My morning ritual is… my daughter Willow, 3, waking me up at about 6.30am. I make a cup of organic breakfast tea and pour both of us a big glass of water, then we get back into bed to read her story books. Breakfast tends to be boiled eggs and toast with a side of sauerkraut and vegetables, or some fruit, yoghurt and chopped nuts or seeds. Protein at breakfast helps regulate my appetite and blood sugar levels, which makes a big difference to my energy by mid-afternoon.
My bedtime routine is… getting Willow to sleep at 8-8.30pm, then running a bath. I light some candles and read a few pages of a book – this ‘my time’ has been a regular habit since lockdown and I guard it quite preciously. I aim to be in bed by 10pm. Sleep is my saviour.
I always tell my loved ones to… stay safe. And eat their vegetables! I try to have 5-6 portions daily, as vegetables are so essential for fibre and nutrition.
My favourite mantra is… ‘What’s the kindest thing I can do right now?’ I ask myself this when I’m not sure which route to take. It helps me work out what I truly need, rather than what I think or feel I should do. I’m a big believer in the power of self-compassion.
I love to cook… lentil bolognese, chickpea and vegetable curry, soup, slow-cooked casseroles and trays of roasted vegetables that I can batch cook. Other than roast chicken with gravy and lots of veggies, we don’t eat much meat these days – I prefer vegetarian meals and it helps to support the environment, too.
My favourite way of relaxing is… getting lost in great TV. Current favourites include Schitt’s Creek, The Crown and The Morning Show. I also recently watched an online floristry course by floral stylist Willow Crossley on the Create Academy website, which was really calming.
Exercise involves… being outdoors for a long hike or a jog along the river – whether it’s sunny or raining! Working out is as much about head-space and supporting my mental health as it is about fitness. And I find those effects are magnified when exercising outdoors.
My biggest turn on is… humour. I also adore and need tranquility and nature. A walk on an empty beach with someone who makes me belly laugh is my idea of perfection!
The bad habit I’m glad I’ve kicked is… alcohol. I gave it up during the second lockdown, when it had started to impede my sleep. Even just a small glass of wine would keep me up half the night. And I honestly haven’t missed it – I’m quite happy with tonic water and a slice of lemon. I recommend having at least three alcohol-free nights a week, and definitely to stay within the government-recommended limit of 14 units per week – particularly if you’re feeling anxious, stressed or exhausted all the time.
I inject positivity into my life by… noticing the smallest things. I appreciate nature, birdsong, my family, comforting meals, mugs of tea, a good book and phoning a friend. These little things nourish me enough to keep going through the tough times.
No.1 on my gratitude list is… my daughter. I got pregnant at 41, so I waited a long time to be a mother – for a while, I thought I might not get the chance. Being a mum isn’t always easy, but I’m overwhelmingly grateful for it every single day.
Amelia’s online course, The Joy of Healthy Eating, is available now from Create Academy. She’s also the author of four books, including her latest, Simply Good For You (Michael Joseph). Instagram: @ameliafreer