At Aflete we have noticed a huge rise in the popularity of eating clean recently, so we wanted to find out exactly what clean eating is and how it differs from other diets. For some, eating clean is a way of getting in better shape and controlling their diet. For Louise Plumb, fitness model and mother of two, it’s a way of life. Louise transformed her fitness through eating clean and now inspires others to try it out and feel the difference with her clean eating challenges on social media.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Hello! My name is Louise, I’m a mother of 2 beautiful children and I own my own freelance hairdressing company. I am also a fitness model and co-founder of HeLo Health where we aim to teach people about the principles of clean eating and we run our 3 Mont Clean Eating Challenges.
You’re in phenomenal shape now – can you take us back to the start of your journey?
It all started after the birth of my second child. I had put on a fair amount of weight during my pregnancy and I’d had 2 caesareans, so my body wasn’t in the best shape! I decided I wasn’t going to let the babies be an excuse for poor health, so after I had fully recovered and had been given the go ahead by my GP, I started doing exercise DVD’s at home while the children had their naps. I soon built up a level of fitness and found that the DVD’s weren’t enough, so I took up running as well. 5 months after starting, I ran my first race of 5 miles, and then started entering 10k and even a half marathon.
After a couple of years of running and doing classes at my local gym (but not watching my diet), I was still unhappy with how I looked. I was very cardio fit – but I felt my body didn’t reflect the amount of effort I had put in. It was then that I discovered clean eating – and the weight section at the gym! I haven’t looked back since. I no longer run or do classes at the gym.
You mention clean eating on your website and social media, what does “clean eating” mean?
Clean eating is basically going back to basics and eating food in as close to its natural state as possible. This means not eating food that has had chemicals added, that has not been processed so that it’s unrecognisable from its natural form, and not got refined sugars added either. Wholegrain carbs only, and plenty of lean meat. Along with loads of vegetables!
For others out there who are starting their own fitness journeys, what advice would you give them?
Take advice from the experts. A great place to start is talking to instructors at your gym. They will tailor make a programme for you and the results you want to achieve. Get educated with food – learn to read the ingredients on everything before you buy it. You’ll be amazed at the amount of hidden sugars and chemicals there are out there. Oh yes, NEVER EVER eat ‘low fat’, ‘fat free’ or ‘diet’ anything.
Do you think it was harder for you because you started your fitness journey after childbirth?
I don’t know about harder, but I certainly had to start slower than I wanted to. I had to be very careful not to over train my stomach as it’s incredibly important to wait for your stomach muscles to knit back together again post childbirth.
What was your original workout and diet like when you were a beginner?
My original diet was just trying to watch the amount of snacks I had, and to have more fruit and veg.
The original training was a 5-8k run in the morning (fasted) and then an exercise DVD mid-morning, 6 days a week.
Your transformation is really inspiring for others, but what motivates and drives you?
My passion for weight training is what drives me. I adore weight training and the feeling I get…the strength I feel from it. It transformed my body, my mind and I truly believe it’s good for the soul too.
I crave challenges. I want to do things that scare me, to ask myself if I could possibly achieve the impossible – and then go and smash every single goal I set myself.
We can see that you compete in competitions. Must be a great achievement! How difficult is to prepare for these?
Competition prep is like nothing I have ever experienced before. I really enjoyed the training (as hardcore as it was), and at first the diet was new and exciting. But as the weeks went by and the competition drew closer, I did find it mentally tough. The diet became stricter and more restrictive, my energy levels started to lower, and I questioned if I would be comp fit…daily. The last month was extremely hard, as all you want to do is eat more food! But the key is to trust the process, and know that if you cheat with the diet, you’re ultimately cheating yourself.
How do you cope with the healthy lifestyle and being a busy parent?
It’s a lifestyle. My children are now at the ages where they have an understanding (they are 7 and 5), and they know better than to offer mummy any of their sandwiches or snacks. They choose to have water over fruit juices and always ask if their food is healthy. I want my family to have a healthy attitude to food, but to be educated about it too.
Where can people see more of you?
I have a Facebook page – LouisePlumbFitnessModelsexy
I am on twitter – @lou_pea
Instagram – LPFitnessModel