I’ve been following Madeleine Shaw for a long time, and it’s been great to see her success blossom. Her first book, Get the Glow, was published back in April and became an instant hit. So much so that she’s currently working on her second, Ready Steady Glow, which I cannot wait for! Her bubbly personality and refreshing attitude to food and living a healthy lifestyle makes her unique in amongst so many nutrition and fitness bloggers. I’ve learnt a lot from Madeleine and she continues to be one of my influences, so, I wanted to share my review of why I think this book is certainly worth a purchase.
Firstly, like so many of us, Madeleine’s interest in leading a healthier life sparked from the signs of self-neglect becoming all to clear. From not eating mindfully, to meticulous calorie counting, her relationship with food went from two extremes. In addition, she suffered from terrible IBS. However, it took a rather impulsive move to Sydney for her to realise her love and passion for nutrition and wellness. On moving back to London, she started her blog along with the Get the Glow programme, and to use the old cliche, really has gone from strength to strength. I ordered the book upon its release, and it has since become one of my go-tos for food inspiration and lifestyle tips.
Get the Glow, is not just another recipe book though. The first part is made up of Madeleine’s six-week programme for those embarking on this lifestyle. Personally, I didn’t follow this religiously because I felt many parts were already incorporated into my diet. However, it was by no means useless, as it’s filled with so many helpful tips no matter what stage of your health journey you are at.
As a trained nutritionist, Madeleine’s programme addresses the questions that so many of us are unsure of. Often, I feel this is due to the mixed messages we receive from popular culture and social media: Is fat a friend or foe? How much sugar is too much? Should we give up dairy and gluten? All of these dilemmas play on our minds, and although I personally believe that we should eat in a way that makes us feel our best, the advice here easily adapted to any diet.
The one-hundred recipes are split into seven sections: Breakfast, Snacks, Soups and Light Salads, Speedy Suppers, Weekend Wonders, Sweet Treats and Drinks to Glow. These recipes have been created to ‘nourish you from the inside out’ (as the book’s slogan goes) yet, what I think is makes them so appealing is how they don’t feel super-healthy. In fact, all the recipes seem so accessible, which makes eating and preparing them such a joy. Therefore, it’s also perfect for recipes to share with others, or perhaps to convince those who are more skeptical about this way of eating.
My favourite section has to be the Breakfasts; there’s so much variety, all perfectly thought out to provide the best start to your day. It’s great that there are both sweet and savoury recipes, as well as a good balance between quick weekday breakfasts and weekend brunches. I also found the Soups and Light Lunches so helpful, as I’m constantly needing inspiration for lunches on-the-go.
Get the Glow isn’t a vegetarian recipe book but is easily adapted to any diet, including vegan. I personally don’t eat meat, but I do have fish. There aren’t too many dishes that are meat-focused, and where they are, often it can just be left out. Also, the majority of Get the Glow is low-carb and gluten-free, due to the focus on food that is easy on the digestive system. I try to avoid gluten, so this was one of elements that drew me to this book. However, I wouldn’t describe the recipes as restrictive by any means. What it aims to demonstrate is that there are so many alternatives that are not only better for us, but taste better. For example, swapping pasta for quinoa, or refined sugar for natural sources of sweetness, such as medjool dates or honey.
Many of recipes are made up of lots of ingredients – some of them being quite unusual. This is not a problem is you have an extensive, fully-stocked pantry, but you may find yourself having to go out and buy extra bits and pieces. However, this may just be a case of doing one bulk-buy so that you have everything you need to last a while. In addition, Madeleine’s sample meal plan is very useful for not wasting as many ingredients each week. I would say that investing in a good food-processor and a juicer (for the Drinks to Glow section) will definitely help in getting the maximum benefits from this book. However, I feel it doesn’t really how many fancy gadgets you have. They certainly do help, but the key idea behind Madeleine’s philosophy is using simple, pure and nourishing ingredients that come together to make the most colourful and delicious dishes that you will enjoy eating; and this is something that I always try to bear in mind.
The book is so well written, beautifully designed and is full of stunning photography. I think it’s so important to have pictures of the food you are planning to make, as it really helps to visualise just how it’s supposed to look – not to mention make your mouth water! Lots of people are realising now that healthy eating does not have to mean bland and tasteless food, rather it’s the opposite.
So, if you’re in need of lifestyle inspiration, and love delicious, nourishing food, then Get the Glow is certainly where you will find this. I know that I will still be using this book for years to come.