Madeleine Shaw is a name synonymous with the current healthy eating wave, alongside a girl called Ella and a pair of Hemsleys. I plucked Shaw’s book from the library shelves, after seeing some tasty Insta-pics with her name hashtagged and a few tweets from favoured Made in Chelsea members. There is even a comment from a MIC graduate on the front cover. But for me, this sums up the content all too well.
The recipes are out of my league. I cannot afford coconut oil or that many different kinds of nuts, and yes, I do rely on carbohydrates to fuel me and fill me. Madeleine doesn’t seem to agree; she has almost vetoed carbs from her recipes. I am instinctively wary of anything that advocates removing a key food group. I am a firm believer of balance, in body and in mind. Shaw’s pro-gluten-free approach is welcome, but what about brown rice pasta, basmati rice and gluten-free croissants? They all have their place in a well-rounded diet.
Her six week programme is, quite frankly, borderline bossy. I find it difficult being preached to by a woman who strikes me as someone who has access to great produce and amazing gyms. In essence, this wasn’t a guide for me, someone looking to eat well day-to-day. This is one for dedicated, Nike-wearing hardcore health fans who spend their weekends running 10km and doing their weekly shop in Wholefoods. I’m more of a jog round the park and pop to the supermarket kind of gal.
The food photography within the book is beautiful and inspiring to browse through, if you don’t get distracted by “hunt the carb”.