carbs, reducing my overall calorie intake and slogging away for hours on a treadmill.’ Looking at Alice’s physique now, alongside her confidence and ever-present smile, it’s clear something –  at some point – shifted. Was there a lightbulb moment? ‘After my first year of university we completed assessments in all disciplines (ballet, jazz, tap, singing) and when I received my reports back they all shared a similar message, “lacking strength”,’ remembers Alice. ‘At this point I was already feeling incredibly low in self confidence and had a poor relationship with food and body image, and so that was the real nail in the coffin that pushed me to make a change to my lifestyle.’

Initially that change predominantly focused on diet, but it wasn’t long before Alice recognised the importance of exercise. Having toyed with the gym in sixth form and having little luck – ‘I had very little idea of what to do in the gym and spent many hours hating every minute of a treadmill run’ – Alice discovered a different way of exercising. ‘I started to follow a few social media accounts on Instagram that showed women resistance training and I thought I’d give it a try,’ says Alice. ‘After a few sessions learning the basics like a squat, I totally fell in love with this way of training. It was interesting, my goals became tangible and I loved the variety in my sessions. Now, I’ve never looked back!’

Indeed she hasn’t. Three years on, and with a personal training qualification firmly under her belt, she still swears by strength and resistance training, and so her latest book, Everyday Fitness, was born. ‘I often think when we embark on a fitness journey it is a short burst of perhaps 8-12 weeks of intense training, which can deliver excellent results,’ Alice explains. ‘However, that kind of intensity and motivation doesn’t last, and so many studies have shown the physical and mental benefits of consistent exercise for a healthy body and life, rather than intense and unsustainable bursts a few times a year. The book hopefully helps to show an achievable way of incorporating exercise into your lifestyle without it dominating your life, and in a way that is sustainable and realistic.’ What is it about this way of training that is so key? ‘I believe that building strength in both men and women should be at the centre of every training programme,’ she explains. ‘Not only is it physically great for us to improve bone density, decrease injury risk, and preserve and hopefully build muscle, but it also allows us to create tangible goals to work towards, such as squatting xkg, therefore drawing the focus away from aesthetic goals.’

What we love so much about Everyday Fitness is its realness. Alice talks openly about her health, fitness, and body image struggles, while also instilling refreshing ideals. Talking in depth about the benefits of getting the basics nailed when it comes to strength and weight training, Alice encourages gym-goers – whether beginners or veterans – to take the time to hone their form. ‘Strength programmes can vary massively, but there will almost always be core fundamentals that make up each programme. These centre around a squat, a hip hinge, and some form of a press and a pull,’ she says. ‘If you can work on each of these elements in some format, and improve and build strength in each of these patterns of movement, you then then apply this to more complex exercises. I describe it as not learning to run before you can walk.’

She also considers the intimidation and fear that surrounds the gym, particularly for girls wishing to enter the weights room – an area predominantly propped up by men. Alice’s advice? ‘I think buddying up with a training partner can be a really good way to conquer your gym fears as it removes the fear of having to go on your own,’ she says. ‘I also advise, if you’re aren’t able to go with a friend, that perhaps investing in a one off PT session to be shown around the gym and be talked through any complicated exercises or pieces of equipment can really help to remove some fears your might have. Beyond that, I think it’s important to remember that you have just as much right as anyone else to use the gym, and you should never be made to feel as though you shouldn’t be there.’

What started out as a platform to track progress and remain accountable has propelled Alice into the front-seat of an industry that is ever growing and ever changing. What we love most about her? How humble she is. ‘I never imagined that my life would take this trajectory, and I still have to pinch myself every time I think about being a three times published author,’ she tells us. ‘I am so incredibly grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way, and I never forget where I started and my following that have helped me achieve my success.’

Sure her Insta is chock-full of healthy dinner inspo, fitness videos and Insta grid goals, but Clean Eating Alice has real knowledge and experience to share, too. Recognising her influence, she strives to harness it positively and responsibly. ‘Whilst away on tour with my first professional job (performing in Annie the musical) I realised that my Instagram was really growing at quite a pace,’ she explains. ‘At this point I also realised the responsibility that came with having such a large platform, and for this reason I decided to gain my personal training qualifications to ensure that I could be a credible source of fitness information online.’ Does she feel pressure? ‘I don’t necessarily feel pressure, but I do acknowledge the responsibility that comes with running my social media accounts and it is something I am always conscious of.’ What’s next for Alice? ‘Life is crazy and exciting and I am always embracing new opportunities, but my main goal is to be happy in whatever I’m doing, and continue to work hard for both my online audience and my clients.’