90 days to lean: part 4

30 June 2015 by
First published: 6 July 2015

Doing The Body Coach’s 90 days to lean: part 4 over most of summer was always going to be an interesting challenge. I see this as an opportunity to be creative, learn and grow – and most recently, that meant figuring out how to stay lean while away for the weekend.

By the end of last summer I felt so bloated and exhausted that my hubby and I did Dr Junger’s elimination diet for three weeks to cleanse our systems. So I’m welcoming the chance to feel healthy and great all summer long with Joe Wick’s three-month programme.

It only dawned on me as our annual May long weekend cottage trip came about what that actually meant. Our trips to the country are often than not a delicious food festival by the lake, with shisha and other sins thrown in for good measure, I seriously needed to prepare.

Here’s the thing: I’m on a holiday of sorts. There is no way I’m missing out on my peri peri chicken but also don’t want to go off the rails. I’ve been on diets before and sat there eating leaves while everyone else tucked into amazing food. Being on The Body Coach plan while away for the weekend was the total opposite.

What I understood fully from day one is that planning is pretty important on this programme. The idea isn’t to be perfect but to do the best you can, so balance is the keyFirstly I went through all the recipes and menus and looked at what I could adapt so I could take part in cottage barbecuing festivities. I love cooking, so it was nice to be a little creative again. I don’t really eat red meat often, but barbecued burgers are the bomb. Joe has a Muscle Mince recipe that I turned into a burger and had in a lettuce bun.

Similarly I wanted to eat my hubby’s amazing Bihari kebabs, thinly sliced steak marinaded with yoghurt and spices that are then skewered and thrown onto the barbecue. Joe has a recipe for steak and rice, so I adapted it a little, worked out on Sunday night and enjoyed some Bihari kebabs along with everyone else.

Here’s what I learnt to do over the course of the trip:


  • Prep your breakfastsEven if you plan to indulge later in the day, there is no point in skipping the most important meal! I weighed out ingredients for Joe’s low-carb oatmeal and granola and put them into little boxes. It makes life super easy and it is really quick to do. At the cottage, I would add my dairy-free milk and yoghurt, et voilà: a Lean in 15 breakfast served in seconds.
  • Easy snackingKeep it simple, some apples and nuts will see you through the weekend. They require minimal preparation and are easy to throw into your bag and are especially great if you are doing activities throughout the day and need an energy-fix.
  • Take smaller portions of your supplements and protein. Don’t bother carrying all your bottles, just count out what you need and put your scoops of protein powder into bottles. That way all you need to do is add water and shake them up!
  • Get other people involved! I had my friends eating Joe’s Tasty Tuna Salad for lunch one day and granola for breakfast. They loved it!
  • Most of the other time I stuck to eating protein along with Joe’s salad recipes.
  • Do work out if you can.


I totally had a bite of my hubby’s s’more and some of his naan, then there were the amazing slabs of homemade praline fudge, of which I crumbled off little corners. Did I feel bad? No.

I knew I would have a little splurge here or there (I satisfied my cravings by nicking the odd bit from my hubby’s plate) and made up for it by sticking to the rest of the plan as best as possible! I thought a blowout was inevitable, but I didn’t feel the need to go crazy. I managed to find a balance between health and pleasure and never felt deprived. That is what I call smashing it.

Cycle one is almost over and I’ll be sending in my results soon and am a mixture of nervous and excited to see what progress has been made.

I’m sharing my experience of Joe’s plan over the next few weeks. Stay tuned to the blog and follow me on Twitter and Instagram to see how my transformation goes.